back to article Do not adjust your eyes: This Kobo ten-incher has a 2560 x 1600 resolution

Kobo has got in ahead of rival Amazon’s anticipated Kindle refresh to update its own line of reading-centric fondleslabs and e-readers: among them is a ten-incher with a monster 2560 x 1600 resolution - that's bigger than many a desktop monitor here in Vulture Central. This is the Arc 10HD tablet - ‘Arc’ being Kobo’s brand for …


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  1. an it guy
    Thumb Up

    if it works as just a tablet....

    that's cheap for that resolution of display. Can we just override the software and install a plain android os on it? That would fly and convince me to actually buy one of these tablet things.

    Seriously, that's better than any laptop display, and cheaper. I like it

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: if it works as just a tablet....

      Are the laptop pushing corporations ever going to "get it"?

      If you want a keyboard on your device then you must want a really, really shit display, a lap-burning cpu that drains a fully charged battery in femtoseconds and a pricetag that necessitates re-mortgaging... WRONG!!!!!!!one!!

      Just fit a clamshell keyboard and slightly more generous battery to something like this... FOR ABOUT THE SAME MONEY... and a larger ~14" one offering the same resolution... and Bob's yer uncle!... something PERFECT for probably ~90% of the laptop market.

      Time to revisit the "netbook" ...but this time done properly: Decent displays, Android and ARM.

      Maybe the corporations are finally starting to see the light: ...but, SERIOUSLY, cut the crap! $179 extra for detachability sWANK? $179? Seriously?

      1. Gerhard den Hollander

        Re: if it works as just a tablet....

        It would be running ARM, which is (one of the) reasons windows RT fails.

        If you want a laptop, you want to do windowsy stuff on it (for work purposes outlook 2010 connecting to exchange plus some vpn stuff that's real windows only).

        For hobby purposes, you pretty soon end up needing some stuff that's windows only (roxio dvd creator, or some silly games or ....)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: if it works as just a tablet....

          If you want a laptop, you want to do windowsy stuff on it ...

          That only explains the price, not the fact that laptops are stuck in 16:9 land with poxy vertical resolutions.

        2. ScottME

          Re: if it works as just a tablet....

          Oh puhleeze! Come out from under your Microsoft-sponsored rock.

          If your employer requires you to use Outlook, then he should supply you with the means to do so.

          For your own personal "hobby" purposes, although you may not have noticed, this century, it's perfectly possible to burn CDs using "other" operating systems and software other than that sold by Roxio. For example, OSX seems to manage it, and so does Linux, and neither requires you to pay extra for the capability. So I don't see why it can't be possible from an ARM CPU running Android (or whatever) to burn CDs. It's just a matter of the hardware supporting the relevant interface - USB is pretty ubiquitous.

          2. You don't *need* silly games. Grow up.

  2. Ralph B

    Kindle Refresh?

    > Amazon’s anticipated Kindle refresh

    Anticipated where? Not at The Reg that I've noticed. If there are rumours about new Kindles, let's hear them. Not everyone is interested only in Apple devices, you know? I for one would love to have an A3 format Kindle Paperwhite.

    1. Ralph B

      Re: Kindle Refresh?

      Hmm. I actually meant A4 format. (But A3 could be interesting too.)

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Kindle Refresh? A3 format?

        So Rolf Harris could use it for painting and as a woggle board at the same time?

      2. Ralph B

        Re: Kindle Refresh?

        Well, that's odd. The good old Kindle DX is available again. It was originally discontinued in late 2012. The only difference I can see is that the 3G coverage is now global, rather than US-only. Oh, and it's a bit cheaper now.

        Think I might buy one.

        1. Jolyon Smith

          Re: Kindle Refresh?

          3G coverage was always global. In theory.

          The Amazon coverage map is not to be relied upon however. That map shows, for example, that New Zealand is covered. We aint. The map shows where 3G is available, not where 3G carriers have agreements in place with Amazon, and that is the important part. If you are not in an area serviced by a carrier with an agreement in place with Amazon then you are stuck using a USB rat-tail and a PC to manage the content on your Kindle DX.

