Kobo Arc Cameras

Kobos first attempt at a 7-inch Android-based tablet didnt go so well. When the Vox was released last year, it got generally unvorable reviews and didnt measure up to the Nook Tablet or Kindle Fire.

The Arc is powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 1.5GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM and a 1,280×800-pixel (215 ppi) HD display. It also has a 1.3-megapixel front-cing camera, but it doesnt appear to offer Bluetooth. (The Nexus 7 uses a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and weighs 12 ounces to the Arcs 12.8 ounces).

The Kobo Arc, due out in November, has a couple of different color options for its interchangeable back.

Competitive advantage?

The Arc is open Android 4.0 with a skinned intece.

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNETs Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. Hes also the author of the novels Knife Music and The Big Exit. Both titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, and Nook e-books. Full Bio

I havent handled the Kobo Arc yet — and probably wont until October — so I cant give you any initial impressions based on a test-drive. It will undoubtedly be more impressive than the Vox (the bars set pretty low there), but I dont think it brings anything terribly unique to the tablet wars. Yes, its a Kobo tablet with a Kobo intece, Cameras, which Im sure Kobo ns will appreciate (Kobo, originally a Canadian company, has been expanding overseas at a rapid clip). Still, its just an Android tablet with a skinned intece and a price point similar to its competitors.

While Kobo created its own customized intece for the Arc, Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis touted the ct that this is an open Android tablet that runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and gives you access to the Google Play store for apps and games. (Presumably — and ironically — that would mean you can also download the Kindle and Nook e-readKobo Arc Cameraser apps, for instance.)

Perhaps this years model,new york escort the Arc, due to hit stores in November in 8GB ($199.99) and 16GB ($249.99) versions, will have a better go of it. On , at least, it seems more competitive, with specs that appear to be in the same ballpark as Googles Nexus 7.

At the core of the Kobo Arc intece is a feature called Tapestries. Its basically Kobos marketing term for giving you a way to customize your tablet based on your interests and the content you love to easily organize your tablet.

As noted, theres an 8GB version and a step-up 16GB model, but like in the Nexus, theres no expansion slot for additional memory (the Nook Tablet offers expansion but the original Kindle Fire does not).

Is that enough? Well have to wait and see. As I said, the Arc ships in November. By then it will have plenty of new tablets to go up against, including the new Kindle Fires, Nook Tablets, and perhaps even a smaller iPad Mini.

Click to enlarge.

Not surprisingly, Kobo is also highlighting the e-reading angle of the Arc. Like its new e-ink e-readers, the Glo ($129.99) and the Mini ($79.99), Kobos social reading features (Reading Life) and Kobo Picks, which makes reading recommendations based on your feedback and preferences, are included along with standard features such as a built-in dictionary.


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