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Kobo Vox Google Android GingerBread Tablet eReader 3 month review

The Kobo Vox Color eReader Tablet is a simple, light weight 402.6 grams, and feature rich 7 inch touch screen colored eReader tablet which is great for reading at home, outdoors, and away from home. It also has a back light meaning you can read in the dark without the need for a lamp, or book light. I also like the rubber quilted back on the Vox, it makes holding the Vox a lot easier, and the rubber back make it less likely to slide of the table since rubber is good at gripping onto flat surfaces like a table.

The Vox also has three capacitive buttons which are back, menu, and home which makes it easy for you to go back a page on websites, and ebooks, go into the menu or settings, and go back to the home screen by tapping on the capacitive buttons. I like that the buttons are capacitive which means there are no springs, and buttons to wear out like traditional buttons found on remotes. Plus, the buttons are backlit, so you can see them in the dark, and they are flat with the screen, so they look very modern and clean.

The Vox’s side comes in a few colors which is black, light blue, pink, and green. I got the black one since it is very sleek.

Accessories which come with the Vox in the Box is a charger, USB data transfer cable for transferring files from Windows, Mac or Linux to your Vox, instruction manuals, and the Vox also comes with 3 ebooks, and a digital version of the instruction manual. You can also download a lot of free and public domain eBooks from the Kobo Vox built-in store on the Kobo Vox, or buy paid eBooks. If you already have a Kobo Account, the Kobo Vox will download your eBooks to the Vox.

The Kobo Vox Tablet eReader which runs on Google Android Gingerbread mobile operating system is a great inexpensive Google Android Tablet eReader for readers, and casual Tablet users. You can use the Vox to read eBooks, watch videos, listen to music, browse the web, play games, use apps, and do a bunch of other tasks which you can do on a smartphone, laptop, or PC. The battery life on the Vox is 7 hours when Wireless internet is turned off and the brightness of the screen is set to low, and 3-4 hours when wireless is turned on.

I have been using the Kobo Vox Color eReader for almost 3 months for 2-3 hours every day, and it still works great like the day I bought it for ebook reading, email, web browsing, video, music, casual game apps like Angry Birds, and apps.

I love that the Vox takes less then a minute to start up even after owning it for 3 month unlike my computer and laptop which can take minutes to startup. The Vox also wakes from sleep in 1-2 second after pressing the ON button. It takes 1 second to put the Vox to sleep, and take a few more seconds to power off the Vox. This means I can quickly turn on the Vox, and start reading a eBook, browse the web, play a game app, or use an app in a minute, and put the Vox to sleep in seconds when I need to do something else.

Most Apps, eBooks, video, music files, and other files only takes a few seconds to start up which saves me time instead of waiting and starring for long loading screens for software like on computers and laptops running the Windows operating system. I think because the Apps are installed on flash memory the same memory found on USB drives, and the apps are made to run lighter with programming languages like Java, HTML5, etc then most Apps usually load in seconds rather then half a minute to minutes like a PC and laptop.

The Vox also connects very quickly to my Wireless router compared to my laptop, and other tablets I used on my Wireless internet router.

The main reason I got the Vox is because I live in Canada where I can’t buy a Amazon Kindle Fire, Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet, or other cheap Google Android tablets for under 200 dollars from well known brands like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Samsung, etc for under 200 dollars. The Kobo Vox was the closest tablet I can buy in Canada which has similar features to the Kindle Fire, and Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet. The Vox has fulfilled my experience with having most of the features of the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet for the same or cheaper price if you got it on sale for 179.99.

