CNET First Look
Kobo VoxKobo's answer to the Kindle Fire and Nook Color hits stores.
-Hi, I'm David Carnoy from CNET. I'm here with Matthew Welch from Kobo and we are here with the new Kobo Vox e-Reader Tablet. This is a $199 tablet that is powered by android. It is android 2.3 and Matthew can tell us a little bit about the device and its highlights. -Yeah, you can see from the beginning here that the device with home screen, which is very book centric. Beyond that, you have all with the other things you would expect in an open android platform that's completely customizable. -It weighs 14.2 ounces and it comes with 8 gigabytes of memory. -8 gigs and expandable to 32. So, I think it will hold the, you know, out normal Kobo attached will hold a thousand books. This will hold 800 books and if you wanna expand with 32, it can hold, you know, with 30,000 books. So, it's quite a large library. -800 megahertz processor, very similar to the Barnes and Noble Nook color. Some of the other feature it has, you talk about the screen earlier, what makes the screen special compared to other screen? -Obviously, people love our e-ink screens because you can read them in bright sunlight. When you go to color reading device, we look around and we found that the FFS plus screen. I don't know what FFS plus stands for, but I think it stands for you can read it outside. -Yeah. -Because effectively, we look around and we found that the type of screen technology used in cockpits or fighter planes is this technology. -There is no android market on the device. It is your own store, your own android store and it just has free apps. -Exactly, we have 15,000 apps and you can also get, you know, our whole philosophy is read freely. So, you can basically get apps from anywhere else, side load them on here. The whole device is filter and freed up, so it's an open android platform. You could customize the look and feel it as you like. In fact the product itself comes in 4 different colors. You're free to use whatever browser you want. You're free when you buy books from Kobo to use them on the other device, or if you bought back books from other device to bring them onto a Kobo. -And so we're looking at pretty similar battery life to the Nook color at around 7 hours. -Yeah. -It has the quilted back. The signature Kobo quilted back. We have a great new social feature called Pulse, and with pulse, you can, for the first time kind of books come to life again. So, you get all of the things you wold get in virtual book club now integrated into an underlay within the book itself. So, if you want to say that you like a page that you started reading a book. You wanna make a comment in the book. You wanna see the comments that other people make on the book. All of that can then show up direct in the Facebook ticker. -So, obviously, some of the potential revenue stream is in doing paid apps for android. You guys are just going free apps is that conscious decision that you can actually buy paid apps from any store? -Yeah, it's the way it is right now. It certainly not a great strategic position there, but extend to which people want free things, we give them free things, right. We don't have a lot of people clamoring please take my money for us. -Let's talk about adding even more funds, is that new feature -Yeah -in this? Was that part of your app strategy as well? -In our initial version, we had, you know, a certain range of font sizes. When we went to touchscreen, we went up to 17 font sizes. Now with this, we're up to 42 font sizes and it turns that, people appreciate if they have bifocals or trifocals being able to put their glasses down and just read a book the hold fashion way. Alright, thanks Matthew for all that. That is the new Kobo Vox tablet e-Reader and I'm David Carnoy and thanks for watching.