Using the Iconia B1

Using the Iconia B1 as a tablet is a satisfying experience. At first, we thought the large borders were a disadvantage, because the device could be smaller and therefore easier to carry around without them. But, with use, we noticed that the borders gave us a place to firmly hold the tablet, which is great.

The dual core, 1.2 GHz CPU was fast enough for a satisfying usage experience. We felt no slowness or freezings.

The touchscreen responds quickly and precisely. The screen is clear and bright, and the resolution of 1024×600 is not high (the ASUS Fonepad, for example, has a screen of the same size and brings 1280 x 800 resolution), but is enough for most tasks.

One problem with the screen is the viewing angle. From the left, top, and bottom, the screen can be easily viewed even at high angles. But if you look at the screen from the right from just a small angle, the screen becomes dark and hard to see. It seems to be a reflex of the low-cost materials.

The Android 4.1 (“Jelly Bean”) operating system is easy to use and intuitive. Figure 11 shows the initial screen when you turn the Iconia B1 on for the first time.

Acer Iconia B1Figure 11: Main screen

Pressing the icon with the circle with six dots, you enter the list of applications, shown in Figures 12 and 13. The Iconia B1 comes with several applications installed, some Android default ones and some exclusive from Acer.

Acer Iconia B1Figure 12: List of applications

Acer Iconia B1Figure 13: List of applications

You can install new applications using the Google Play Store, which has thousands of applications and games available.

In the 16 GiB version, the Iconia B1 has a total of about 13 GiB free space for installing apps, storing music and videos.

Acer claims the battery lasts three hours of use, but it actually lasted about four or five hours of web browsing in our hands, depending on usage.

An important detail about the Iconia B1 is the absence of a main camera. It is one of the details that helps to keep the low cost with a reasonable overall quality, which makes sense if you think the user will also be carrying a mobile phone with a good camera. The front camera is only intended to be used in video chats, not for taking photos.

We were not able to run Android 3DMark, since it needs more than 512 MiB of RAM.

Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master's degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.