Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Kindle Fire HD VS Kobo Arc

 So let me guess, you are thinking something in the lines of this: While the Kindle Fire HD is selling like a wildfire this guy is writing about some Kobo Arc? What's the Kobo Arc anyway?!

 Indeed, what is the Kobo Arc and what sort of impact could it possibly have on the tablet ecosystem and why would I be comparing it to the Kindle Fire HD? Well, for one reason it is because I love variate and like it when I have different choices that I can make. The Kobo Arc is certainly an improvement to the previous Kobo Vox and is a product from a Canadian-based company that is in the digital books market. The previous Amazon Kindle Fire would perhaps have a hard time dealing with this new Kobo Arc, but I think that, at least right off the bat, the Kindle Fire HD may not be a better choice. But let us look at what the Arc has to offer and why the KF HD is or isn't superior.

  So the start off, let us note that both the Kindle Fire HD and the Kobo Arc are a 7 inch tablet with a similar purpose and price range. Therefor this is a battle of quality but also of the features as both devices are meant for users to get the most out of the available content and of the content that they plan on purchasing. Keeping this in mind I am more interested in which tablet has a better display, content ecosystem and better multimedia support.

 Right off the bat people will go on about the Kobo Arc having a superior 1.5 GHz TI OMAP 4470 processor while the Kindle Fire HD (7 inch model) sports a smaller 1.2 GHz dual-core processor. While an important feature, I wouldn't call it a major advantage as I often work on devices that have an even weaker processor yet they perform their task very well. Sure, if I were buying a laptop or a PC I would spend a lot of time thinking this part over, but between the two I find the difference of less importance than some other features that these tablets are supposed to have.

 In terms of memory you already know by now that the Kindle Fire HD 7 inch tablet costs $199 and offers 16 GB of storage room, while a 32 GB model costs $249. The Kobo Arc positions itself like the Nexus 7 and offers a 8 GB model for the price of $199 and a 16 GB model for the price of $249. This wouldn't matter much if the Kobo Arc had SD Card support, but since it doesn't, this is an issue for me. There is certainly some cloud storage alternatives and such, but I would feel more comfortable with a 16 GB Kindle Fire HD + an Amazon cloud than with whatever the Kobo Arc has to offer. 

 This is of course talking storage wise, but there still a lot of major features to look into. So let me continue.

kindle fire hd vs kobo arc
The Kobo Arc

 Both devices use a forked version of the Android OS, more accurately of the Ice Cream Sandwich. The idea is to promote their own content and create a closed ecosystem in which you will be spending your hard-earned dollars. What I like about the Kobo Arc though is that it is more user-oriented and doesn't just try to push ads from its store. There a few cool features such as the ability to pin the things you like and get RSS updates from you favorite sites on your home screen. Another important thing to note is that the Kobo Arc also has Google Play installed which means you will get access to all those amazing apps! Now I sound like I am a fan of the device don't I?

 The thing is that I do not  like forked versions of any OS and I am not such a big fan of what Amazon does. Yet I love their store as it has a lot more content than any other. What I did on the first Kindle Fire generation of tablets is that I rooted it and put Google Play right on there - that was the best of both worlds! And of course there are other sites where one can find all those awesome apps and games.

 So if you are a bit tech savvy or willing to learn some tricks there is no reason to think that the Kindle Fire HD is a handicapped device because it doesn't use Google Play. This is just silly. This is isn't the iOS, you can actually play around with your device a lot if you know how.

 So my verdict on the Kindle Fire HD vs the Kobo Arc battle of the tablets? The Amazon tablet wins it from me as I think I am going to be able to use it to its full power and I cannot wait to see what this double-band WiFi antenna can do. 

 And while the Kobo Arc is a good tablet, I would rather buy a Google Nexus 7 over it for the price as Kobo just doesn't suit my needs with its content. What do you think?

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