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Kobo Vox review

4.7/10 AVG.
RATING



4.7/10
Informr score
The Kobo Vox currently has an Informr score of 4.7 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 13 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Some people would have you think that the Kobo Vox is the device of choice if you are looking for an Android tablet that’s good for a little bit of mobile browsing and for a little bit of e-book reading on the go. The Vox is available as part of a larger group of Android tablets that are being positioned as feature-rich e-book readers. How well—or how poorly—does it perform in this regard?

The Vox is, by all accounts, a product that might have been so much better if it hadn’t been rushed to market. It stood up against the likes of the Nook Tablet and Amazon Kindle Fire when it was released and was generally able to hold its own. But with the use of beta software and pretty much the exact same hardware features, it was difficult for this device to set itself apart. And how can it, really?

It comes with a 7-inch 1024x600 pixel resolution touchscreen display, 8GB of flash memory, and 512MB of RAM. It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread on a slow processor and the rest of its spec sheet is also rather lackluster. It’s like the Amazon Kindle Fire, only worse because it doesn’t have Amazon’s content ecosystem to back it up. So does this product have anything that can somehow be considered as a redeeming quality?

Not really. In a world of mediocre e-book reading tablets with Android, the Vox fits right in. That is to say, while it isn’t great, it’s not that bad either.

Need To Know: Kobo Vox

1. 7-inch form factor hits the sweet spot in readability and portability. (The Good)

2. 8GB of internal storage is just right. (The Good)

3. Slow processor and limited amount of RAM results in sometimes sluggish performance. (The Bad)

4. The operating system likely won’t get any upgrades from Android 2.3 Gingerbread to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. (The Bad)


Screen Size
7"
Storage
8 GB
3G
No
Reading Time
420 hours


What the Critics Are Saying...


Pocket Gamer

There's so much more to discuss about The Banner Saga, such as its memorable soundtrack, it's nuanced character classes, and its sparing but effective use of voice acting (in suitably scandinavian accents) - but all you really need to know is that it's a truly top class game.It's not quite a perfect...

- Jon Mundy, Pocket Gamer
Cnet

I actually think the Vox will get a bit better over time. Kobo clearly rushed it out to have something to counter the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet and it's taken some hard knocks from reviewers (that's what usually happens when you put out a device with beta software on it). It's gradually making th...

- David Carnoy, Cnet
Pocket-lint

The compromise you have to make with the Kobo Vox is clear: it is good value for money and you get a tablet that has been reasonably well built and offers a wide variety of features. But you get neither the best tablet experience nor the best reading device. As a tablet it lacks the Google certifica...

- Chris Hall, Pocket-lint
Expert Reviews

Kobo has certainly got the pricing of the Vox right and the benefits of a colour screen are certainly attractive. Sadly, the implementation really lets it down, particularly the sluggish performance. We'd rather buy a Kobo eReader Touch and stick with black-and-white content for this price, or save...

- David Ludlow, Expert Reviews
The Register

It’s here now, and it’s largely competent, with great storage and a decent look and feel. But the sluggish processor is the machine’s biggest problem and is a world away from the effortless-to-use touchscreens we’re used to. Page turning is fine but you may find yourself wait...

- David Phelan, The Register


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Quick view

Screen Size
7"

The Kobo Vox's screen size is 7 inches with 600 x 1024 pixels resolution.

Backlight
Yes

There is a built-in backlight for reading in the dark.

Storage
8 GB

Internal memory is 8 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

3G
No

This model has no 3G wireless capabilities.

Reading Time
420 hours

The e-reader is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 4000 mAh battery. Battery life is rated for up to 5 hours Wi-Fi surfing according to Kobo's.

Kobo Vox Specs

Overview
Release date November 11, 2011
Regions available USA
Networks
No cellular data
SIM card No
Operating System Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Processor Freescale i.MX51 800 MHz
Internal Flash Memory 8 GB
RAM 512 MB
ROM No
Flightmode Yes
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Manual
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 4000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 4 hours
Reading Time Up to: 420 hours
Standby Time No
Physical Characteristics
Material Unknown
Colors Hot Pink, Lime Green, Ice Blue, Jet Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 19.2 x 12.9 x 1.3 cm (7.6 x 5.1 x 0.5 in)
Weight 11445 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 600 x 1024 pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 7 inches
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Anti Glare No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key Yes
Page Turn Key No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth No
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC
PC Synchronization No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, MP4, AAC, WAV, M4A, OGG
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Vibration Alert No
Content Formats Supported
Content Formats Supported No
More
Additional comments
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Kobo Vox Reviews
Where to buy Kobo Vox
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Critic Reviews


Pocket Gamer

A dark, strange, tough, and beautiful tactical RPG-cum-interactive story

from Pocket Gamer

There's so much more to discuss about The Banner Saga, such as its memorable soundtrack, it's nuanced character classes, and its sparing but effective use of voice acting (in suitably scandinavian accents) - but all you really need to know is that it's a truly top class game.

