[Hands On] Kobo Arc

Few months back an Canadian eReader company, Kobo has entered Indian market and launched multiple eBook readers and an 7 inch tablet in India.

Many users skip eBook readers just because they don’t want an e-ink display device and want a device which can do more like surf internet, check mail, play games and watch movies.

Today we have Kobo Arc, its not just an eBook Reader but its more than of it. It compete against Amazon’s Kindle Fire and much like Kindle Fire Kobo Arc is also deeply integrated with Kobo’s eBooks ecosystem, and the thing which takes it ahead in the race with Kindle Fire is that you will find Google Play store and other Google apps in Kobo Arc which are missing in Kindle.

Inbox Contents :-

When you first open your Kobo Arc box you will find :-

  • Kobo Arc,
  • Some Documents, and
  • A charger for charging your device

We must say Kobo has to provide a USB cable for transferring eBooks or other documents from your PC to Kobo Arc and a 3.5mm audio head phone.

Built & Design

This tablet comes in White and Black variant, we got black one for our review. At front of tablet you will find a 1.3 megapixel camera, sensors and microphone. Below display screen you will have two speakers which tell its mostly be used in portrait mode.

Kobo_Arc_Back

Front panel of this device is made of thick and good quality plastic which is around the 7 inch display screen of tablet, one thing which we found quite good is that screen and bezel are not of the level, bezel is bit raised which means if you put tablet with screen facing down on table or anywhere else then your screen wont get scratched.

Kobo_Arc_Top

On top you will find a power and standby button, at right side you will have a 3.5mm Audio jack and Volume rocker, on left side you have nothing and at bottom you will find a micro USB port for charging and data transfer.

Back of Kobo Arc is rubberized with diamond design pattern with a Kobo logo, it is easy to hold and feels nice in one hand.

Hardware :-

Kobo Arc flaunts an 7 inch IPS display screen with screen resolution of 1280×800 pixels and 215 PPI, it is optimized for 178 degree viewing angles and ultra durable glass, resistant to damage, scratches, bumps, and drops. It is powered by 1.5 GHZ dual core processor paired with 1 GB of RAM.

It sports a 1.3 MP camera at front which is capable of recoding 720p videos, it can be very useful for video calling over Skype. It also has two front speakers which uses SIS technology, many other device from Sony or Amazon do not have these kind of front speakers. Quality of speakers are very good and we are impressed with it.

Software And UI :-

Kobo Arc runs on Android 4.1 jelly Bean and has not been deeply skinned unlike Amazon Kindle devices which runs on forked version of Android. Kobo Arc comes with Google apps along with its own eBook store and eBook library.

Kobo_Arc_Homescreen Kobo_Arc_Homescreen_Recommended

Instead of forking OS, Kobo has decided to add an innovative feature called Tapestry, Tapestries are a kind of folder that include set of apps and widgets. It allows you to pin certain apps, webpages, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Books of home screen for easy access. You can remove or add more item to tapestry anytime. Another good thing which we found is Discover recommendation feeds shown at bottom, you can edit them but they looks quite pleasant. It shows contents which you can buy or just pin to Tapestry.

Kobo_Arc_Front Kobo_Arc_Front_Display

Reading Experience :-

Kobo Bookstore is available in India and you can buy or download books from it, as its an eBook reader first that’s why it provide quite nice reading environment like it allows you to take notes, adjust brightness, colors fonts, you can change line-spacing, background colors and much more.

Kobo_Arc_Reading-2 Kobo_Arc_Reading-1

Kobo_Arc_Reading-3

There is no cellular connectivity on it, but once you download Books via WiFi you will be able to read it if there is no internet connection.

Performance :-

As Kobo Arc is powered by a quad-core 1.5GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4470  processor paired with 1 GB of RAM, it has 16 GB of internal memory with no SD card support.

If we talk about its performance the it works quite good, we played 720p videos of all major formats, played heavy games like Temple Run 2, Temple RUN OZ, and Mortal Combat.

As its runs on Android platform which is not much tweaked so you will find it as home if you ever used Android earlier.

Here are some performance test which we made on this table :-

Touch Points :- 10

Kobo_Arc_Touch_Points

NenaMark2 :- 55.1 fps

Kobo_Arc_Test-2

AnTuTu Benchmark :- 1269

Kobo_Arc_Test-3

Quadrant Standard :- 2760

Kobo_Arc_Test-1

Battery :-

Battery performance of Kobo Arc is decent, we were able to play videos for 8 Hrs, on normal usage we were able to use this table for 3 days.

Final Verdict :-

At the end we must say if you are looking for an good eBook reader which can do something more than just all you to read books then you must consider about Kobo Arc.

If we talk about number of Books then surely Amazon takes over it. I remember when Kobo Tablets were launched I had a word with Kobo India official and they has said that they are going to increased the number of eBooks on Kobo store and very soon they will add some Indian language books too.

Pros :-

  • Easy to handle,
  • Light weight
  • Good integration of Android platform
  • Nice display screen

Cons :-

  • No 3G option,
  • No GPS
  • Number of Books are less at this time
Kobo Arc
Reviewed by Rahul Sharma on January 26 2014
Rating: 4.0
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