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Acer Group this week announced the Iconia B1-A71 tablet targeted at young or new users or families looking for an additional tablet for their children. The media tablet will cost between $100 and $150, depending on actual market and configuration. The 7” slate is primarily designed for e-reading, web browsing, playing games and watching videos.

Acer Iconia B1-A71 is based on MediaTek dual-core 1.2GHz (MTK 8317T) application processor, Google Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” operating system and is equipped with 7” display with 1024*600 resolution, 8GB of internal storage, microSD card slot, 512MB RAM, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, 0.3MP front-facing webcam, speaker, USB 2.0 connector as well as 2710mAh battery. Officially, Acer Iconia B1-A71 will be available with a starting price less than $150, but earlier reports suggested that the tablet could cost around $100 in developing markets.

The Iconia B1 is easy to hold and use in one hand, a triangular corner grip on the lower left side improves single-hand usage even more. It is also easy to tote around in a bag or jacket at a feather-light 320 grams, making it one of the lightest 7” tablets in the market. 

Acer’s new Iconia B1 will compete against Amazon Kindle Fire as well as B&N Nook tablet, both of which are available for $159 and $199, respectively, and which are sold below actual hardware costs. Another rival for the Iconia B1 will be Asus/Google Nexus 7”, which costs $199 and is powered by more advanced Nvidia Tegra 3 application processor.

   

Both Amazon and B&N make losses by selling tablet hardware, but then gain profit by selling software, books, music, videos and other content. Acer has nothing to sell, hence, should sell hardware with a profit. The manufacturer specifically designed a tablet with a very entry-level specification to ensure that it can be sold at a profit. Acer clearly understood that it should design an ultra-low-cost solution so that to avoid direct competition with things like Apple iPad mini or Google Nexus 10”. In fact, at a cost below $150, the only rivals for Acer Iconia B1 will be Amazon Kindle Fire and devices from little-known makers that offer even lower performance.

The new Iconia B1 expands the Acer tablet family now offering three 10” Android, two 7” Android, one 11” Windows 8 and one 10” Windows 8 Hybrid Tablets.

Tags: Acer, Google, Android, Mediatek, ARM, Iconia, Amazon, Kindle, Nook, Nexus, ASUS

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