Friday, 3 January 2014

The Digital Reader

The Digital Reader

Video Review: Kobo Arc 10HD Android Tablet

Posted: 03 Jan 2014 05:05 PM PST

Still wondering Arc 10 HDif Kobo’s 10″ tablet is for you? This video should help make up your mind.

K T Bradford (she writes for Liliputing and other blogs) posted this video review a few days ago which takes you through the basic abilities of the Arc 10HD. She starts with the custom interface which Kobo designed for this $400 tablet and works her way through the reading experience, hardware design, and included software.

I happen to disagree with a few of the points she raises (I want a rear camera on a $400 tablet), but I can’t argue with her opinion on the lack of a microSD card slot.

She notes in the conclusion that this tablet’s hardware specs aren’t much better than the competition, but if you’re into reading then this tablet is worth considering.

Her nuanced opinion that this tablet is better for reading magazines than books. The larger screen does wonders for magazine style content (I bet content like cookbooks would also look great), but a reader of books might be better served by Kobo’s 7″ tablets.

If you ask me, I think the $500 iPad Air is the better buy than the Arc 10HD. Yes, it’s $100 more, but it weighs less and has better battery life, cameras and a more capable CPU. I don’t think Kobo’s improved reading experience outweighs the much better hardware on Apple’s latest tablet.

The post Video Review: Kobo Arc 10HD Android Tablet appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Acer, DreamWorks to Launch Android Tablets at CES 2014

Posted: 03 Jan 2014 07:29 AM PST

When acer android tablet 22012 came and went I thought it was the year of the Android tablet, but it looks like I might have misjudged a bit.

Acer and DreamWorks (yes, the movie studio) have each revealed today that they’re launching tablets at CES 2014 next week. Acer’s tablets are fairly typical for their price range, but it looks like Dreamworks may have decided to dabble in a hardware/content bundle.

Acer has revealed that they have a couple 7″ and 8″ budget tablets in the works.  The cheaper tablet is about on par with what you can already buy for $99 or so, only now you can get one with a prettier shell and a better brand name on the case.

The Iconia B1-720 features a 7″ screen, dual-core CPU, and an estimated 5 hours of battery life all for a price tag of $230. The Iconia A1-830 has a 7.9″ screen, a dual-core Intel chip, and a $180 price tag.

The Acer Iconia B1-720 has a 1.3 GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage, and a microSD card slot. I don’t have any info on the screen resolution nor can I tell you the resolution of the single camera, but Acer is saying that this tablet has front-facing speakers (a big plus, IMO) 5 hours of battery life, and it will be running Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean.

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The Iconia A1-830 features a 7.9″ screen with the same resolution as the one on the original iPad Mini screen, a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 Clover trail+ CPU, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, and a microSD card slot. This tablet has front and rear cameras (2MP and 5MP), Wifi, Bluetooth, and like its smaller brethren it will be running Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean.

This could be the mid-sized tablet that sets the standard for the new year. Intel chips are usually significantly more capable than ARM chips, so I would expect this tablet to outperform other 7.9″ tablets in its price range.

But I’m not so sure how it will compete against the DreamWorks tablet.

The NYTimes is reporting that this movie studio is planning to launch a $300 Android tablet later this year. Details are less than complete, but I do know that the tablet will be based on hardware developed by Fuhu, the kids tablet maker. It’s going to be called the DreamTab.


The complete specs have not been shared, but DreamWorks is saying that the first DreamTab will have an 8″ screen, front-facing camera and speakers, and will also have tech that enables it to communicate wirelessly with DreamWorks-made toys (NFC, RFID, ?). A second model is planned for later in the year (with a 12″ screen).

From the way they’re taking it sounds like DreamWorks sees this tablet less as a hardware venture and more as a distribution channel for their content:

Now DreamWorks has partnered with a technology company, Fuhu, on an even more immediate way to reach itty-bitty eyeballs, a highly coveted audience: a tablet computer for children that the studio will be able to program much like a cable channel. "We could push out a new character moment every day of the year," said Jim Mainard, head of digital strategy and new business development for DreamWorks.

It will also feature custom software and will sell alongside a range of DreamWorks-branded accessories, including headphones, protective bumpers and carrying cases,


The post Acer, DreamWorks to Launch Android Tablets at CES 2014 appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Infographic: Amazon’s 4th Social Network is Growing By Leaps & Bounds

Posted: 03 Jan 2014 05:48 AM PST

Goodreads 1388556314-1388556314_goodreads_miscimmediately became Amazon’s social networking crown jewel when the retailer acquired it in March 2013, and in the past 9 months it has continued to grow unabated.

Earlier this week they posted an infographic which touted their success over the past year.

This online community now boasts nearly twice as many members as they had at the end of 2012, and those members were terribly busy. Over 294 million titles were added to member’s bookshelves in 2013 and 20 million pages were read in the past calendar year. Book reviews topped 29 million.

Amazon had been investing in book-focused social networks for some years before they bought Goodreads. They had launched their own network at, acquired a partial interest in LibraryThing when they bought AbeBooks, and Amazon also bought Shelfari in August 2008.


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