Kobo, in what seems like a preemptive attack on Amazon and their next Kindle Fire, has announced a new 7-inch Android-based tablet.  Called the Kobo Arc, it is the $200 successor to the Kobo Vox.

Details for the device are pretty decent when compared to other products in the price range and include a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, a 7-inch 1280 x 800 HD IPS display, 720p HD front facing camera (2-megapixel), microUSB, and Wi-Fi connectivity.  The Kobo Arc comes preloaded with the full Google Play experience, something that neither the Nook Tablet nor Kindle Fire can claim.  Additional apps include Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Rdio, Zinio, and PressReader.

Powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Kobo advises that it will receive Android 4.1 Jelly Bean “within a few months time”. Look for the Kobo Arc in either black or white color options and a choice of 8GB ($199) and 16GB ($349) storage capacities.

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  1. They just killed it with the pricing. The specs for the 8GB version are close, but not quite equal to the Nexus 7, and the Nexus 7 doesn’t have to say “we’ll upgrade it to the latest and greatest…in a few month’s time. We promise.” The 16GB version is waaaay overpriced compared to the Nexus 7, making it an even worse buy. Why would someone even bother? Just go Google!

  2. This tab has expandability which Nexus 7 doesn’t – biggest drawback of Nexus 7. Plus e-reading friendly settings/screen which Nexus 7 doesn’t have either. It’s supposed to also allow you to pin web pages, apps, pics, music etc. within folders which should allow better organization of anyone’s interests/style/usage. The 16 GB is supposed to be $250. The things it doesn’t seem to have is Microphone, GPS, accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope which Nexus 7 has. Those are useful for many apps incl games. Plus it doesn’t appear to have things like HDMI and other useful connections, but these are missing on Nexus, Samsung and many other tabs. Kobo is mostly competing with ebook tabs on this one, with a more open platform of apps and customizability than Amazon’s current offerings, but since there are new ones on the way, we’ll have to see how they compare.

  3. I wouldn’t even call this an attack. (1) There’s no way Arc’s screen is as tough as Fire HD’s “Child Play” screen. (2) The Dual-band, Dual-antenna Wi-Fi will make a huge difference in terms of surfing on the Internet. If anything, Apple should be watching out from behind its back, because the turtle is slowly creeping up on the hare! (3) Arc will be 2 months behind in sales. Try catching up to Kindle Fire HD now! And then out of nowhere pops the iPad Mini (which have yet to be announced by Apple). Good luck, Kobo. For the money, your best bet is on the Kindle Fire HD right now for the holidays.

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