Monday, November 17, 2014

Kobo Arc 64GB Review

I purchased a Kobo Arc 64GB tablet when it was on sale about a month ago in order to replace my old Acer Iconia Tab A100 Android that stopped working.

I thought that I would review the product after using it for over one month.

The Kobo Arc sports a 64GB storage capacity and has a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor. It comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system,
7-inch colour LCD touchscreen with 1280 x 800 HD resolution, integrated Wi-Fi, and of course USB connectivity.

What I like about the Kobo Arc is that it is relatively fast or at least faster than my old Acer Iconia Tab A100 tablet. It is dual-core so is not as fast and as responsive as some of the other Android tablets that are now quad-core but I still find it relatively responsive. What I like about the 64GB storage capacity is that this capacity (unlike how the Acer Iconia Tab A100 tablet was configured) is not partitioned to appear as external storage and internal storage. What this means is if you're like me where you install a lot of Android applications and don't store a lot of pictures, videos, documents, and music, you are free to use up most of the 64GB on Android applications. For example, on my old Samsung Nexus-S, I have over 4GB of free space left but did not have enough room to install any Android applications because I had already used almost all of the portion of space required for the Android applications. With my newer LG Nexus-4, I could use almost all of the storage space to install the many Android applications that I wanted to use or test without any issues.

One of the first applications that I installed on my Kobo Arc was XBMC (which is now called Kodi and the software can be downloaded from I find the XBMC works very well on it. It would not work on my Acer Iconia Tablet for some reason.

Another application that I installed on it was Netflix and I find that the videos look very nice on the Kobo Arc.

One of the things that I didn't really like was that a lot of applications from the Google Play store that I use regularly were listed as incompatible on the Kobo Arc. For example, most of my banking applications could not be installed from the Google Play store including PayPal nor could the Bell TV application that I sometimes use to watch television shows/episodes. With Android, it is relatively easy to install "incompatible" applications so this is the route that I took for those applications that I wanted to have on my Kobo Arc.

Another negative about this Android tablet is that the built-in encryption feature doesn't work. I like to encrypt almost all my devices as a security measure in case of loss and even though the Kobo Arc has the encryption option within the standard Android Settings menu, it doesn't seem to work. I will allow you to go through the steps of encryption without displaying any error messages but it won't do anything.

I wanted a replacement Android tablet mainly for reading and for watching videos. In terms of the tablet's ability to display the Kobo books that I have, I found it to be relatively responsive in terms of turning the pages and how fast it would display the pages. It was definitely faster than how my Kobo Mini would display the pages or turn to the next page. I use my Kobo Arc for reading newspapers and PDF books. Since you can install Adobe Reader on the Kobo Arc (it is afterall an Android tablet), it does a lot better job at displaying and rendering the PDF books than my old Kobo Mini.

I like the fact that the charging port (unlike the proprietary charging port that my Acer tablet used) is a standard microUSB port.

I am not to crazy about the homepage/skin of the Kobo Arc. It is called Tapestries. You can see a YouTube video on Tapestries *HERE* on YouTube or use the video located below.

If you are interested in the Kobo Arc User Guide in PDF format, you can also download it *HERE* or from the company's own website *HERE*.

If you can get the Kobo Arc on sale at a good price, I have no problems recommending it.

If you have any questions/comments regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section. Please note that comments are moderated and any comment that contains an embedded URL link will be flagged as being spam and will not be posted.


  1. I just purchased a kobo arc and was disappointed about the bell app not being compatible. Could you point me towards a workaround?

    1. Thanks Kristin for taking the time to read my blog and to post your comment/question.

      Yes, as mentioned in my review, a lot of applications on the Google Play Store are listed as "not compatible" for the Kobo. However, with Android devices, this normally isn't a big deal.

      When you mention the "Bell App" are you referring to the "Bell TV" app or one of the other Bell apps like the "MyBell Mobile" app?