• Sunday, January 5, 2014

      Acer Iconia B1 review

      Acer has come up with their own version of a budget android tablet the Iconia B1, nothing stellar on this one but for the price you’ll most certainly get more than what you pay for, over the past months budget jellybean tablets has been selling like pancakes and one might ask how does the Iconia B1 fare from its nearest budget jellybean rivals, well for starters, it’s one of the cheapest and has the Acer logo on it, so revealing it in public won’t be an embarrassing moment, and you’ll also get the full Acer on-line support right out of the box for just only 5,999 pesos.

      So what do we get from a 5,999 peso tablet, well performance wise we’re obviously getting a lot from the iconia B1, this is no slouch of a tab and its price belies everything on and in it, performance and built quality is something you’d get on a mid-range tablet and one thing that separates the B1 from the competition is its 16GB storage in which most of its nearest rivals only offer an 8GB variant, though, I’d be grateful if Acer generously gave the B1 a whole gig of RAM, but for the price we really can’t complain!

      Aesthetically the iconia B1 is made entirely of plastic but honestly it doesn’t look nor feels cheap at all, the materials used are high grade plastics which surely gave the B1 a notch ahead than most entry-level tablets out there, however, the blue plastic lining along the sides somehow detracts from what is otherwise good design. Acer did gave the iconia B1 a minimalistic look but the same thing cannot be said on its performance, surely the B1 is anything but minimal in terms of performance, usability, and reliability.

      The iconia B1 may have a youthful look on it as it generally targets the young users but looks can sometimes be deceiving because under the hood the B1 is as serious as an executive in coat and tie, as this tab is powered by a mediatek chipset with a 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor, power VR GPU and half Gig of RAM, lag is something that’s out of the B1’s menu, well I may be exaggerating on that one, but yes! I can say that its barely there and swiping from one home screen to another is fairly smooth thanks to its responsive touch screen. --- Acer opted for a jellybean 4.1 and an update for a 4.2 is unlikely to happen, at least for the time being, but for a tablet thats more than capable of optimizing 4.1 jellybean for half the price of a nexus 7, one cant complain!

      Half a gig of ram is somewhat thin, however the iconia b1 can do some light to moderate multi tasking without serious notable lags, although games that use a lot of memory will seldom crash but for non power users 512 mb of Ram will do just fine --- As a budget tab one might expect a horrid looking screen, true to most entry level tablets but the iconia b1 really stands out from the rest it has a 7 inch (1024x600) screen resolution at 170ppi viewing angles are also wide enough and won't give you too much problem while watching HD movies or playing games, the numbers aren't that impressive but for the price it's definitely eye catching, there's no doubt Acer has done it right this time, and one more thing my jaw dropped when I first learned that it has bluetooth, for a tablet this cheap and a reputation that of Acer's it's a rare catch, nonetheless.

      Web browsing and SNS are things that are best done on the iconia b1, you'll be surprised how quick it is to open a web page, scrolling and zooming is also fairly responsive with almost no disappointing lags, uploading photos to Facebook is faster than any budget tab I've tried, it makes me wonder was the B1 made for SNS? considering its a tab designed for the younger audience whom we know are the most active members of Facebook twitter and the likes, well, it could be! --- And what’s significant about this 5,999 peso tablet is that, it gave me a solid 4+ hours of web browsing on a 60% brightness level, not bad especially if you’re only gonna shell out a quarter of the ipad’s price, even more so, the difference between the two (performance wise) is not that far off as their price tags suggests, I mean literally the iconia B1 just exposes how overpriced the ipad is.

      Some racist reviewers or ipad worshippers described the iconia B1 as ugly and horrid-looking, because of its thick bezel around the screen, well I say it’s there for a reason, try holding it with one hand in portrait mode and see where your thumbs rest, it’s obvious that Acer opted for comfort rather than good looks, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that having more grip areas around it guarantees less hand strain in the long run.

      The iconia B1 is no cheap tablet that can’t play games, surprisingly, this budget tab is pretty much capable in handling the most demanding 3D games; Dead Space, Shadowgun and Mass Effect to name a few, are all running smooth on the iconia B1, however, the battery is in conflict with the B1’s somewhat excellent gaming performance, sadly, it only gave me 2 hours and 53 minutes of Mass Effect, as the saying goes “you can’t have them all” well at least it’s cheap! And it’s still is a win win situation in my opinion.

      PROS: Affordable tablet with bluetooth, competitive brand name, good overall performance.

      CONS: Only 512MB of RAM, battery drains fast in gaming.


      OS: Android 4.1.1 Jellybean

      SCREEN: 7' capacitive multi-touch (1024x600) resolution at 170ppi.

      PROCESSOR: Mediatek 8317 chipset, 1.2 Ghz dual-core, Power VR GPU.

      MEMORY: 512 RAM, 16GB Flash internal storage also available in 8GB.

      CAMERA: Front 0.3mp VGA.

      OTHERS: GPS, bluetooth, accelerometer, micro SD card slot, 3.5mm audio jack.

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