Kobo Arc review
The Kobo Arc is a 7in tablet running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It has an IPS screen with a resolution of 800x1,280, matching the Kindle Fire HD’s resolution, and so is bright, sharp and colourful with exceptionally good viewing angles. It has a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. You can but it with either 16GB (as reviewed here) or 32GB of storage, and the prices are £159 and £189 respectively, which isn’t bad. It’s 11.5mm thick and weighs 364g, which is lighter than the Kindle Fire HD, but still a little weighty for an eBook reader.
There are some problems, though. The first is an annoying typing lag on the stock Android keyboard, but we easily resolved it by installing a more responsive alternative, such as Swiftkey. The second problem is more irritating: we found the Arc frequently dropped its connection to our Wi-Fi router, and this problem could only be resolved by switching it off and on again in the settings. We couldn’t get BBC iPlayer to work either, and the Arc also makes an intermittent, very faint fan-like noise, although this is only audible in quiet environments.
As with its main rivals, the Arc has a custom Android installation. The main home page scrolls continuously rather than in distinct page-like jumps. You can drop shortcuts and widgets on the home page, as with standard Android, and there are large boxes representing links to various themed subscreens dubbed ‘tapestries’ by Kobo. Essentially, these are glorified folders. Initially, you’re provided with Reading, Entertainment, Social and Browsing tapestries, but you can set up your own.
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