Summary: The Arc succeeds where the Vox fell flat: Kobo's newest 7-inch e-reader tablet has a longer lasting battery, full access to the Google Play Store, and processing power comparable to Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD. While we wish it ran the latest version of Android, the Arc's Tapestry feature helps set it apart from other 7-inch tablets. If you're seeking a good alternative to the likes of Amazon and Barnes & Noble, the Kobo Arc is a compelling option.
Pros: Full access to Google Play store, Durable design, Customizable interface, Social integration, Fast performance, High-quality audio
Cons: Outdated version of Android, Reflective screen, Bookstore lacks magazines and periodicals, No Bluetooth
Conclusion: The Kobo Arc tablet straddles two Android tablet personality types. It’s a basic, $200 tablet with a friendly user interface meant to be easily grasped by less tech-savvy users. But it also offers the openness and full access to the Google Play app store, like a standard Android tablet.
Pros: Tapestries provide a novel way to interact with a tablet, Smooth, speedy performance, Good display with wide viewing angles, Pre-loaded apps are well curated
Cons: No Bluetooth or HD output, Display attracts smudges, Running Android 4.0, not latest version, No microSD slot
Kobo Arc — is it an eReader or a full-blown tablet?
1 February 2013
Excerpt: Is Kobo’s new touchscreen an e-reader or a full-blown tablet? Presented to us at a side-show at Berlin’s Grand Hyatt Hotel during the recent IFA exhibition, the successor to the last November’s Vox is a seven-inch, 364g colour touchscreen tablet running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Arc supports any of the 600,000 apps from Google Play inside a brand new user interface called the Tapestries Discovery Edition – and it’s this that gives the Arc a unique selling point.
Conclusion: Today, we check out the main facets that differentiate both tablets from each other. Both devices are running Google Android, but have developed customized UI elements to make them stand out in a crowded segment. We will show you the ebook, e-reading, magazine, newspaper, and comic book experience. Finally, both do a fair job at video and audio, but we put them head to head to see which one’s better.
Conclusion: The Kobo Arc is the best tablet the company has ever released. It perfectly blends cutting edge hardware with a very unique Android experience. It runs basically any app or game that you can throw at it, and takes it in stride. The entire Kobo ecosystem appeals to people living internationally. I am based in Canada and can’t even buy a Kindle Fire or Kindle Paperwhite or Nook reader. Even if I were to import it, both companies limit the amount of content I can buy.
Pros: Excellent Hardware, Android 4.0, Tapestries, Great Store Experience, Wide Array of Bundled Apps, Solid Price, Firmware Automatically Updates, Front Facing Speakers with SRS technology, Google Certified
Cons: No MicroSD or SD, Graphic Novel and Comic Book Selection Lacks, No Rear Facing Camera, Needs a Certain Kind of DC Charger to Power the Unit.
Conclusion: The one benefit going for the Kobo Arc is how compatible it is with a large number of markets. Sure there is comparable hardware from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, but unless you live in the USA, you are missing out on the majority of their content. It is possible to use the Kindle Fire 2 in Canada, but you won’t be able to purchase Amazon Instant Movies and a number of other critical factors.
Kobo Arc review: another 7-inch Android tablet steps into the ring
3 January 2013
Summary: Placed against the low, low standard of last year's Vox, the Kobo Arc is a winner. Compared to the rest of the 7-inch tablets in the world, however, it's a non-starter. The Arc's not a bad device, by any means, but given the portion of the public that's already served by the Kindle Fire HD, Nexus 7, iPad mini and Nook HD, it's tough to say who the Arc is for.
Pros: Open Google Play access, Up to 64GB of storage, Rugged design
Cons: Bulky design, Uninspired Android skinning, Content selection spread out over three stores