Review Acer Iconia B1-721 Tablet

Michael Moser (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 03/28/2014

Icon or illusion? The 7-inch Iconia B1-721 is Acer's new contribution to the tablet market's 200 Euros (~$275) price class. Its driving force is a 1.3 GHz MediaTek MT8312 alongside an integrated Mali MP400 graphics chip. 1 GB of DDR3 RAM, 16 GB of flash storage and 3G wireless complete the package. But the display only offers 1024x600 pixels. Is that still enough for the tablet to hold its own in the entry-level class?

For the original German review, see here.

The Iconia B1-721 is Acer's new update to their budget series, now in its third generation. The manufacturer mixes some good ingredients into their interesting 7-inch device. The B1-720, a sibling of our review device, is available for just 129 Euros (~$180). Our B1-721 with 3G/UMTS sells for 179 Euros (~$250) and can be purchased in Smoky Gray or Vermilion Red.

Acer equips their B1-721 with a MediaTek MT8312 dual-core SoC with a clock frequency of 1.3 GHz and 1 GB of working memory. The 16 GB of internal memory can be expanded by up to 64 GB via microSD card. An LCD display with a resolution of 1024x600 pixels and a 7-inch diagonal competes for potential buyers' attention.

With these features, the Acer Iconia B1-721 tablet has to contend with the other members of its price class, namely the Asus Memo Pad HD 7, the Gigaset QV830, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 SM-T210, the HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef, and the somewhat more expensive Google Nexus 7 2013.

Case

Good looking: Acer Iconia B1-721
Good looking: Acer Iconia B1-721
The ribbed backside gives the device a good feel.
The ribbed backside gives the device a good feel.

Visually, the Acer Iconia B1-721's gray case is appealing, and thanks to its ribbed backside, it feels good in your hands as well. However, constructed entirely of polycarbonate, the tablet's stability and resistance to twisting are less winsome. Even under just moderate pressure, the case makes an audible creaking noise and the display colors temporarily distort. This is especially true of the top third of the device, near the connections. But overall we are pleased with the manufacturing quality, as the gaps where the pieces of the case come together are completely even. All things considered, for this price class, the tablet's manufacturing quality is satisfactory.

At a height and width of 199 x 122 mm (7.8 x 4.8 inches), a thickness of about 11 mm (~0.4 inches) and a weight of 317 grams (~0.7 pounds), the Acer tablet is more or less on par with the rest of the competition. Unfortunately, it is also standard for this price class that the 2955 mAh and 11.2 Wh battery cannot be switched out. However, it would be possible to extend the device's runtime with the help of an external spare battery.

Connectivity

Acer outfits their Iconia B1-721 with a MediaTek MT8312 dual-core SoC with a clock frequency of 1.3 GHz alongside an integrated Mali MP400 graphics card and 1 GB of RAM. The 16 GB of internal flash memory can be expanded by up to 64 GB using a microSD card.

The B1-721 is also equipped with a SIM card slot for 3G functionality, a micro USB 2.0 port and a 3.5 mm audio jack. The power button and the volume rocker work flawlessly and have a palpable click point.

Top side: power button, Micro USB 2.0, 3.5 mm jack
Top side: power button, Micro USB 2.0, 3.5 mm jack
Right side: Micro SIM, volume rocker
Right side: Micro SIM, volume rocker
Left side: MicroSD slot
Left side: MicroSD slot
Android 4.2.2
Android 4.2.2

Software

Android version 4.2.2 Jelly Bean acts as the tablet's operating system. Acer has done nothing to interfere with the OS -- it is Android's stock interface.

Some useful software like AccuWeather, Audible and AcerCloud come preinstalled. We were pleased to see that Acer also kept the bloatware within reasonable limits.

GPS Test
GPS Test

Communication & GPS 

Along with WLAN 802.11 b/g/n, Acer integrates a SIM card slot with a UMTS/3G module in their B1-721. That means mobile surfing should be possible almost anywhere. In our test, the tablet held a stable connection to the network 10 meters from the router and through several massive walls. We did not experience any interruptions in the connection.

