Kobo Arc Tablet and Glo and Mini e-readers – Review

By | September 21st, 2012

Have you ever felt the need to carry a gadget with you all the time, the need to pull it out and read, browse internet and play casual games? The ability to always be in touch and socialize through many applications? Or the need to carry the important or casual reading material? Well then tablets certainly fit your criteria perfectly. Modern tablets are highly portable, very utilitarian and are getting considerably cheaper day by day. With tablets you get a lot of things down in just a few swipes and clicks, the ability that notebooks and netbooks take away from you, not only that, the ultra-fast processors make it a breeze. Eventually tablets will replace the need of carrying any other device with you.

The new lineup from kobo does exactly the same thing, first up the Arc, which is a full fledge 7” tablet running android ICS, it is an update to the previous installation of tablets i.e. the VOX. Before it is even released Kobo has decided to up the specifications, Arc now boasts a 1280 x 800 resolution screen instead of 1024 x 600 IPS panel, you will also get a dual core TI OMAP 4470 processor, fully functional Google play market,  1GB RAM, 16/32 and 64GB memory options and a front facing 1.3 megapixel camera. The bunch will cost you $249, $299 and $349 for 16, 32 and 64 GB models respectively as reported by Gizmodo.

The Kobo mini, glo and touch are the e-book readers – the kobo mini is 134 grams, 5” ink touchscreen e-book reader with 2 GB storage and Wi-Fi connectivity, the reader will give you over a month of battery with Wi-Fi off. The Glo is slightly larger than mini with 6” screen and 1024 x 768 resolution display, it sports Wi-Fi, 1 GHz processor, 2Gb storage and 55 hours of battery with screen and Wi-Fi on. Finally the kobo touch is powered by a 6” pearl high contrast display tablet, boasting 2GB memory, over a month of battery life and Wi-Fi connectivity as well. Glo will be offered for a modest $129 price tag whereas the mini will be released at $79, neither will have ads which is a definite plus.

The next intelligent thing would be checking out their competition, since there are a lot of tablets and book reader circulating – it is obvious that there is going to be a stiff competition.

Kobo Arc Vs Fire HD 7

Now many of the reader might suggest that Kobo is a competition for Nexus 7, but n the basis of processing abilities we consider the Nexus 7 better al around, for Kobo arc however, the newly release Fire HD7 is going to be the toughest competitor. The Fire HD is another 7.0 inch tablet with 1280 x 800screen resolution 1Gb RAM, gives 12 hours of continuous battery use life time and along with all 16 or 32 GB memory options.


Aesthetically, the kobo arc scores the point, with quilted back and minimal white or black design it just seems right and would be great to hold in hands, the issue with Fire HD on the other hand is that although it has a small form factor but there is a lot of space wasted around the edges of the screen, this makes the device look a little “fat” and would be a little uncomfortable to hold. So the minimal design of Kobo arc wins the round for it.

Winner: Kobo Arc


Next up is the display, kobo as we know has a 7” IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 resolution, the screen fits nicely with the design and the camera on the top completes the front section. Fire HD also sports a 1280 x 800 7” screen which puts the tablets neck to neck.

Winner: Tied.

Processing Hardware

The main reason that we did not put the kobo up with Nexus 7 was due to the Tegra 3 chip that powers it, which is a quad core processor; so naturally it would have been a little unfair for the kobo. Kobo Arc flaunts a 1.5 Dual core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, there is enough power to play games, watch movies, read books simultaneously (thanks to ICS), the original Kobo VOX was a little choppy in performance, but with 1Gb Ram and the processor, we hope it would not lag.

The amazon kindle fire HD is an upgrade to Kindle fire, now boasting a dual core 1.2 GHz processor and 1GB RAM, and battery time to support 11 hours of continuous use –that is great, but the interface is overlaid by amazons own, which can take up heaps of memory, So when it comes to processing power, the extra frequency of Kobo’s processor makes it our pick.

Winner: Kobo Arc


The kobo is a definite winner, although the price tag of $249 is still higher than the amazon, but it also gives extra 8 GB of memory. The screen resolution is a match, but resolution, processing capabilities and Native android UI is what we cannot deny. You can get Kobo Arc starting November 12th meanwhile kindle fire HD is readily available.

Kobo Mini Vs Nook Simple touch

Kobo mini is and impressive e-book reader, with 5” screen Wi-Fi and over a month of battery life it is one of the best budget readers, prices at $79 it is perfectly reasonable. Kobo mini also has an 800 Mhz processor which insures breezy browsing through content considering you would only be reading. The kobo mini can store around 1000 eBooks in the allotted 1GB of space, it is a lot.

Another option you could have is the Nook simple touch which will cost you around $99, although not near the Mini price tag – it shows off good features. It has a 6 inch screen with 800 x 600 E-Ink touch screen. It weighs only 7.3 ounces and there are over 2.5 million e-books on Nook book store, which will give you plenty of material to read. With internal memory of 2Gb which is expandable to up to 32 GB, it is a perfect option.

Winner: Nook Simple Touch

Kobo Glo vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

The next two contenders are the paperwhite and Glo, which are two reasonably sized e-book readers. First up is Glo, which is a 6” e-ink book reader with a crisp resolution of 1024 x 768 and has Wi-Fi capability and 2GB of on board memory, which is sufficient I think – for storing over 1000 books., with a new backlight technology “pearl screen” it is supposed to be comfortable to use and gives out 55 hours of battery with Wi-Fi and display on. The price tag of $129 completes the specifications; we think it is a perfect all-rounder when it comes to e-book readers.

Its toughest competition definitely is the newly released amazon paper white book reader, weighing 213 grams and having a 6” screen with pixel density of 212 ppi, it is definitely a good option, a 2GB of storage will allow you to store books, and an experimental browser could be used for browsing through Wi-Fi.  The paperwhite tablet is priced at $119 apiece, you can order it directly from amazon, where as kobo will be available starting October, follow this link for more details.

Winner: Kobo Glo

The new lineup from Kobo is impressive and the devices released gives a tough competition as well, when we compared the kindle fire HD with Kobo Arc, it was a close call – the advance processor and attractive design was the reason for its success, the e-book reader department is quite busy, with amazon working on kindle, Barens & Nobel with their Nooks series and Kobo with their readers, it ought to be tough, but it still comes through, will you prefer kobo devices over amazon and Google devices? Please share your views.