          I love my Kindle Touch - it's great for most reading I do. But it is less than ideal for reading technical references. The larger Kindle DX would be a perfect complement to my Touch for me, if only they added a touch screen and wi-fi either instead of or as well as 3G.

          Still waiting ... :(

          1. Ralph B

            Re: Kindle Refresh? @ Jolyon Smith

            Bugger it, you're right. The DX doesn't do WiFi - only 3G. Hadn't noticed that. Nevermind, I know the 3G is OK where I am. (Too late anyway, as it's already on it's way. :-))

    2. Chewi

      Re: Kindle Refresh?

      I plan to invest in a reader soon so I too am curious about this statement.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You must be seeing something I am not.

    I see: 7HD @ £169-190, 7 @ £120, reader @ £120, but no price for the 10HD??

    1. AndyS

      Re: @an_it_guy

      Well buried, but in the second last paragraph, it states "...the same day as the £300 10HD arrives."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @an_it_guy

        My bad. Many thanks!

    2. El Presidente

      Re: @an_it_guy

      £299 for the 10" according to the article "the same day as the £300 10HD"

      16GB though ... no expansion.

  4. Mr C

    can i finally replace my 6 year old eReader?

    Curious to read reviews about this gadget.

    I'm still on my Sony prs505 (from back in Oct '07 when it was released)

    Never had a reason to replace it, although i did have to open it up to replace the battery once though.

    Now, if this thing can truly stay awake for 10 days i might consider it.

    I doubt it will though, as it doesn't seem to have a actual eInk display so it will consume power while you're reading a page (and the machine is patiently waiting for you, a slow and imperfect sack of meat)

    Never bothered buying a tablet of any kind just for reading as it wont last alot of hours, and on a long haul flight you will run out juice before you get to your destination.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: can i finally replace my 6 year old eReader?

      "Now, if this thing can truly stay awake for 10 days i might consider it.

      I doubt it will though,"

      Even the lower quoted running time of 9.5hrs ought to be enough if the large colour screen is important enough, eg newspapers and/or magazines unless you expect to not have access to charging facilities overnight.

      Personally, I'm more than happy with e-ink for book reading and not impressed at all with tablet sized devices for that task thanks to battery life, weight,screen reflections and general eye strain, none of which are a problem on my Kindle. If my employer would pay for a kobo 10 incher, it'd be handy out in the field for instant PDF tech ref. access.

  5. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Drifting slightly OT ...

    "retina" displays - or IOW displays which exceed the resolution of the human eye.

    Am I correct in thinking that once we have reached this level of detail, then there's no point in going any further ? So 300dpi appears to be the limit - we won't be seeing a 1000dpi display anytime soon ?

    Presumably the next push is even more colours and control of brightness ?

    1. oddie
      Thumb Up

      Re: Drifting slightly OT ...

      It all depends on how close to your face you are using a device... a 300dpi TV would make no sense at all, at the distance we watch tv's you can get away with 25 dpi and you still can't make out the individual pixels (depending on how close you sit)... for my projector setup (which I think is about 25dpi), when I am 3m away I can't make out any pixelation.

      A set of glasses with a 'screen' in front of your right eye with 300 dpi however, would probably be a bit on the low side...

      which means that at one point we might actually have a purpose for screens with 1000+ dpi.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Drifting slightly OT ...

      ISTR that 4096dpi at arms length was sort of a guide for visual resolution before the advertising merchant bastardised the term.

      You arms may be more or less than a linguine though...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Drifting slightly OT ...

        I have a screen that is 305 mm and 1200 pixels high. From a distance of 4 m I was just able to see a one-pixel step in a horizontal straight line across the screen. If arm's length is a about a metre then it seems I only need about 400 dpi at that distance to be "retinal". Also, Wikipedia claims "the human eye should have a resolving power of 20 arcsecs in theory, though normally only 60 arcsecs". The 20 arcsecs correspond to about 260 dpi at one metre. So I think your "4096dpi at arms length" is probably wrong, unless you have a very very long arm.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Drifting slightly OT ...

      "Am I correct in thinking that once we have reached this level of detail, then there's no point in going any further ?"

