Budget tablets made a lot of headway in 2013 as entry-level products began to offer elegant solutions without breaking the bank. The Acer Iconia B1 was one such tablet, replaced in 2014 by the latest B1-720. And we've been giving one a whirl ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 to see what we make of it.
With a €129 (£107) starting price it's affordability that will shift this tablet. But do fewer pounds result in a poorer product? Yes and no. Don't expect the world from the 1.3Ghz dual-core processor and this budget 7-inch offering has plenty to deliver.
The B1's design is straightforward but it works. There's a textured plastic rear that sits well in the hand without slipping, with a smooth plastic bezel extending beyond the glass screen to the front to accommodate a front-facing speaker. The earlier model didn't have such protrusions which, in our opinion, made it more aesthetically appealing. We also saw a red finish mock-up of the B1 in addition to the grey model that we gave a test ride, which looked nicer than those duller, charcoal tones.
Music, videos, web browsing and the like are no problems, but the screen doesn't have a great good viewing angle. Tilt it to excess and contrast falls off, and overall vibrance and brightness lacks punch of more premium devices. The 1024 x 600 resolution isn't particularly standout either, but does the job. Also new to the 2014 model is 10-point touch compatibility.
Wi-Fi is standard, or pay an extra €50 for a 3G model for on-the-go connectivity.
For an affordable offering there's a lot done right here. Changes compared to the 2013 model are minimal, but if you're after a budget Android 4.2 tablet then this Acer puts a tick in the box.