Hands on: Acer Iconia B1 review

Cheap tablets have rarely been this good

What is a hands on review?
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  • Cheap
  • Fairly speedy
  • Very nice design


  • Low screen resolution

In addition to the update to the Iconia A1, Acer is also updating the super affordable Iconia B1, with the Iconia B1-720 Wi-Fi version and the Iconia B1-721 Wi-Fi and 3G model.

Both are already available at price points of €129 Euros and USD $130 (around GBP £105, AUD $196). There is also a cited Euro price for the 3G version at €179 (which works out around GBP £147, USD $245, AUD $272).

That slides it in below 7-inch rivals including Tesco's Hudl.

Acer B1 720 review

The new version of the B1 – which retains a staggeringly low price point –doubles up on the original's RAM and on-board storage at 1GB and 16GB respectively.

A microSD slot enables you to add up to 32GB of storage, while there's a micro USB port on the bottom alongside the headphone jack.

Acer B1 720 review

A dual-core 1.3GHz Mediatek MT6572 processor makes the device seem perfectly zippy.

Acer B1 720 review

Acer says the B1 is aimed squarely at young or new tablet users or at families who want an extra device for use by the kids.

Acer Iconia B1 review

We liked the textured back cover – interestingly, this is a feature that the latest version of the Nexus 7 has decided to discard. However, we find that a textured back is lot easier to hold onto than a smooth finish.

Acer B1 720 review

The screen is bright and clear with 10-point touch, but lacks is terms of resolution (600 x 1,024) compared to slightly more expensive 7-inch competitors like the Nexus 7. In terms of accessories, Acer has debuted a new 5.3mm-thick Bluetooth Crunch Keyboard in a soft synthetic leather cover that folds out and can also be used as a stand.

Acer Iconia B1 review

The lack of definition is a little clearer close up.

Acer Iconia B1 review

Early verdict

We really like the new version of the B1. And for the money it's superb and welll-designed. The only thing is that we're not too keen on the screen resolution. But then, if you're worried about that, you need to spend a little more on a tablet like the Nexus.

Acer Iconia B1 review



Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Lifehacker UK. Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.