Kobo Arc 10 HD tablet packs a ton of features for readers and weighs like it

The Kobo Arc 10 HD could be a tablet worthy of replacing your bookshelf, if the damn thing didn't feel like holding a bookshelf itself. The 10-inch slate includes useful e-book-centric software that will appease avid readers seeking an Android experience, but its brute force design misses the mark with an uncomfortably heavy and thick build.

It houses a fast Tegra 4 processor, super-sharp screen, and despite its corpulent build, the matte faceted back is actually pleasing to the touch. Its inclusion of a nearly pure version of Android 4.2.2 is only enhanced by Kobo's useful … Read more

Firefox gets mobile foothold from Android preinstallation deals

Mozilla has a new way to persuade people to use the Android version of its Firefox browser: get hardware makers to preinstall it.

On Thursday, Mozilla announced that new Kobo Arc tablets and the Gigabyte GSmart Simba SX1 smartphone will have the nonprofit group's mobile browser built in.

That could be helpful to Mozilla, which is trying hard to extend the browser influence it has on personal computers to the fast-growing mobile realm where Apple's iOS and Google's Android browsers dominate usage statistics.

But it would be more helpful if Mozilla could get its browser on higher-profile … Read more

Nintendo 2DS handheld targets new crowd

CNET Update needs a bigger pocket:

In this episode of Update:

- Spend $50 less on Nintendo's Wii U Deluxe when a new bundle comes out for $300 on September 20.

- See if there's an appetite for the cheaper Nintendo 2DS portable system -- which happens to be less portable than the 3DS. (The Internets have not been kind.)

- Save $100 on the unlocked Nexus 4 smartphone, now starting at $200. (Don't be surprised if a Nexus 5 crops up later this year.)

- Read up on the new Kindle challengers from Kobo, the e-ink AuraRead more

CNET Giveaway: Kobo Glo

Editor's note: This contest is now closed. Have you been jumping through hoops to get your hands on an e-reader? Jump no further. Enter for a chance to win below. Tell us: If you could live as a character from any book, who would it be? Extra points for creativity! (Unfortunately, this won't increase your chance of winning.) CNET's giving away five Kobo Glos which received the "very good" rating from our CNET Editors. So let us know who you'd like to be. Do you want to attend Hogwarts like Harry Potter? Fight to … Read more

Research and compare e-readers at ReaderRocket

If you're in the market for an e-reader, you've no doubt read some reviews, checked out some user feedback, maybe even spoken with friends. That's all well and good, but sometimes you just want to put the leading candidates side by side and see which one wins the day.

That's the idea behind ReaderRocket, a seriously nifty tool that compares e-readers and gives you a complete rundown of specs, features, reviews, and more -- all so you can make the most informed decision possible.

To get started, either choose one of the existing comparisons, or type … Read more

Kobo unveils Aura HD, 'Porsche of e-readers'

The dedicated e-reader market, hurt by the rise of the tablet and large-screen smartphones, is widely regarded as being on the downswing. But that hasn't stopped Kobo from announcing the limited-edition $169.99 Kobo Aura HD, a "premium" e-reader with a 6.8-inch screen that the company says is the highest-resolution display available in an e-reader today.

The specs list the resolution for the Pearl E Ink display at 1,440x1,080 pixels, 265dpi, and Kobo says the larger 6.8-inch screen size offers "30 percent more reading surface and the closest experience to print-on-paper -- showcasing text and high-resolution images beautifully."

Kobo also claims that with its 1GHz processor is the fastest e-reader by 25 percent. It will come in three colors -- Ivory, Espresso, and Onyx -- and has 4GB of storage, plus an expansion slot that accepts up to 32GB microSD cards. Battery life is rated at up to two months. … Read more

Get a Kobo Mini e-reader for $59.99

Tablets are great and all, but if you're mostly into reading, it's hard to beat an e-reader. Eye-friendly screens, ultra-light designs, amazing battery life -- the perks go on and on.

And let's not forget price. Amazon's entry-level Kindle is now down to $69. But here's an even more wallet-friendly option: Best Buy has the Kobo Mini e-reader for $59.99 shipped (plus sales tax). That's for the white model; the black one literally sold out while I was writing this post.

So that's only a $10 difference, right? And when you factor … Read more

The Kobo Arc tablet is the less discerning man's Nexus 7

As the latest in a now long line of 7-inch tablets to hit the market with a sub-$200 price, the Kobo Arc attempts to set itself apart in two specific ways. The first is its folderlike interface called Tapestries that allows you to organize apps, articles, pictures, and other content into customizable nodes. The second is the ever-present Discover Ribbon, which, based on what you're currently looking at, constantly offers recommendations at the bottom of the home screen.

Unfortunately, these features do little to make the case for a tablet that otherwise offers less storage than the competition … Read more

Amazon lights a new Fire under iPad

Thursday's tech news roundup has a glow about it:

Amazon unveiled several new Kindles on Thursday. Here's the quick breakdown with links to the full first-take reviews:

• The new Kindle Fire HD comes in three flavors. There's a 7-inch model with 16 GB of memory for $199, and it ships Sept. 14. Coming out late November is a larger 8.9-inch model with 16GB of memory, selling for $299. If you want double that memory and the option for 4G LTE wireless, that'll cost $499 -- the same as a new iPad. • That 4G LTE wireless
Read more

Nextbook Next3 tablet

The Nextbook Next3 8.4-inch tablet runs Android 2.1, houses a 600MHz Rockchip processor, and comes with 2GB of internal storage with SD expansion.

It also includes integrated Borders eBook Store software, powered by Kobo, as well as built-in 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi. The screen sports a resolution of 800x600 pixels and comes with a protective case and pointer stylus.

The tablet is currently difficult to find in stores and you may have better luck with the Amazon Kindle Fire.