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.

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.
Xiomara Blanco

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.