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The Kobo Vox was my introduction to the world of ereaders /tablets, so I have nothing to compare with, BUT, I have found it to be an absolutely great piece of kit. It was a gift so I had no preconceptions about what I wanted to use it for but the functions I have used have met all my needs.
The main usage is obviously as an ereader, and this is where I feel I am better off with my Kobo that with a Kindle. I have downloaded the Kindle app onto my vox, so I have full access to the Kindle store (often slightly (pence) cheaper than the Kobo store) and can read those books on my Vox. The Kobo store itself is accessible by 'one touch', the purchasing is straightforward and I've never had a problem. The 'big one' though is that it can be used to access the public library e-books. This means after a small wait, access to many latest releases are available, as well as being able to 'borrow' travel guides etc for holidays. All for free.
Reading, it's completely adjustable in terms of text size, screen brightness, page orientation etc and I have had no problems reading outdoors.
I also use the app store - it now has access to the main android appstore - and have downloaded lots of apps covering my interests. So I have downloaded some book/reading apps but also MS Office apps and dropbox to give me access to documents when away from home or the office. Additionally, calendar, organisational, list-making, database apps etc.
I have also put a lot of music onto my vox which sounds perfectly good through the speaker, again that's been useful on holiday.
Finally I use it for a few games, which again I downloaded from the appstore and use with varying degrees of intensity according to how bad my addiction to them is at any one time!
I respect all the reviews (and I have seen plenty) which compare the Vox negatively to other ereaders but feel that many of these focus heavily on the technical aspects, hardware, software etc of the kit and all that I can say is that for me, someone who has no particularly technical knowledge, or technical needs, the Kobo Vox does everything it sets out to do brilliantly.
My Vox did freeze once and I had to reset, but everything is backed up and all my purchases were automatically re-downloaded so it was no more than an inconvenience. Looking for other downsides, the weight of the reader is probably one (although the counterside of that is its a sturdy piece of kit, so depends on your take), and the battery life would be the other. In my experience it didn't meet the claims of length of battery life - particularly when connected to wifi, I have wifi turned off at all times except when I particularly need to be online.
The kobo ereader is a basic tablet, that comes with android preinstalled. It costs around £100 from WHSmith, and to be honest... I would just save your money.
Its a 7 inch tablet, making it pretty small. And it is designed primarily to be used as an e-reader. However, the idea is that it is more than just an e-reader, it can do basic tablet-like things as well. Sadly though, I personally did not think that this e-reader was good enough at being a tablet to warrant the money over a kindle. Whats worse is that its not that brilliant at being an e-reader either.
Lets start with the performance. Watching BBC iplayer in low-def on this is like watching a slideshow with sound. Pretty awful. The touch screen is also not that responsive, making browsing the internet annoying (you might click on a button, and the kobo detects it as the adjacent button, and you have to wait ages for the page to load just to go back and click on the one you wanted).
Also a 7 inches, it really is not suited for internet capability, its just too small, you have to zoom out to see most webpages, which is ok to do on a phone on the go, but with something with no 3g capabilities, feels a bit, well, naff really.
As a e-reader, again I was underwelmed. Yes you can have sound based books and things, but really, a books a book. I mean, with a book, you can take it on the train, and if you forget it or something, no biggie, you can always pick another one up from a charity shop for about 50p (or at least that's what I do, not that I am a frequent book reader). But you can't really do that with this. And although its only 7 inches, its a very "thick" tablet, much thicker than an Ipad, so it really is not massively portable. And the screen isn't really the sort of screen you want to try and focus on when on a moving object like a train, unlike the kindle (I do not own a kindle, just have had a play with them).
Anyway, all in all, our kobo is now relegated to installing free android ap games and given to my 7 year old sister to play on. It really is not much cop to anything more than that. I am just glad I got it as a gift and didn't spend any actual money on it. To be honest, I am a bit underwhelmed by all these tablets at the moment, they can't really do much more than a smartphone, but are just bigger and less portable...
This has a decent battery life, but to be honest with the processing power it possesses this is not an achievement. As for easy of use I have given it 3/5 because although it has android, which is very easy to use, the touchpad is a bit cumbersome making the whole thing a bit annoying. As for noise, I have never really done a comparative test to anything, but it seems ok
I am originally one of the unconverted who preferred to be able to carry a book with me. My wife bought me this for my birthday and i was suprised at how easy it was to set up. It looks and feels great with the quilted back cover. It is not just an E Reader but acts as a sort of mini tablet as well. The price was extremely low considering the Kindle costs more and does less. Not only can it hold all your books but it is Wi-Fi enable allowing you to surf the net and check social media eg Facebook and Twitter. With the Android operating system you also have access to the Android/Google Store so you can download Apps, I even managed to download a Kindle App so i could get hold of Kindle books as well. Alas it is not all good news, I do find that it can become slow and unresponsive sometimes due to the processor struggling to keep up, however if used for its intended purpose which is an e reader it is perfect, you can use it on the go for the things i mentioned above however it does have limitations but the price far outweighs them, It is a real suprise package and enjoyable and i would now consider myself converted to E Readers. Another feature i loved was that i was able to store music on it as well. The battery life lasts about an average 6-8 hours. Overall there is not much wrong with the product and it is a good entry into the tablet/e reader market and goes a long way towards trying to capture both demographics in the one package. I would recommend this product to friends and family purely down to the fact it is affordable, looks great, and also means for those who cant afford a kindle or an Ipad they can potentially have a similar product from one device at a more affordable price, The good thing about Kobo is that once you have bought their books they can be moved onto any device whereas through amazon/kindle you need a kindle or kindle app in order to read it. The one major drawback is the processor as i mentioned earlier and if they are able to resolve this in later models then Kobo could potentially have a real heavyweight contender on their hands. I guess the real question is would i recommend it to family and friends and despite its drawbacks I have to say that i would without hesitation as it is a breath of fresh air in a market that has up till now been dominated by kindle and apple. I reckon that this offering by Kobo wont beat them but it will go a long way towards offer affordability and functionality which everyone can afford. As first efforts go there are improvements to be made but what a first effort. Thank you for reading my first review feedback is appreciated