Kobo has trumped Amazon by announcing three new tablets, an eReader and a new digital magazine store...and one month before the expected launch of the next Kindle Fire tablets.
Kobo announced the new Arc tablets (Arc 7, Arc 7 HD and Arc 10 HD) and the Kobo Aura, a 6-inch eReader with an e-Ink display, at a special event in New York City on Tuesday evening and said that the new slates are geared up for digital readers.
Of the three tablets, the Kobo Arc 10 HD tablet boasts the most impressive specs, with an Nvidia Tegra 4 1.8GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 10-inch 2560 x 1600 resolution display and offering Full HD (1080p) video playback.
The WiFi-only slate, which will start from $399.99 and which first appeared online at the end of last month, also features a front-facing 1.3MP camera, dual stereo speakers, Bluetooth 4.0 and Miracast support for Wi-Fi media streaming.
However, while that tablet may be lined up to compete with Amazon’s forthcoming 9-inch Kindle Fire HD, Kobo’s two other tablets are for the low-end Android market.
The Kobo Arc 7 ($149.99) will be marketed as a starter eReader for first-time users, while the same-sized Arc 7 HD offers a powerful Tegra 3 1.7GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 1920 x 1200 resolution display, 1080p video playback, a 1.3MP camera and up to eight hours of battery life.
The Toronto-based firm also announced the new 6-inch Aura eReader (to cost $149.99 when it launched on September 16), which is thinner and lighter than the previous model. The front-lit device has a high resolution display, 4GB of storage and a microSD card to expand to 32GB. The battery can last for up to two months.
Kobo’s launch event wasn’t solely focused on new hardware however, with the firm expanding its collection of eBooks for children, launching a digital magazine store and partnering with read-it-later service Pocket so that Kobo readers can -- via their e-Ink devices -- send articles and webpages for offline reading.
The new online magazine store is to launch in North America next month before debuting internationally later in the year. And in a similar way to how users navigate to Apple’s own Newsstand, users will be able to access the store with Kobo’s free eReading apps for iOS and Android.