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CNET First Look
The Kobo Arc will not inspire youThe Kobo Arc is a fine tablet, but isn't much beyond that.
Sure we all love our 7-inch tablets, but what's really appealing about them is that most cost only about $200, and given that most 7-inch tablets are about the same price, they each need something special in order to stand out. The Kobo Arc attempts to do this with a customized interface, an enhanced folder feature called Tapestries and ever-present recommendations at the bottom of the home screen, but that attempt unfortunately comes up short. Hi, I'm Eric Franklin and today I'll take a first look at the Kobo Arc. The Kobo Arc feels a little heavy for a 7-inch tablet and features an unrefined design. It's kind of blocky, and the bezel isn't flushed with the screen. Overall, it feels a bit antiquated as the tablet market standard goes. The Arc includes a micro USB port for charging and file transfers, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, microphone, ambient light sensor, power/sleep button, volume rocker, headphone jack, and 2 front-facing speakers. Also the back cover can be removed and replaced with a different colored one at an additional cost. The Arc ships with a custom version of Ice Cream Sandwich and features something of an enhanced folder system that allows you to organize apps, widgets, pics, and save articles you want to read later in a folder-like place on the tablet. Kobo calls these Tapestries and while they're useful, they don't offer any significant features beyond what folders do. The other custom feature is the discover ribbon which is essentially an ever-present scroll of recommendations at the bottom of the home screen, and by ever-present, I mean it never goes away, and as far as I can tell, there's no way to disable it. Apps loaded about the same speed as they do on a Nexus 7 which is quick enough but games run at a noticeably higher frame rate on the Arc, thanks to its OMAP 4470 processor. The Kobo Arc starts at $200 for 16 gigabytes of storage. For more information, check out my full review. Once again, I'm Eric Franklin and this has been a first look at the Kobo Arc.