Tesco Hudl vs Nexus 7 (2013) vs Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs Kindle Fire

What's going on at the budget end?

The smaller-screened budget tablet market is becoming a hotbed of competition, with all the big guns looking to nab a space under the Christmas tree this year.

In the past few months we've seen all manner of tablet releases, the biggest coming from two of the biggest names in the tech world: Google and Amazon.

The new Nexus 7, the Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle Fire are the three biggest names in this market, with Apple's iPad Mini proving a little too expensive to compete at this price point. We also don't expect the upcoming iPad Mini 2 to battle it out at the lower end either.

So the news that Tesco is entering the fray with its new Tesco Hudl tablet (no, we're not convinced by the name either) could shake up the budget market - but as it has a low price, does that mean it will be a terrible experience?

Display

TESCO

Budget tablets tend to come in with a smaller screen size than their higher-priced brethren, and in fact all four of the tablets being compared here come with 7-inch screens. The real difference in screens lays in the resolution.

The newly announced Tesco Hudl comes with a respectable HD screen, although not full 1080p, measured at 1440x900 pixels. The Amazon tablets don't fare so well, although the Kindle Fire HD does, somewhat unsurprisingly, come with a HD screen. It, however, is also not Full HD at 1280x800.

Bringing up the rear is its lower-specified brother, the Kindle Fire, which comes in at the bottom of the pack with a 1024x600 pixel display.

The resounding winner though is the new Google Nexus 7, with a Full HD display with 1920x1200 pixels, meaning a crystal clear pixel density of 323ppi.

Build / design

Hudle

The Tesco Hudl is the most interesting out of the four tablets on offer here, as it kicks the idea of a solely black tablet to the kerb.

It comes in a total of 4 different colours: pink, blue, purple and yes, black, so you can easily tailor your tablet to fit whichever hipster outfit you choose. It also comes with a rubberised back, designed to aid the grip and handling.

As for the other three, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the designers had a Porsche mentality, knocking out iterations that follow almost standard tablet design rules.

The standard black bezel is offered on every tablet to allow for easy thumb resting, although is most noticeable on both of the Amazon models, the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD.

TEsco Hudl

Google has taken a slightly different tack, making the bezel thinner down the vertical sides (in portrait mode), with a thicker top and bottom.

In practice, we found this made the new Nexus 7 a little less comfortable to use in portrait, although was ideal for landscape viewing. The back of the Nexus also comes with a matt plastic finish, making it slightly harder to hold than its predecessor.

CPU

A decent tablet also needs a decent internal processor. Somewhat surprisingly, the Tesco Hudl doesn't disappoint. It comes with a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, although we have no word on how much RAM backs that up.

The new Google Nexus 7 also comes with a quad-core processor, the Snapdragon S4 Pro from Qualcomm that also comes in at 1.5GHz. This is backed up with 2GB of RAM.

Both the Amazon tablets are less well-equipped, packing only dual-core OMAP processors measured at 1.2GHz. Again, there is no official word on RAM.

OS and UI

Unsurprisingly, all four tablets on offer come packing Google software underneath, as iOS is obviously limited to Apple's devices, and Windows 8 software has yet to make it to tablets of this price range.