Kobo Arc – First Impressions

July 10, 2013

Kobo is currently offering a special price on the Kobo Arc, so today I picked one up and have been playing around with it these last few hours.  Here are my first impressions.

The device seems solid and well made although it took a while to start up, because it had no battery left.  Once I charged it up, it worked well.  The setup was easy – I entered my Kobo username and password and my Google Play username and password to access the apps I’d previously bought.  My Kindle, Kobo, Audible and GoodReads apps all downloaded easily and installed with no fuss.

The Arc is a major step up from the Kobo Vox, which was underpowered, underdeveloped and underwhelming.  The newer device is based on Android Jelly Bean with a Kobo skin.  The skin is far more subtle than that on the Kindle Fire, which is unrecognisable as Android.  With the Kobo Arc you have access to Google Now, Google Playstore and all the features of Android Jelly Bean.  For me it seems a really great hybrid of ereader and fully fledged tablet.  I can see real advantages to having all the features of Android available on an ereading device.

I’m not going to repeat the specs – go to the Kobo Arc page for full details.  I did find it less responsive than the Kindle Fire, especially if you use a fancy page transition, but not unacceptably slow.

The distinguishing feature of the Kobo Arc is its “tapestries” – this is where you can gather different items – books, music, webpages, apps – all together in one place.  I made a couple and it seems a great way of organising your content.

I’ve only had it for a few hours, and these are my first impressions.  A full review will follow in due course. So far it definitely seems worth checking out, especially with the great deal Kobo is offering right now.

Kobo Aura

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