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Kobo Reveals Glo Reader for Night Reading and Arc 7-inch Android Tablet

Most of the eReader market seems to be constantly trying to either catch up to Amazon, or to get a one-up on its most recent Kindle eReader. Now, just one day before Amazon’s scheduled media event, rival Kobo has launched three new devices.

We’ve been hearing rumours of a backlit Kindle for some time now, and even if Amazon does announce it later today, Kobo has beaten it to the punch with its new Glo reader. The Kobo Glo looks similar to the current Kobo reader, but features an illuminated display which makes it easy to read in the dark. Kobo calls the technology ‘ComfortLight’ and says it offers an adjustable front light to make the 6-inch E Ink display perfectly readable in both light and dark.

The Glo has 2GB of internal storage, plus a micro SD card slot which allows expansion by up to 32GB, which is thousands of books. It charges and syncs via a micro USB socket, connects to the net using Wi-Fi, and is pretty compact with dimensions of 113.9 x 157.4 x 10mm and a weight of 185g. Battery life is impressive at around 1 month with no Wi-Fi or light usage, and 55 hours with continuous usage of the front light.

Kobo Arc

Kobo didn’t stop at the backlit reader, oh no. There have also been rumours of a second generation 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet coming out very soon, so it launched a brand new 7-inch Android tablet of its own. The Kobo Arc is a customised Android tablet, with Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) at its core. Unlike previous Kobo devices running Android, this one has Google certification so can be used to download movies and games, as well as reading books.

It features a 7-inch IPS display, which should be bright and viewable from almost every angle, and a nippy 1.5GHz dual-core processor. 1GB of RAM backs up the processor to make multitasking a cinch, and Kobo claims you’ll get a good 10 hours of battery life from a single charge.

Two versions will launch; an 8GB version priced at £169.99 and a 16GB costing £199.99. With the 8GB costing £10 more than the current king of 7-inch Android tablets, the Nexus 7 from Google, we can see it struggling to sell well.

Kobo Mini

For those who think the average eReader is just too big, there’s the Kobo Mini. Sporting a smaller 5-inch E Ink touchscreen display, the Mini measures 101.6 x 113.1 x 10.3mm and weighs just 134g, which is similar to your average smartphone.

There’s 2GB of internal storage listed in the specs, although in reality the user will have around 1GB to play with after the software is loaded on – that’s still space for around 1000 books. The Kobo Mini will cost just £59.99 and will be available from October 1st in the UK.

We’ll see what Amazon comes up with later today, so stay tuned.

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