CES 2014: Acer readies $130 Iconia B1-720, $180 Iconia A1-830 Android tablets

CES 2014: Acer readies $130 Iconia B1-720, $180 Iconia A1-830 Android tablets

Summary: The budget 7-inch B1 gets slimmer and faster, while the 7.9-inch A1 upgrades to an Intel Atom processor.


[UPDATE] Acer has just informed me that the price of the A1-830 will now be $149, instead of $179.99. That's a much more aggressive price given the average specs for the tablet.

Acer is getting the jump on what will no doubt be an avalanche of tablet announcements coming from next week's CES trade show by introducing a pair of Android slates that will be on display in Vegas in the coming days.

One of them is an updated version of its bargain-priced Iconia B1, which helped break the $150 price barrier for Android tablets from top-tier manufacturers. As you might expect, its specs have been modest, and while the latest model isn't going to compete with the Nexus 7, Acer has made a few improvements.

In particular, the B1-720 has double the RAM (now 1GB) and built-in storage (now 16GB) of last year's model, along with an improved Mediatek dual-core processor. It also makes use of One Glass Solution technology, which Acer claims makes for a thinner, brighter 7-inch display with "a closer touch experience." Despite the enhancements, the B1 will keep a low price of $129.99 when it hits the market in the middle of this month.

If you're looking for something a little bigger and more powerful, though somewhat pricier, the updated Iconia A1-830 (pictured above) is a 7.9-inch Android using an Intel Atom Z2560 Clover Trail processor. Like the B1-720, it also features 1GB of RAM and 16GB of capacity, but upgrades the casing with an aluminum metal finish. Its resolution is a mere 1,024x768, however, and like the B1, runs an older version of Android Jelly Bean (4.2.1).  

But at $149, the A1 won't break the bank when it's available . Whether it has enough to compete with all of the current -- and soon-to-be-announced -- 7.9-inch Android tablets will become clearer when it's released sometime in the first quarter of 2014.

Topics: Tablets, Android, Mobility, CES

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  • Yep

    7.9" and almost identical to the original iPad Mini in every way yet, $120 cheaper... But, there's no Apple tax, just remember that and look away from these tablets.
    • I'm sure they are just similar in size

      Apple hardware is better for sure.
      • Hmm

        Hard to see where from a speck sheet. The Mini wasn't exactly Apple's best product.
        • Yeah

          Because you can tell how good a product is just from a spec sheet.
    • Yeah

      Because Acer is a highly profitable company with a record of high quality hardware. Aren't OEMs like Acer one of the reasons Microsoft fans supported them getting into the hardware business?
  • Nook HD+

    I'll stick with my modded Nook HD+. The 9" has an awesome 1920x1280 screen and runs full Android - the mod took 30 minutes. The Nook's CPU is a bit slow and it doesn't have any cameras, but for $150 it's a steal.
  • New Acer Tablet

    I bought an Acer Iconia A-100 and am very disappointed they did not upgrade the firmware beyond ICS. The user manual is useless Their Australian web site has user video tutorials but available.only if the tablet was bought in Australia. Attempts to contact someone who could say yes were unanswered. Some global company. If you want no support or upgrades Acer is your choice. No more Acer for me.
    • But

      Their hardware is priced cheap. That's all that matters, right? As long as you're not paying an "Apple tax" all is good, no?
    • Companies that make money from selling hardware have little incentive to

      upgrade software on already sold devices. Android probably has it the worst as each device maker is a fragment of Android on top of an already nonexistent updating system. Most android devices are abandoned when they are sold, never to see any updates. Maybe 1 if they are lucky.

      Hopefully Google can resolve this from the top, but until then don't expect much after sales support.
      • My Galaxy Tab2

        My Galaxy Tab2 has upgraded the OS twice now with little intervention from me except to allow the upgrade to proceed.
        digital riverrat
  • $150?

    That is a lot of PC for such a low price.