Kobo brings eBooks to the masses with new Arc tablets, Aura eReader

New Arc 7- and 10-inch HD tablets split between Android and eReading, 6-inch Aura eReader for true bibliophiles

Canadian eBook seller and eReader-maker Kobo has four new slates to show off to the public, part of a renewed push to target a wider market while also catering to faithful fans of the brand.

The Kobo Arc 10 HD tablet.
The Kobo Arc 10 HD tablet.

The hero of the new line-up is the $499.95 Kobo Arc 10 HD, a 10-inch tablet competing with the iPad, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Nexus 10. It’s largely similar to its contemporaries, but is unique in offering both a standard Android tablet menu — complete with all the apps, notifications and distractions you’d expect — and a pared-down, reading-focused interface, which disables all distractions and offers access to Kobo’s growing library of graphic novels and interactive kids’ books alongside classic eBook fare.

A $249.95 16GB and $299.95 32GB 7-inch version of the Arc HD will also be available when the tablet line-up is released, as will a $199.95 8GB non-HD variant. All will use the same dual-mode interface. All Kobo’s Arc devices are designed to retain the entire feature-set of an Android tablet, with unrestricted access to the Google Play store and plenty of processing power, but the company is banking on its history as a book-seller to appeal to parents and occasional readers.

The Kobo Arc 7 and 7 HD tablets.
The Kobo Arc 7 and 7 HD tablets.

Part of this appeal is a move to offer more immersive and interactive content through the Kobo eBook store — including children’s literature like the Hairy Maclary series, and to further increase the appeal of its eBook library with curated, Pinterest-esque ‘Collections’ of related content, including author interviews, soundtracks, videos and audio tied in with traditional eBook titles.

Kobo’s Australian director of content acquisition, Malcolm Neil, told GoodGearGuide that the company asked its existing customers what they wanted in a new tablet. “They want a device that can watch films, that can listen to music, they want a crisp, clean screen — bigger than the 7-inch — and they want kids’ books, in particular, to be analogous to the size of an actual book.”

“There’s a whole market segment that was waiting for a solution. We’ve taken the Tapestry component of the previous Arc, and developed that further to something we call Collections — beyond the book.”

“It takes that guided approach that Tapestry had, but this is a curated enhancement to the book. It takes a stab at what a book might become in the future — there is a story, and this story will be told, but within this story is a whole lot of other ways to experience that story which is the conversation that the Web has with its users all the time. There’s already enhanced content available online, but nothing that’s put it together in this curated way — ‘Here’s the experience of the book, how deep do you want to go?’”

The Kobo Aura 6-inch eReader.
The Kobo Aura 6-inch eReader.

Far from switching its attention entirely to multimedia tablets, though, Kobo also has a new eReader in the Aura. With the Aura HD remaining popular, the Aura is a pared-down version of the existing flagship, transferring the HD’s 1GHz processor and 4GB of storage into a slightly smaller 6-inch eReader with a 212ppi Pearl eInk screen, with a Comfortlight screen light also built in. The Kobo Aura will be $189.95, $40 cheaper than the Aura HD’s recommended retail price.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Taking cybersecurity to the highest level and order now for a special discount on the world’s most awarded and trusted cybersecurity. Be aware without a care!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?