Founded in 2009 in Canada and acquired in 2011 by Japanese tech giant Rakuten, Kobo has been a fairly shy presence in the gadget world so far. Their e-readers are sizzling hot up North, where they’ve been outselling Kindles for more than a year, but worldwide they’re a mere blip on Amazon’s radar.
Understanding the e-reader pie is much too small for it to be worth a fight against Amazon, Kobo has upped the ante late last year, unveiling the 7-inch Arc tablet with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor and prices starting at $200.
And though the Arc has gone mostly unnoticed by the vast majority of tech websites and blogs, it appears something about it has made Kobo believe there’s room for expansion. And not just any kind of expansion, as the company has earlier today took the wraps off not one, not two, but three spanking new slates.
By far the most impressive member of the trio is the Arc 10HD, which packs a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 CPU (hey, what do you know, the platform is not so deserted as some thought), plus a sensational 10-inch 2,560 x 1,600 pix res display.
Not only that, but the Arc 10HD also comes with 2 GB of RAM in tow, pre-loaded Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, 16 GB of on-board storage, microSD support, micro HDMI connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, a front-facing 1.3 MP camera and a battery supposedly capable of running for up to 9.5 hours on a single charge.
If that’s not an impressive list of features, I don’t know what is. And that’s not it. Kobo plans to launch the 10-incher in UK on October 16 for the equivalent of $465 (£299.99), which means in the US it could cost as less as $350.
Looking a little lower on the Android food chain, we also have the Kobo Arc 7HD and Arc 7, set to go on sale on British shores for $250 (£159.99) and $185 (£119.99) respectively. The former is basically the company’s attempt at a direct Nexus 7 competitor, though the spec sheet is… let’s say bittersweet: 1,920 x 1,200 pix res panel, 1 GB of RAM, Android 4.2, 1.7 GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU, 16 or 32 GB of storage.
Meanwhile, the Arc 7 has very few aces up its sleeve aside from low pricing, sporting a sub-par 1,024 x 600 pixel display and packing a modest quad-core 1.2 GHz MediaTek SoC beneath the hood.
Source: Android Central