Our test device also has a GPS module, which even indoors found a relatively good signal during our test with the app GPS Test. In our GPS comparison test with the Garmin Edge 500, the Acer Iconia B1-721 had mixed results. The tablet recorded our position during our short trip through the forest quite accurately, but it frequently positioned us a little off-course during the tricky bridge portion of our test. Curves are condensed into zigzags, which means the overall route logged by the Acer tablet differs somewhat from the Garmin device's route. The B1-721 is certainly well-equipped to be used for navigation purposes, as long as the user does not need the device to function with a high degree of precision.

Garmin Edge 500 Overview
Garmin Edge 500 Overview
Garmin Edge 500 Bridge
Garmin Edge 500 Bridge
Garmin Edge 500 Forest
Garmin Edge 500 Forest
Acer Iconia B1-721 Overview
Acer Iconia B1-721 Overview
Acer Iconia B1-721 Bridge
Acer Iconia B1-721 Bridge
Acer Iconia B1-721 Forest
Acer Iconia B1-721 Forest
VGA Webcam
VGA Webcam

Cameras & Multimedia

The Acer Iconia B1-721 comes with just a VGA webcam -- unfortunately there is no main camera at the rear. Pictures are accordingly poor quality, plagued with a high level of image noise and blurriness. These problems intensify exponentially in adverse lighting situations. The VGA videos suffer from the same malady. An image comparison would be superfluous due to the indisputably poor quality of the tablet's pictures, particularly as it only has a front camera. The camera is only worth using for the occasional video chat.

Directly compared to the Apple iPad Mini Retina, the enormous difference in image quality is immediately apparent -- let alone the SLR reference camera.

Acer Iconia B1-721 Webcam
Acer Iconia B1-721 Webcam
Apple iPad Mini Retina Webcam
Apple iPad Mini Retina Webcam
Reference Nikon D3100
Reference Nikon D3100

Accessories

The B1-721's packaging includes the tablet itself and a modular 10 Watt power supply. A variety of protective covers are also available at additional cost.

Warranty

Acer provides their Iconia B1-721 with a 12-month carry-in warranty.

Input Devices & Operation

The virtual keyboards correspond to the Android standard and function intuitively and reliably, as per usual. As is generally true of the Android keyboard, in portrait mode it only takes up about a third of the display, but the key size is still large enough to allow for error-free typing. In landscape mode, together with the Android navigation keys, the keyboard takes up about 50% of the screen. If you then subtract the browser's navigation bar, only a rather thin portion of the open website remains visible.

Overall, the capacitive 10-point multitouch screen registers inputs reliably and with a high degree of precision. When you rotate the display, the tablet has to think for a second before switching formats, but this is acceptable for its class.

Display

Acer Iconia B1-721: LCD display with a resolution of 1024x600 pixels
Acer Iconia B1-721: LCD display with a resolution of 1024x600 pixels

At 1024x600 pixels, the Acer Iconia B1-721's 7-inch display has a somewhat low resolution. Some of the competition offers substantially more here -- for instance the Google Nexus 7 2013 earns the right to flaunt its 1920x1200 pixels, and both the Asus Memo Pad HD 7 and the HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef provide a significantly higher resolution of 1280x800 pixels. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 SM-T210 and the Gigaset QV830 are more or less on par with our test device (1024x768 and 1024x600 pixels respectively).

Still, the display content looks sharp, and at an average of 401.7 cd/m², it is very bright too. Compared to other devices in its class, the Acer Iconia B1-721 does well here. It glows considerably brighter than the Gigaset QV830 (271 cd/m²) and leaves the Asus Memo Pad HD 7 (332.1 cd/m²) in the dust as well. At 426.6 cd/m², the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 SM-T210 does not glow substantially brighter. But our test device cannot keep up with the Google Nexus 7 2013, which at 513.4 cd/m² is clearly the best in its class.

424
cd/m²
444
cd/m²
434
cd/m²
375
cd/m²
423
cd/m²
418
cd/m²
331
cd/m²
382
cd/m²
384
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 444 cd/m²
Average: 401.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 75 %
Center on Battery: 423 cd/m²
Black: 1.02 cd/m²
Contrast: 415:1
Black image
Black image
White image
White image

The LCD display's greatest weakness is its uneven brightness distribution -- its brightness levels are only 75% similar across the screen, and it has some heavy clouding to boot. The latter is noticeable in monochromatic areas and dark images, and subjectively it makes the contrast appear weaker. The high black value of 1.02 cd/m² paired with the screen's high brightness level result in a contrast ratio of only 415:1. But in everyday use, subjectively the display is still satisfactory.

