Tesco Hudl 2 – our wish list
Tesco announced the outline specs for the new Hudl 2 tablet fairly recently. PC Advisor picked up on the story here and make some interesting speculation about it.
Great build quality
First, we have been really impressed with the build quality of the Hudl. We open up a LOT of tablets for research purposes (finding JTAG ports etc) and it seems a great deal better than many other entry level tablets. This bodes well for the Hudl 2.
However, many of the used Hudls we have bought for research have come with broken screens. I guess that the break rate is likely better than many cheap tablets, but this actually suits us quite well: The screen is trashed after a drop but the internals still work fine. Perfect for testing for memory scraping, however I wonder if Tesco would consider a more impact-absorbing casing? All the breaks we have seen are from drops onto the corners of the case.
That might give them an edge in the market too. Great internals, plus a more rugged case? I know aftermarket cases are a useful source of revenue, but to garner a reputation as a really rugged device? That’s got to help sales, particularly given the high percentage of children that use them?
Next, what about the CPU? We’ve already blogged about the issues with the Rockchip flash mode, so will the new chip be more secure?
It’s not clear what CPU will be used, but one GitHub repository suggested that it might be the Rockchip RK3288, the big brother of the RK3188 as found in the current Hudl. There isn’t much online about the RK3288, but the material I have found so far about other tablets that use it (e.g. Pipo P1 / P8) suggests it has the same flash mode read issue as the RK3188.
That’s not good if so. Rockchip need to fix the flash mode problem if it is to be used in the Hudl 2.
Encryption supported, enabled by default
We also aren’t sure why the Hudl doesn’t offer encryption. It’s supported in Android 4.2.2 (JellyBean), but simply not available in the Hudl build. It could be due to limitations with the chipset, but it would be good to see encryption enabled by default in the Hudl 2.
Hopefully we will see a really up to date Android version on it; 4.4 or even above.
Finally, Tesco announced plans to launch an own brand phone. The good news is that the Rockchip System-on-a-Chip (SoC) doesn’t currently have a GSM radio, so I doubt that we will see the Rockchip in the phone. No more memory scraping!