Acer is known for tablets like the Iconia Tab A500, which came with Android 3.0 Honeycomb almost two years ago. The device was a moderate success as with any Honeycomb based tablet, so it failed to stick in people’s memory. Although the company launched a successor or two for the tablet, they weren’t successful either. But since 2012, things have changed. Particularly post the demise of Honeycomb, in favor of a unified tablet and smartphone OS in the form of ICS/Jelly Bean. Acer unveiled a couple of top end tablets in the second half of 2012, but they easily passed through our memory as budget tablets were the only thing people wanted to look at. And since the past few days, we’ve been hearing of Acer making an entry into the budget tablet segment with its Iconia B1 tablet. And now we’re learning that the tablet has been rechristened as the Iconia B. To be more precise, the Iconia B will be launched in India this month for 7,999 INR which is about $149, contrary to the $99 price tag speculated earlier. The tablet should be shown off at the CES event next week, so we will make sure to keep an eye on that when the time arrives.
This certainly shows us the urge and the desperation on the part of the manufacturers to make the best of the budget tablet segment. Amazon created this niche with the Kindle Fire tablets in 2011 which was a massive success and followed it up with the Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD 8.9 in 2012. Google obviously got the tech world thinking with its $200 ASUS Nexus 7 tablet back in July and made much of an impact on the world. However, limited supplies have proven to be pretty costly for Google and ASUS. But this offering from Acer could go a long way in finally launching a budget tablet which is available to the buyers at all times. Acer clearly is more than capable of mass producing devices, so I’m sure they have some plans to cope with massive demand if that situation arises.
I’m a little disappointed that the tablet will in fact cost $150 instead of $99, but considering how little these companies make off budget tablets, their decision is justified. However, it is clear that Acer will certainly make more profits than Google makes with the Nexus 7 as the components used on the Iconia B are slightly low end. Here’s a run-down of the specs for you.
- 7-inch (1024×600) display with a pixel density of 170ppi.
- 8GB internal storage which can be expanded with a microSD card.
- 512MB of RAM.
- 1.2 GHz dual core MediaTek processor.
- Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.
Perhaps the device will be a hit in locations where the Nexus 7 isn’t available, but elsewhere, we don’t expect the device to make much of an impact. The expandable memory is a big bonus, but the limited RAM and a rather unflattering chipset is cause for concern. Let’s see how the device fares when it arrives in the market. It appears like the Indians will be the first to know about the Acer Iconia B.