I have been using, and loving, the Kobo Touch eReader for nearly a year and continue to get questions about what kind of "Kindle" I have in my hand. It is my favorite eInk device and I read it most days during my lunch or commute. Kobo also sent along an evaluation Kobo Vox to test out and I honestly gave it a try a few times over the last couple of months, but could never use it long enough to write up a proper review. Yesterday, Kobo released a MAJOR update for the Kobo Vox, I installed it, and am now working on a full review of this Android-based ebook reader/tablet device that I will be posting next week.
My previous hesitation to review the device was due to the extremely limited functionality it had as a tablet. It was fine for a color display ebook reader, but the Kobo Touch eReader is a better device for the heavy reader. This new update brings the full Google Play Store to the Vox so you now have access to the over 500,000 apps on Android. This is important in order to compete with the Kindle Fire and B&N Nook Color. The Kobo Vox is available now in four different colors for $179.99 so it is a rather inexpensive 7 inch Android tablet to consider.
Dan Leibu, CTO, Kobo Inc. stated:
Google Play is the perfect addition for the content-rich eReading environment of the Kobo Vox. This is another big step in our ability to give people an open and compelling multimedia device that can be customized to suit their needs. Having access to the thousands of games, apps and tools offered by Google Play makes the Kobo Vox an eReader and so much more.
The Kindle Fire uses Amazon's App Store, with sideloading support for those serious enthusiasts. The Nook Tablet has a limited Android store as well and both of these cost $20 more than the Kobo Vox.
Kobo was one of the first to embrace the social aspects of reading and continues this with Kobo Pulse. They also give awards for different activites tracked through Reading Life. The ability to now use it as an attractive, portable tablet just increased its value 10 times, IMHO, and I plan to carry it with me and get you a full review soon.
In addition to the Google Play release on the Vox, Kobo continues to update their existing devices. The Kobo Touch eReader was just updated to version 1.9.17 that includes some of the following:
- Improved recognition of page-turn taps
- Home screen fix for carousel choice
- Improved sync performance
- Option to share reading activity to Facebook Timeline
- Other stability and performance improvements
Stay tuned for my full Kobo Vox review and let me know if you have any questions as I work on the write-up.