NOTE: This model is discontinued and may no longer be available to purchase new. See the latest tablets or compare used prices.

Kobo Arc review

7.2/10 AVG.
RATING



7.2/10
Informr score
The Kobo Arc currently has an Informr score of 7.2 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 14 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The Kobo Arc is not your ordinary Android tablet. Unlike many other low-cost Android tablets on the market today, it comes with a number of high-end features and little or no restrictions on the default software. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is the pre-installed operating system, and the Arc handles it quite well with its 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4470 processor. On the front, it has a 1280x800 7-inch touchscreen display, as well as a dual-speaker setup that makes it useful for listening to audio no matter what orientation it is being used in. It even has a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera that can be used for all kinds of applications. In other words, it’s more than just another e-book reader running Android software.

Unlike the similarly-sized Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, the Arc doesn’t run a forked version of Android. Instead, it uses the full version of Ice Cream Sandwich, albeit with a custom home screen that’s made to look like the social sharing website Pinterest. It offers users full access to Google’s Play software store, in which there are thousands of free and paid apps available for download. This extends the functionality the Arc even further, and with its high-def screen and built-in speakers, it can transform into a full-fledged media player of sorts when it isn’t being used to read e-books.

Kobo provides Arc a reasonably large content catalog. Alas, it’s no Amazon, but it appears to get many important elements right. For one thing, it has what is being referred to as the “Discover Bar” which is an ad-free source of recommended items for Arc users. It's seen by most reviewers as a non-distracting source of useful information. And users will have plenty of time to really dive into the recommendations as they come along, because the standard battery lasts for up to 10 hours of continuous usage per charge.

Kobo started out making simple e-book readers to take on bigger outfits like Sony and Amazon. And now, it looks ready to go against the rest of the Android tablet market with a well-equipped offering. Based on price-to-features ratio alone, the Arc is a hard one to pass up on. Users will likely agree with many of the early reviewers: the Arc is an excellent deal.

Need to Know: Kobo Arc

1. 1280x800 7-inch IPS touchscreen display offers great picture quality. (The Good)

2. The use of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with little or no restrictions allows users to take advantage of and fully enjoy the hardware features. (The Good)

3. The standard battery life could be a little longer. (The Bad)

4. Lacks a camera at the back. (The Bad)


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.5 GHz
Screen Size
7"
Camera
Yes


What the Critics Are Saying...


The Mobile Indian

Packing promising hardware, fairly decent screen and good design, the Kobo Arc tablet is mostly for those avid readers seeking multimedia as an add-on.

- Samir Makwana, The Mobile Indian
The Register

All in all, I’m impressed with the Kobo Arc. It took a little while to learn to love it, but I’d say it’s been worth the effort learning how to weave content into the Tapestries function. Indeed, for those likely to share a device, it offers a great way to keep some level of separ...

- Bob Dormon, The Register
What Hi-Fi

It’s a great shame, as otherwise the Kobo could be the perfect choice for those looking for a cheap Android tablet. If movies and general app use are your priorities it’s well worth a look, but if music matters there are better options available.

- Andy Clough, What Hi-Fi
Laptop Magazine

null

- Lisa Eadicicco, Laptop Magazine
Digital Trends

The Kobo Arc is a good value for the price and worthy competition for the Nook HD, Kindle HD, and even the Google Nexus 7.

- K. T. Bradford, Digital Trends


Prices (Where to Buy)





Resources


Manuals / User Guides Helpful Links Share / Embed

Maybe one of your friends will find this review helpful? Please help us spread the word.

Quick view

Screen Size
7"

The Kobo Arc's screen size is 7 inches with x pixels resolution.

Processor
1.5 GHz

There is a Dual-core 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

Camera
Yes
There is a front-facing camera with 2+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
16/32/64 GB

Internal memory is 16/32/64 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
Unknown

The tablet is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery. Kobo's performance ratings are 14 days standby time.

Kobo Arc Specs

Overview
Release date November 16, 2012
Regions available USA, Canada
Networks
No cellular data
SIM card No
Dual SIM No
Operating System

Compare Android Tablets

Secondary OS No
Processor Dual-core 1.5 GHz
Internal Storage 16/32/64 GB
RAM 1 GB
ROM No
Digital compass No
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Body: 0.097 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity No
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 2 hours
Video Playback Time Up to: 10 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time Up to: 10 hours
Standby Time Up to: 14 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 18.9 x 12.0 x 1.2 cm (7.4 x 4.7 x 0.5 in)
Weight 364 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 7 inches
3D No
Sensors Motion / Accelerometer
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth No
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
Expansion Slot Info No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Dual lens
No
Zoom
No
Flash
No
Additional Main Camera Info
No
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Resolution
2+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
Auto focus, Face detection
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, MP4, AAC, WAV, M4A, OGG
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert No
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch No
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types BMP, EPUB, GIF, JPG
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Kobo K107

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Kobo Arc Reviews
Where to buy Kobo Arc
Suggest a correction

Own this tablet?

