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Kobo Vox Now Up for Pre-order – Ships on 28 October

Kobo have just outed their new Android tablet on twitter. (Surprisingly, Kobo leaked this on Twitter before they put out a press release.)  It’s now up for pre-order on their website. I was the first to find that leaked listing a few weeks back, and now I bring you the Kobo Vox.

Update: Kobo have posted a video for the Vox. It’s at the end of the post.

Like we knew from the leaked listing, the Vox is a 7″ Android tablet. Screen resolution is 1024×600 (capacitive touchscreen), and it’s openly running Android v2.3 on an 800MHz CPU. It comes with 8GB Flash storage,  SD card slot, speaker, and a headphone jack.

The Vox comes with Kobo’s reading app and Kobo Pulse, their new app for the socially obsessed. There’s no mention of an app store, but it is running Gingerbread and Kobo clearly state that you can install apps.

The Vox will of course come with the usual Android apps, (browser, email, media, etc). But Kobo are also shipping it with Facebook, Twitter, RDIO (a music app), Zinio, and PressReader. Clearly they don’t plan to copy Amazon and  tie you into the Kobo ebookstore. They want to let you read content from wherever.

And of course the Vox will ship with the Kobo ebookstore, where you can buy from among 2 million plus ebooks.

The tablet is pretty much what I expected from the leaked listing, and as you can see Kobo are matching the price of the Kindle Fire. That’s smart, but also absolutely required. BTW, did you notice that Kobo also beat the ship date for the Kindle Fire and the (it’s coming eventually) Nook Color Acclaim? Good for them.

Oh, and I guess this means that the Acclaim is going to have to be pretty awesome to justify the $350 price tag that B&N were planning on. Heck, who am I kidding? The Acclaim is going to sell for less or it’s DOA.

Battery life for the Vox is 7 hours and it weighs around 400 grams. It’s listed for $199 on the Kobo website and you can get your choice of 4 colors. There’s no word yet on international availability; it looks like the Vox is only shipping to the US and Canada. (If you have a confirmed order elsewhere please let me know.)

Kobo Vox

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Mike Cane October 19, 2011 um 10:28 am

I wonder what B&N is thinking now? I bet they were never thinking they’d have to price the next NookColor at $199!

Timothy Wilhoit October 19, 2011 um 11:14 am

Your earlier report on the Vox was only off by a week-and-a-half…very good. 😉

fjtorres October 19, 2011 um 11:18 am

You know, Amazon’s Fire doesn’t tie you to their ebookstore.
They’ve made it clear you can download or sideload any compatible app withot rooting. And the Amazon appstore even carries the Kobo and Aldiko apps.
With Kobo following their example in shipping an open tablet, the pressure is now going to be on B&N to open up the Nook Color.
I’m eagerly awaiting the first three-way comparison reviews; I suspect they’ll be brutal.

burger flipper October 19, 2011 um 1:39 pm

Unless there’s been some other source I don’t know about, people are really putting a lot of faith and spin on that one VP interview concerning the openness of the fire.

fjtorres October 19, 2011 um 3:12 pm

The rooting interview was with one of the Amazon techies, precisely the guy who’d know.
Bezos himself was also quoted as demonstrating sideloading in a different report.
Plus Amazon is *right now* hosting Kobo and Aldiko on their apstore.
Until the thing ships and somebody tests it we won’t know for 100% sure but all the evidence to date says the thing is open.

Alexander Inglis October 19, 2011 um 11:19 am

Given Kobo’s previous product rollouts, this will turn up in European, Australian, New Zealand and Hong Kong markets in due course. If they can actually make money at $199, it’s an incredible move.

Syn October 19, 2011 um 11:53 am

Hmmm.. I’m interested in the screen. I love Hydis AFFS+ screens. IPS is good but I was always under the impression AFFS is better. Especially for outdoor reading. At 200 bucks, and fully open, no rooting, access to market, this is making me look more closely at my Fire order..

fjtorres October 19, 2011 um 12:29 pm

Do you care about video? Gaming? There’s trade-offs to everything.
With Vox it’s the CPU.

Syn October 19, 2011 um 12:38 pm

There are some people are audiophiles. I’m that way over screens lol.

If I want to watch an occasional youtube video. I might play Uno or Angry Birds here or there so nothing serious. I have the bigger iPad screen for games. My main uses would be surfing and ebooks.. I read that AFFS+ has around 240 nit with anti-glare. I have a AFFS screen on a 8 year old TC1100 that still beats any screen I have today as far as color and viewing angles.

At any rate, competition is heating up. Now I am curious to see if B&N opens up Nook Color 1 and 2..

Syn October 19, 2011 um 12:47 pm

Actually I looked it over again. It doesn’t say access to Google Market, it says access to 15,000 free Apps which makes m thing its not Google Market. If I had to chose between Kobo Market and Amazon’s, I’d go with Amazon… hmmm going to have to do some thinking now that competition is really heating up.

Peter October 19, 2011 um 1:31 pm

Is this available globally?

If so, they may have a big hit.

Timothy Wilhoit October 19, 2011 um 1:47 pm

The United States and Canada.

Nate Hoffelder October 19, 2011 um 2:12 pm

Eventually, yes.

Alexander Inglis October 19, 2011 um 4:30 pm

There is nothing in the design or delivered content which restricts Kobo Vox to the US and Canada. As they have established sales channels in several markets, it seems likely the tablet will ship there too in due course. Past products have taken 90 to 120 days to reach non-North American products so February 2012 looks as likely a date as any, assuming the product is a success and supplies can be obtained.

Dan October 20, 2011 um 4:24 pm

It’s clear as mud on the Vox website on the official android market, which means to me that it does NOT have it. Did they start their own store? I highly doubt it. Did they tie to the Amazon store? Amusing as it sounds, but actually would be highly likely and easy to do, as it’s just another app, but probably can’t publish it or something.. who knows, can’t wait for someone to get one and clear the waters here. Pretty sure more "open" than the Fire, and can take microSD so has that plus. Now if only I could justify a new toy I would have to choose.

NookColor Price Cut Leaked by Walmart – The Digital Reader November 2, 2011 um 12:18 pm

[…] if the Encore (that’s the name of the current NookColor) is going to cost $199 (same as the Kobo Vox and Kindle Fire), then that means the new NookColor Acclaim will cost more. B&N had wanted to […]

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