Kobo Vox review: Kobo Vox

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
Compare These
2.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The $199 Kobo Vox is a relatively affordable Android-based tablet, with a reasonably attractive design, and an expansion slot for more memory beyond its internal 8GB. Kobo's e-reading app and e-book store are integrated into the device and you also get access to GetJar for downloading free apps.

The Bad Books don't load as quickly as they should, the screen isn't incredibly responsive, the battery life is only OK, and the device ships with what appears to be a proprietary cable for charging and transferring files. There's no access to the full Android Market.

The Bottom Line While it's relatively affordable, the Kobo Vox is a truly unexceptional Android tablet, with nothing to recommend it over the identically priced Kindle Fire.

5.7 Overall
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 5.0

You can look at the Kobo Vox tablet in a couple of different ways.

The objective, unemotional response to it is that it's a middle-of-the-road 7-inch Android tablet that doesn't cost too much got, has OK specs, and a touch of Kobo panache thrown into the interface and the "quilted" back cover that comes in a few different color options.

If you want to be mean about it, you could just say, what's the point? Why bother, Kobo?

I'll go with the objective view and say the Vox is just sort of a meh product. In terms of specs, it's more in line with 2010's Nook Color than the current Nook Tablet ($249) and the Kindle Fire , which retails for the same $199 price.

Weighing in at 14.2 ounces, the Vox has 8GB of internal memory, plus a microSD card slot for adding cards up to 32GB. As with those aforementioned budget tablets, the Vox is a Wi-Fi-only device with no Bluetooth.

The multitouch screen seems decent enough with 1,024x600-pixel resolution and an antiglare coating. But what puts the Vox behind the identically priced Fire is its single-core 800Mhz processor. Both the Fire and Nook Tablet offer 1GHz dual-core processors and the Tablet's the winner for built-in RAM with 1GB to the Fire's 512MB (the Vox also has half a gigabyte of RAM).

As far as the flavor of Android goes, the Vox runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and offers access to 15,000 free Android apps--but that's through the free GetJar app store, not the full Android Market.

Except for some bugs that Kobo's doing its best to exterminate through a series of firmware updates, there's nothing terribly wrong with the Vox, but by the same token, there's nothing great to say about it, either.

As far as gripes go, books don't load as quickly as they should, the screen isn't incredibly responsive (I had to hold my finger down on the screen with a little more pressure than I was used to), the battery life is only OK (Kobo says up to 7 hours with Wi-Fi off, but the battery drained much faster when I had Wi-Fi on). The device has a standard Micro-USB port for charging (with the included AC adapter) and for file transfers to PC (with a USB cable you provide). Annoyingly, though, like many of these bargain tablets, it only charges with the included AC adapter--a cellphone adapter won't provide juice even if the connector fits.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

 

Discuss Kobo Vox (green)

Conversation powered by Livefyre