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Kobo Arc review

7.2/10 AVG.

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
1.5 GHz
Screen Size

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 Mag


- Lisa Eadicicco, Laptop Mag
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)


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Quick view

Screen Size

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

1.5 GHz

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


The tablet runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

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

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


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

Kobo Arc Specs

Release date November 16, 2012
Regions available USA, Canada
Mobile / Cellular Data
No (Option available)
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System No

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Processor Dual-core 1.5 GHz
Internal Storage 16/32/64 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible 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
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
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth No
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
Memory Expansion Slot No
Expansion Slot Info No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
Main Camera
Dual lens
Additional Main Camera Info
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
2+ megapixels
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
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert No
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 -
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Kobo K107

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