Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Kobo and Kobo Vox

This is not a rant, I'm just commenting on my experiences with Kobo. Kobo is a Canadian company, located in Toronto and for this reason, I was really drawn to the market. Unfortunately, I feel like they need to improve on many things that are lacking. I've voiced my opinions on twitter, but I've been reluctant to post about them because I really do want them to get better.

I've been purchasing books from Kobo for about a year, and at Christmas I was given a Pink Kobo Vox. While reading on the Vox is enjoyable, it can be slugglish at times. It has even been sluggish when turning pages. This normally happens when I've been reading for many hours. As far as the apps go, I know it is primarily a reader, but it would be nice to compete with the other "reader tablets" on the markets in regards to Apps. Kobo has Getjar, and I hardly ever look to use it. It has ads and pops up in a browser, it doesn't feel at all like an app store. I tend to go to Goodereader for tips and app downloads. I really wanted to have the Kindle app, unfortunately The Kindle app is VERY slow, and tends to crash the Vox. Netflix lags, and even browsing on the internet can lag and have poor performance. The touch keyboard is not very reponsive and often leaves me very frusterated and going to get my Ipad. I don't even like to buy books from the Vox due to the keyboard.

I've also come across other issues with my Kobo Vox. The first one I received was brand new in the box, sealed and when I turned it on, I noticed it had someone else's credentials saved in the system. I've been following Kobo, and I've seen other uses tweet about this same issue. This was very surprising and shocking to me.

I've noticed many, many formatting issues with the books I've downloaded, which i've mentioned before. Yesterday, I opened An Unexpected Guest by Anne Korkeakivi which I had bought and downloaded a few months ago, and when I flipped the page, I noticed something very strange...it wasn't the actual book I bought!

Strange isn't it? I turned a few more pages, and I could tell the first chapter wasn't An Unexpected Guest, I even compared it to a sample chapter, just to be sure. I've opened a ticket, so let's see what they do...

Here are some formatting issues I've found: Here Also, My cover stated it was an advanced copy/ uncorrected proof, and nothing came of that...

Overall, I don't feel like Kobo feels like the Vox is a priority. The Ipad app's are updated constantly, where the Kobo Vox app doesn't have the same features which seems odd to me. I would think they would try to keep the apps similar. Most recently the Kobo Vox added "Recommendations" and let me tell you, most of the recommendations I own, brought from them, and the other books I've never heard of, and have zero interest in. This has gotten a little better, but still worthless to me.

Some of the other key issues I have with Kobo is:

-They have no cart on the website, if I buy 10 books, I have to do it seperately. This is very annoying, and I has been like this since I started purchasing books through Kobo.

- On my Vox many of the books I purchased, turn into previews which is really annoying! I'm reading a book, and all of a sudden it's a preview, which I will need to redownload and it looses where I am in the book. This happens multiple times for the same books.

- When I open tickets, they go to Tier 2 and I never hear from them again. They always give me steps to delete all my books and re-add them. I have 243 books in my Kobo Library, and this is a very long, tedious process that never solves anything.

If you're a Kobo user, how has your experience been?


  1. Jennifer, I have had the same thing happen with my Kobo. Honestly its not used very much but I always had a problem with the pages turning very slow and it was sluggies. I called numerous times about it and had to send it emails with info because it was always a Tier 2 and like you never heard from them.

    Then a blogger friend of mine had a problem and she finally got through to someone and she mentioned several people having issues with Kobo me included.

    I did get a new kobo (nothing fancy) since getting it I can't download books onto it and have called and emailed several times and quiet honestly I am so fed up with Kobo and I feel back but I am thinking of getting a kindle. so many people I know are very ahppy with it and customer service is better.

    As for Tier 2 I think they use that to keep us quiet since they know there is some serious problems with the Kobo.

    1. I have two Kobo Vox's and they both have the same issues. It's obviously a hardware issue, which frusterates me.

      Tier 2 is a joke. I'm tired of deleting and readding my books when it doesn't nothing and takes me an hour or more to do.

      I would love a Kindle, but I have too many books bought that wouldn't be supported. I want a Nook tablet.

  2. I experienced issues as well, prior to even receiving my Vox. I'm glad I was able to get a refund on my preorder and get a Nook tablet. I've been so happy with it, no complaints whatsoever.

  3. Wow, it does seem there are some issues with the Kobo. Most of my book club friends read on the nook, the Kindle or the iPad and they all complain about formatting issues.

  4. Sorry to hear you're having so many problems with your e-reader! I'd suggest moving on to something new. I hear great things about the Kindle and I have a Nook Color which I LOVE! So far I've had no issues with it and would happily purchase another one if I had to.

  5. I would be spitting mad if these things kept happening to my e-reader! I don't know a lot about the Kobo, but what you and others have just said has turned me off completely. I would never buy one of these devices. I used to own a Kindle, but now I read on the iPad. I also read mostly paper books, but when I do use the iPad, I never have any issues at all. Sorry to say it, but this sounds like a terrible product!

  6. Oh, I had no idea that Kobo is a Canadian company! I would love that if only I didn't have so many problems with my old one too haha :') I got one for Christmas last year and was ecstatic about it, but we had to return it shortly after because of the same problems as you! It was so slow and sluggish at times, and really hard to operate at others. It took me forever to set up and even longer to load books onto it, so we eventually just gave up and turned it back in. Since then, I've never had another e-reader and I'm kind of fine with that hah -- I just use my sister's iPod when I really need to read an e-book! x)

    I'm really sorry you've been having problems with your Kobo too, Mrs. Q! Hopefully they'll see this post and fix it up! This was a really respectful yet critical post and I'm sure they'll appreciate the honest feedback :)

  7. Eek, that's not good! I have a nook simple touch (also had the first generation nook) and love it!!

  8. I just got a Kobo as an anniversary gift. I have downloaded some books on it but have yet to read them. I love paper books too much. I downloaded the Kindle app on my android phone, however, because Kobo did not support the formatting of a review book I wanted and I've already read it on my phone, which was not a bad experience.

    I sent a question to Kobo customer service and never got a response. I feel badly that Kobo is the only well-known Canadian e-reader and it has so many issues. They really need to get their act together.