Sunday, May 13, 2012

Kobo Vox - Longer Term Impressions

It's now been several months since I posted both my First Impressions review of the Kobo Vox and my Further Impressions. Since then, I've added a couple of tutorials: Installing the Overdrive Media Console and Installing the Amazon Kindle app.

While I've been a fan of the Kobo e-reader from day one, since I got the Kobo Vox, I haven't even charged up the old Wi-Fi model once. As far as I'm concerned, low battery-life and all, the Vox trumps the older models completely. I can't say anything about the Touch model though.

 I've done a fair bit of reading on it too. Both of Michael R. Hicks books - through the amazon Kindle app, which works like a charm - and several others too.

Daylight or night, it works wonderfully with all kinds of lighting - definitely better than my smartphone screen.

Reading back, I noticed that I commented on the Live Wallpapers having a tendency to slow my Vox down back in my Further Impressions post. Maybe it was just that one wallpaper, because I've since been running a spectacular one, with no problems in the last couple of months. Finding and installing the wallpapers though has been a challenge, because most of them are linked from the Android Marketplace, which it seems, the Vox still has no access to. On the other hand, I haven't tried in recent months, but at the same time I haven't heard otherwise either.

The libraries have been a bit of a disappointment though. Nothing to do with the Overdrive Media Console app or how it works however. That side of things has worked - no problems. It's just that the libraries don't seem to have the kind of books I'm interested in reading - mostly science fiction or fantasy novels.

Loading on non-Kobo E-books is still an absolute breeze. Drop the e-pub file onto your micor-SD card and insert it into the Vox. Open the Library, and your e-reader does the rest of the job for you. Believe me, about half my library is on there from that method.

The feature I'm starting to take more advantage of now though is the Pulse, that social aspect of reading which has been integrated into the Kobo Vox interface. Surprisingly, at least with the super-popular books like Game of Thrones, it's lots of fun, because you can keep track of who else is reading the book at the same time, and how many times the book has been read. Not to mention reading other people's comments about the book. It's possible to read all the comments at once (choosing one option will let you avoid spoilers too) or to see comments and "likes/dislikes" for particular pages. It's kind of neat to know that somebody has commented for the same page you're reading. I'm thinking of it a bit like a world-wide book club for the book you're reading. Unfortunately, it only works with the books you buy from Kobo.

At the same time, I'm integrating Facebook into my reading a bit more. I only just managed to get the Facebook app (the screen just past the home screen) to let me log in properly, and I've been finding that the Facebook integration with Kobo is a bit finicky, and not always letting me do things like posting quotes. On the other hand, that could be my unfamiliarity with both Facebook and that segment of Kobo usage talking.

On a different topic, recently Dark Horse Comics has announced a partnership with Kobo to bring their graphic novels to the Kobo Vox. Even though I haven't tried reading a full graphic novel on the Kobo Vox, I have seen what they look like. It's spectacular! The pages are vibrant and clear, with readable text and crisp images.

Overall, I've had nothing but good experiences with my Kobo Vox over the past several months. Certainly the "new gadget" appeal has never worn off in my eyes.

I have however, noticed a change in how I read, using the Vox as compared to reading a paper book or even on the older Wi-Fi model. Before, I would read in longer segments of time, even hours at a time. Now, when I'm reading on the Vox, I find myself switching over to playing a game after only a few minutes of reading. Just the temptation of having the games available?

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