Kobo Arc 10HD review

Kobo's iPad challenger is definite value for money

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The Arc 10HD tablet is a strong contender for the best moderately expensive Christmas gift of 2013. It's stylish in true Kobo fashion, has an outstanding screen, and it's cheaper than the iPad Air.

Kobo has come out swinging to challenge Apple's featherweight tablet and it's landed a few blows. That's not to say the Arc 10HD isn't without its problems: it's very heavy, there's no rear camera and there seems to be a technical fault with the Wi-Fi when in sleep mode.

Kobo isn't a household name and this probably isn't the tablet to carry it over the threshold - but it is a large step in the right direction.

We liked

The stunning 2,560 x 1,600 screen is a triumph in resolution technology and a genuine pleasure to look at.

Just like every other device in Kobo's repertoire, the Arc 10HD is very well designed. The smooth, black, hard plastic casing gives the tablet an almost regal quality and the buttons don't protrude so there's little chance of accidental pressing.

The Kobo reading experience is also a success. Although this is executed better on Kobo's smaller tablets and eReaders, it's still nice on the Arc 10HD, and Kobo's attention to detail with the Reading Mode and Beyond the Book apps are genuine enhancements.

We disliked

The glitches. Wi-Fi turns off every time the Arc 10HD goes into sleep mode but it doesn't come back on once the device is woken up. It has to be turned on manually. This is a pretty serious flaw.

There's an ever-so-slight bit of lag when gliding around menus. It's not game changing, but it's noticeable enough to irk over time.

The lack of a rear camera this isn't a major loss of functionality for a tablet this size - but it is an omission, and the quality of the front-facing camera should have been improved.

Final verdict

This is a high-end tablet that is competitively priced. It stylish, powerful and cheaper than the iPad Air.

The addition of a micro-HDMI out port is a welcome bit of extra connectivity that marks the Kobo Arc 10HD out from other high-end tablets.

But the real star of the show is the highly impressive 2,500 x 1,600 screen.

The Wi-Fi and weight issues are drawbacks, but they don't mar the overall experience. The Wi-Fi glitch hopefully can be fixed with a software update. And while a smaller tablet would work better as a standalone reader, the Arc 10HD offers enough as a tablet to justify its size.

All this considered, the Kobo Arc 10HD is definite value for money.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity16 GB
Processor ManufacturerNVIDIA
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Maximum Battery Run Time9.50 Hour
HDMIYes
Product FamilyArc 10HD
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformAndroid
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
Brand NameKobo
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.80 GHz
Processor TypeTegra 4
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Screen Resolution2560 x 1600
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)627 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Height172 mm
Width253 mm
Depth9.9 mm
Screen ModeWQXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3L SDRAM
ManufacturerKobo, Inc
Product NameArc 10HD Tablet
Product LineArc 10HD
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part NumberK110-KU-BK-K-EU16
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.koboereader.com
Marketing InformationLimitless reading

Access over 3.5 million of the best titles in books, magazines, comics and kids' titles, including New York Times best sellers, classics, and new releases. Or, get off the beaten path and discover up and coming authors and books through Kobo Writing Life. Conveniently browse and download over Wi Fi.

All about Android

Uncompromised Android experience. Powered by the fully customizable Android 4.2, Jellybean, you have access to over 1 million of the latest apps and games through Google Play. We've even pre-loaded a wide selection of apps to get you started. Share your tablet with your family without changes to your set up - multiple personal accounts are supported.

Package Contents
  • Arc 10HD Tablet
  • AC adapter
  • USB Cable
  • Documentation