In the now rather vast array of tablet devices to be found in the Indian market, manufacturers need to be sure that what they’ve got to offer isn’t identical to what’s already out there. They’ve also got to struggle to keep the price just right for the consumer while offering at least some USP that stands out in the crowd. The Iconia Tab B1 is one of these devices that could be just another face in the crowd or not. We’re here to tell you just where it stands. Read on. 

Form Factor

Out of the box, the B1 looks quite generic. It’s not like one can do too much with a rectangular display. However, to funk up the device a bit, a blue border tone has been added around the tablet. Aesthetically it does nothing for the device but it does add a little colour to an otherwise stale-looking form. It’s 11.3mm in depth making it quite a slim tablet and weighing in at 320g, it’s not too hard on the muscles either. A very manageable device. 

Acer Iconia  B1

Acer Iconia B1

A micro USB port is located at the bottom of the B1 with a power/sleep button on the upper end of the right side followed by the volume rocker. The earphone socket is located at the top. A little compartment at the bottom near the USB port can be pried open to reveal a well-concealed MicroSD card slot. It also looked like there’s space for possibly a SIM card as well in a variant of this model. A forward facing VGA camera is placed on the upper right side of the front panel above the 7.0-inch display (600 x 1024 pixels). The panel used for the display isn’t quite at par with most others in its class. Viewing angles aren’t too good and there seems to be an unusually high reflective glaze evident making colours on dark surfaces stand out a little too much. 

Acer Iconia  B1

Acer Iconia B1

Features and Performance

The Acer Iconia B1 runs on a 1.2 GHz Dual Core processor with 512MB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. Android Jelly Bean (4.1) is the OS version du jour and manages to keep functionality relatively smooth for most part. The 512MB RAM doesn’t quite help too much when it comes to playing games with high graphics or full HD videos. The UI is stock Jelly Bean with no additions or frills. Nenamark 2 scores showcased a maximum rate of 20.4FPS. AnTuTu scores came up to 6498 and Linpak’s Single Thread run gave us a score of 38 MFLOPS and a Multi Thread run went up to 60 (average scores).

Acer Iconia  B1

Acer Iconia B1

Media

The B1’s audio player is quite good. It ships without a set of earphones so you’ll have to invest in a set of your own. However, we tested the audio with our in-house pair and found the overall quality to be better than average. While it isn’t quite loud, the audio engine makes a decent impression. If you invest in a really good set of earphones or headphones, you’ll be assured of a pretty good audio experience. The Google Play Music player does offer a few presets, Bass Boost, 3D slider, Reverb options and a 5 channel graphic EQ setting you can use to personalise the audio output. It makes a difference naturally and will enhance the audio. HD videos even with MX player had issues with playback via Software encoding as well. Videos had too much framing. Regular video files were ok but colours seemed a little bleak and saturated due to the display. 

Acer Iconia  B1

Acer Iconia B1

Connectivity

When it comes to connectivity options the Iconia B1 is decently equipped. For Internet connectivity the B1 offers just Wi-Fi. Other connectivity includes Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and USB for PC interfacing and charging. GPS for Google Maps or other third party apps is also part of the B1’s make up. USB OTG is absent. All expected Google-associated apps are on board and that includes YouTube, Navigation, Google Movies, Play Store, Gtalk, Currents, Gmail etc. 

Misc. Features
Aside from the standard apps that come stock with all handsets and tablets these days, Acer has also added their Acer Cloud app for online back ups. You simply need to create an ID or use one you already have and that's it.

Acer Iconia  B1

Acer Iconia B1

Camera

The forward facing VGA camera was not too bad as far as tablet cameras go. The only setting it offers is White Balance and exposure control. 

Battery

The 2170 mAh battery on board the Iconia B1 ran through our tech2 Tablet Loop Test that consisted of 2-hours of video, 2-hours of audio and 2 hours of video streaming with enough battery remaining for ten more minutes of video playback. 

The Bottom Line

The price tag on the Acer Iconia Tab B1 is Rs 7999, which makes it a little too high-priced for what it has to offer. Other than a decent audio player that will require a further investment upward of Rs 650, the tablet is quite minimal in the features department. There are other devices in the range that have similar features with slighter higher specifications that are also cheaper, although they might not be made by an international brand like Acer. But as is, the B1 isn’t the best choice for this budget.

Publish date: May 1, 2013 2:01 pm| Modified date: December 19, 2013 11:12 am

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