Posted by CANbike on Thu, 3 Jul 2014

Tablets: Kobo Arc (64GB) vs Dell Venue 7 (16GB)

Both the Kobo Arc tablet and the Dell Venue 7 tablet have been on sale for around $100. The following is an informal comparison of the these two Android tablets.

Kobo Arc-vs-Dell Venue 7

Kobo Arc (64GB) Dell Venue 7 (16GB)
Color: Black or white Black
Size: 189 X 120 X 11.5 mm 193mm x 118mmx 9.6 mm
Weight: 364 g 314.06g
Processor: 1.5 GHz dual core processor Intel Atom processor Z2560 (up to 1.6GHz Dual-Core)
Memory: 1 GB RAM 2GB DDR2
Display: 7” IPS display 7” IPS Display
Resolution: 1280 × 800 1280 × 800
Operating System: Open access to Android 4.0 Android 4.2.2, upgradeable to 4.4
Extras: Dual Front-Facing Speakers,
Interchangeable removable back covers
GPS,
Micro-SD Card Reader (Up to 32GB)

Price:

Kobo Arc (64GB) Dell Venue 7 (16GB)
$99.99 $109.99

Both tablets were frequently found on sale. The Kobo Arc was cheaper, and includes 4-times the storage capacity. On the other hand, Dell Venue 7 has a Micro-SD Card slot that supports up to 32GB. However, a Micro-SD card increases the price, and may not be fully accessible by all apps.

Screen:

Kobo Arc (64GB) Dell Venue 7 (16GB)
7” IPS display 7” IPS Display
1280 × 800 1280 × 800

Both tablets feature similar HD displays. In use they looked the same.

In terms of texture, the Kobo Arc has a grittier coarser plastic feel. The Dell Venue 7 screen, on the other hand, was smoother and much more pleasing to use. However, it does scratch more easily and is a fingerprint magnet.

Performance:

Kobo Arc (64GB) Dell Venue 7 (16GB)
1.5 GHz dual core processor Intel Atom processor Z2560 (up to 1.6GHz Dual-Core)

The Dell Venue 7 felt snappy in general performance. Applications loaded quickly, videos played quickly, and web pages rendered quickly. Only issue was a scrolling bug near the bottom of bar, as the screen would sometimes jump up and down a bit.

On the other hand, the Kobo Arc was good in performance. Nothing snappy, but nothing notably slow when performing general task such as web surfing.

Speakers:

Kobo Arc (64GB) Dell Venue 7 (16GB)
Dual Front-Facing Speakers Single Bottom Speaker

Dual Front-Facing Speakers on the Kobo Arc were fantastic for watching videos in landscape or portrait mode. They were loud and clear, though they started to crackle at higher volumes.

The Dell Venue 7 speaker was terrible to use. Sound was hollow and shrill even at low volumes. Range was also limited as the speaker is located at the bottom of the device. As a result, sound would travel down in portrait mode, or to the side in landscape mode.

Battery Life:

Kobo Arc (64GB) Dell Venue 7 (16GB)
4400 mAh 4100 mAh

Battery life was okay for both tablets. They’ll last a day, but runtime could be better. Overall the Kobo Arc would last longer then the Dell Venue 7 by at least an hour.

In an informal test, playing local video files with Wi-Fi off, the Kobo Arc would last from 8-9 hours while the Dell Venue 7 would last from 7-8 hours.

Cameras:

Kobo Arc (64GB) Dell Venue 7 (16GB)
Front 1.3 MP VGA (640×480)
Rear 3 MP

Both devices feature poor cameras. They are toys and should not be used for anything important. The Dell Venue 7 has both a front and rear camera, while the Kobo Arc only has a front camera.

Handling:

Kobo Arc (64GB) Dell Venue 7 (16GB)
Size: 189 X 120 X 11.5 mm 193mm x 118mmx 9.6 mm
Weight: 364 g 314.06g

Although dimension and weight are similar, the Dell Venue 7 felt notably lighter and slimmer to hold. The Kobo Arc has a greater bevel on the back, but the covers are interchangeable for greater customization.

Operating System:

Kobo Arc (64GB) Dell Venue 7 (16GB)
Open access to Android 4.0 Android 4.2.2, upgradeable to 4.4

Both tablets came with fully accessible Android operating systems.

The Kobo Arc came with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), which was not upgradeable. The only major change was the inclusion of Kobo Tapestries to the homepage. It is a unique which lets you create personalized folders based on your interests. It’s like a pin board and folders for the home screen. Personally, I thought it was a great feature; however, it can be disabled and a standard desktop home screen (like Nova Launcher) may be installed.

The Dell Venue 7, on the other hand, came with Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean). However, after checking Settings->About tablet->System updates->Check now there was a 500MB Android 4.4 (KitKat) update waiting to be installed! Other than the inclusion of Dell’s PocketCloud, this was a Stock Android.

With a newer Android version, the Dell Venue 7 had access to more applications.

Final Words

Both the Kobo Arc (64GB) and Dell Venue 7 (16GB) are fantastic discount tablets. On sale at or near $100 they are a great value as they include a full Android oeprating system with HD displays. Performance is good for everyday general use.

As a media consumption device, i.e. watching videos, e-book reader, the Kobo Arc (64GB) is better due to it’s greater storage capacity and Dual Front-Facing Speakers.

As a tablet, the Dell Venue 7 (16GB) is better due to its faster processor, lighter weight, slimmer profile, and Stock Android 4.4 update.

Overall, it is hard to find fault with these tablets for only $100. They perform beyond their price point, with no major fault or weakness. As result, they are both “highly recommended”.