A new eReader tablet
Kobo is not that influential as the Amazon or Barnes & Noble who fight now for the first place. But it is not at the other end either and struggles to come up with feasible products that make customers interested. The Kobo Vox is a new eReader from Kobo that can be taken as a competitive product for the two top companies. Of course, it doesn’t come with the best latest features, but it still does what is supposed to do, that is allows you to read books.
The Kobo Vox comes very close to both Amazon and Nook, but in different ways. What Kobo did was to come up with a price that matched the Kindle’s, while the specs are very similar to the Nook Color. The Vox has an 800MHz processor with 512MB of RAM and a shiny, bright 1024 x 600 multi-touch FFS+ screen. The screen also features an antiglare coating and we must say that we liked how everything was displayed on the screen, plus the contrast levels.
The Kobo Vox tablet also features 8GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot for expanding the memory up to 32GB. It weighs 14.2 ounces and has support for only for WiFi and no trace of Bluetooth. There is also no trace of any camera, but why would you need so many distractions while reading a book anyway? Yes, we are kidding, we too would have preferred that the Vox included some basic specs.
Some zoom problems
The tablet offers access to over 15,000 free apps and it also comes preloaded with some, plus a selection of books. These include the Merriam-Webster dictionary app, Radio which can be used to download music or videos, Scrabble and PressReader. It also ships with a children’s color book, Franklin and the Thunderstorm, some dessert recipes in Sweet Dreams and Lonely Planet’s Europe Essentials. If you purchase the Vox you will also have access to 12 free magazines from Zinio and 7 newspapers from PressReader.
Reading the magazines was very uncomfortable because they didn’t fit the screen properly and we had to do a lot of zoom in zoom out. On the other hand, newspapers were OK and easy to read.
Reading Life and Pulse applications
Kobo didn’t forget about its most known apps and included them on the Vox. We are talking about the Reading Life and Pulse applications, which bring some diversity to on-tablet reading. The Reading Life app gives you some feedback on your reading, shows how many others are reading the same book as you and you can accumulate badges according to the books you’ve finished reading.
During our review tests we met some annoying flaws in regards to the responsiveness of the screen. You can go back a page with a tap in the left third of the screen, or go forward a page with a tap on the right side of the screen.
Taking notes and making annotations is possible by tapping in the middle of the screen which enables these modes. This sounds easy but once you try it you see that the screen is rather resistive.
In terms of design, on the top there is the power button and on the bottom a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microUSB port which also allows charging. The left side hosts a volume rocker.
The Kobo Vox is comfortable to hold thanks to the rubberized backing. It measures 7.57 x 5.06 x 0.53 inches and comes is four colours to choose from. During our review the battery life lasted almost 7 hours of intense use.
Tet and review conclusions
We can’t say that the Kobo Vox is equal to our expectations, but it is an Android 2.3 tablet which features Vox’s social Pulse e-reading application we are so fond of.
|* Expandable Micro SD storage (up to 32 GB)|
|* Android 2.3 Operating System|
|* 7″ multimedia display (1024 x 600)|
|* 192.4 mm x 128.4 mm; 13.4 mm thick|
|* 402.6 g weight|
|* Wi Fi 802.11b/g/n|
|* 8 GB storage capacity|
|* FFS+ multi-touch screen optimized for outdoor reading and exceptional +/- 89 viewing angle|
|* 7 hour lithium ion polymer battery|