It's not quite a perfect iOS game, though. This is actually a conversion of a PC game, and the transition to touchscreen controls hasn't quite been as successful as we would have liked...

More

There's so much more to discuss about The Banner Saga, such as its memorable soundtrack, it's nuanced character classes, and its sparing but effective use of voice acting (in suitably scandinavian accents) - but all you really need to know is that it's a truly top class game.

It's not quite a perfect iOS game, though. This is actually a conversion of a PC game, and the transition to touchscreen controls hasn't quite been as successful as we would have liked.

The grid-based battle sections in particular suffer from frequently sticky, unresponsive square-selections, and slightly cluttered battle menus.

The view here regularly feels too zoomed in, with too much of the action seemingly occurring on the very edge of the screen - or even just off it - and that's playing through on a full-sized iPad.

I should also note that performance was a little stuttery on my iPad 3, and that the loading times were a little long - but then my machine is getting on a bit now.

Such matters can be forgiven for the most part though, because The Banner Saga is a truly memorable experience - even if you don't typically like tactical RPGs or gamebooks.

It's unforgiving in certain ways, deeply unusual in others, and it requires a little patience before it really all soaks in. But when it does - and it will - you'll find one of the most richly rewarding iOS games of this or any year. 

Read full review

Less

Cnet

The Kobo Vox is a truly unexceptional Android tablet, with nothing to recommend it over the identically priced Kindle Fire

from Cnet

I actually think the Vox will get a bit better over time. Kobo clearly rushed it out to have something to counter the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet and it's taken some hard knocks from reviewers (that's what usually happens when you put out a device with beta software on it). It's gradually making...More

I actually think the Vox will get a bit better over time. Kobo clearly rushed it out to have something to counter the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet and it's taken some hard knocks from reviewers (that's what usually happens when you put out a device with beta software on it). It's gradually making the device more stable and smoother operating, though its processor remains a limiting factor. The other issue is that it simply has a pretty generic look and feel to it. And while Amazon's Kindle Fire isn't all that sexy looking either (it has a bit smaller footprint), its snazzy user interface makes it look a lot more inviting. The Nook Tablet is also a clear step up both in terms of performance (I think it runs better than the Fire) and design. So there you have it. The Vox's biggest fault is that it's not exceptional in any way. In fact, it's rather mundane. And in today's highly competitive market, that's not going to cut it. I'm not saying that in a mean way. I'm just being honest.

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Pocket-lint

Neither a great tablet nor reading device

from Pocket-lint

The compromise you have to make with the Kobo Vox is clear: it is good value for money and you get a tablet that has been reasonably well built and offers a wide variety of features. But you get neither the best tablet experience nor the best reading device. As a tablet it lacks the Google certif...More

The compromise you have to make with the Kobo Vox is clear: it is good value for money and you get a tablet that has been reasonably well built and offers a wide variety of features. But you get neither the best tablet experience nor the best reading device. As a tablet it lacks the Google certification and version of Android that would give you the best experience. It also lacks power, so it won't give you the latest, greatest experience that Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich tablets will. As a reading device, the battery life is short and the glossy backlit display isn't as good to read on as E-Ink, with outdoor use virtually impossible. It will let you read in the dark, however, which E-Ink won't. If your tablet needs are limited, perhaps a little light browsing or Twitter use, then the Kobo Vox might be just the device for you. But if you can afford to spend a little more, then a better tablet with the Kobo app offers a much improved experience. If reading is your primary use, then we'd recommend an E-Ink device, which is much more like reading on paper and gives you a lighter device with a much better battery life.

Read full review

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Expert Reviews

Cheap Android tablet that suffers from a slow processor and unresponsive touchscreen

from Expert Reviews

Kobo has certainly got the pricing of the Vox right and the benefits of a colour screen are certainly attractive. Sadly, the implementation really lets it down, particularly the sluggish performance. We'd rather buy a Kobo eReader Touch and stick with black-and-white content for this price, or sa...More

Kobo has certainly got the pricing of the Vox right and the benefits of a colour screen are certainly attractive. Sadly, the implementation really lets it down, particularly the sluggish performance. We'd rather buy a Kobo eReader Touch and stick with black-and-white content for this price, or save up and buy a fully-fledged Android tablet, such as the excellent Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime.

