New Acer Iconia B1 – not better than Karbonn Smart Tab 8

After close to two years, Acer, the world’s fourth largest PC brand, has introduced a tablet to the Indian market – the Iconia B1.

The tablet is only likely to appeal to those who want to use it indoors (or where Wifi is available), and want a portable tablet of 7 inches, and fails to live up to competition like the Karbonn Smart Tab 8.

The Acer Iconia B1 is severely limited in its audience, and seems to have been designed as a tablet for the emerging (low purchasing power) markets like India.

On the positive side, the tablet is the first one in India with the Mediatek dual core processor, comes with the Acer brand and trust and is priced at a reasonable Rs 8,000.

However, the negatives far outnumber the positives. For example, the advantage of a 7-inch model is its portability. However, unlike the seven-inch Lenovo A2107, which costs about Rs 5,000 more, the Iconia B1 does not have built-in 3G. From the specifications, it looks like it won’t support external or dongle 3G either.

It has 512 MB of RAM and a single 0.3 megapixel camera.

On the positive side, it does have a 0.6 megapixel display, while most 7-inch tablets in the Rs 5,000-8,000 range come with a 0.4 megapixel display.

However, the Acer Iconia B1 absolutely fails to stand up to competition from the new Karbonn Smart Tab 8.

The Karbonn Smart Tab 8, priced at Rs 7,000 less than the Acer model, has a 28% more pixels (about 0.77 megapixels) on its display, and comes with a Cortex A9 dual core processor.

Of course, chances are that the Acer model too comes with another dual-core Cortex A9 processor – the MTK6577, yet the Karbonn model is much more value for money compared to the Acer model.

For a start, the Karbonn Smart Tab 8 has double the amount of RAM — at 1 GB — compared to the B1. The biggest clincher is that the Karbonn model supports external 3G dongles. Of course, it is slightly bigger, at 8-inches, but should be almost as portable as the Iconia. The Karbonn Smart Tab also lasts for about 6 hours thanks to its generous 4.5 ampere battery.

There is only one major drawback to the Smart Tab 8 compared to the Iconia B1 – internal memory. The Karbonn tablet has only 1.5 GB of it. However, since both models support up to 32 GB of SD card memory, internal memory should not be of overwhelming concern. That said, the Acer model does seem to have a brighter display than the Karbonn tab, and is lighter at 320 gm.

Both models come with the latest Andorid 4.1 Jelly Bean version.

It was back in May 2011 that Acer launched several high-end tablets in India.

See phandroid’s hands-on at the CES below: