UK supermarket Tesco launches the Hudl tablet, takes aim at Amazon’s Kindle Fire

Tesco, a Walmart-style supermarket chain in the UK with more than 3,000 stores, has decided it wants a piece of the tech market, and has announced a challenger to the Amazon Kindle. Called the Hudl, it’s a 7-inch slate which will provide owners with Google goodness and quick access to Tesco’s own range of online stores and services. Sound familiar? It’s the same business model employed by Amazon, Kobo, and until recently, Barnes & Noble too.

The Hudl name is a confusing one, and although Tesco’s marketing types will probably tell us it has something to do with bringing customers together through one device, it doesn’t strike a particularly techy note. Still, the tablet’s specification is rather good, and far from the disaster it could have been.

Tesco Hudl RearLike the Kindle Fire and most other basic Android tablets, the Hudl has a 7-inch screen, but the resolution is a decent 1440 x 900. Inside is a quad-core processor with a speed of 1.5GHz, however Tesco hasn’t stated which firm produces it. There’s 16GB of internal storage space, plus a microSD card slot to up this by 32GB, and the chassis has a pair of stereo speakers built in.

Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean is installed as standard, and while there is a Tesco button at the bottom of the screen, the OS looks surprisingly skin-free. The standard app store is Google Play, which is excellent news. Tesco provides access to its streaming video service, plus it offers downloadable music, access to its loyalty card scheme, and even its own online bank. The battery should last for nine hours per charge, and the spec sheet is closed out with GPS and Bluetooth 4.0.

Tesco will sell the Hudl for just £120, or about $190, undercutting the Kindle Fire HD by £30/$50 and the new Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 by £50/80. So, round one in the battle for Christmas tablet sales in the UK may have gone to newcomer Tesco, but Amazon is expected to release its new Kindle hardware very soon, and thanks to its established reputation in the field, it’s going to be a tough opponent to defeat.

Get our Top Stories delivered to your inbox: