Having not delved to extensively into the E-reader market I thought it was time with Christmas approaching to review a product I had heard a lot about the Kobo Arc.
The Kobo Arc is the 2nd offering by the Toronto based company and builds on its previous reader the Vox. While I don’t know much about the Vox, the review I read did not paint it in a good light.
The Kobo Arc is a different story.
Having primarily been an Apple and iOS user over the last few years, a shift to Android based devices is not met with any trepidation but rather is a welcome change. Sure I can download the Kobo App for my iPhone or iPad but this product means I don’t have to and I like that.
Because Kobo decided to have its Arc Google certified you get Android 4.04 as your operating system which is a nice thing to have. That means you have access to the over 600,000 apps that are available to Google Android users. This also leaves you in an ecosystem that is more open obviously than Apple or Amazon.
The Kobo Arc took any of the pushing I gave it and I loaded as many of my iPhone apps as possible onto the Arc. Save for Instagram and the Starbucks app which weren’t compatible with the Arc, many of my favorite apps including the Globe and Mail, Internet Movie Database and Angry Birds all worked very well.
The Arc integrates nicely with Gmail as well and I was able to have my email address sync up easily with the Arc.
In terms of hardware, the Arc uses a Texas Instruments 1.5 GHZ dual core processor and 1 GB of RAM. Like the iPad Mini it comes in 16, 32, and 64 GB options. I personally don’t see the need to pay for extra space beyond the 16GB. The current price offering on the tablet is as follows from Future Shop. The 16GB is 199, 32GB is 249 and the 64GB is 299. The Ipad Mini 16gb with Wifi only starts at 329 so if you are looking to save money on an e-readers or a tablet the Arc is for you.
Be aware that this is the first device the company has offered that actually does not have expandable memory. There is no support for MicroSD or SD cards as well. I did not like the fact that the Arc only came with a front facing camera which meant I could not take photo’s with it. It’s front facing camera worked well and is useful for Skype though.
With its two front facing speakers, the sound quality is superior to the iPad mini. That being said the Arc probably weighs about twice as much as the Mini I compared them side by side by holding each device in my left and right hands respectively.
Had i had this device in my possession longer, I probably would have attempted to read more books on it but I am still not convinced that an e-reader is the way to go for me. That should not however sway you from buying this product. Well done Kobo, the Arc has does definitely impresses even stubborn Apple users like me.