Today a new player has entered the game. Tesco's long-rumored Android tablet launched this morning, and it shows that 2 can play at that game.
The Hudl is a budget tablet which costs £40 less than the current Kindle Fire HD (and only 60% of the UK price for the new Nexus 7). Some of the technical specs have yet to be disclosed, but at this point we know that the Hudl has specs somewhat better than last year's KFHD or Nook HD.
This tablet runs Android 4.2.2 on a quad-core 1.5GHz CPU, and it comes with a microSD card slot, 16 GB of storage, a high resolution 7" screen (1440x900, same as on last year's Nook HD). It has a camera (unknown resolution) and a pair of speakers on the back, GPS, boasts 9 hours of battery life, and will come equipped with Google Play.
Update: This tablet has a Rockchip CPU and was developed in partnership with Archos as the HT7S3 (link).
In terms of connectivity, this tablet has Bluetooth and dual band wifi. According to the press release, this is going to guarantee a more stable connection, though of course your mileage may vary.
The Hudl tablet will be on 30 September in 1,000 stores as well as on the Tesco website. It's only going to be available in the UK, where Tesco can support it with Blinkbox, their music/video/ebooks service.
All in all this is a fairly decent tablet for the price. Just the specs alone are enough to earn this tablet a second look, and with a price tag at £119 this tablet is cheap enough that if the actual performance then Amazon will feel the sting of yet another competitor.
And given that the price is £119 I can guarantee that Tesco is selling the Hudl tablet at or below cost. They're subsidizing the tablet in the hopes that you'll come back and use some of their other services, including the aforementioned Blinkbox as well as Clubcard TV (which functions similar to Amazon Prime Instant Video). Tesco is also hoping you'll use the tablets to buy more good from them.
Curiously enough, there's no mention of Blinkbox Books, Tesco's ebookstore. I was expecting it to launch today along with the tablet, but I guess it's not ready. The latest rumors say that Blinkbox Books will be launched in time for Christmas.
· 7” 1440 x 900 HD screen
· Android Jellybean 4.2.2
· 16GB storage which can be expanded to 48GB with microSD cards.
· Quad-core 1.5GHz processor
· 9 hours video battery life
· Micro-HDMI port
· Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
· Dual band Wi-Fi for a more stable connection