Hot on the heels of Amazon’s Kindle Fire announcement a couple of weeks ago, we now have the Kobo Vox priced nicely $199.99 Canadian and unlike the Kindle Fire, it’s available to Canadians right now for pre-order. It’s a tablet that is powered by Google’s Android operating system and on top of allowing you to read books and newspapers, you can watch movies, play games, browse the web and check your email. The Vox isn’t exactly the same thing as Apple’s iPad, but it does let you do most of the things that you can do with an iPad save for all of the apps – meaning iPad’s apps. There’s still about 15,000 open source android apps that will be available and really, there’s bound to be an app for you with that many to choose from.
It’s a darned attractive price, frankly and I have to wonder if we’re going to see a price drop on iPads coming from Apple any time soon. Released just in time for the Christmas shopping season to kick in, the Kobo Vox lets you do all the stuff you can do on a Kindle Fire save for buying a book at Amazon – you can do that through Canada’s big box book chain Chapters/Indigo. One thing I do like is the fact that Kobo built the Vox with social networking in mind: so that means Facebook, Goodreads, Librarything and Twitter – I suspect apps promoting the social aspect of reading will be built into the thing, though I am just speculating right now.
I like that it has an external 32GB slot, there’s cloud storage … I could go on. Frankly, I’m interested in checking it out, though I am somewhat skeptical if my eyes would be comfortable reading a book on a lit screen as opposed to e-ink. Does anyone have any negative experiences with a lit screen? It’s the one thing that would keep me from buying it. (That and I love my PRS 505 thank you very much.)
So … what about the price of a plain Jane Doe Kobo reader? It’s $139 for a Kobo Touch and $109 for the bare bones Kobo reader – I think the price on those two is going to drop because when you can get a tablet that does a crap pile more stuff for just sixty dollars more, my inner economist thinks the low price of the Vox will cut into the existing Kobo reader sales.
Time will tell, but there you have it. I don’t have to wait to get a Kindle Fire because I live in Canada. I can get something just as good and likely have it in time for Christmas.
PS – Kobo is a Canadian company. As a fierce lover of all things Canadian, I do hope that if the Vox achieves stunning success, Kobo won’t go the way of Research In Motion.