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Old 10-28-2011, 04:28 PM   #211
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Interesting. Not a good thing for those who will be receiving it as a gift. Many probably won't even bother opening the box if they're gifting it.
Yikes... Wonder if we'll be seeing more reports of this. Makes me feel (only slightly better) that mine will be shipped to me from Kobo in a second or third wave next week...but if I need an exchange, then what?!
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:41 PM   #212
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Eh. Remember, this is Kobo we're talking about. Expecting them to get it right on the first try is silly. Give 'em 6 months and they'll have most everything straightened out. (or 7 months, when my birthday gets around again and I'll have the funds around to treat myself :P)
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:44 PM   #213
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Eh. Remember, this is Kobo we're talking about. Expecting them to get it right on the first try is silly. Give 'em 6 months and they'll have most everything straightened out. (or 7 months, when my birthday gets around again and I'll have the funds around to treat myself :P)
You're right! I've already prepped myself for having to deal with the worse case scenario...but I am still trying to be positive and optimistic!
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:04 PM   #214
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You can't download the Kobo app? Mine's arrived in Toronto but it is going to be shipped out to me since I am outside of the country now.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:46 PM   #215
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Well, I've had a bit of time to play with this, and compared to my iPad, I must say my first impressions are not exactly fantastic. Okay, yes, it's less than half the price, so I've adjusted my expectations. But my sense is this is a bit of a rushed launch for them, considering it needed an update right out of the box (and that some of the machines didn't have the Kobo app installed at all).

Some thoughts so far:

Scrolling is a bit laggy. Button presses sometimes need a moment or a re-tap to register. In the Kobo app, I looked through the cookbook - page transitions are slow, and it sometimes takes a second or two with a little rotating icon before you see the next page. Also the formatting is such that in portrait or landscape you get a grey bar at the top and bottom of the page; the page doesn't fill the screen.

I only got one of my three books at first. When I went in to the library app later, the others downloaded. I clicked the user guide and was told the next chapter wasn't included in this preview but I could get it at no cost. I clicked 'download free ebook' and it appeared to download, but when I tried to read it, the same thing happened. Sigh.

I downloaded Angry Birds from the app store built into it (a version of the getjar website) and once I did, it showed up in the 'downloads' folder. It then told me 'install blocked - for security your phone is set to block installation of applications not obtained from Android Market.' That's a bit of a surprise, considering it doesn't have access out of the box to Android Market! I just enabled non-market installations in settings to fix this, but it's a glaring oversight. Angry Birds itself was not as smooth as on my iphone / ipad, but playable.

I called Kobo support to ask about enabling access to Android Market and was told, helpfully, that the Vox is not an Android device. After I corrected the guy on the phone, he kept mentioning that it was an e-reader and they don't really support Android related stuff on it.

Definitely seems that was a rushed launch using an existing tablet model from a Chinese manufacturer they used to get a quick device out the door before Amazon. Now, I was hoping to use this as a cheap tablet for an upcoming trip, but I'm seriously considering returning it to the store. I've been spoiled by the iPad/iPhone.

Perhaps in comparison to a Kobo e-ink reader it will seem more exciting, especially if you don't try to use it too much as a tablet?

Update. I'm returning it. Life is too short to wrestle with this. Even the instructions for how to do a factory reset were not correct - I had to search for the correct setting myself. Sheesh!

Last edited by mandel717; 10-28-2011 at 06:00 PM. Reason: update
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:19 PM   #216
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Also the formatting is such that in portrait or landscape you get a grey bar at the top and bottom of the page; the page doesn't fill the screen.
I just got back from playing with one at the store and also noticed the grey bars and didn't like that. They also seemed to be a fixed size - you could zoom, but the text layout doesn't reflow like a Kobo book. Are the regular black & white books different or are they like this too?


Quote:
I called Kobo support to ask about enabling access to Android Market and was told, helpfully, that the Vox is not an Android device. After I corrected the guy on the phone, he kept mentioning that it was an e-reader and they don't really support Android related stuff on it.
My understanding is that it's Android Market that doesn't allow access - they have strict requirements about which devices can or cannot access. But I don't think the customer support should be saying it's not an Android device - it clearly is!

