How much tablet do you get for a device that costs between $130 and $150 in the U.S.? In our first look of the Acer Iconia B1 tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show, you actually get quite a bit of tablet on paper, but the experience may not be worth the cost of entry. The Iconia B1 may be a good tablet for kids, but in daily use, there some slow downs and viewing angles may not be as good as the slightly more expensive Google-branded competing Asus-made Nexus 7 tablet, which has a $200 entry price and slightly better specs.
All in all, you do get a relatively slim device for around $130-$150 US. Acer says that the Iconia B1 so far hasn’t been announced for the U.S. market so it’s unclear if the tablet will hit the U.S. market.
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The Iconia B1 runs on a dual-core processor from MediaTek which is slower than the Nexus 7’s quad-core Tegra 3 processor. Also, switching between apps and launching apps sometimes stuttered on the Iconia B1.
Though where the Iconia B1 excels is storage. With 8 GB of storage built-in, the device does have a micro SD card slot for expandable storage.
What’s good about the budget tablet is the front-facing camera, a relatively light weight that aids in portability, a slim design, and a decent resolution display (1024 X 600 pixels compared to a 1280 X 800 experience on the Nexus 7).
In terms of design, there is a notched out triangle on the lower left hand corner of the Iconia B1, which is a similar design to Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet’s hardware design.
For kids though or for those who are trying out a consumer tablet for the first time, the Iconia B1 delivers a lot in a very inexpensive price tag. It’s definitely not a Nexus 7 challenger, but it doesn’t have to be if Acer is positioning the device as a family tablet or one for children. It may be a good educational tool as well for those who elect to have a casual tablet for e-book reading with apps for Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Amazon’s Kindle, or Google’s Play Book.