Help inform others by sharing your experience with Kobo Arc

Rate It:

Critic Reviews


The Mobile Indian

Decent display and nice build quality

from The Mobile Indian

Packing promising hardware, fairly decent screen and good design, the Kobo Arc tablet is mostly for those avid readers seeking multimedia as an add-on.

Read full review

Packing promising hardware, fairly decent screen and good design, the Kobo Arc tablet is mostly for those avid readers seeking multimedia as an add-on.

Read full review

Less

The Register

A very pocketable and affordable Android tablet

from The Register

All in all, I’m impressed with the Kobo Arc. It took a little while to learn to love it, but I’d say it’s been worth the effort learning how to weave content into the Tapestries function.

Indeed, for those likely to share a device, it offers a great way to keep some leve...More

All in all, I’m impressed with the Kobo Arc. It took a little while to learn to love it, but I’d say it’s been worth the effort learning how to weave content into the Tapestries function.

Indeed, for those likely to share a device, it offers a great way to keep some level of separateness although the Recommended reading feature is likely to reflect all of the users, which could be interesting, embarrassing and annoying in equal meassure. For those with multiple interests, Tapestries offers a useful way of diving into your favourite things without too much faffing about. And even if this feature doesn’t appeal, the Kobo Arc is still a very pocketable and affordable Android tablet.

Read full review

Less

What Hi-Fi

Not one for music buffs, but for everything else this tablet is a great budget option

from What Hi-Fi

It’s a great shame, as otherwise the Kobo could be the perfect choice for those looking for a cheap Android tablet. If movies and general app use are your priorities it’s well worth a look, but if music matters there are better options available.

Read full review

It’s a great shame, as otherwise the Kobo could be the perfect choice for those looking for a cheap Android tablet. If movies and general app use are your priorities it’s well worth a look, but if music matters there are better options available.

Read full review

Less

Laptop Magazine

The Arc's Tapestry feature helps set it apart from other 7-inch tablets

from Laptop Magazine

The Arc succeeds where the Vox fell flat: Kobo's newest 7-inch e-reader tablet has a longer lasting battery, full access to the Google Play Store, and processing power comparable to Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD. While we wish it ran the latest version of Android, the Arc's Tapestry fe...More

The Arc succeeds where the Vox fell flat: Kobo's newest 7-inch e-reader tablet has a longer lasting battery, full access to the Google Play Store, and processing power comparable to Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD. While we wish it ran the latest version of Android, the Arc's Tapestry feature helps set it apart from other 7-inch tablets. If you're seeking a good alternative to the likes of Amazon and Barnes & Noble, the Kobo Arc is a compelling option.

Read full review

Less

Digital Trends

It runs well, the interface is well done, and there aren't any limits on the apps and media you can load on it

from Digital Trends

The Kobo Arc tablet straddles two Android tablet personality types. It’s a basic, $200 tablet with a friendly user interface meant to be easily grasped by less tech-savvy users. But it also offers the openness and full access to the Google Play app store, like a standard Android tablet.

T...More

The Kobo Arc tablet straddles two Android tablet personality types. It’s a basic, $200 tablet with a friendly user interface meant to be easily grasped by less tech-savvy users. But it also offers the openness and full access to the Google Play app store, like a standard Android tablet.

The in-between-two-world’s nature of the Arc could throw some potential customers off, but here’s what you need to know: It runs well, the interface is well done, and there aren’t any limits on the apps and media you can load on it. The Kobo Arc is a good value for the price and worthy competition for the Nook HD, Kindle HD, and even the Google Nexus 7.

Read full review

Less

TrustedReviews

A half-way house between the Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD

from TrustedReviews

The Kobo Arc shows that, after the poor Vox tablet, Kobo does know how to do things other than make E-ink eReaders. With a keen price, decent innards and a respectable, if not great, screen, it’s a serious contender in the low-cost tablet space that the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD and Nook HD all l...More

The Kobo Arc shows that, after the poor Vox tablet, Kobo does know how to do things other than make E-ink eReaders. With a keen price, decent innards and a respectable, if not great, screen, it’s a serious contender in the low-cost tablet space that the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD and Nook HD all live in. We prefer the Google tablet, but without the limitations of the rigid Amazon and Barnes & Noble UIs, it’s a solid choice for those who want an eReader experience integrated into their tablet.

