Kobo Vox – Update

Posted: June 9, 2012 in e-Reader Reviews
Tags: , , ,

I've had a day to play around with this now, and at this point I'm unlikely to keep it.  As I mentioned in my initial post, my main use for this would have been as a multi-platform e-reading tablet.  From what I've seen, it's going to struggle to fulfill that purpose, for me at least.

What I liked

The inbuilt functions seemed to work fairly well.  The main Kobo app is almost identical to the one on the iPad and works in much the same fashion.  I tested the Email, YouTube and Zinio apps, and again, all of them worked reasonably well.  My existing content downloaded to the machine with no trouble.  I also found the capacitive touchscreen to be reasonably responsive, which was a criticism I'd read in other reviews.

I particularly liked the Kobo widget which brings your currently being read content right to your home screen.

Being used to iOS, it took me a little time to get used to Android, but it wasn't that difficult.  

You also can't really argue about the price – $169 is a pretty good deal – if you're prepared to accept the limitations.  

I also really liked the 7 inch size.   I found it a comfortable size and weight for one handed reading – something I cannot do with my 10inch iPad.  

What I didn't like

The performance.  The 800 Mhz processor and 512 RAM really do show their lack of power.  It's not so noticeable if all you're doing is reading, but if, for example, you switch the orientation of the device you can expect 3-5 seconds of white screen, spinning circle while it catches up.  

Battery life.  This can't really compare to the eInk Kobo and Kindle, but I fully charged the device last night and got in about four hours of mainly reading before it requested a recharge.  For me this is not really acceptable on a device I intend to use primarily for reading.

Difficulty installing non Kobo approved apps.  As a dedicated multi-platform eReading device there were a few apps I wished to install on it: the Kindle app, Overdrive (for library books) and Goodreads.  None of these apps were available on the Kobo app store.  I downloaded the Amazon App Store, but as I'm not in the US I was unable to download even free apps.  Likewise the Kobo blocks apps from Google Play.  In the end it took a great deal of internet searching and fiddling to be able to get them installed.  At least, once they were installed they were functional.  

In summary then, I will try the Kobo Vox a little longer, but I will likely not be keeping it.  It just doesn't have the power to do what I need.  The power aside, there are other Android tablets coming on the market with similar specs which allow more freedom with installed applications.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Kobo Vox

    As usual, thanks for your input! it’s always useful.

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