In many ways, the Kobo Vox has earned the distinction of being ?the little tablet that could.? A brave release in light of the recent market appearances of the Kindle Fire and NOOK Tablet, it would be easy for the Kobo Vox to suffer horribly in comparison ? the fact that it doesn?t fall completely flat speaks well of its quality. But does the Kobo Vox have what it takes to pull out an upset victory over the two big-name champs of the eReader/tablet crossover market?
BUILD & DESIGN
There?s been a lot said about the Kobo Vox?s lack of creativity in design; however, it?s a tablet, not a car. And where tablets are concerned, simplicity in design is what wins the day. Here?s a perfect example. The front of the screen offers the three standard Android touch buttons that offer a diversity of options when operating the tablet: a Back button, a Menu button, and a Home button. The top edge of the Vox is home to the device?s power button, and on the bottom edge resides a micro-USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Along the Vox?s left hand spine you?ll find a micro-SD slot that lets you expand internal memory to 32GB, and a volume rocker (a bonus feature that?s curiously missing from the Kindle Fire). In addition, the Kobo Vox has two exterior adornments that neither the Kindle Fire or the NOOK Tablet have, making it substantially easier on the eyes: a spine that comes in a variety of attractive colors, and a ?quilted? plastic backing that bears the trademark look of previous Kobo eReaders.
Screen & Speakers
Like all other tablets and eReaders, the Kobo Vox boasts a screen with dimensions much larger than the actual real estate you get in practical terms. Its 7-inch screen is only 7 inches when you measure diagonally, with actual dimensions that measure 3.5 x 6-inches just like the Kindle Fire. In this respect, it?s got a smaller screen than the NOOK Tablet, but its 1024 x 600 pixel, 169 ppi resolution delivers the very same high quality images as the ?big boys? and thus makes up for any shortcomings that those with size hang-ups might perceive.
The Kobo Vox?s multi-touch screen is responsive and in many ways superior to the finicky Kindle Fire?s, in particular with the Fire's virtual keyboard that makes it all too easy to accidentally double-tap a letter. The fact that the Vox only has a single speaker located on the top right edge of the spine is a deficit, which it unfortunately shares with too many devices. Tablet speakers are generally awful and victim to the thin and light design craze. If you want to experience good quality, non-tinny sound on your tablet, you?ve got to plug in with your earbuds. The best we can say of the Vox speakers is that at least it?s in a location that stands the least chance of being covered up when held in either portrait or landscape mode.
The Kobo Vox has the following specs:
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