The measurements we took with CalMAN reveal substantial deviations from the norm, particularly in the areas of red and blue. The high average DeltaE of 13.35 underlines this shortcoming. The grayscale shows an extreme blue cast as well. In practical use, however, these deficits are not terribly obvious and are only manifested blatantly in monochromatic images.

CalMAN color management
CalMAN color management
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN color saturation
CalMAN color saturation
In shadows
In shadows
Outdoor use
Outdoor use

Thanks to its high maximum brightness level of 444 cd/m², on principle the Acer Iconia B1-721 is well-suited for outdoor use, even if use under direct sunlight is rendered difficult by the highly reflective display. In at least partially shaded areas, the tablet is fully useable.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

When it comes to viewing angle stability, the B1-721 reveals the weaknesses typical of an LCD display. Viewing the screen from more acute angles, the brightness is greatly reduced and the colors invert. Our review device's direct competition does better here.

Performance

The ARM Cortex A7-based dual-core SoC at work in the Acer Iconia B1-721 has a clock frequency of 1.3 GHz, is produced by MediaTek and goes by the name MT8312. For a tablet in the entry-level class of up to 200 Euros (~$275), this SoC is a good choice. In terms of performance, it is more or less on par with the competition -- at least on paper.

But our comparisons in several synthetic benchmarks leave a mixed impression. Our review device scores well in the Geekbench 3 single-core test, beating both the Gigaset QV830 and the HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef by a small margin, but in the multi-core test the results are flipped. In Smartbench 2012 and Linpack for Android, the Iconia B1-721 falls behind almost every other competing device. Speaking of falling behind, in the 3DMark Ice Storm test the competition computes up to 64% faster than our review device. The considerably stronger class leader, the Google Nexus 7 2013, shows up the Acer Iconia B1-721 with its up to 372% better performance. But to run the majority of a normal user's everyday applications, the Acer tablet's performance should be sufficient.

Geekbench 3
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721
343 Points ∼10%
Gigaset QV830
325 Points ∼9% -5%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
338 Points ∼10% -1%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
324 Points ∼9% -6%
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721
646 Points ∼5%
Gigaset QV830
1077 Points ∼8% +67%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
1019 Points ∼8% +58%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
1131 Points ∼9% +75%
Linpack for Android - Multi Thread (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721
121.256 MFLOPS ∼11%
Google Nexus 7 2013
253.634 MFLOPS ∼23% +109%
Gigaset QV830
127.104 MFLOPS ∼12% +5%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
134.396 MFLOPS ∼12% +11%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
89.716 MFLOPS ∼8% -26%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
89.716 MFLOPS ∼8% -26%
Smartbench 2012 - Productivity Index (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721
2262 points ∼22%
Google Nexus 7 2013
5080 points ∼49% +125%
Gigaset QV830
3969 points ∼38% +75%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
3772 points ∼36% +67%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
3516 points ∼34% +55%
AnTuTu Benchmark v4 - Total Score (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721
12689 Points ∼30%
Gigaset QV830
13276 Points ∼31% +5%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
13935 Points ∼32% +10%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721
3 fps ∼0%
Google Nexus 7 2013
16 fps ∼2% +433%
Gigaset QV830
2.7 fps ∼0% -10%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
2.4 fps ∼0% -20%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
2.6 fps ∼0% -13%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721
6.2 fps ∼10%
Google Nexus 7 2013
16 fps ∼27% +158%
Gigaset QV830
5.6 fps ∼9% -10%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
5.2 fps ∼9% -16%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
4.5 fps ∼8% -27%
3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721
2505 Points ∼2%
Google Nexus 7 2013
11828 Points ∼8% +372%
Gigaset QV830
3176 Points ∼2% +27%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
3466 Points ∼2% +38%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
3138 Points ∼2% +25%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721
2229 Points ∼0%
Google Nexus 7 2013
12167 Points ∼2% +446%
Gigaset QV830
2749 Points ∼0% +23%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
3066 Points ∼0% +38%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
2700 Points ∼0% +21%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721
4419 Points ∼8%
Google Nexus 7 2013
10777 Points ∼20% +144%
Gigaset QV830
6958 Points ∼13% +57%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
6379 Points ∼12% +44%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
7250 Points ∼13% +64%
AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721
85.41 MB/s ∼51%
Google Nexus 7 2013
59.73 MB/s ∼36% -30%
Gigaset QV830
50.86 MB/s ∼30% -40%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
31.44 MB/s ∼19% -63%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
48.25 MB/s ∼29% -44%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721
14.22 MB/s ∼25%
Google Nexus 7 2013
13.97 MB/s ∼24% -2%
Gigaset QV830
6.14 MB/s ∼11% -57%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
7.73 MB/s ∼13% -46%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
11.76 MB/s ∼20% -17%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721
13.9 MB/s ∼66%
Google Nexus 7 2013
11.99 MB/s ∼57% -14%
Gigaset QV830
13.43 MB/s ∼64% -3%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
8.94 MB/s ∼43% -36%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
12.07 MB/s ∼58% -13%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721
0.89 MB/s ∼30%
Google Nexus 7 2013
0.82 MB/s ∼28% -8%
Gigaset QV830
0.44 MB/s ∼15% -51%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
1.09 MB/s ∼37% +22%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
0.71 MB/s ∼24% -20%

