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CES 2014 battle of the budget tablet begins with $129 Acer Iconia B1-720

The competitively priced slate offers minor upgrades to last year's model and comes in red or dark grey.

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Xiomara Blanco
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Xiomara Blanco

Associate Editor / Reviews - Tablets and monitors

Xiomara Blanco is an associate editor for CNET Reviews. She's a Bay Area native with a knack for tech that makes life easier and more enjoyable. So, don't expect her to review printers anytime soon.

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Expectations for budget tablets are continually increasing, and the Acer Iconia B1-720 is one of the first at CES 2014 to try to meet them. The new model, a slight upgrade from last year's Iconia B1-A71, boasts fresh features including a slimmer build, textured back, and faster internals.

Acer B1-720 tablet puts the B in budget (pictures)

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The Acer Iconia B1-720 tablet ships with Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1 and houses a 1.3GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. It also packs a microSD card expansion slot and front-facing camera, as well as purportedly better sound quality and battery life.

Like a fine wine, the new Iconia B1 tablets feature textured backs with a smooth finish. (Can you tell I know nothing about wine?) James Martin/CNET

Acer's new budget 7-incher brandishes a 10-point touch display with One Glass Solution technology -- for a thinner and brighter display. The screen resolution of the new Iconia B1 has yet to be revealed but, considering the price, I'm not expecting anything impressive.

The Acer tablet is a rather unimpressive release, however, its low starting price might entice shoppers. James Martin/CNET

Budget tablets are an increasingly attractive option for casual users and, though the $129 starting price is low for today's standards, competitively priced 7-inch tablets with specs like the Acer Iconia B1-720 are a dime-a-dozen. Despite the minor upgrades, the tablet appears to follow in its predecessor's footsteps by offering little to get excited about.

According to Acer, the Iconia B1-720 will be available in stores in mid-January. Check back for a closer look at the tablet when we get out hands on it at CES 2014.

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