WHSmith Unveils Kobo Vox Android-Powered Colour LCD "Social" Ereader For the UK

By Sam Gibbs on at

In another attempt to make itself relevant again, WHSmith has launched a colour ereader-come-tablet, the Kobo Vox. The 7-inch colour slate packs 8GB of storage, is powered by an 800MHz processor and runs Gingerbread with access to the Android Market.

We're not talking a Mirasol display here, but the AFFS+ screen should be relatively readable outdoors thanks to a reflective backlight and anti-glare coating, with wide viewing angles. The Vox also packs Wi-Fi, 512MB RAM, a speaker and headphones jack with a microSD slot for expandable storage, plus 'unlimited' cloud storage. Kobo's partnered up with Facebook using Kobo Pulse to make the Vox the "only official eReading partner to Facebook", so you can share your book reading experience in real-time, if that's your thing -- "the world's first social ereader".

The Vox smacks to me of a Kindle Fire or Barnes & Noble Nook competitor, which considering neither are available on these shores, might mean the Vox is just the ticket for people seeking a colour ereader. But it doesn't seem to know whether it's an Android tablet or an ereader, nor does it have the backing of Amazon's multimedia services. With that sluggish 800MHz processer it's certainly going to be more Kindle-like than Transformer Prime-esque; but a 7-hour battery life means it might make a half-decent ereader. The Vox will set you back £170 from any and all WHSmith stores, so it's pretty cheap as tablets go -- but then if you're actually after an ereader, why would you not just get yourself an £89 Kindle?