I have now had my Kobo Arc for several days now and this is my update to my initial impressions. My other tablets are a Kindle Fire an iPad 3 and a Nexus 7. I find the smaller form factors of the Nexus and the Kindle Fire very comfortable to use.
As with my review of the Kindle Fire, I will discuss how the tasks I usually undertake on my iPad and now the Kindle Fire translate to the Kobo Arc. Generally I don’t use my tablets for work/production related activities. There are many apps I use on my iPhone to check a few quick things.
I was able to import most of my personal accounts – two Yahoo emails, Gmail and a non standard account for my email@example.com email – with minimal hassle. I did have a problem with one of my Yahoo accounts, but I believe that to be a Yahoo problem rather than an Arc problem.I have not been able to access my work Exchange email, but i generally check that on my iPhone rather than my tablet anyway.
Surfing the web
I find surfing the web on the Kobo Arc noticeably faster than on the Kindle Fire and about par for what I have on the iPad. I don’t have my iCloud favourites, but I was able to install 1Password for my password management with no problem.
Checking social networking sites
I am active in Twitter, Facebook and GoodReads. All of these have apps available on iOS and Android and are great to use and look at in both environments.
Although I prefer reading novels on my Kindle Paperwhite or Kobo Glo, magazines are a delight to read on tablets. I use Zinio for my magazine subscriptions and have a subscription to Entertainment Weekly but was not able to find that as a standalone app for Android. Zinio magazines are great on the Kobo Arc. Despite the smaller screen size, the high resolution of the Kobo Arc’s screen means that the text is still easily legible.
This is one area in which the iPad has superiority with its larger screen. On my iPad I watch iTunes movies and Netflix as well as use the remote app to control my Apple TV. The Kobo Arc has access to the Google Playstore which means any movies you purchase or rent on there will be available on the Kobo Arc. Netflix is also available for the Arc as is any movie you have on your UV account.
The TV stations such as Global TV, ABC, BBC, CTV have not yet released apps available on Android, and as the default browser doesn’t support Flash I’ve not found a way to watch streaming video from them.
Most of my non book content is in iTunes, which I have not yet managed to access on my Android devices.
Checking on the news
I usually get my news from the BBC News app. Again, the app is available for both iPad and Android and is gorgeous to browse. La Presse is also available for Android on the Google Play Store. The Google Play Store for Canada is more mature than the Amazon Canada app store, so there are likely to be more Canadian apps there.
It has to be said, shopping for books on Kobo is rather a painful experience if you’re looking for a specific book. It seems hit or miss if the search function will actually find it. I prefer to go through the Chapters/Indigo website and from there through to Kobo.
On the other hand, with the Google Play Store, you have far more access to other media than on the Kindle Fire.
Like the Kindle Fire, the Kobo Arc is a very nice budget tablet, with a focus on connecting you to content. As well as the Kobo content, it has full access to the Google Play Store which gives you access to millions of books, songs, movies and content.
You can’t really go wrong with this tablet, especially at the current reduced price.