Remember rumors indicating Acer may release a $99 tablet? Well, those same rumors also linked that fantastic price tag to an unreleased 7-inch Acer tablet named the Iconia B1-A71. The company confirmed yesterday that the B1-A71 is indeed on its way, but also told us the tablet will debut at "less than $150". This language most likely translates to $149.99, but still manages to make the new B1 one of -- if not -- the most inexpensive Jelly Bean tablets around. Acer itself describes the tablet as, "the most premium experience at its price point."
Acer may have some stiff competition in the near future thoug, as Google and Asus are rumored to be working on a $99 version of the Nexus 7.
Although we technically don't know the B1-A71's price (we just know it'll be less than $150) and no official launch date exists, Acer did confirm with us most of its rumored specifications:
- Android Jelly Bean operating system
- Mediatek dual-core 1.2GHz processor (MTK 8317T)
- 7-inch WSVGA capacitive multitouch screen with 1024 x 600 resolution display
- 8GB of internal storage, 512MB DDR3 memory
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth wireless technology 4.0 GPS
- 3.5mm headset/headphone/microphone jack
- MicroSD expansion slot with up to 32GB support
- Front-facing 0.3-megapixel webcam
- Rechargeable 2,710 mAh battery
- Micro-USB (charging and PC connect) with USB 2.0
- Dimensions: 197.4 mm x 128.5 mm x 11.3 mm
- Weight: 320 g
If previous rumors are correct, the 1.2GHz dual-core CPU will be paired with a PowerVR SGX 521 graphics chip. In terms of performance, preliminary benchmarks showed the B1-A71 is little match for the $199 Google Nexus 7, but consumers should probably reserve their final judgements until the tablet's official release. With that in mind though, based solely on its internals, it looks as though the B1-A71 should meet the needs of most users, with performance similar to Amazon's updated Kindle Fire.
Supposed "leaked" photographs also appear to have been correct with early images showing a slender, round-cornered tablet with a bright blue trimming around its edges.
It was said that Acer may only be focusing on "emerging markets" with their $99 offering, but it appears the B1-A71 will be generally available with a focus on "young explorers or busy mobile explorers" and "tablet newbies or children". The new 7-inch offering also expands Acer's Iconia line-up, which previously only included models 10-inches and larger.