Saturday, 1 March 2014

New toy……

I’ve been considering getting a tablet computer for some time now. I’d quite fancied the iPad, but sadly I do not like Apple’s apparent business model of issuing a product and then upgrading it at prohibitive prices, adding new connections that make previous incarnations difficult to use with new accessories and also versions of their iOS operating system and of course, making older accessories unusable – this was a part of my decision to ditch the iPhone (which I actually enjoyed using) in favour of my Windows Phone (Nokia Lumia 520) that I have found to be as flexible and efficient as the iPhone.


So, I had a good look around the market place and had an idea of the type of unit I wanted. My needs are very simple: social networking, a usable camera/video, reading ebooks/magazines, e-mail, and naturally, Internet access for news, shopping and research for my exploration activities. Top of the list was a Samsung something, BUT, that seriously changed when my good lady, Anne, was bought a Tesco Hudl for her birthday. I hadn’t really given the Hudl a second thought – perhaps I was blind-sided by it being offered by a supermarket chain. Anyway, the bottom line here is that my mind was totally changed by Anne’s Hudl – she took to it like a duck to water and I have to say I was extremely impressed by it’s capabilities, efficiency and speed. And that’s without the vast library of apps available through the GooglePlay store.

The upshot is – I got a Tesco Hudl.


It’s great. It’s brilliant. I love it.


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The Hudl is a low cost (£119) Android-based 7” tablet. It’s a rather cool looking and under-stated  that manages to pack pretty much all my entertainment needs into a very easy to use unit. I have to say that mooching the Internet is a doddle, video’s on YouTube or movies look absolutely terrific on the crystal clear screen, with the Kindle app, I’m able to read books, using BlinkBox, I can stream movies and music and of course, I’m able to take photos and shoot video. The Hudl comes with a built-in app for the world of Tesco (as one would expect) and getting Google apps is painfully easy.
I have many things now set up on it including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogger (perhaps I should have composed this posting on the Hudl and not the GTK Studio Computer!!!), Amazon, eBay and a whole host of other goodies. The cameras are basic and only 3mp on the front and 2mp on the back, but again, this isn’t an issue as I have plenty of cameras at my disposal.


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I’ve got a number of things synced up between the GTK Studio Computer, the Lumia 520 and the Hudl using Microsoft OneDrive (a Cloud-based hard-drive formerly called SkyDrive, a name which I much preferred, but that’s the sci-fi nerd in me coming out – lol) and OneNote. This means that I can create notes or take photos etc. whilst out and about on my Lumia 520, and then pick them up on the Hudl when I get home.


Thus far, I haven’t added a micro SD card to boost the storage memory (that upgrade is most certainly in the pipeline), but I’ve already found the on-board 16gb sufficient for my needs at this time.


It’s powered by a 1.5GHz A9 Quad-core processor, using 1GB RAM with graphics powered by a Mali 400 Quad core GPU.


Watching an episode of Space: 1999 on YouTube :-)



It has 2 x 1w stereo speakers, a microphone and a 3.5mm headphone jack (into which I have put a stereo 3.5mm jack-to-phono lead and now have it hooked up to the GTK Studio sound system via the Mackie micro mixer).


The battery is pretty powerful and is capable of up to 9hrs of video playback, depending on video format, volume level, screen settings and processor load.


It connects to our home network wirelessly via dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz) 802.11 a/b/g/n, and it has both Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS capabilities.


Physical connections are through a micro-USB 2.0 port, micro-HDMI and micro-SDHC. And if that wasn’t enough, it has built-in gyroscope, accelerometer and compass sensors.


With regard apps, there are a plethora of different things available from the GooglePlay store, and I’ve already added a few synths, shopping apps and games – all free!!! I’ve even found a step-sequencer that is capable of controlling hardware synths, but as yet I haven’t had a chance to test that out, but as soon as I do, I expect I’ll be blogging about it. And the paid apps are ridiculously cheap, so nothing prohibitive on the financial front.


As you can see, I’m quite taken by this little red unit, and very quickly I came to realise just how useful these things are. So, it’s Hudl all the way and basically, Apple can do one as this consumer isn’t so easily led Winking smile


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