Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kobo Vox Review

My birthday was this past weekend and I was lucky enough to be able to afford the Kobo Vox by Indigo/Chapters from the money my family and friends gave me ♥ ! I love my family and friends for feeding my Chapters addiction, hehe! 

So here is my new baby, Tink (everything gets a name, hehe) :

The Kobo Vox was on sale for $179, so I managed to get it at the right time! As you can see, I chose the lovely light blue colour. It's so calm and relaxing, and it doesn't distract from the screen. I love it! :) Now for the review part!

The Kobo Vox Colour eReader by Indigo /  Chapters 
Released October 28, 2011
Currently available for $199 (CAD)
I spent a lot of time researching the Kobo Vox online before I decided to buy it. I compared it to other ereaders, including its biggest competition, the Kindle Fire by Amazon and the Nook Color by Barnes & Noble. While these other two ereaders have a lot to offer, I eventually settled on the Kobo Vox. Here's why:

  • I'll admit, the sale price caught my eye, not to mention it is the only ereader of the 3 that I can buy locally. I literally walked into my local Chapters, asked to play with a Vox, was handed one, and bought it right then and there on the spot. No fussing with the web or waiting for shipping. Or worse, having to return it through mail. 
  • It's the only ereader of the 3 that is Canadian based. Remember what I said about my Chapters addiction earlier? Even considering other store's ereaders (both based out of the US) almost made me feel like I was cheating on Chapters, haha! I've come to love and trust the Chapters name, and that helped me make my decision.
  • The Vox runs on an open android network. I'll be honest, I don't know much about this whole open android business. But I did find out that it meant I could read ebooks from other markets on my Vox, including the Kindle and Nook. Most important, my ability to load my books from NetGalley! With the Kindle Fire you are apparently forced to purchase from their own app market. Not so with the Vox. I was able to visit websites and download their content right onto my Vox! I like this no-strings-attached business! Makes me ereading life more simple. For example, I saw free books available on the Kindle market that I wanted to read. I downloaded the Kindle app, then the Kindle books, and voila! I was reading those babies on my Vox in no time.

These are the three main reasons why I chose to follow my heart and purchase the Kobo Vox. There were, however, a few let downs. 

  • The battery life is only advertised to last for a max of 7 hours, whereas the other two advertised higher battery lives. This means I'll be plugging the Vox in more.
  • The Android Market itself (by Google) is not openly available on the Kox. I worked around this by downloading most apps from their own websites, such as the Aldiko App.
  • The loading time is a bit longer than I would like and some of the apps can be a bit finicky. Sometimes my Aldiko app freezes and makes me choose between a shut down of the app or waiting for it to respond. I usually choose waiting and it takes a few seconds for it to reconnect to the app properly. This could just be the app though and not the Vox, and also it's not bad enough to make me choose another ereader. I don't mind waiting a few seconds to see the next page once in a while.
  • I'm not sure that Netflix would be worth my while on the Vox. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm thinking about it! Hopefully it can handle streams from Netflix, although I haven't seen anyone mention the Vox and Netflix yet, so I'm a bit weary of that.
  • One of the most annoying things I have encountered is not being able to connect to the wireless internet at my university. The network is one that you have to manually set up with encrypted protection, which the Vox does not seem to have an option for. I'm hoping to find some way around this soon, but I've heard other reviewers mention this too. Either way, I can still access my books without the internet, and that's what I wanted it for most. In the meantime, my iPod touch can handle my Facebook addiction at university!

I decided that the pros outweighed the cons for me, and I'm happy with my choice still. While I will never give up buying real hard copy books, the Kobo Vox makes a great little companion for my library. I can load my books to review from the internet onto the Vox and I can purchase sale ebooks from any store I want and read them on here too! I can even load pdf files and lectures for classes and access them anytime I want, without needing the internet. I'm already super attached to my little Kobo and I love it! I would recommend this ereader to anyone who is looking for just that, an ereader with a few tablet qualities, and at a great price too!

My Rating:
Lovely little device!

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