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

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.

Read this...

CES 2014: Four mega-trends for the professionals

Trends matter at CES. While there may not be major product announcements, trends will emerge to shape 2014. Here's what to watch in business tech.

Read More

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.