My favorite feature of the Kobo Vox is it is hassle free since I don’t need an Antivirus, maintenance software, and firewall software for it since it is a eReader tablet which runs Google Android which is Linux which is one of the most safest operating systems in the world, and I don’t need to do disk defrags, disk clean ups, or other maintenance task like a PC, or laptop running Windows because there is enough free space on the Vox for installing lots of Apps, and flash memory on the Vox does not need to be defrag. I can spend all my time on the Vox just reading, watching video, browsing the web, and doing other task instead of maintaining it like a computer which can break down, crash, or become unstable randomly. While with the Vox, I turn it on, and it just works, and there are no humming sounds from computer fans since the Vox runs so cool it does not need fans. It also rarely crashes when browsing the web, watching video, reading, and looking at pictures which is not always true for computers and laptops.

The main difference the Kobo Vox has is that it has a single core 800MHz CPU while the Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble have faster Dual Core 1GHz CPU. The Vox also uses the default Android Gingerbread theme while the Kindle Fire both uses a custom theme.  The Vox has 512MB of RAM like the Kindle Fire, and Nook Tablet.

The Vox comes with 8GB of storage like the Kindle Fire, and cheaper tablets.

One of the main advantage of the Kobo Vox is it has a MicroSD card slot, so you can add a 32GB MicroSD card for easily adding more storage to your personal files, and sideload Android APK apps easier with a File Manager App.

What sets the Vox apart from cheaper tablets which are” not the Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, Blackberry Playbook, and Samsung” is the Vox has a high 1024 x 600 resolution display which is also very colorful and bright for a inexpensive tablet which typically has a 800×480 or lower resolution which means pictures, text, and video won’t be as sharp as higher resolution displays.

The reading experience on the Vox is pretty good since I can change the font size, and type easily, and change the brightness of the screen while reading. There are also sepia, and night mode to make reading easier in different conditions. The Kobo Vox also let you easily buy, and download free books without the need of a computer. You can also easily post what you are reading and see what others think of the book with the Vox social features.

Since the Vox runs on Google Android, you can also download Apps from Amazon to get more Apps, or to read books bought on Amazon for Kindle. You can also download and install other reading and book store Apps from Barnes and Noble, etc.

Using the default web browser to visit for the Kobo Vox is also very simple to use. You can also install other web browsers like Opera Mini, Maxthon, Boat Browser, and Dolphin on the Vox.

The Screen on the Kobo Vox is also very easy to read on since it is optimised for outdoor and indoor reading.The video quality is great for watching YouTube, and HD video files you loaded onto the Vox.  The screen is also pretty durable. I have been using it for 3 months without a screen protector, and it still looks like new. The Screen is also a FFS Screen which means the screen is great for reading outdoors or in bright conditions where there is a lot of glare on other screens, but with the Vox there is less glare and reflection when you are reading outdoors.

The speaker is loud enough for listening to music when your room is quiet, but I recommend using headphones to listen to your music or audio when it is loud. The Vox uses the 3.5mm headphone plug type which is also used on most MP3 players and other tablets.

The Vox has a physical volume up and down button on the side of it as well while the Kindle Fire uses onscreen volume buttons which is not as convenient.

The 7 inch capacitive touch screen is also very responsive when I use my fingers on it, or a capacitive stylus. It is pretty fun using it to doodle on drawing apps, and playing touch games.

Gaming on the Kobo Vox is also pretty good for playing touch based casual games like Angry Birds, Cut The Rope, Fruit Ninja, Tetris, etc on it. The video and sound on games is good for a Tablet which cost less then 200 dollars because it is does not slow down much when playing casual games. Playing games on the Kobo Vox is similar to playing 2D flash games on a desktop web browser.

The Vox comes pre-loaded with a lot of Apps like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Rdio, Calculator, dictionary, Kobo eBook Reader, newspaper and magazine apps, Scrable, etc, and you can use the GetJar marketplace to download and install many other free Apps. You can also sideload APK files from a microSD card, or from the internet via direct download links, e-mail attachments, and file sharing sites to install on your Vox as long as the Apps are Google Android APK apps. The GetJar marketplace has enough free Apps for most people need, and you can install a lot of free apps yourself which you downloaded from other devices with the Google Android Marketplace which is not compatible with the Vox. You can also install Adobe Flash Player on the Kobo Vox for playing flash games, Apps, videos, and content on a web browser. Installing Apps are easy. All you have to do is download the Android APK file to your Vox, and open the APK file, and agree to install the App. In a few seconds or more it is installed. You can delete the APK installer file afterwards to save space on the Vox. If you need it again, you can download the APK file again.

