Kobo Arc Tablets: My Thoughts and Impressions

Written by B Johnson September 12, 2014
Kobo Arc Tablets: My Thoughts and ImpressionsHi guys, welcome back!

In the tablet reader category, Amazon Kindle Fire tablets have been the best selling items in the past few years, especially on Amazon’s online store of course.

And that’s not really shocking given that Amazon’s tablet was originally intended by this company solely as a tablet reader.

Although it’s also great for many other things like watching movies, browsing the web, listening to music and the latest Kindle Fire HDX tablets are also amazing as gaming tablets – given their powerful gaming performance, thanks to the Snapdragon 800 and Adreno 330 GPU inside these 2 tablets.

However, besides Amazon, there are some other companies that also have huge interest to get involved in this type of tablet category – from Barnes and Noble tablet series, iPad and even a new comer in this industry, Kobo.

Well, for many of you here, you’re probably not really familiar with the tablets from the company named Kobo. That is acceptable given that this company indeed a new player in this business.

However, what makes me personally impressed with the tablets from this manufacturer is, one of its model - Kobo Arc 10HD -, surprisingly is powered by one of the processors that i’ve been a huge fan of – Tegra 4 quad-core processor -, which is extremely powerful especially in handling graphics-related tasks like gaming.

Besides Kobo Arc 10HD, Kobo actually also has another tablet under the same lineup and it’s called Kobo Arc 7HD, which also features an impressive 1080p display powered by Tegra 3 quad-core processor – also my other favorite mobile processor 2 years ago.

Well, if you’re interested to get to know with both tablets, especially their overall specs and their gaming performance, then here you go, my quick summary reviews of both Kobo Arc tablets.


Kobo Arc 7HD

As a tablet reader, i think it’s really amazing to already see a 1080p (1920x1200 pixels) display on a tablet that is still considered as a new comer around the market.

And more impressively, this Kobo Arc 7HD is also powered by a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, coupled with 12-core of GeForce ULP GPU, which are adequate to handle the 1080p resolution on this device.

However, given that this 7-inch tablet is originally intended by Kobo solely as a tablet reader, not a gaming tablet, then its superior graphics performance will be useful more to help with the rendering of book pages, especially when reading heavy HD contents like magazines or HD quality books, which really require powerful graphical performance to render all the graphics and text presented in every page.

But even so, as a Tegra 3 tablet, i think it’s really obvious that Kobo Arc 7HD will also be great for gaming, even if you’re not into tablet games when you decide to buy this tablet in the first place.

It handles many games – especially latest and most graphically demanding games perfectly and smoothly, not to mention, it’s also capable to deliver all the visual effects used in the games, of course for the older games released in early 2013 or before that year – like Need for Speed Most Wanted, Asphalt 8: Airborne or GTA Vice City.

However, i’m not really sure if this tablet is capable to run the latest games like Asphalt 8: Airborne or GTA San Andreas in buttery smooth performance, especially in full highest graphics with all visual effects enabled.

I know that, actually i just found out that other Tegra 3 tablets are surprisingly able to run Asphalt 8 in full highest graphics.

But this game is not running in buttery smooth performance on these Tegra 3 tablets.

And seeing that this Kobo Arc 7HD is packing a 1080p display – compared to other counterparts that only use 720p display -, then i don’t think this Kobo tablet is able to perform smoothly when running Asphalt 8 or GTA San Andreas in full highest graphics.

But of course, that is acceptable given that Kobo Arc 7HD is not a gaming tablet – despite having a powerful mobile processor for gaming.

The thing that separates this tablet with other regular tablets out there on the market is actually its User Interface.

This tablet may still have the same looking homescreen that can be embedded with widgets or app shortcuts, however, when you slide the screen to the right position, there are some new windows that provide users – or in this case readers – to put their favorite books or magazines into the board-alike window.

So you’ll have an easy access to your favorite books without searching anymore with the file explorer or something like that.

Kobo Arc 10 HD

As opposed to its sibling that’s still powered by so-2-years-ago Tegra 3 processor, the largest model Kobo Arc 10 HD surprisingly is packing the next-gen Tegra 4 processor, which ensures smooth and powerful gaming performance to any tablet that uses it, even the one with the 2.5k display like Kobo Arc 10 HD.

Actually, besides this 10-inch Kobo Arc tablet, there are many other rivals that also have in common especially in terms of performance hardware and display – like Asus Transformer Pad TF701T, Toshiba Excite Write and Toshiba Excite Pro, which also have the same 2560x1600 pixel display and of course, the beast Tegra 4 processor.

However, just like Kobo Arc 7HD, this 10-inch model is also intended by the manufacturer as a tablet reader, not a gaming tablet - despite having a beast processor.

And there’s also the same board-alike window that can be opened if you slide the screen from right edge to the left.

By default, there is also the same standard homescreen which you can fill with widgets or app shortcuts all over it, not to mention, deploy some awesome live wallpaper on it.

All of these elements can perform well on this tablet in smooth performance, thanks to the Tegra 4 quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, plus a staggering 72-core GPU found inside this tablet.

As a tablet reader, it’s really obvious that Kobo Arc 10 HD will be great for that matter.

And that’s mostly because this 10.1-inch device is sporting a super high-resolution 2560x1600 pixel display (with impressive 300 ppi), making it look insanely sharp and crisp especially when used for reading books, magazines, or browsing the web.

Meanwhile, as a gaming tablet, this Kobo Arc 10 HD actually can also be amazing for that matter.

It’s capable to handle the latest and graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA San Andreas or Modern Combat 5 perfectly and smoothly, plus in full graphics, thanks to the 72-core of GPU.

However, given its super high-resolution 2.5K display, plus the Tegra 4 quad-core processor under the hood – which both are power-hungry -, i think this tablet will also have that “overheating” issue on its back cover, similar just like any other Tegra 4 tablets out there - especially the ones with either 1080p or 2.5k display.

This is the reason why Kobo Arc 10 HD might not be so ideal as a gaming tablet.

The good thing is, this Kobo Arc 10 HD is powered by a pretty huge 6550mAh power battery, ensuring for up to 9.5 hours of battery life and up to 25 days of standby mode.

So even if this device is sporting a super high-resolution screen and a power-hungry processor, Kobo Arc 10 HD is still more than happier to deliver an all-day-long of battery life, especially if it’s used as a tablet reader or media-consumption device – like for watching movies, browsing the web or listening to music.

So if you intend to buy this Kobo tablet as a gaming tablet, then you might not be really satisfied with the battery life that it delivers.

Okay then, that’s all for now about Kobo Arc tablets - Kobo Arc 7 HD and Kobo Arc 10 HD.

I’ll probably be updating this blog post of course when Kobo finally releases other next-gen tablets in the future.

So be sure to stick around to this page for further updates.

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