      No, because it is marketing bullshit. 300dpi for text is "draft mode" and the eye can easily see the difference between that and 1200dpi.

      For colour images, 300dpi is about as good as you need because the colour information "takes up the slack" as it were; it's hard to see the difference between even 200dpi and 300dpi if the colour depth is good.

    4. illiad

      Re: Drifting slightly OT ...

      um, you do know that the GS4 display is 441 dpi at 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.0 inches??

      and the iphone5 is *only* 326 dpi at 640 x 1136 pixels, 4.0 inches??? looks like the GS4 has a BETTER 'retina display'...

  6. JDX Gold badge


    Those crappy YouTube and nice 1080p videos are going to look so much nicer now. And I will finally be able to read text on the screen easily.

    I guess I'll now be able to read 2pt type now, but that's not really high on my want list.

    1. Aaron Miller

      Re: Great

      Read it? You won't be able to see it.

  7. James 51

    Any chance of more details on the e-ink ereader or some coverage on the new sony model that's suppose to be annouced soon?

    1. Mike Richards

      If the Aura is the same one shipped in the late spring then it's a damn good reader. The screen is lovely, slightly bigger than most eBook readers and the front light is excellent - it's slightly blue, but it is bright, even and there's no flicker. It handles ePub (open and Adobe DRMed) and PDF documents. You can *just* about squeeze an A4 page onto the screen, but it's not particularly pleasant.

      The downside of the Aura (as with all Kobos) is that the operating system does seem to need to go for nice lie downs every now and again. Mine freezes for no apparent reason on some books (even those from the Kobo store) and the review options where you can annotate the book often freezes.

      But the battery life is excellent, it's nicely put together (if a bit of an odd shape round the back) and I'm very happy.

      I hope this isn't the end of dedicated readers, I like something that is just there for one thing and does it well for ages between charges.

  8. Salts

    Tablet and/or ereader

    Not sure about the rest of you, but I find that colour tablets as ereaders are crap when compared to the eink of a dedicated reader. I use both, the ereader is with me all the time along with my smart phone the ipad when I feel I may need it. Perhaps a tablet with eink on the back as a dual screen may change my mind.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tablet and/or ereader

      > Perhaps a tablet with eink on the back as a dual screen may change my mind.

      Or an e-ink overly/underlay to the LCD screen That's actually not a bad idea.

      1. kventin

        Re: Tablet and/or ereader

        for something not completely different look for pixelqi displays (as used in infamous olpc "100 $ notebook")

    2. Peter Mount

      Re: Tablet and/or ereader

      That's why I use an eInk kindle for reading & a tablet for browsing, I find it way easier to read.

      Going to look at the kindle dx as it's back as reading technical docs on a 6" is a bit small, the only downside.

  9. Mike Taylor

    Why the caption "Aura - last fling for Kobo e-readers?" I sincerely hope not, they're great bits of kit, and ereaders != tablets

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Problem with ereaders is they're too good. Until colour comes out why would you upgrade? The batteries last for ever, it does exactly what we need, they're sturdy and rarely implode. Unlike a tablet that seems a bit shoddy six months to a year after you purchased it.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        I don't know that I agree with you. I love both my Kobo Glo (2012) and Galaxy 8.9 (2011). Both are small and light enough to be taken on longer trips, with the tablet rather effectively replacing my notebook when I don't expect to be able to do any more work than some research and e-mail but you can't use a tablet in the sunshine.

        I would love something like the ill-fate Que for all my technical documentation. The Glo is fantastic for standard books but some tech stuff just seems to demand more space. The AuraHD is tempting is but not big enough.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I find it difficult to believe that a quad-core driving that many pixels would last for 10 days between recharges. Is the car battery just out of the frame?

    Also, what sockets does it have on it? Sounds promising, apart from the lack of a socket for extra memory. No expandability would seriously limit it's purpose for me at the price.

  11. vmistery

    I'd have to adjust my eyes to be able to benefit from that kind of resolution! I am looking forward to seeing one in real life and compare it with the iPad to see if there is any visible difference as Res is not everything

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Martin

      Hear hear. Surely most books these days effectively start life as e-books and then get printed. How can it possibly be that a new book can be OCR'd? But it happens. A recent book about the fall of Bear Stearns had multiple references on the Kindle version to Bear Steams.