I also notice Kobo releases occasional updates for the Vox which is great since the updates improve useability and performance of the Vox after you updated it. The Vox updates being supported by Kobo means you won’t have to fix bugs yourself, or manually update the Vox with a computer since the Vox is auto-updating if you agree to install updates when available by clicking the OK button, and having battery power and wireless internet.  Not all Tablet makers still provide update support for their tablets after you buy it, so it is best to pick a tablet or ereader company which can provide updates and technical support to its users after you purchase it from the store.

Updating the Vox is hassle free, and I have never had problems after updating to the latest version of the Vox’s software and operating system, and my Vox runs better, have better usability/user experience,  and have more features after the update.

Plus, updating a Vox does not need a computer. All you need is battery power, and a reliable wireless connection. The Kobo Vox also has a pretty reliable wireless adapter which is fast and hardly disconnects when connected to wireless.

The onscreen keyboard on the Vox is pretty easy to use, and simple for touch typing, but if you want to type faster I recommend using SlideIT, or Swype keyboard apps since they have better user interfaces for fast typing.

After 3 months of using the Vox, it has proven to be a reliable, simple, feature rich, and fast eReader, and entry level tablet for enjoying eBooks, online video, watching HD video files, listening to music, web browsing, Apps, colored magazine and newspapers.

Read my first impressions of the Kobo Vox and more about the Vox if you want more info on the Vox, and want to know why it is one of the best eReaders for people who can’t buy the Amazon Kindle Fire, or Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet.

12 comments… add one
  • LA May 3, 2012, 10:38 am

    Hi !

    I just got a vox and am trying to get more information on how to use the google marketplace with the vox. I’ve seen threads about having to “root” the device, but all the rooting applications no longer work post the March firmware update. Have you rooted your device, do you have suggestions on how to do this/get more info on how to do so?


  • Johnson Yip May 3, 2012, 2:12 pm

    Hi LA,

    I have not rooted the Vox since I don’t want to void the warranty. Forum.xda-developers.com might have more info on Rooting the Vox.

    But, if you just want apps only found on the android Market you can use a MicroSD, USB, file sharing websites, etc to transfer/download APK Android installer files to your Vox, and use a File Manager App like File Expert to browse to the EXTSD or the downloads folder to install apps which are not available on the official Kobo app market which is Getjar, but you got by other ways like from websites, microSD, friends, and more.

    If you live in the US, you can use the Amazon App Store to get more Apps for Android, but you need to install the Amazon App from Amazon.com .

  • yvonnecrook June 23, 2012, 4:51 pm

    everyone says listen to the music but i don’t know how to get free music onto my kobo vox ereader 7”can anyone give me any help thank you

  • Johnson Yip June 23, 2012, 7:40 pm

    You can connect your Kobo Vox to your PC with the USB cable to copy and paste your music to your Vox. You can also use a MicroSD to copy music files onto to insert the MicroSD card into your Vox’s memory card slot.

    Searching websites like using Google can also be used to find music on websites to download to your Vox.

  • Don Rodgers July 9, 2012, 2:01 pm

    I purchased the Vox after a good experience with the Touch but, I found I only can read epub library books while on-line. Does any have instructions on how to use ADE to download the book and then transfer it via a SD Micro card reader and then from the SD Micro card into the Vox so I can import them. I have been trying for two weeks. Kobo help desk says they have no clue since it is not their software (thanks for the great help Kobo). I am at the point to take it back and get a Sony. would appreciate some help. Can you respond to my email address please?

