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Kobo Arc Android Tablet eReader Review

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Android Tablet Final Thoughts

After a couple weeks with the Kobo Arc I am left feeling, well nothing to be honest. It is a competent 7″ Android tablet, with a decent screen, decent battery life, and a decent custom interface. I use it daily for note taking, reading manuals, and documentation and it worked well, but at no point was I ever amazed by it. The most unique feature of the Kobo Arc the tapestries interface works great with Kobo’s native applications, but loses much of its uniqueness when you add third party applications into the mix.

Kobo_Arc_45

Kobo Arc Android Tablet Conclusion

The Kobo Arc performs well, with comparable stats to other 7″ tablets on the market, and keeping up with the CPU performance of one of last year’s flagship smartphones. The GPU is a little bit more lackluster but is in line with its major competitor the Nexus 7 and I would expect the Kobo Arc to be able to play most games available on the market.

Along with its average performance is the average looks the Kobo Arc has. It isn’t bad looking but it isn’t something I find particularly great looking either, inoffensive is the best word I can think of to describe it. My only complaint is the large pronounced bezel, which feels very last generation. I hope that with Kobo’s next tablets they can make the device with a flush thin bezel, and bring down the weight slightly.

The Arc feels like a solid device and Kobo backs it up with a one year parts and labor warranty. After a couple of weeks using the Kobo Arc regularly I would expect as long as a user takes care of their Arc that it will last quite a long time.

Since the Kobo Arc is able to access the full Google Play store, its uses are virtually limitless, it can be a note taking device, an e-Reader, a mobile gaming platform, a music player, or virtually anything a user could want it to be. Since it is missing a GPS chip, there are some limits to what it can do but overall the Kobo Arc is an extremely versatile device.

As of July 2013, the 16GB Kobo Arc we reviewed is available online for $199 (Kobo | Amazon). The price is fair, and for the most part aligns with other 7″ Android tablets available in the United States.

If I had to pick one word to describe the Kobo Arc it would be “safe”. In many different aspects Kobo played it safe, it picked a safe processor that performs well but isn’t extraordinary, an inoffensive exterior design that doesn’t have any surprises, and an OS with some minor modifications but no major changes to the stock Android experience.

Overall the Kobo Arc is a competent 7″ Android tablet that I would have no qualms about buying but it just isn’t at the top of my list for this class of tablets. Because of this I award the Kobo Arc 7″ Android Tablet the Benchmark Reviews Recommended Product Award.
Benchmark Reviews Recommended Product Award Logo (Small)

Pros:

+ Great CPU performance in an Android tablet for a low cost
+ Fantastic native e-Reader application
+ Mostly stock Android 4.1 interface

Cons:

– Highly reflective screen can be hard to read in the sun
– Many of the best features only work with Kobo applications creating a closed environment if a user would like to get the most out of the Arc
– Very middling battery performance
– Large pronounced bezel
– Only 1GB of LPDDR2

Results:

  • Performance: 8.50
  • Appearance: 8.00
  • Construction: 9.00
  • Functionality: 8.50
  • Value: 9.00

Final Score: 8.6 out of 10.

Recommended: Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval.

COMMENT QUESTION: Who makes your favorite tablet device?


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