Touch and go?
Battery life is decent enough – not the days and days e-ink screens deliver but a reasonable seven hours or so between charges. You can drag video and audio files on to the Vox, but Kobo isn’t pushing this. Note that unlike some Kindle models, this one is Wi-Fi only, so you can’t download a new book outside a wireless zone, say.
So what are the downsides? The biggest one is the unresponsive, sluggish system. Touch the screen too fast and it may not register. So you go back to touch an icon again, often twice because when it has spotted you’re there it takes time to react. Turning pages in books is fine, and this is most of what you’ll be doing, but launching aps can be annoyingly slow.
Fancy a game of Angry Birds? Look on the list of apps and you’ll see that Android Market is missing. You have to launch an app called Get Apps and are restricted to the apps available through GetJar – though this is a very wide selection. Even so, access to the regular Android Market would have been preferable.
Charging can only be done through the dedicated Kobo charger, not from USB, though to be fair the same applies to some other tablets like the BlackBerry PlayBook, too.
A sluggish tablet, but as an e-reader it has a lot of storage
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. ®
More Tablet and Reader Reviews
Not really a "reader"
I'm beginning to think that e-book readers needs some sort of standard definition to seperate them from low-end tablets. How about something like:
e-ink screens or similar non-backlit technology (colour optional, if and when)
light weight for long periods of use
looong battery life
really, really easy to use for non-techies
and, most importantly, as little, obvious, geeky, technology stuff as possible.
The idea is to have something as easy to read as a book, with as little as possible to distract you or get in the way. Anything else is a tablet.
"Surely most people who want one of these have a phone that'll provide a mobile WiFi hotspot for them..."
Except NO they don't - firstly not everyone buying a tablet has an iPhone or recent Android that will do it and many handsets (especially supplied by mobile operators) have the 'hotspot' feature disabled unless you pay extra for it.
Then if you assume you do - you may only have a fairly small data allowance (perhaps 250-500-1000Mb per month) which may be insufficient - data plans for iPads / tablets often come with 1-3-unlimited usage.
Then of course it kills your phone battery while you are using it. Then it's less 'convenient' than having 3G on the device.
Of course you could have a phone that does support it - do have a massive data plan on the phone and not mind your phone battery running flat - but that is not MOST people.
This has the same (but not quite as bad) problem
In it's not a official Google recognised device and therefore no Android Market.
At least they offer GetJar, which is better than what Kindle offer, and of course I suspect you can load the Kindle e-reader app, which means you have the luxury of both EPUB and Amazon's locked in format (surprised that this "review" doesn't mention that rather important point).
Personally, I think tablets are for tablet things, and e-readers should be for reading, so these kind of devices are poor at both. Get an e-ink reader like the Koko touch, Sony Reader, Nook, or even dare I say it, a Kindle for reading books, and get a recent tablet for everything else.