The e-tablet option

If a tablet is too expensive, maybe you’d prefer an e-tablet.



From the December/January 2012 issue of the magazine.


For people seeking the tablet experience for a lower price, e-tablets may be the solution. But be warned: you get what you pay for.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire might be the most well-known e-tablet. Based on the Kindle e-reader, this $200 device provides direct connections with thousands of e-books, plus movies and music. Unfortunately, it’s only available in the U.S., and Amazon hasn’t announced plans to bring it to Canada.

The Kobo Vox is available here, though. Like the Kindle Fire, it’s an update of an older e-book reader, adding music streaming via the RDIO web service, and a “social reading” system that connects users to Facebook and Twitter groups to discuss the books they’re into. The 8 GB hard drive can be used to store music and other media. The accompanying cloud storage feature lets you save material online as well.

With an 800 MHz processor and 512 MB of RAM, the Kobo Vox seems almost like a full- fledged tablet. It isn’t. At $200, the device doesn’t have cameras, so videoconferencing is out of the question. The screen doesn’t display rich, deep colours the way the more expensive tablets do. And some users say that the touch functionality doesn’t work very well.

Reviewers say the Kobo Vox is an excellent e-reader. But it’s a far cry from an iPad.

Check out MoneySense‘s tablets review.

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