Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 Review and Gaming Performance

Posted by B. Johnson
Published on June 7, 2014 | 0 comments
Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 Review and Gaming PerformanceIn the past few days, i’ve been showing you guys here the reviews – actually, just personal reviews, not some in-depth reviews – of 2 tablets from Acer under the same family - Acer Iconia Tab B1 -, from Acer Iconia Tab B1-720 and Acer Iconia Tab B1-710.

Even though both tablets share some similar hardware specs (e.g., the same low-resolution screen, the same 1GB of RAM, the same design, etc), not all of these 2 tablets are really good for gaming.

Based on what i’ve seen on some video reviews of their gaming performance on YouTube, i dare to say that Acer Iconia Tab B1-720 is the one that has the best gaming performance among them.

The reason is simple, Acer Iconia Tab B1-720 is packing Mali 400 GPU, which is the same GPU found inside the latest Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 8-inches, which proved to have great gaming performance.

Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 benchmarks and gaming performance

And it’s shown by how this Acer’s tablet is capable to play one of the most graphically demanding games, Asphalt 8: Airborne, in smooth performance and the most importantly in high graphics, with those sun glare and asphalt reflection visual effects running smoothly.

Meanwhile, the predecessor, Acer Iconia Tab B1-710, despite having some similar internals, i don’t think this model is gonna have the same great gaming performance as the sequel Acer Iconia Tab B1-720.

The reason is simple, Acer Iconia Tab B1-710 is powered by PowerVR SGX531u GPU, which is already considered as outdated for today’s standards.

Most of today’s tablets – that use PowerVR SGX GPU inside – already adopt the latest (i mean, the latest for Android devices, not all devices) PowerSGX 544 or 554 MP4.

And this GPU is one of the beasts in town as Apple also uses it on its old-gen iPad 4 and iPad mini 1st-gen (iPhone 5 uses PowerVR SGX 544 MP3).

So having known that, then it’s obvious that the gaming performance of Acer Iconia Tab B1-710 will not be as great as Acer Iconia Tab B1-720, which is not so surprising given that B1-720 is the latest model under this Acer Iconia Tab B1 series - released in 2014.

Anyway, after showing you guys with 2 of Acer’s cheap budget tablets, now i’m actually interested to bring up the other model under this same series.

Actually, this is the first-gen model of this tablet family, called Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71.

And as the first-gen model, then it's obvious that this tablet will only come with some low-grade “outdated” internal specs inside - compared to the next-gen models.

Well, okay then, if you’re interested to get to know with this tablet, then you can check out my personal review of Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 here below.

But before you go straight to the review, i just want to say that, if you really think this review (or other reviews on this website) is helpful or informative for you, then i would really appreciate it if you could share this article to your friend or family via Twitter or Facebook or Google Plus or any of your social media accounts.

Not only will it help grow this site in the future, it will also motivate me to deliver more articles and reviews for this site.

Introduction

By judging at the entire spec sheet of Acer Iconia Tab B1, either the first-gen A71, second-gen 710 and last-gen 720, then it’s so obvious that Acer releases this tablet family on the lowest-end tablet market (which is below the low-end category or below $120).

Well, as a matter of fact, in my own country, this tablet is priced at just insanely cheap price tag, if i’m not mistaken, it only costs $100 for the basic model.

Well, that’s not really shocking jaw-dropping for me as this tablet model (the 1st-gen model) only comes with some low-grade internal specs, from the lowest-tablet-resolution 1024x600 pixel display, low 512MB of RAM, low battery capacity, no-rear-facing camera, cheap looking design and some other low quality internals.

Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 Review and Gaming PerformanceWell, having known that, then we as customers just cannot complain on anything about this device. Just like we always hear from the first Spiderman trilogy movie – "with great power comes great responsibility".

Then, it goes the same with this tablet, - with low price tag comes low-grade specs. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But the question is, does Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 stack up against other cheap budget tables across the market, especially its own siblings (B1-710 and B1-720), in terms of gaming performance?

Well, we’re about to find out more about that in this review.

Design

When it comes to design, there’s actually nothing special to write home about on this model.

Similar just the other 2 Acer Iconia Tab B1 models, this Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 also seems to have the same type of generic cheap looking Android tablet, just like the other Android counterparts out there on the low-end market.

However, we just cannot complain anything about it as this tablet is intended by Acer only as a cheap budget tablet, priced at just $100.

So having those chubby looking design, thick bezels and plastic looking rear cover is something that we will be familiar to see on this tablet.

Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 Review and Gaming Performance
Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 Review and Gaming Performance

The good thing is, Acer has been known as an experienced laptop manufacturer.