Read full review

Less

The Register

Great storage, decent look and feel, sluggish processor

from The Register

It’s here now, and it’s largely competent, with great storage and a decent look and feel. But the sluggish processor is the machine’s biggest problem and is a world away from the effortless-to-use touchscreens we’re used to. Page turning is fine but you may find yourself w...More

It’s here now, and it’s largely competent, with great storage and a decent look and feel. But the sluggish processor is the machine’s biggest problem and is a world away from the effortless-to-use touchscreens we’re used to. Page turning is fine but you may find yourself waiting when programs take time to launch. But if your aim is just to read books, and you want to see colour on your screen, the Kobo Vox offers access to a big store of books and you’re not tied in to a closed system as you are with Amazon’s offerings.

Read full review

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TabletPCReview

In many ways, the Kobo Vox has earned the distinction of being “the little tablet that could”

from TabletPCReview

At $199, the price of the Kobo Vox costs exactly the same as the Kindle Fire. So why would anyone opt for Kobo instead of Kindle? That all depends. If you’re a dedicated Kobo buyer who’s built up a sizable library of books you’re not ready to abandon and you want the convenience...More

At $199, the price of the Kobo Vox costs exactly the same as the Kindle Fire. So why would anyone opt for Kobo instead of Kindle? That all depends. If you’re a dedicated Kobo buyer who’s built up a sizable library of books you’re not ready to abandon and you want the convenience of having an eReader/tablet, the Vox might just be your obvious choice. But for those just getting their feet wet as first time owners of either, it’s difficult to see why anyone would pay the same amount of money for what basically amounts to a much slower performing device with limited app options.

Read full review

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T3

By trying to do everything the Kobo Vox appeals to no one

from T3

The Kobo Vox has managed to combine the worst of both worlds. The lack of an e-ink screen makes it less-than-desirable as an ereader and the tablet features can't compare with any of the numerous Android tablets on the market making it an unlikely contender for our list of the best tablets to buy...More

The Kobo Vox has managed to combine the worst of both worlds. The lack of an e-ink screen makes it less-than-desirable as an ereader and the tablet features can't compare with any of the numerous Android tablets on the market making it an unlikely contender for our list of the best tablets to buy. By trying to do everything the Kobo Vox appeals to no one; underpowered, with a poor screen, content that can't compete with the value of the Amazon Kindle Store, and a price tag that's cheap, but not cheap enough to make up for its many faults.

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Engadget

The Vox has last-generation hardware and largely uninspiring software

from Engadget

It's impossible to discuss Kobo's entry into the tablet space without also talking about fellow e-reader makers who have also recently made the leap into tablets. And by that measure, the Vox doesn't look good. It's a piece of last-generation hardware that offers up a limited multimedia experienc...More

It's impossible to discuss Kobo's entry into the tablet space without also talking about fellow e-reader makers who have also recently made the leap into tablets. And by that measure, the Vox doesn't look good. It's a piece of last-generation hardware that offers up a limited multimedia experience on the software front. That might have been acceptable six months ago, but the Fire and Nook Tablet have changed the game as far as budget Android tabs go.

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TrustedReviews

The Kobo Vox is an utter mess

from TrustedReviews

With the Amazon Kindle Fire currently US-only, Kobo has missed a great opportunity with the Vox. As the only prominent LCD eBook reader in the run up to Christmas it will no doubt sell well, but satisfied customers will be few and far between. Navigation is tortuously sluggish, the display is sec...More

With the Amazon Kindle Fire currently US-only, Kobo has missed a great opportunity with the Vox. As the only prominent LCD eBook reader in the run up to Christmas it will no doubt sell well, but satisfied customers will be few and far between. Navigation is tortuously sluggish, the display is second rate and the design materials lack thought. There is much promise in Kobo's innovate take on eBook reading rewards and the Kobo store is very well stocked, but we can't imagine any scenario where you'd want to use the Vox for long enough to enjoy either.

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PC Magazine

The Kobo Vox cuts too many corners and falls short of the competition in nearly every way

from PC Magazine

The Kobo Vox aims to douse the Amazon Kindle Fire as an inexpensive tablet and ebook reader. But despite sharing a similar look and feel to the Editors’ Choice Kindle Fire, the Kobo Vox lacks the power and polish to compete. It does a decent job as a color ereader, but beyond that it feels...More

The Kobo Vox aims to douse the Amazon Kindle Fire as an inexpensive tablet and ebook reader. But despite sharing a similar look and feel to the Editors’ Choice Kindle Fire, the Kobo Vox lacks the power and polish to compete. It does a decent job as a color ereader, but beyond that it feels dated even next to the year-old Barnes and Noble Nook Color. Its sluggish performance, unrefined software, and subpar reading experience make the Kobo Vox a hard sell, even at just $199.

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