Kobo Arc Review!

Posted October 24, 2013 by Kaitlynn in 4 stars, product review, review / 10 Comments

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Up until recently, I was not a big fan of e-readers.  In fact, I did everything I could to avoid reading ebooks.  That changed when my physical books started taking over every bit of spare room in my house.  Now I’m a huge fan of ebooks and I’m quickly exploring the world of e-readers.  My most recent e-reader is the Kobo Arc.  Kobo provided me with a Kobo Arc for review and here is my totally honest opinion!
First off, the Kobo Arc is not just an e-reader, it’s also a fully functional Android tablet.  I use the e-reading feature more than any other but it’s nice to have the option to use it as a tablet.  It’s equipped with the Google Play Store which means thousands of apps are right at your fingertips.  You can even get other e-reader apps so if you have books on other devices, you can get them right on your Kobo.  There’s no need for more than one device with the Kobo Arc.
It has a 7′ screen that’s clear, crisp, and easy to see (even without glasses if you’re blind like me.)  The screen brightness has a great automatic setting that isn’t too bright or too dim but if you like it brighter or darker, there’s a simple way to change the brightness.  There is a slight glare (as always) in bright lights such as the sun but if you use the Kobo Arc indoors, the screen won’t hurt your eyes at all.  
The e-reading experience on the Kobo Arc is lovely.  The Kobo store is easy to use and you can download books with the touch of a button.  (They also send quite a few coupons through email which are both great and terrible.  I always feel like I need to buy books if they are cheaper than normal.)  Once downloaded you can adjust the brightness and font size of the book to situate your own needs.  You can even change the margins, line spacing, and background/text color. It’s super easy to do that as well as highlight and bookmark pages and sections.  
Also, like I mentioned earlier, you can download other e-reader apps such as the Kindle app.  That way, if you have books in Kindle format, you can read them on your Kobo.  The same can be done with the Nook app.  It’s super handy to have all e-reader apps on one device.
One of my favorite things about the Kobo Arc is the size and texture.  It’s not a large device (unlike many tablets) so it’s easy to hold.  It’s not bulky at all and not very heavy either.  You can easily hold it in just one hand.  The back of the Kobo Arc has a textured plate (that you can switch out) that makes gripping and holding onto the Kobo very easy.  I have a tendency to drop things and I haven’t had that happen with my new Kobo (yet.)

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Another great feature is the Tapestries feature.  It’s a Kobo specific feature that tracks what you like and suggests more things for you to check out.  It’s a lot like Goodreads’ feature where it tracks your books and recommends similar ones.  Kobo’s Tapestry feature, however, does not just include books.  It’s a clever little tool that’s definitely alerted me to some things I wouldn’t normally have checked out.
My only complaints about the Kobo Arc are two minor things.  First, some apps freeze quite a bit.  I don’t know if it’s specific to certain apps or if it’s just the Kobo itself but they do freeze and sometimes you just have to let it sit for a little while before it will start functioning normally again.  My only other complaint is with the speakers.  There are two front facing speakers at the bottom of the device.  I love that they are front facing but the sound quality is not that great.  Once you get past a certain volume, things start to sound very tinny and just kind of bad.  It’s a minor complaint because I really don’t need anything on the Kobo to be that loud but you do have to remember that when turning up the volume.  
Overall, the Kobo Arc is a great option if you’re looking for a small tablet and e-reader.  It’s a great price, has great features, and offers a wonderful reading experience.  I would highly recommend the Kobo Arc for dedicated fans of e-readers or someone looking for their first e-reader.
You can purchase your own Kobo Arc at the Kobo website.(These are not associate links.  I do not get any money from readers using these links.)
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10 responses to “Kobo Arc Review!

  1. You can actually read Kindle and nook books on it? Holy cow! Want! I get so sad when someone tells me a book is free.. and then it links me to amazon 🙁 Then I go look it up on Nook and it’s like $5 🙁 I know 5 isn’t alot.. but Sometimes I just can’t afford it and want a good freebie! ~Chelle

  2. I really like that you can get the kindle app, I hate when some books are only available for kindle. Another great thing would be that it’s smaller. I have a Kindle Fire and it’s just so heavy that I don’t like to use it much. I never read on it anymore. I love my Kindle Paperwhite but this sounds like something I might consider if I’m in the market for a tablet like device.

  3. This sounds like a great reader. I have had a Sony reader, Nook, and I now read on my iPad but I’ve been thinking of getting something smaller. I love that you can download all the reader apps. that what I use on my iPad but it is a little bulky and expensive to haul around every where. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Kobo makes great products and they are so underappreciated in the market. Thank you for this great review! I own an Arc and have used the mini and love them both. I’ve used other ereaders like Sony and the iPad and I think Kobo is just the best out there.

    • If you get a Kobo tablet (like the one I have) you can read Kindle books on it. However, I don’t believe you can do that with just their regular e-readers.

  5. Christina Kit.

    I’m like you used to be, really wary of e-readers. I just like the physical books, you know? But if this one is also a tablet, something you can take with you to work on and also have books on it, then that would be perfect for me 🙂 Thank you for this product review! I never really knew anything other than the most popular ereaders and their features 🙂

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