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Kobo's answer to Kindle Fire: $199 Vox Android tablet

The 7-inch tablet market is heating up with Kobo announcing the Vox, a color Android tablet that goes head-to-head against the Amazon Fire for $199.

Kobo has started shipping its new color-screen Android-based e-reader, the Vox, which is similar to both the Nook Color and Kindle Fire.

While specs for the device were leaked on a Canadian site prior to the Vox's unveiling, Kobo made a big change before launch: it dropped the price from $249 to $199 to match the Kindle Fire's price.

Now playing: Watch this: Kobo Vox

In terms of specs, it seems more in line with last year's Nook Color than the Fire. Weighing in at 14.2 ounces, the Vox has 8GB of internal memory, plus a microSD card slot for adding cards up to 32GB. It's 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 Fire is its 800Mhz processor, which is the same speed as the processor found in the current Nook Color.

As far as the flavor of Android goes, this runs on Android 2.3 and offers access to 15,000 free Android apps, though not the full Android Market.

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.

The Vox has been available for preorder for several days and Kobo had said the first units would start shipping on October 28. We'll have more info and a full review as soon as we get our hands on a review sample.

The Vox comes in four different versions with different color trims. Kobo