Legend

 
Acer Iconia B1-721 MediaTek MT8312, ARM Mali-400 MP, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Google Nexus 7 2013 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB SSD
 
Gigaset QV830 Mediatek MT8125, PowerVR SGX544, 8 GB SSD
 
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef NVIDIA Tegra 3, NVIDIA GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 8 GB SSD
 
Asus Memo Pad HD 7 Mediatek MT8125, PowerVR SGX544,

If you look at the browser-based benchmark tests, compared to the rest of the tablets in its class, the Acer Iconia B1-721's performance proves to be more or less average here too. In SunSpider 1.0, for instance, on average our test device comes in about 20% behind the Asus Memo Pad HD 7 and the others. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 SM-T210 is the only device that has to admit clear defeat in both the SunSpider and the Peacekeeper benchmarks. In the latter and in Browsermark 2, our test device outpaces almost all the competition and draws very near to the Google Nexus 7 2013.

In everyday use, however, these mixed results are not all that noticeable. Web pages load quickly, and surfing goes even faster with a browser like Google Chrome.

Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721 (Android JB 4.2.2)
1192 Points ∼6%
Google Nexus 7 2013
2248 Points ∼12% +89%
Gigaset QV830
1738 Points ∼9% +46%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
1695 Points ∼9% +42%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
1339 Points ∼7% +12%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 inch
1422 Points ∼8% +19%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721 (Android JB 4.2.2)
1477 Points ∼6%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
1741 Points ∼7% +18%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7 (Chrome 35)
1915 Points ∼8% +30%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721 (Android JB 4.2.2)
17947.5 ms * ∼30%
Gigaset QV830
25949.6 ms * ∼44% -45%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
20959.4 ms * ∼35% -17%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7 (Chrome 35)
16900 ms * ∼28% +6%
Sunspider - --- (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721 (Android JB 4.2.2)
1390.4 ms * ∼35%
Google Nexus 7 2013
1104.6 ms * ∼27% +21%
Gigaset QV830
1268 ms * ∼31% +9%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
1168.3 ms * ∼29% +16%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
864.1 ms * ∼21% +38%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 inch
1770.5 ms * ∼44% -27%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721 (Android JB 4.2.2)
574 Points ∼9%
Google Nexus 7 2013
611 Points ∼10% +6%
Gigaset QV830
524 Points ∼8% -9%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
528 Points ∼9% -8%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
523 Points ∼8% -9%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 inch
458 Points ∼7% -20%
WebXPRT 2013 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721 (Android JB 4.2.2)
152 Points ∼11%
Gigaset QV830
157 Points ∼11% +3%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
151 Points ∼11% -1%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7 (Chrome 35)
149 Points ∼10% -2%
Browsermark - --- (sort by value)
Acer Iconia B1-721 (Android JB 4.2.2)
2370 points ∼33%
Google Nexus 7 2013
2380 points ∼33% 0%
Gigaset QV830
2299 points ∼32% -3%
HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef
1930 points ∼27% -19%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7
1864 points ∼26% -21%

* ... smaller is better

Games

As expected, the Mali MP400 graphics solution integrated into the SoC does not merit a standing ovation, but it is powerful enough for a current 3D game here or there. We did not experience any problems running the games FIFA 14, Shadowgun: Deadzone or Angry Birds Go! in our test.