So the overall quality, especially its design, is not gonna suck just like other unknown tablet makers out there.

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  • No SIM
  • Released January2013
  • TFT capacitive touchscreen 7.0 inches 600 x 1024 pixels 256K colors (~170 ppi pixel density)
  • Android OS, v4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9Mediatek MT8317 Chipset
  • PowerVR SGX SGX531u GPU
  • 512 MB RAM
  • microSD Memory Card slot, for up to 32 GB
  • 8/16 GB Internal storage
  • No GPRS
  • No EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • No rear-facing camera
  • Accelerometer
  • No Radio
  • GPS
  • Java
  • Li-Po 2710 mAh/10 Wh battery (Non-removable)
As i mentioned already in the last 2 reviews of Acer Iconia Tab B1 tablet series, Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 is the 1st-gen model of this series, as it was released back then in January 2013 (while the second gen and last gen were released in November 2013 and January 2014 respectively).

So when it comes to internal specs, we shouldn’t be surprised to see some low-grade hardware found inside this device, compared to the second and last-gen models.

However, given that this model is released under the same flag - Acer Iconia Tab B1 -, then most of its internals will have similarity with the other 2 models, like the low-resolution screen, no-rear-facing camera, CPU/GPU and some other more.

Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 is packing a low-resolution 1024x600 pixel display, a dual-core Mediatek MT8317 processor clocked at 1.2GHz per core, 512MB of RAM, PowerVR SGX 531u GPU, no-rear-facing camera, VGA front-facing camera, 2710mAh battery and many more.

Not to mention, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean comes pre-installed out of the box.

However, i have doubts that this tablet will ever get the latest installment Android version 4.3 in the future, let alone Android 4.4 Kit Kat, especially from the actual manufacturer.

I heard that Mediatek chipset is just not suitable to run the latest Android 4.3/4.4, probably due to software and hardware optimization, even though the last-gen Acer Iconia Tab B1-720 meets all the requirements to run the latest Android builds, in terms of hardware.

Performance

As the first-gen model, too bad to see that this Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 still uses the 512MB of RAM, which has a huge impact to the overall performance.

The reason is, many of Acer tablets that i’ve already reviewed on this site, mostly use Acer’s own homemade UI - with all of its rich features and cool visual presentations.

And having many preloaded apps, features and visual presentations in the background would probably inundate the memory (RAM) of this device.

As a result, you’ll see many stutters and framedrops here and there on the screen.

However, i believe that Acer is well aware about this issue.

So they probably won’t cram all of their favorite Acer UI’s features into this tablet (just like other Acer’s Tegra-powered tablets), thus the overall performance and experience will still be acceptable for the users.

So you don’t need to worry about it.

For doing some basic tasks, even the heaviest ones, this tablet will perform smoothly without a problem.

However, given its low 512MB of RAM, i don’t think it’s a good idea if you run all of your favorite apps at once.

Without a doubt they will just make this tablet run laggy and buggy, especially if you deploy live wallpaper on the background. The overall experience will leave a lot to be desired.

So if you’re planning to get this model, i suggest you to get the latest-gen model instead (Acer Iconia Tab B1-720 it is) as this variant has so much even better hardware specs than the first-gen Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71.

From the better Mediatek CPU, better Mali 400 GPU (the same GPU found inside Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 8-inches), bigger 1GB of RAM, bigger battery capacity and of course better software optimization (latest Android build).

Back to Top
When it comes to the gaming performance, it’s obvious that Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 is not gonna be as great as the second-gen model (Acer Iconia Tab B1-710), let alone the third-last-gen model - Acer Iconia Tab B1-720.

The reason is simple, Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 is only packing the 512MB of RAM, as opposed to the 2nd and 3rd-gen models that already adopt 1GB of RAM.

So for playing games that require bigger space in memory (RAM), like Need for Speed Most Wanted, Real Racing 3 or N.O.V.A 3, this tablet will definitely suffer a lot.

And the worse is, they probably won’t even launch at all – or crash in the first launch, due to low RAM -. I’ve already seen this happens on some low-RAM devices.

So again, if you’re planning to get this tablet, i strongly suggest you to grab the last-third-gen model of this series - Acer Iconia Tab B1-720 with Mali 400 GPU – as this model has all what it takes to be a good gaming tablet, if not the best.

It has bigger 1GB of RAM, more powerful Mali 400 GPU, better Mediatek dual-core MT8111 processor, bigger battery capacity and many better goodies.

In fact, i’ve already seen on YouTube videos recently that this last-gen model is capable to play Asphalt 8: Airborne in smooth performance and amazingly in high graphics.

And this is so amazing because Asphalt 8 is one of the latest games released in 2014 and not all devices can run this game in full graphics and smooth performance.