  13. Frankee Llonnygog

    wins a thumbs-up for letting you prevent notifications

    I feel stupid for not having though about this before but I'd not even considered an e-book reader might op stuff up while I was reading.

    Much of that and it would soon be sledge-hammer time

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wins a thumbs-up for letting you prevent notifications

      Don't you keep your kindle on airplane mode when not downloading? Saves more power and stops any such nonsense.

      ...And stop calling me Shirley!

  14. Oli 1

    My Motorola Xoom is coming up for replacement soon, just starting to get sluggish and the weight is becoming an issue, this (looks wise) is a contender.

    No SD is probably a deal breaker though.

    When out with the camera, it is a MASSIVE aid being able to see pics on a 10" screen almost instantly

  15. Davie Dee

    Android and the Arc

    Just a foot note, the Original 7in Kobo Arc was not long ago rooted and now has a Clockworkmod recovery setup and working, you will find it in XDA developers under Kobo arc development, ROM development is slow given the lack of user experience but i wouldn't knock it just yet. So don't assume this is a lost device never to see updates, all it needs is some TLC from its users.

    I have to say that once the Kobo UI was removed from the Arc it was second to none and easily out shined the Fire HD and Nexus 7.

    If the Newer Arcs are anything like the original one then we are going to be in for a treat. as for reading on them, again, if its like the original arc then ill by getting one

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Android and the Arc

      Indeed, my wife has a 7" Arc and the display is wonderful.

  16. RobHib
    Thumb Up

    2560 x 1600 - About Time.

    2560 x 1600 -- About time.

    When that's doubled again we'll be able to kick much font hinting stuff and those nasty cheating fudges such as Clear Type.

    Right, when we eventually double 2560x1600 to 5120x3200 then computing displays will have nearly caught up to the resolution Gutenberg, Garamond, Plantin and Moretus et al easily achieved in the 15th Century!

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: 2560 x 1600 - About Time.

      I could be wrong, but I believe font hinting, unlike ClearType, is not about compensating for low resolution. Its purpose is to describe the way in which the components of a character scale differently. The differential scaling affected Gutenberg too, though it probably took a few centuries before the rules were formalised.

      As for the resolution achieved in the 15th Century, it was limited by granular phenomena just as much as today's pixel displays. The paper used was rough, the ink was grainy, and type matrices were not very accurate.

      1. RobHib

        @Kubla Cant -- Re: 2560 x 1600 - About Time.

        You're correct of course, visual hinting always applies to font size. It's the stuff that has to be tweaked because of the limits that pixelation imposes to which I was referring.

        You're also correct about the granular phenomenon and the rough paper of the period. Nevertheless, even then paper varied very considerably and some of it was remarkably good--much better than today's paperbacks for instance. Also, printing from that period onto non-paper surfaces such as vellum shows how remarkably good these artisans and craftsmen really were--the fact that we're still using their fonts, Garamond for instance, with little change a half millennium later attests to this.

        I've seen some examples of good 15th C. printing firsthand and up close and to say that I was impressed is a large understatement (mind you, as with today, much of it was also rough and ready).

        Another aspect of old printing is that it was invariably letterpress, and one remarkable aspect of good letterpress (where inking is carefully controlled etc.) is that the impression caused by the type actually enhances the resolution. This happens when the ink pools at the edges of the type and in its serifs. The pooling has a similar effect to that of overshoot correction on a video transient or of unsharp mask sharpening in photo editing, it causes a considerable degree of apparent/optical sharpening to be achieved.

        One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how remarkably good the quality of 19th C. books actually was, especially those from about 1850s onwards through to about WWI. Sure, there were lots of el-cheapo books too but those that contained drawings and diagrams and which were printed onto high quality paper were remarkably good. Even today, one rarely sees a modern book that has printing that's so acutely sharp not to mention the clarity of the layout style. Back then, printing was a profession of which whose members were obviously and justifiably proud.