Read full review

Less

Cnet

A fine tablet that simply doesn't offer enough compelling reasons to seriously consider it

from Cnet

The Kobo Arc's closest competitor happens to also be the best 7-inch tablet currently available, the Nexus 7. Given that, it's difficult to make a strong case for the Arc. The Arc's blocky design, older shipping OS, and lack of significant exclusive features make it feels like the poor man's Nexu...More

The Kobo Arc's closest competitor happens to also be the best 7-inch tablet currently available, the Nexus 7. Given that, it's difficult to make a strong case for the Arc. The Arc's blocky design, older shipping OS, and lack of significant exclusive features make it feels like the poor man's Nexus 7. However, since Kobo charges the same $200, maybe "the less discerning man's Nexus 7" would be more appropriate. The Kobo Arc isn't a bad tablet by any stretch. It's good; however, in the last year the bar has been raised for 7-inch tablets, and now there are clearly better choices out there.

Read full review

Less

The Inquirer

Speedy performance and tapestries feature with inexpensive price

from The Inquirer

The Kobo Arc is a decent addition to the 7in tablet stable with its nippy performance and some unique and useful features. While it's unlikely to sell anywhere nearly as well as the iPad Mini, Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD, in some cases due to branding rather than quality, we think it's definitely...More

The Kobo Arc is a decent addition to the 7in tablet stable with its nippy performance and some unique and useful features. While it's unlikely to sell anywhere nearly as well as the iPad Mini, Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD, in some cases due to branding rather than quality, we think it's definitely worth considering for anyone not already hooked on a certain brand or ecosystem. But please, Kobo - get iPlayer sorted out soon.

Read full review

Less

Mobile Syrup

A winning combination of form and function

from Mobile Syrup

The Arc is a great 7-inch tablet, better in many respects than the Nexus 7. It has a sharper display, superior speakers, higher build quality and a cheaper price. What it doesn’t have is Google’s ongoing support, so newer versions of the software will still be behind what you’d find on a Nexus device....

More

The Arc is a great 7-inch tablet, better in many respects than the Nexus 7. It has a sharper display, superior speakers, higher build quality and a cheaper price. What it doesn’t have is Google’s ongoing support, so newer versions of the software will still be behind what you’d find on a Nexus device.

There are plenty of accessories for the Arc, including interchangeable backs and custom cases and sleeves. This amounts to plenty of customization opportunities and excellent gift options, something that Kobo is pushing very hard with this tablet.

At $199 for the 16GB model, $249 for the 32GB and $299 for the 64GB model, there is tremendous value to be had. It’s cheaper than the Nexus 7 and equivalent 7-inch tablets in the first two configurations, but it’s the 64GB model that has me most intrigued. For less than $300 you have enough storage to keep all your favourite books, movies, music and files in one spot.

The Arc is a fantastic little tablet, and a testament to the strength of the Kobo name. The company is quickly becoming competitive with companies that have been doing hardware for years, and have struck the perfect balance between custom software and Google’s own strengths. It’s not perfect, but it’s extremely close for the price.

Read full review

Less

Expert Reviews

A competitively priced eBook reader tablet that rivals the Nexus 7 for flexibility

from Expert Reviews

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. Y...More

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 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.

Read full review

Less



User Reviews


Kobo Arc - a step backwards for e readers

I won a Kobo Arc as a prize in a draw. Very great to start with given I have had a first generation kindle for years that I like but it is limited to black and white. The price (zero) was about right. The unit is a power hog, buggy and has a very long/complicated setup. the current issue (...More
I won a Kobo Arc as a prize in a draw. Very great to start with given I have had a first generation kindle for years that I like but it is limited to black and white. The price (zero) was about right. The unit is a power hog, buggy and has a very long/complicated setup. the current issue (unresolved) is that when plugged in to recharge - upon reaching 100% charge I lost all power and functionality. No window, no data and loss of all purchases. Conceptually I like the size and clarity of the screen but to be inundated with advertising every time I turn it on what I see is a purchased commercial rather than a handy device. Less
Unknown

Great Tablet/ Ereader

I love this tablet, I have been using tapestries to help keep myself organized with school notes. The front facing speakers add a better experience for games and movies, as well as audio novels. The value is definitely there.
John

Font size inadequate

For a person with poor vision, tablets are a way to continue enjoying reading. The font choices and the sizes available are inadequate to enable me to read this tablet. I was lead to believe that font sizes could be adjusted via touch screen (thumb & finger) but not so.The available adjustment just don't allow a big enough font
For a person with poor vision, tablets are a way to continue enjoying reading. The font choices and the sizes available are inadequate to enable me to read this tablet. I was lead to believe that font sizes could be adjusted via touch screen (thumb & finger) but not so.The available adjustment just don't allow a big enough font Less

Kobo Arc Videos