  • Johnson Yip July 9, 2012, 7:18 pm

    I try to search for a solution for you. I think it is most likely a Digital Rights Management restriction where you have to be online to read the book to make sure you are not reading a pirated version of the book like how a lot of computer and video games like Diablo 3 these days need you to be online to play the computer game to make sure you are not playing a pirated version. You can try using a DRM Remover for ADE files which you can download at http://www.dvdvideosoftware.org/guide/remove-drm-from-adobe-epub.html

    You need a File Manager App like FileExpert to open Files on your MicroSD card.

  • Ben August 13, 2012, 5:36 am

    Hi I want to buy a kobo vox but was just wondering if it has a paper like screen like the the kobo ereader touch and kobo ereader WiFi

  • Johnson Yip August 13, 2012, 6:30 pm

    Hi Ben, The Kobo Vox uses an LCD screen which is similar to your TV, computer monitors screen, other Tablet screens like the iPad, Kindle Fire, or newer cell phones like the iPhone.

  • Pauly September 21, 2012, 8:06 pm

    Hey… loved your review and I hope you review the new Kobo Arc when it arrives.
    One question, most of the YouTube videos I have watched on my Vox sputter/pause etc. I am not sure if this is my internet connection or the processor etc. any ideas??
    Again, your review was very thorough and honest and thanks!!

  • Johnson Yip September 22, 2012, 7:25 pm

    Hi Pauly,

    I notice I am having sputter/pause problems with YouTube and other online streaming video sites like Vimeo, Dailymotion, etc as well after the last major update which added the Google Play Apps store. I think the last update also added other Google services like Maps, Books, Google+, Street view, etc which might be making the processor work harder because more apps and stuff is running in the background. I also notice in the running applications in the settings of Android that the Vox is using more RAM then before the update when Google Play was not on the Vox.

    It could be your internet connection as well if your internet connection is slow.

    I try to get my hand on the Kobo Arc to review since it looks like a pretty good eReader which is a nice improvement to the Vox, but the Google Nexus 7 tablet also looks pretty nice as well, so I don’t know which tablet I would want as my next tablet.

  • Pauly October 19, 2012, 5:36 pm

    Hi Johnson, sorry for the delay in responding to you.
    YOU ARE CORRECT! The update to add Google Play to the Kobo Vox is great … and it can sloooooow down the Vox re: YouTube and games.
    I experimented with ‘force stopping’ all kinds of apps and then playing two very familiar YouTube videos. Guess what? The videos played very smoothly with only very short stutters at longer intervals. Almost think if I was not looking for them I may have either not noticed them or it would not be a concern at all.

    I am going to get the (I think this is the name) Go Launcher which has an app stopper to stop all apps you are not using etc.
    Anyway, even though 4 years ago an 800mgz cpu with 512 mb ram would have been ‘fast’… today, as you said, it is stretched by multi tasking while looking at videos.

    Meanwhile, ahem, I did buy the Vox as a colour reader which it does well.
    Hope the Kobo Arc will also do web surfing/videos and games more smoothly. Yes Johnson, I want my cake and eat it too 🙂
    Look forward to your Kobo Arc review, I am also considering the Ainol FlameII http://www.ainol-novo.com/ainol-novo-7-flame-ii-tablet-pc-quad-core-dual-camera-hdmi-hd-wifi-bluetooth-16gb.html which I hope you also review.

  • Johnson Yip October 19, 2012, 6:44 pm

    I believe Go Launcher might also use less RAM and CPU then the default launcher since Go Launcher is a pretty fast launcher in my experience.

    I also experience slow downs with Google Play especially when Apps auto update when updates are available. I also believe Google Maps and Google Plus use a fair bit of system resources.

    I think the Kobo Arc uses the same CPU as the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, and has 1GB of RAM, so games and apps would run faster.

    I hope I be able to get a Kobo Arc to review since it looks pretty good. I may consider getting an Ainol Flame II tablet since it looks like a pretty good deal for 179.90.

    Thanks for the reply,

    Johnson : )

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