        BTW, if you're interested in fonts and typography and you're ever in Antwerp then I'd highly recommend a visit to the Plantin-Moretus museum:

        1. RobHib

          Re: @Kubla Cant -- 2560 x 1600 - About Time.

          Oh, I nearly forgot to say that if you do click on that link then be sure you watch the classy video.


  17. Neil 44


    Is this likely (I suspect it is...) to support USB on the go?

    If so, your expansion is a set of flash drives and a cable

    Problem solved, albeit not as neatly as having a memory card internal to the slab...

  18. Tanuki
    Thumb Up

    This sounds good, specially for those of us who spend a lot of time reading scientific papers published in two-column format with formulae and graphs and so need decent resolution to fit a whole A4 page on-screen at once.

    Trying to understand a Smith Chart when you have to enlarge everything to a point where you can only see a quarter of the chart in order to read the associated annotations is not fun.

  19. uhuznaa

    What I would like

    A big (about 10") and light e-ink reader with a high resolution. All the e-ink readers are too small and have a rather gritty resolution. With 300 DPI or more you can have nice fonts and with 10" or a bit more you can finally read print-sized PDFs in a decent way.

    They should put some work into THIS instead of coming with bog-standard Android tablets with a pre-configured home screen.

  20. Afflicted.John

    Where there's Play there's LAUNCHERS!

    I cannot see any reason why you cannot install Apex or something similar on these devices from Google Play. Unless I am stupid and missed something?

    1. uhuznaa

      Re: Where there's Play there's LAUNCHERS!

      Of course you can do that, these things are just Android tablets.

      Of course you also can buy another Android tablet (like a dirt-cheap and high-quality Nexus 7 which even gets regular updates) and buy and read books on it just as well as on these.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. uhuznaa

        Re: Where there's Play there's LAUNCHERS!

        These devices HAVE the Google apps and the Play Store, no hacking needed. Either that or you know better than others reporting this fact.

  21. Morten Bjoernsvik

    Tegra 4

    This is because of the Tegra4, I bet lots of other tablet will arrive using that chipset also, then they all will have this resolution.

  22. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Any idea if it handles footnotes?

    I tried a bunch of e-readers about 2 years ago, and none of them handled footnotes decently, the worst being the Google reader. Obviously, this is a big drawback when reading Sir Pratchett's work. I haven't ever tried a Kindle though.

  23. john devoy

    Not a true ereader though

    While its very nice it's not a true ereader if the screen requires power to be seen, development of e-ink seems to have stalled lately in their dumb quest for headline grabbing specs.

  24. Jolyon Smith

    Point of order m'lud....

    That's not "bigger" than your desktop displays, only "more detailed".

    As you were...

  25. Neoc

    My 2 cents

    I have a tablet (OK, more than one) and I have a Kobo Touch. I thoroughly enjoy reading books and manga on the Kobo, but I use the tablet to read IT/Tech magazines and old french/belgian comic books (due to their colour content and size format).

    I like the Kobo because:

    (a) it's light-weight

    (b) it's the size of a paperback/manga

    (c) it doesn't chew the battery

    (d) I can side-load any damn files I want easily enough (i)

    I like the tablet because:

    (a) it's bright

    (b) it's the size of a small magazine/european comic

    (c) I can load different software for different file formats

    (d) I (usually) can side-load files.

    Since I rarely watch movies or TV shows on my tablet, this is a non-starter for me. So having said that, if they ever brought out a colour version of the Kobo Touch eReader with a larger eInk screen, I would seriously consider it.

    (i) as far as I can tell, every software-only version of an eReader seems to go out of their way to make it difficult to side-load. This include Kindle, Kobo, Sony, etc... Annoying if you got your files from somewhere other than the officially approved site (yes, I'm looking at you Kobo and Kindle).

  26. Christian Berger

    Will it have the same great architecture as the kobo mini?

    I mean that one has it's OS on an ext2 partition on the SD-card inside, you can access the system via a serial console on the board and in general it's very easy to use for everything you want. Even the original software is decent as you can simply plop your files onto the device and read them.

    Here's an example of what someone did with a kobo mini and _shell_ script.

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