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First Look: Kobo jumps into 7" Tablet/eReader space with Vox
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First Look: Kobo jumps into 7″ Tablet/eReader space with Vox

I’m not surprised to see Kobo jump into the 7″ Tablet marketplace..as a major ebookseller it obviously had to be in this space. Kobo’s entry is the VOX an Android 2.3 based 7″ Tablet with a bright AFFS+ touchscreen. With an anti-glare surface it is great for reading ebooks even outdoors, watching videos and surfing the web. The look is distinctly Kobo with its signature quilted back and it comes in four distinctive colours.

WiFi equipped the Vox includes a full featured email app that supports POP, IMAP and Microsoft® ActiveSync so you can access all your personal and business mail. The Vox comes preloaded with Facebook, Twitter, Rdio for music, the popular Zinio magazine reader app, Press Reader..my favouriter newspaper reading app plus the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary and Scrabble.

the interface looks pretty much like stock Android Gingerbread so if you own an Android phone you will be really comfortable with the Vox which unlike the Kindle Fire has full open access to Android 2.3 and the Android Marketplace and all its apps. This could be a huge advantage over the Kindle Fire which is restricted to 16,000 or so apps available from the Amazon App Store.

The Kobo Vox is available for preorders today in Canada at Kobo retail partners:
Indigo Books & Music (www.indigo.ca), Future Shop (www.futureshop.ca), Best Buy (www.bestbuy.ca), and Kobo.com for a MSRP of $199.99. In the U.S. it is available for pre-order at Best Buy (www.bestbuy.com), Fry’s Electronics (www.frys.com), and at Kobo.com for  the same MSRP of $199.99.  If you are an existing Kobo eReader owner you can order it online at Kobo.com before October 28 and save 10 bucks.

Regulars know I rarely comment on products at launch until I get to actually touch one but in this case since I have had nothing but positive experience with Kobo products and this is an important  development at least on a par with the Amazon Kindle Fire launch last month I am making an exception It means a lot of Christmas wish lists are going to include one or the other. I suspect the fact the Vox will be on real store shelves will be a distinct advantage not to mention that it is available in Canada..unlike the Kindle Fire.

My guess is that Kobo and Amazon are going to sell millions of these things for Christmas giving. What do you think..what impact will it have on sales of Apple iPads or other Android tablets? Let me know.

Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

3 Comments
  • Michael Black

    It is tempting. I’ve looked at e-readers and thought about how close they are to a full “computer”, but not quite. Yet the tablets have been significantly more (and you don’t get that much in a tablet compared to the equivalent priced laptop) I’m not sure I want to start spending money on e-books, not when there are still plenty of used books out there, but there are plenty of out of copyright books that I’d like to read, though hard to justify the $140 or so price of an e-reader. I realize I could read those on a full blown computer, but you can’t curl up with that, not even really with a laptop. The more function that I can get out of the e-reader, the easier it is to justify buying. Some years back I’d thought about buying an iPod Touch sort of as a PDA, yet no, it’s too controlled by Apple.

    I was certainly tempted by the $100 HP tablet, since it had the low price and the full blown functionality, but of course, they didn’t last long enough.

    There have been some almost generic tablets coming along, sort of tempting but also not much talk other than the ads. This new one is sort of in between, not the lowest priced generic tablet, but not the expensive Big Name tablet.

    I don’t need to wait till Christmas, a birthday is coming up, which sort of forces decision making in the next few days.

    One wonders if the older Kobos will drop in price now? This i their thir or fourth generation now.

    Michael

    October 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm Reply
    • Bob Benedetti

      It is starting to get very interesting..The Kobo Vox should turn up in Indigo/Chapters stores late next week..why don’t you go try one out in the store and see what you think. You may be tempted.

      October 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm Reply
  • Ed Lewis

    We bought a Kobo “VOX” just after Christmas for $179.99. Even though the experts claim that the KIndle “Fire” (not available here) is a faster machine, the VOX can play Angry Birds at a decent pace without hanging up. As an e-reader, it fits the bill for us. We are still learning to use the features, but so far we are happy with its performance.

    January 12, 2012 at 8:10 pm Reply

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