And that is something that you’re not gonna get on the first-gen and even second-gen model as these 2 models, both are using the “outdated” PowerVR SGX 531u GPU, which is considered as weaker than Mali 400 GPU.

So not all games, especially the latest games like Modern Combat 4, Asphalt 8, GTA San Andreas, Dead Trigger 2 or N.O.V.A 3 will run smoothly and in full graphics on this tablet.

Even so, there are still many older games that will run on this tablet, even in full graphics, mostly the older ones released in 2012, like N.O.V.A 1, ShadowGun, Modern Combat 1, Samurai Showdown, Asphalt 5, Need for Speed Undercover & Shift, PES 2012 and other older games.

The latest games can also be played on this Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71, but definitely not in full graphics.

Therefore, i strongly suggest you to pick up the last-gen model Acer Iconia Tab B1-720 with Mali 400 GPU.

If you want to know more about the gaming performance of Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out our YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Camera

Similar just like the other 2 models of this series, too bad that Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 also doesn’t come with a rear-facing camera.

For today’s standards, this is definitely a huge downside as tablets today are becoming more popular for users to take micro shots.

This could even be a huge weakness as other cheap budget tablets around $100 to $150 mostly already adopt rear-facing camera.

But the good news is, one of the flagship tablets, $229 Kindle Fire 7 HDX from Amazon, until today, still doesn’t have rear-facing camera. So you’re not alone here if you’re planning to get this tablet.

Luckily, there is still a VGA camera on the front, allowing you to do some awesome selfies that are probably still worth showing off to your Instagram or Twitter followers.

Battery Life

Compared to the second-gen and last-third-gen models of this series, Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 is packing the lowest Li-Po 2710mAh battery capacity, as opposed to the Li-on 2640mAh and Li-Po 2955mAh batteries on the second and last-gen models respectively.

However, the overall battery life of this first-gen model is probably not gonna be that different than the other 2 siblings.

So if you’re gonna use this tablet to do some basic combined tasks like watching movies, browsing the web, playing games, listening to music - all day in combined screen on/off usage - you can expect this tablet to last around a half of day, of course in one full charge.

However, if you intend to use this device for some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen, like watching movies in marathon or playing games in the row, its battery life could probably last only around 3 to 5 hours the longest, which is not that great for today’s standards.

But then again, we should realize that this tablet is a cheap budget tablet costs only $100, so you cannot expect anything amazing on this tablet, especially on its battery life.

But there is always the solution for that issue, like switching off the Wi-Fi all the time, removing all the unnecessary widgets, deactivating the unnecessary apps or the extreme way – rooting this tablet and installing some custom ROM stock Android from XDA developer, which should be done by an experienced user.

My Personal Opinions

So my last conclusion about this tablet is, Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 definitely lacks in everything that you’ve ever dreamed from a tablet.
  • It lacks rear-facing camera,
  • it has cheap looking design,
  • it has low memory (RAM),
  • it doesn't have a fast processor,
  • it has outdated GPU,
  • it has smaller battery capacity
  • and it doesn’t have such a great gaming performance.
However, if you’re still interested to buy this tablet series, then i strongly suggest you to get the latest-generation model under this same series.

And that is Acer Iconia Tab B1-720.

Compared to Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71, the third-gen model Acer Iconia Tab B1-720, excels everything that comes in the first-gen model, from the better GPU, better CPU, bigger RAM and battery capacity and the most importantly, much even better gaming performance.

In fact, i’ve already seen this tablet capable to run Asphalt 8: Airborne - which i consider as one of the most graphics intense games in 2014 – in smooth performance and even more amazingly in high graphics, with those sun glare and asphalt reflection visual effects running smoothly in the gameplay.

So that’s kind of easy for me to guess that this third-gen model will also be great in handling games like GTA Vice City, N.O.V.A 3, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Dead Trigger 2, Modern Combat 4, Real Racing 3 – all in full high graphics - and even the latest GTA San Andreas (although this GTA San Andreas may not run on this tablet in full graphics due to its huge maps and advanced graphics).

This is definitely thanks to the Mali 400 GPU inside this tablet, which is the same GPU found inside the latest Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 8-inches that also has amazing gaming performance (although it's probably not the same exact variant of Mali-400 GPU).

So my final words are, if you’re still interested to buy this $100 cheap budget tablet, i STRONGLY suggest you to get the latest-gen Acer Iconia Tab B1-720 with Mali 400 GPU (not Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71 or Acer Iconia Tab B1-710) as this model is the only one in this series that has the best gaming performance.

If you don’t believe it, you can check out again the video i’ve embedded already on the gaming performance section above.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...

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