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Acer Iconia B1 preview


CES is like the best time of the year and we get to see large amounts of new devices and appliances. CES 2013 is going to kick off tomorrow and one of the most awaited devices is the Acer Iconia B1 tablet. Acer’s new offering is the one of the most exciting devices we expect to see at CES. When I say interesting, I don’t mean in terms of raw power it will be offering, in fact it has some of the most mediocre hardware specs, but what makes the device fascinating is its unmatched price tag.

“This is a product for new users.” That’s how Acer President Jim Wong described the company’s new $130 Acer Iconia B1 tablet, which will be sold in some areas of the world for as low as $99.
“Some places will have a special promotion for $99 but most of the channels will have it for $129 to $149,” Wong explained during an interview with ABC News Sunday at CES 2013.

Asia and Africa will be receiving this tablet device first and the pricing can be as low as $99, which is really cheap. Yes, you can buy a tablet for that cheap from a no name Chinese manufacturer, but this is coming from Acer. Folks at the Bulgarian retailer,, have got their hands on one of the prototypes of Iconia B1 and have written an extensive review of the same.

The tablet will be booting Android 4.1.2 out of the box. The device will be first launched in Asia and later in South America, and the pricing alone suggests that it will be competing with some of the cheap tablets already available in the $199 range, such as the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7. The $70 to $100 gap, however, does take a hit on the specs and user experience.

Speaking of the specs, the Acer Iconia B1 features a 7-inch 1024 x 600-pixel display, runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. It also doesn’t have higher end dual- or quad-core processors from Nvidia or Qualcomm, and instead it has a MediaTek processor and just 512MB of RAM. The on board storage is 8 gig, and there is a microSD card slot for those who crave for more space. The VGA camera on the front is capable of recording 720p videos at 30fps.

“Performance is very similar [to competing tablets], especially from the point of view of applications users use. You don’t tell the difference unless you are a gameaholic,” Wong said.

The whole tablet weighs 308g (0.68 pounds), which is pretty light for a 7 inch tablet. This is clearly a beginner budget device, so don’t expect it to be as fast as the nexus. Also don’t expect great viewing angles because Iconia B1 is equipped with an average TN display, which definitely takes a hit in the viewing angles department. The pixel density, however, is as much as of the iPad mini, and Acer’s offering costs half as much as what Apple is offering for. What are your thoughts on this?


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