Kobo's Android powered e-reader has just gained Google certification. Does that now propel it into the realms of a viable, budget tablet? Or, is it a case of "right place, wrong time?"
The Kobo Vox wasn't a new idea when it was first launched. The e-reader-cum-tablet space already had two big name players, in Barnes and Noble and Amazon. This alone would make entering the market a difficult proposition, but the Vox suffered other issues too. It launched without a viable app store for one. While marketed as an e-reader, these types of device aren't going to be bought by a consumer who just wants to read -- e-ink devices like the Kindle, or Kobo's own offerings are a much better choice. On a device like the Vox, you'll want to be able to browse, check emails, and yes, download the odd application.
Before, this was a tedious prospect. The average consumer isn't going to be interested in side-loading to get themselves some Angry Birds fun. While there was an appstore on board, it was horribly, horribly limited. Now though, things are different. The Kobo Vox has gained Google certification. And, that means the Play Store is pre-installed, along with the host of other popular Google applications. Not even the mighty Amazon Kindle Fire can boast that. So, does that mean that the Kobo Vox becomes a viable budget tablet offering? Google just raised the bar significantly in the 7-inch tablet space, so how would the Vox stand up against the Nexus 7?
We may have skipped over it before, but we went and got hold of one to take a look, and see if the addition of the Google Apps makes a difference. We'll take you through it after the break.