In terms of controls, the touchscreen, the position sensor and the accelerometer all function very well and consistently allow the user to precisely control what is happening on the screen.

Angry Birds Go!
Angry Birds Go!
FIFA 14
FIFA 14
Shadow Gun: Deadzone
Shadow Gun: Deadzone

Emissions

Temperature

The surface temperatures we measured on the tablet's case during practical, everyday use give us no cause for concern. In idle mode, the average temperatures came to around 27 °C (80.6 °F) on the underside of the tablet and 30.6 °C (87.08 °F) on the top side.

After a long period under full load, these temperatures rise to 32.4 to 33.4 °C (90.32 to 92.12 °F). The tablet reached its maximum temperatures in the area of the SoC -- 40 °C (104 °F) on the underside and 41.6 °C (106.88 °F) on the top side. The Acer Iconia B1-721 never grew uncomfortably hot. The little power supply, however, heated up to a maximum of 45.6 °C (114.08 °F), so it should always be left out in the open.

Max. Load
 35.0 °C29.7 °C27.2 °C 
 37.5 °C31.3 °C28.6 °C 
 41.6 °C37.6 °C32.2 °C 
Maximum: 41.6 °C
Average: 33.4 °C
28.1 °C29.9 °C32.6 °C
30.6 °C28.7 °C37.7 °C
30.2 °C34.0 °C40.0 °C
Maximum: 40.0 °C
Average: 32.4 °C
Power Supply (max.)  45.6 °C | Room Temperature 21 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speaker

Mono speaker on the front
Mono speaker on the front

At higher volumes, the mono speaker built into the front of the tablet has trouble producing undistorted and noise-free sound. Voices and music sound thin and are lacking in mid-tones and bass. But compared to the rest of the devices in its class, the B1-721's sound is more or less standard. The Acer Iconia B1-721 cannot hold a candle to the Apple iPad Mini Retina here. The 3.5 mm jack, however, outputs sound flawlessly and at maximum volume (on a good set of headphones).

Battery Life

The Acer Iconia B1-721 is equipped with an 11.2 Wh battery with a capacity of 2955 mAh. Combined with the tablet's relatively frugal SoC, it is able to provide the device with entirely respectable battery runtimes -- though it comes nowhere close to holding out through a whole work day in constant use. Compared to the competition, the tablet's battery life is not stellar, as it is outfitted with a considerably weaker battery.

The B1-721 runs for a maximum of 9 hours and 11 minutes without an external power source. Here the Google Nexus 7 2013 laps our test device several times over and holds out for over 44 hours with its fat 3950 mAh/16 Wh battery. But the Asus Memo Pad HD 7 (3950 mAh/16Wh) with a maximum runtime of about 17 hours, the HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef (14 Wh) with about 15.5 hours and the Gigaset QV830 (3260 mAh) with about 21 hours all last considerably longer than the B1-721 too.

In our WLAN surf test, which is meant to simulate everyday use, with the brightness set to about 30% (150 cd/m²), our test device chugs along for 4 hours and 17 minutes. Here too, the competition all runs at least 1.5 hours longer. A user who is frequently out and about and needs to use the Internet all day should be sure to bring along the compact charger or an external spare battery.

Under load with the Stability Test app, at the highest brightness setting and with activated communication modules, our test device cuts out after just 1.5 hours. The B1-721's competitors all offer at least double the runtime here.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 11min
WiFi Surfing
4h 17min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 30min

Verdict

In Review: Acer Iconia B1-721
In Review: Acer Iconia B1-721

So, is the Acer Iconia B1-721 a price-performance gem? In short: Not really. True, its application performance is acceptable, and the communication modules perform flawlessly as well. UMTS 3G is on board alongside Bluetooth 4.0 and a relatively spacious 16 GB of internal memory. With its high maximum brightness level, the tablet is well-suited for outdoor use.

