This week Kobo decided to give us a lesson in how to secretly launch new gadgets on the same day as Amazon. While the Amazon event was covered extensively by everyone both on that day and weeks before hand (some blogs sent a half dozen people), it seems that only a handful of blogs covered the Kobo event.
Of course, it didn't help that Kobo held the event in Toronto and not where the blogs have offices like say, New York, but I think their biggest mistake was timing. There's such a lack of coverage that I have found just the one hands on video for the Kobo Arc, Kobo's new 7" Android tablet to go along with the single unboxing video for the Kobo Mini and Kobo Glo.
It's from a blog called Mobile Syrup, and it appears to have been shot in an overly bright hallway. Even so, the video stills manages to show off some of the Kobo Arc's features, including a new way to organize your content. This is definitely worth watching.
The arc is running Android 4.0 on a dual core 1.5MHz CPU with a 1.3MP camera, 2 front facing speakers, Android Market, SRS sound, and more. The 8GB model sells for $199, and the 16GB model goes for $249. The 7" Kindle Fire HD, on the other hand, has better Wifi, a similar screen resolution, more storage (16GB at $199), a camera with unknown resolution, Bluetooth, and access to all the content sold by Amazon. About the only way the Arc beats the KF HD is the CPU speed (1.5GHz vs 1.2Ghz), and that difference means less than you might think.
So once again Kobo is a step behind the competition. And this is the company who thinks they're Amazon's only real global competition? I wonder what they've been smoking.