To be fair, at £129 vs £199 the Hudl2 and iPad Mini are not exactly in the same price bracket, with the Hudl2 more often compared to other 'budget' Android tablets and being a bit of a hit this Christmas as a reasonably priced tablet to buy for friends or family that might be hoping to find one under the tree come Christmas Day. So what did I expect? I expected some neat features, and a tablet that was good for web browsing and playing games on. And I was right - but actually, there's a lot more to it than that....
Look and feel
I was very pleasantly surprised when I took the Hudl2 out of the box, The tablet itself is slim and lightweight and has a really nice feel to it, with soft to touch matt coating on the underside. It's actually slightly larger than the iPad Mini and comes in at 8.3" with a full HD screen, compared to the Mini's 7.9" display. The display itself is bright and clear and looks visually stunning; watching HD movies really is a sight to behold.
Apps and functionality
Along with the full HD screen, the Hudl2 has Dolby Optimised Sound and a stereo effect which is great for watching movies and videos (I was actually incredibly impressed with the quality of the video and audio when watching movies and YouTube videos, I kept annoying Tom by showing him how good the quality was and playing him different videos!) The Tesco Blinkbox app comes loaded onto the tablet, meaning you can download movies and watch them straight away. I already use Blinkbox and find it great; it definitely has the best selection of new movies from any other movie rental or subscription service. The functionality of this app is really neat too, you can swipe through all of the movies in the database until you find one you want to watch.
One of my other favourite features was how easy it was to output the tablet to my TV. Because my LG DVD Player is networked and my tablet was connected to the wifi, as soon as I opened YouTube it asked me if I wanted to output the video to the TV. (I then spent another evening annoying Tom - are you sensing a theme here? - by playing music videos and movie trailers on the TV - so much fun!) This is a really neat and easy to use feature and one I'll definitely use a lot. (It also has an HMDI port so you can do the same by connecting your Hudl2 to your TV via a cable).
The blinkbox music app lets you create free custom radio stations (that you can download for offline listening) and there's also a blinbox books app where you can download books (you can also earn Clubcard points on your purchases which is another little bonus). You can also buy books in the Google Play Store, or install the Kindle app if you prefer the Kindle functionality, so there's lots of different options for whatever you want to use the tablet for.
There's a whole host of other features and benefits of the Hudl 2 but one more quick thing I wanted to mention is that if you were looking for a Christmas present for a child or young teenager then this would make a great choice. You can set parental controls for all of the different users and change their access rights - as well as setting timers for how long they can use it for! Very clever.
Overall, I was totally blown away by the Hudl2 tablet. It represents amazing value for money for a tablet with a great HD screen, brilliant sound quality and spot on app functionality and usability. I honestly would not be in any way disappointed to replace my iPad Mini with a Hudl2 - if anything there are several elements which are actually better than the Mini; the bigger screen just feels clearer and better for watching movies and browsing the web. This would make a great Christmas present for someone who has a tablet on their list, from a young child to your Gran as it really has something for everyone.
For more information on the specifications and features, visit the Tesco website.
I'm also going to try a video review of the Hudl2 on my YouTube channel so do let me know if you have any questions or anything you'd like to see.
Do you own a tablet? Would you consider a Hudl2?