But the tablet has several disadvantages to be weighed alongside the good. Its display has a low resolution and is plagued with heavy clouding and poor color reproduction. The webcam's quality is simply miserable, and the mono speaker produces a mediocre sound. Unfortunately, the device's battery life is also disappointing -- it cannot make it through an entire workday in constant use without reconnecting to the power supply. Also, its case can be twisted rather easily.

If you can live with those drawbacks and want as much “bang for your buck” as possible, at a current recommended retail price of 179 Euros (~$250), the Acer Iconia B1-721 represents a solid average-quality tablet that offers a lot of good features -- but comes with its weaknesses too. Some of the competition in this price range is very strong, so a closer look at how the available tablets compare is worth the effort.

The Acer Iconia B1-720 is now avaialable on Adorama for $109

Comment this article:

In Review: Acer Iconia B1-721
In Review: Acer Iconia B1-721
The Acer Iconia B1-710 is now avaialable on Adorama for $109

Specifications

Acer Iconia B1-721

:: Processor
:: Memory
1024 MB, DDR3 SDRAM
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
7 inch 16:9, 1024x600 pixel, 10-point multitouch, LCD-TFT, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB , 11.99 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, Card Reader: MicroSD (up to 64 GB), Sensors: GPS/GLONASS, G-sensor,
:: Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth, UMTS 3G
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 11.4 x 199 x 122
:: Weight
0.317 kg Power Supply: 0.067 kg
:: Battery
11.2 Wh Lithium-Ion, 2955 mAh
Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 5 h
:: Price
179 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.2
:: Additional features
Webcam: 0.3 MP, 640x480 (VGA) video, Speakers: Mono speaker, Keyboard: Virtual keyboard, Android 4.2.2, 12 Months Warranty, Carry-in warranty

 

The packaging contains the standard accessories for its class.
The packaging contains the standard accessories for its class.
The modular power supply provides 5.2 V / 1.35 A.
The modular power supply provides 5.2 V / 1.35 A.
At just 1024x600 pixels, the display resolution could be higher.
At just 1024x600 pixels, the display resolution could be higher.
The display surface is highly reflective under direct sunlight.
The display surface is highly reflective under direct sunlight.
At about 12 GB, the available storage space is not luxurious, but it can be expanded simply by inserting a microSD card.
At about 12 GB, the available storage space is not luxurious, but it can be expanded simply by inserting a microSD card.
Acer preinstalls several useful apps.
Acer preinstalls several useful apps.
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
The test results from the Epic Citadel graphics benchmark...
The test results from the Epic Citadel graphics benchmark...
...can be seen.
...can be seen.

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Links

Price Comparison

Amazon.com

Iconia B1-721 Tablet - Dual-Core - Tablet

Pricerunner n.a.

Pro

+Purchase price
+Good application performance
 

Cons

-Display has low resolution and heavy clouding
-Battery life is only middle-of-the-road
-Sensitive to pressure

Shortcut

What we like

That both GPS and 3G are on board.

What we'd like to see

A homogeneously lit display with a resolution that meets today's standards and a better webcam.

What surprises us

The good WLAN reception in this price class.

The competition

Asus Memo Pad HD 7, Gigaset QV830, Google Nexus 7 16GB 2013, HP Slate 7 Plus 4200ef and Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 SM-T210.

Rating

Acer Iconia B1-721
04/30/2014 v4
Michael Moser

Chassis
64%
Keyboard
62 / 80 → 78%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
44 / 70 → 63%
Weight
86 / 88 → 96%
Battery
83%
Display
72%
Games Performance
50 / 80 → 63%
Application Performance
24 / 70 → 34%
Temperature
85%
Noise
100%
Audio
45 / 91 → 49%
Camera
38 / 85 → 45%
Average
64%
77%
Tablet *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Acer Iconia B1-721 Tablet
Author: Michael Moser, 2014-03-28 (Update: 2014-03-28)