Acer Looks to Undercut the Competition with 7-inch Iconia B1

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CES 2013Acer is taking on the entry-level tablet market, as the company has announced at CES today the new $130 Iconia B1-A71 tablet, a 7-inch Android slate that will be priced as low as $99 in some channels around the world.

Acer President Jim Wong introduced the tablet at CES 2013, explaining that the device is meant for new users and will launch first in Asia and South America this month. Wong didn’t specify which areas would see the special $99 promotion price for the Iconia B1, though he did note that the tablet will sell at most outlets for $130 to $150.

The Iconia B1 is meant to compete with other smaller slates, such as the Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7, however it seems the lower price point of Acer’s offering may hinder the user experience. The B1 will sport a TN 1024 x 600 resolution screen, which falls flat when compared to the higher quality displays of the Fire and Nexus. The tablet won’t offer the processing power of a quad-core chipset from Nvidia or Qualcomm either, as the latest from Acer will pack a MediaTek dual-core 1.2GHz processor and just 512MB of RAM.

Shipping with Android 4.1, the B1 will also feature 8GB of storage, a 32GB micro SD card slot and a micro USB port. The tablet will house a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera and will support Bluetooth 4.0.

Acer Iconia B1 TabletDespite these shortcomings in specs, Wong touted the device as equal to its rivals in terms of performance, especially from the user application standpoint. Early looks of the Iconia B1 at CES weren’t too inspiring either, with some critics finding the performance noticeably slower than the Nexus, while the keyboard seemed to have a slight delay in registering taps.

While it’s very clear that the Iconia B1 is a lower cost tablet than some of the other entry-level slates currently available, consumers looking for an inexpensive slate may look past these specs in awe of the sub-$150 price point. Wong also announced plans for a worldwide release of the device, however he did not mention when the tablet would be available in the U.S. 

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