Hands-on with Acer’s cheap and cheerful Iconia B1 tablet

Daniel Bader

January 8, 2013 8:06pm


We had some time today to play with Acer’s $149 Iconia B1 tablet, a device that will probably never see Canadian shelves, but nonetheless is worth noting. The Android tablet market has come a long way since the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab, which was thicker and heavier than the B1 and cost four times as much.

Acer’s entry-level slate has a 7-inch 1024×600 resolution screen, a dual-core 1.2Ghz MediaTek processor, 512MB RAM, 8GB internal storage, and a meagre 0.3MP front camera. It runs Android 4.1.2 and is as stock as can get. In other words, it won’t win any awards, but speaks to the huge potential market for low-cost computing in the developing world, and could emerge as an important market for education and young children.

It’s made of low-cost but hardy plastic, front and back, with an interesting beveled backing and blue trim that will appeal to younger audiences. After playing with the device for a while it became clear that, despite the newer software, this thing is not going to play the latest and greatest apps, but it will work just fine as a casual reading, browsing or gaming device. 

What do you think? If Acer offered the B1 in Canada, would you buy it over the $209 Nexus 7?

  • John z

    Looks pretty good. I would not mind getting a tablet like this. Even tho the Nexus 7 & 10 are out, i rather have another Acer or Blackberry to be honest.

    • 2see

      RIP Android :)

  • anona

    Fingerprint magnet.

  • Gusmaru

    Isn’t the Lenovo Ideapad going for $129 these days and it runs a Tegra 3 at the same resolution? Seems a no brainer which to get.

  • lol

    These android tablets are just a race to the bottom, and then they’ll realize that the profits are not worth it.

    • EvanK

      As Daniel mentioned, they’ll probably do quite well and sell like hotcakes in developing nations where personal computing is out of reach and too expensive for many.

  • EvanK

    I’d much rather get the Nexus, totally worth the extra $50 just for the Google support alone.

  • spanky

    cheap and cheerful?

  • Tom

    “It runs Android 4.1.2 and is as stock as can get. In other words, it won’t win any awards, but”

    Actually it should win an award for that! The ‘closest to stock’ award.

  • outburst

    Cheap and cheerful sounds good. Will get my kids off my $400 tablet and probably run everything that they want to play with. So yes, I’d consider it.

  • Cyrano

    thought it said $99 last week

  • steve

    Buy it over the tegra processor running a quad core at 1500mhz, with double the ram. For 58 bucks difference, you would be wise to stick with the Nexus 7. Plus getting updates before every other device is an added bonus, so take it from somebody who knows, stick with the Nexus 7 because it is also made by Asus, with much better specs and hardware.

  • relish

    I find the A2109 from Lenovo to be a better budget tablet. Tegra 3, 1 GB ram, 16 GB memory, 9-incher going for 200$ right now and probably going to go lower in the near future. Unless you need a smaller 7″ tablet that is..

  • MattyMattMatt

    I bought the Tab2 7 inchers for my niece and nephew when they were 150. They are great, but I think the extra on a Nabi or Nexus would havve been worth it if it wasnt outside of the budget.

  • Lazardus

    DAT BEZEL!!!

  • aman singhisking

    Future shop had the lenovo a2107 for 99 bucks. It is a metal and glass tab with similar insides. That seems better.

  • peter

    IPAD FOR THE WIN

  • JB

    My Ainol Aurora2 has better specs then this and was only $120 total including shipping. Sure it took 28 days to get here, but it is an awesome tablet. Oh and it also has vibrate feature (take that nexus7!)