Kobo_Vox_appsIt’s not really much of a surprise anymore given that the word leaked a couple of weeks ago, but Kobo has now officially announced its 7” “Vox” Android 2.3 tablet—though not at the $249 price it had at the time of the leak, but at a Kindle Fire-busting $199 instead. CNet’s David Carnoy says its specs compare more to the Nook Color than the Fire, however, with a slower 800 MHz processor.

The best way to describe this is as a more open, generic looking version of the Nook Color, though it is worth mentioning that the Vox comes in four versions that have Hot Pink, Lime Green, Ice Blue, or Jet Black trim colors.

Time will tell whether the $199 price is enough to make it a “Vox popular”.


  1. Given that neither the Nook or the Fire is available in Canada, it should prove popular here in Canada. And although it doesn’t seem to include Android Market out of the box, you can sideload apps. I’m assuming that the user community will create Android Market access soon enough.

    There is no doubt it is older technology, however for folks like me with a great smart phone, it is all the table I need. I will be very interested to see what the outdoor reading experience is with this, as it is being sold with a promise of having been optimized for reading outdoors.

    I had been looking at the Acer Iconia A100 which is available in Canada for $299 for the 8 GB model. The $199 price tag for the Vox was the tipping point for me.

  2. It’s important to recognise Kobo is calling this an ereader (just as B&N did with the Nook Color) but it is also calling it “open” Android — no rooting of the device is recquired to make it do things beyond ereading.

    It comes with three “enhanced” books and some newspaper and magazine titles (sample issues, presumably). This is a relatively new area for Kobo (its newstand is pretty lightweight to date); colour is an important feature of this segment.

    It also remains true to Kobo’s release schedule of about one new device every six months and, I note, they are keeping the WiFi in the line-up to provide three entry points — a smart move. Assuming Kobo Vox rolls out in other markets (Europe, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong) in due course, it will continue to “light a fire” under its brand, despite where it goes short term in the US.

    Finally, the full engagement of Android simplifies things for the customer who can buy once and playback on many current (and future) Android devices.

  3. Yes, Alexander–the ability to sideload apps out of the box is a very big deal. I know that I will want to use the official google apps for email and I am not sure that the Vox comes with that.

    I’m pretty sure that folks in the US will not be as enthusiastic as we are here in Canada, but I am betting that it will also look good to people in places other than the US when it is released more widely.

  4. Kindle Fire looks like a terrific device … for the US.

    And, even in the US, there will be room for a non-Amazon ebook tablet user. Kobo “open” environment has legs with some consumers; it’s not heard to imagine Netflix being on the device (or Blockbuster streaming) in short order.

    Nook Color has done quite well for B&N; Kobo’s device helps it stay in the retail channel as it continues to build its brand.

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