Kindle might be the most coveted brand in the e-reader business, but rival Kobo has been plying its own wares in the same space since 2010 and with its new range announced yesterday it's aiming to give Amazon a run for its money in both the e-reader and budget Android tablet markets. And as we covered previously today, Kobo's new products might be the only choice for many Australian users since it seems Amazon isn't bringing the lion's share of its updated range to our shores.
The star of Kobo's show is the new Arc tablet, which will arrive on Australian shelves in November. It's a 7-inch Android tablet running 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU and 1GB RAM. The Arc's display offers a 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution, and the device will ship in 8GB (for $249.99) and 16GB ($299.99) variants. Unlike Amazon, which uses a famously locked-down and hidden Android OS in its Kindle Fire series, Kobo is pointedly promoting the benefits of its 'open' Ice Cream Sandwich implementation. Also announced by Kobo yesterday are updates to its e-reader series, with the 5-inch Kobo Mini ($99) and front-lit Kobo Glo ($159) due for local release next month. Pre-orders are available now from Collins Booksellers.