Acer Iconia B1: How Much Tablet Does $130 Buy You?

Image credit: Acer

LAS VEGAS - "This is a product for new users." That's how Acer President Jim Wong described the company's new $130 Acer Iconia B1 tablet, which will be sold in some areas of the world for as low as $99.

"Some places will have a special promotion for $99 but most of the channels will have it for $129 to $149," Wong explained during an interview with ABC News Sunday at CES 2013.

The Android 4.0 tablet, which will launch first in Asia and in South America this month, is obviously going after the lower-end $199, 7-inch tablets, like the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7. However, the $70 to $100 gap does take a hit on the specs and user experience.

Unlike the Nexus and Kindle Fire, which have higher quality displays, the B1 has a TN 1024 x 600 resolution screen. It also doesn't have higher end dual- or quad-core processors from Nvidia or Qualcomm. Instead, it has a MediaTek processor and just 512MB of RAM.

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"Performance is very similar [to competing tablets], especially from the point of view of applications users use. You don't tell the difference unless you are a gameaholic," Wong said.

We got a look at the tablet here at CES and it's very clear that this is a lower cost tablet than the Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire. The plastic back is thin and the screen quality suffers when you hold it at different angles. The performance also seemed noticeably slower than the Nexus, browsing was certainly functional, but taps on the keyboard didn't instantly register.

Acer is also introducing its AcerCloud apps for the iPhone at the show. The apps let you sync your music, files and documents across your Android, Windows 8 and now iOS devices. Cleverly, you can instantly access any document on your computer; you don't have to drag the file to a folder like with Dropbox or Google Drive. Wong says he hopes the software will build awareness for the brand as a mobile company in the U.S.

Speaking of the U.S., he didn't say when the tablet would be available to Americans, but did say he plans for it to be sold worldwide.

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