Last night Kobo announced several new tablets and a new eReader during a press event in New York City. TechnoBuffalo was in attendance at the event and we were able to snap a few pictures of some of the new products, including the Android-powered Arc 7, Arc 10HD and the Aura eReader. Unfortunately, the Arc 7HD wasn’t on hand for hands-on opportunities.
The Kobo Arc 7 is Kobo’s entry-level Android tablet. It’s priced nice enough at around $149.99, but we weren’t that impressed with the hardware at all. Unfortunately, the unit on display was running a demo video so we couldn’t navigate around the hardware. Still, the 1024 x 600-pixel display left a lot to be desired and the device generally felt as cheap as its price point. To its credit, it offers a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM, which should be satisfactory for most tasks, and 8GB of storage. We think most people would be better off spending the extra few bucks on the new Nexus 7, which is a stellar 7-inch tablet.
The Arc 10HD is a really beautiful tablet. The 2560 x 1600-pixel display is high-res and sharp, and we liked how thin it is. It also runs on NVIDIA’s new quad-core Tegra 4 processor clocked at 1.8GHz, has 2GB of RAM and offers a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera. We opened up an issue of Popular Mechanics and found the magazine reading experience was really consuming thanks to the high-res screen and brilliant colors. Again, Android purists may prefer the Nexus 10 which also offers a high-res screen, though Arc 10HD is definitely the best tablet Kobo has ever built. It’s priced at $399.99.
We were able to pick up a review unit of the Kobo Aura, the company’s new eReader that falls below the Aura HD, so we’ll bring you our detailed opinions in the coming days. In the meantime, we love how thin and light the Aura is. The software is easy to use, though it reminds us so much of the UI on the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch that we’re curious if there’s a lawsuit looming. The 6-inch display is large enough for fitting enough text on the screen, and its 212dpi looks relatively crisp, though not as nice as the screen on the Aura HD. Additionally, the backlight is nice and even and soft enough that it didn’t bother our eyes.
We’ll be bringing you more details on the Aura soon, so stay tuned.