Kobo Vox Review

My Kobo Vox

These are only a few of the books I have in my library.
These are only a few of the books I have in my library. | Source

Product Review

Kobo Vox eReader - Retail $199.99

I received a powder blue Kobo Vox as a Christmas gift; I am still so excited. I have a hard time putting it down to do other things. I am sure the novelty will wear off, but hopefully not before I figure it all out.

I am very pleased with the size and weight of it - any bigger and I feel it would be harder to hold. The entire unit measures 7 1/2" X 5" and weighs less than a pound (most definitely weighs less than Stephen King's Under the Dome ). It came with three full color books (children's book, cook book and a travel book) as well as the User's Manual. It is nice to have the manual built in; it only takes a moment to refer back to it when necessary.

I have added PDF files from my computer to it, but be forewarned an app is required to read them. I was unaware of this until after I transferred the files but it was all there in the manual. I should have read it better the first time. The app is free and only takes a few moments to download and install.

The screen is backlit so there is no need for an additional light source. I particularly like this feature as I can read in the vehicle or in bed without needing to turn on another light. I understand the e-Ink feature of other eReaders is easier on the eyes, but I have personally not had any trouble with the lit screen.

Along with the eReader feature, the Kobo Vox has over 15,000 available apps. I have only installed a few so far. Scrabble was one of the included apps, and my son took the liberty of installing Angry Birds and a Zombie game (nice of him, wasn't it?). I also installed Solitaire, which I have briefly played. It also has browser capabilities, Facebook, gmail, YouTube and of course a direct icon to the Kobo Store.

As books are added and read, there are several badges that can be earned. I have earned 14 of the 25 so far, which includes reading at different times, reading for two hours straight, downloading 10 free books etc. There are over 2 million books in the Kobo store, so I cannot see myself running out of reading material any time soon. Perhaps one day I will have a book or three in Kobo's library as well. I will also add there are hundreds of thousands of books available at no cost; it just takes a bit to find them. There is a "free eBook" section in the library, but that does not list them all. I found it best to type in a keyword and scroll through all available books that turned up. Also keep in mind that the book that is free today may not be free tomorrow. One of the freebies I downloaded is Soul Identity; I read it cover to cover within the first two or three days. I will be purchasing Soul Intent as soon as I set up my PayPal account, as I am anxious to see what happens next.

The Vox also has audio and video capabilities, neither of which I have tried yet. It does not record but will play back a variety of media files. I will be adding some music within the next week or so, but right now I am figuring out which apps will be beneficial to me.

The battery life seems to be alright as long as only books are being read. Once the games and web browsing start, it seems to need recharging quicker. The Vox may still be used while it is charging, but keep in mind the cord isn't very long. It can also only be charged via the power cord; the USB cord is for data transfer only.

All in all, I am very pleased with my new gadget. Granted it is no iPad, but it also doesn't carry the iPad price tag. It has Wi-Fi so may be connected to the internet wherever there is access. I feel sometimes this is a good thing, as I can just read instead of being tempted to go on Facebook or read my emails.

For anyone wanting an eReader that does just a little more, this is a good one to start with. I know I love mine. For those of you who have an eReader, what type do you have? Do you like it?

Update - March 2012

I learned something over the weekend! The Kobo Vox is not only limited to ebooks from Kobo or Chapters. It can also be used to read books published for the Kindle! I found this out by going into my Amazon account (published a book on CreateSpace) and realized there was a Kindle App. I was quite impressed, as I have several books on my PC (Kindle for PC).

There are two ways to go about adding the app. First is to go through the Amazon website; it will walk you through the steps. Just be sure you click on "Kindle for Android". The second way (and the way that worked for me) is to go through the apps on the Kobo Vox; easiest way is to do a search for the app. It is free to download and install, and the end result is you will have a much broader range of books to choose from.

I downloaded several free ebooks that ranged from crafts to yoga. I only scanned the first 40 pages of free books; I am quite sure there are more as well. There are also a few I wish to purchase, but will have to wait until I can add an Amazon gift card to my account.

I encourage any Kobo owners to try out the Kindle app and see for yourself. It is possible to have the best of both worlds.

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