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Acer Iconia B1

Andrew Williams



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Think the Google Nexus 7 is cheap? Think again. The Acer Iconia B1 costs just £99, making it one of the cheapest 7-inch Android tablets not made by a name no-one has ever heard of. There are compromises a-plenty involved, but it's tough to argue with that price.

Acer Iconia B1 Design and Features

Pootling happily along the cheap and cheerful highway, the Acer Iconia B1 is a lightweight plastic-bodied tablet. At 320g it's lighter than almost all its rivals, although it's clearly a less well-made device than something like the Google Nexus 7. There's a slight hollow ring to the tablet, although it doesn't have that cellar door creakiness that some budget tablets are afflicted with.

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The Acer Iconia B1's 8GB of internal storage is about as little as you'll get from a big-name tablet, but on the rear of the B1's back is a flap that covers a microSD slot. With microSD cards available for pennies, cutting down internal memory to the minimum was a good choice.

Acer Iconia B1

There are just two other connections on the tablet – a 3.5mm headphone jack up top and a microUSB charger socket on the bottom. In the screen bezel you'll find the basic video chat camera, although there's no camera sensor on the rear. So far, so standard.Acer Iconia B1 1

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We've often accused Acer's tablet of being dull, and it's good to see a bit of colour added to the kid-friendly Acer Iconia B1. Although mostly black, there's a line of blue that runs around the edge of the tablet. There are no plans to introduce other trim colours at present.

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Another turn up for the books is the Iconia B1's rejection of any custom UI. Acer usually bungs a few Acer tweaks into its Android tabs, but here the vanilla version of Android Jelly Bean is used. No bloat, no fiddling with visuals. This is a fully Google-certified tablet too, meaning you get access to Google's roster of apps and the official Gogole Play app store. This is the cheapest certified tablet we've seen.

Acer Iconia B1 Performance and Screen

From a brief play with the Acer Iconia B1, performance seemed acceptable. The tablet uses a 1.2GHz dual-core Mediatek processor. It's not a particularly popular or powerful chipset, but is more than capable of handling Android basics like email, browsing and casual games like Angry Birds – but don't expect Tegra 3-grade games to run all that smoothly.

The Acer Iconia B1 is significantly less powerful than the Google Nexus 7, then, but the real compromise in the tablet's hardware is its screen. It's seven inches across and 1,024 x 600 pixels in resolution. That's a good deal less sharp than the sub-£200 tablets from Google, Amazon and Amazon. Acer Iconia B1 6

What's more destructive than limited screen resolution is the fairly poor display quality. The Acer Iconia B1 uses a TN-type panel, which suffers severely from contrast shift. Move the tablet the wrong way and the screen image becomes a shadowy mush. Colour reproduction is poor too, looking washed-out and lifeless.

In fairness to Acer, the Iconia B1 appears to function reasonably well, but the serious screen issues would be enough to make us recommend forking out that bit extra for a Google Nexus 7 if at all possible. The Iconia B1 also misses out on a few extra features, such as GPS.

Is £99 a low enough price to make you forget those screen woes? Drop us a comment with your view below.


January 9, 2013, 10:29 pm

The inclusion of a micro-SD slot is most welcome, and just shows there is no reason for Google or Amazon to exclude it from their tablets - other than trying to bully consumers into using their cloud services (and to pay more for a higher storage capacity model). Lack of HDMI output is most annoying though. At that price I could put up with some of the flaws if it provided good expansion and connectivity options. But they've missed a trick there.

Abrar Faiyaz Helal

January 14, 2013, 12:18 pm

Trying to have it...

Nico Swanepoel

April 21, 2013, 10:07 am

Got one and loving it. Just a battle to get a case for it. fun covers would also be nice.

Nico Swanepoel

April 21, 2013, 10:08 am

Internal storage a bit on the small side.


April 21, 2013, 9:16 pm

This tablet is currently being sold by Dabs with GPS fitted at £95 including a ziper case.

Adrian Fern

May 16, 2013, 4:47 pm

Just purchased one of these today, so far after 2hrs of playing and setting up i think for a general mess around tablet it fits the bill well at the price and of course at present Acer are offering a £20 cash-back on the tablet so £99 is now £79!!!!! At that money i think a little compromise is worth it......

Derek Dongray

May 19, 2013, 11:31 am

Tesco are giving a £10 discount on electrical over £75 which with the £20 cash back brings the price down to £69!

And it *does* have GPS!

Rennie Petersen

July 18, 2013, 12:32 pm

"The Iconia B1 also misses out on a few extra features, such as GPS."
Most info I've seen says it does have GPS.


July 18, 2013, 12:45 pm

I believe Acer has produced a new 'revamped' version of the B1 that has better build quality - and possibly GPS. I imagine that's where the discrepancy is from.


August 26, 2013, 11:41 pm

Doesnt have an Hdmi either so playing movies on yer telly is a nada!

Cheap tablets have an annoying habit of the screen cracking very easily due to the poor construction - I know i get a lot fo them to repair and most of them cannot be repaired economically so get binned!

Also manufacturers should start to make replaceable batteries - trying to replace thes e things is an absolute nightmare and nigh on impossible in some cases so after your battery is dud using them off the mains is the only alternative making this a landfill nightmare!

Tablets will be a landfill nightmare in the next few years unless manufacturers beef up their designs and that includes Apple , Acer etc


August 28, 2013, 5:14 pm

has it got a camera on both sides pls..


August 28, 2013, 5:17 pm

does the Acer b1 tablet 7" has a camera on both sides pls....


October 15, 2013, 12:10 pm

Not sure if you had figured it out, but no it does not. It has a 0.3MP camera on the front. Great for Skype not nothing HD.


October 15, 2013, 12:29 pm

Just purchased one on Friday. The trim colour isn't blue on mine, just black around with a white back. The OS does now include some bloatware. Screen still has the contrast issue, most noticeable while in portrait mode, while holding landscape it's barely noticeable unless you angle it down. Audio is also really weak, even when cupping the speaker to try and redirect the sound.


October 26, 2013, 5:17 pm

Can you store apps on the microsd expansion card?


October 27, 2013, 11:43 pm

Bought 2 of these in Febuary of this year, 1 for my wife and myself, to take on holidays for music, kindle etc, No problem with them until 2 days before we flew out and her screen froze. This was at the start of Sept, phoned acer who arranged for it to be picked up a couple of days later, and they said it would be fixed within 5 to 7 working days, but after 2 weeks holiday and several phone calls I found out they were waiting for a part and didn't know when it would be repaired, fast forward to 25th Oct and acer are now going to replace it with another model as they said it is taking to long to repair...Now today my screen has gone the exact same way, so now im going to have to go through the help desk/repair service all over again.....while still waiting for other tablet to be delivered...


November 11, 2013, 4:37 pm

no....i you read he discription

Amos Lai

March 3, 2014, 7:28 am

Well, I think we have to complacent with the features in Acer Iconia B1 is worth the money. We can't have the best of both phone and tablet with this kind of price. But there is a price to pay should we want a better one like the Google Nexus.

Stephanie Catherine Genther

May 29, 2014, 12:42 am

I have had the acer iconia b1 for a few months now and ive gone to use the camera and noticed the screen is black has anyone else had this problem any feedback would be much appreciated.

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