Quote:
Perhaps in comparison to a Kobo e-ink reader it will seem more exciting, especially if you don't try to use it too much as a tablet?
My impression when playing with it was definitely that it's an e-reader that does extra stuff, rather then a full blown tablet that happens to allow reading. And that is how they are marketing it too.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:37 PM   #217
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My impression when playing with it was definitely that it's an e-reader that does extra stuff, rather then a full blown tablet that happens to allow reading. And that is how they are marketing it too.
When I went to the computer section at Best Buy and asked if the Kobo Vox tablet was being released today, they were surprised to hear there was a new tablet. It was in the eReader section of course.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:44 PM   #218
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I just got back from playing with one at the store and also noticed the grey bars and didn't like that. They also seemed to be a fixed size - you could zoom, but the text layout doesn't reflow like a Kobo book. Are the regular black & white books different or are they like this too?
.
Text-only books appear the same as on my iPad. It seems the images are causing the fixed aspect ratio.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:48 PM   #219
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Hmm - I think I will also be returning this. It's frozen on me several times, I can't for the life of me get into any of the larger apps places. Still can't download a decent file manager. I've just loaded 104 epubs (non-DRMd) onto an SD card and it's been approx. 15 minutes "Importing the items you selected".

It would be nice if they had left off all the facebook-type social apps and figured out a way to enable something like "collections" or "categories" for our books! This is seriously annoying me ... Who needs Statistics, progress and Total Read Time? Really?

I can't imagine having this thing replace my Kindle. Going to run to kiss and make up with my baby! (how could I ever have thought of replacing you?)

Kindle Fire it is then - should receive it in a few weeks ...
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:23 PM   #220
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I'm beginning to not like the sound of this. Good thing my sis in Toronto decided not to ship off my Vox to me. Looks like I'll be asking her to return it.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:32 PM   #221
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@mandel717: Thanks for the review. It does indeed sound rushed, and errors that mention things like 'phone' when it is a tablet/ereader are the details that will confuse customers (let alone that you need to enable non-market installs in the first place).

I do have one comment though;

Quote:
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Definitely seems that was a rushed launch using an existing tablet model from a Chinese manufacturer they used to get a quick device out the door before Amazon.
This statement seems a little loaded.

The company producing from all reports is a Taiwan OEM (Wistron), not that the country of origin should matter considering most electronics are assembled in China these days. Also as the styling of the backing is unique there does seem to be at least some customisation (cosmetic at least), and to put it into context the Kindle Fire (the forthcoming competitor) is a clear rehash of the Blackberry Playbook design.

All in all it just sounds like they are pushing these out the door before they have their ducks in a row. It's a shame because a poor first experience by customers I don't feel is worth having it on shelves sooner. Much harder to get said customer back once they have certain quality associations with the brand.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:59 PM   #222
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I didn't mean to load my statement! Just that comparing it to something like the Kindle, which seems more customized for the use of it, it's obviously some off-the-shelf hardware from one of the many manufacturers of these types of devices, located in China/Taiwan. I suppose I could have just said an existing tablet model...
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:57 PM   #223
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Update. I'm returning it. Life is too short to wrestle with this. Even the instructions for how to do a factory reset were not correct - I had to search for the correct setting myself. Sheesh!
I'm with you, I'm returning mine as well. Mandel, how do you do a factory reset, please?
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:09 AM   #224
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Mandel, could you tell me too (how to do factory reset)? Thanks
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:33 AM   #225
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Mandel, could you tell me too (how to do factory reset)? Thanks
Sorry, I've already returned it, and I can't remember exactly what I did. I looked through all the settings and finally found one that had just one entry - factory reset. That did the trick. But I can't remember the name of the setting. It was totally not what was on the help website for the Kobo though - maybe that was for the old software?

Someone with one will have to post exactly what to do.
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