TABLET MAKER Kobo has expanded its line of tablets and ereaders today, unveiling several devices aimed at making waves in markets dominated by Apple's iPad and Amazon's Kindle.
Kobo's fresh tablet range includes two 7in models, the Kobo Arc 7 and Kobo Arc 7HD, and a 10in tablet, the Kobo Arc 10HD. The firm has also brought a small addition to its ereader lineup with the Aura, a cheaper alternative to the Aura HD that has a somewhat lower quality screen.
Powered by Nvidia Tegra chips, the Arc 7HD and the Arc 10HD have quad-core Tegra 4 1.7Ghz and a Tegra 4 1.8GHz processors, respectively.
The 10HD tablet display has 2560x1600 resolution, higher than that of Apple's Retina display on its iPad 4 tablet, which has 2048x1536 resolution. It runs the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean mobile operating system (OS), and has 2GB of RAM, a 1.3MP front facing camera, 802.11 WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and Miracast support for screen sharing. It will cost £299 when it arrives in the UK.
The smaller equivalent of the 10HD, the 7HD also runs Android and has 1920x1200 resolution along with 1GB of RAM, a front-facing 1.3 MP HD camera, and a battery that the firm claims will last up to eight hours. The 7in tablet will come in black, priced at £159.99 for the 16GB model or £189.99 for the 32GB model. That's £80 cheaper than Apple's iPad Mini, which starts at £269 and has a screen with relatively low 1024x768 resolution.
The Kobo Arc 7 is an entry-level device aimed at first-time users. With a 1024x600 resolution screen, 8GB of internal storage and a compact body, it runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean on an MTK 8125 1.2GHz quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM. Kobo said this will cost just £119.99 when it hits the market.
Finally, Kobo added a new 6in ereader device to its lineup of ereader tablets to rival Amazon's Kindle. Named simply the Kobo Aura, the ereader is available in black and pink. It joins the recently released Kobo Aura HD as a more affordable, slightly smaller ereader, with a slightly lower quality 212dpi Pearl E Ink screen.
"With 4GB of storage, up to 3,000 books, expandable up to 32GB with a microSD card, Kobo Aura has a battery life of up to two months, making it perfect for passionate readers," Kobo said. Kobo has set the price of the Aura at £119.99.
Kobo also enhanced its Reading Life tablet user experience for better access to content alongside customisations based on reading habits.
"On the new Kobo Arc series of tablets, the home screen showcases readers' recent activity and personalised recommendations," Kobo explained. "A swipe to the left takes readers into an uncompromised Android experience including access to the full Google Play Store. To the right of the home screen, readers discover a personalised bookshelf where they can collect and organise eBooks, magazines, and other multimedia."
Kobo has confirmed that the Aura will launch in the UK on 16 September, while the Kobo Arc tablets will land on 16 October. µ
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