You’d be forgiven if you haven’t heard of Kobo’s Android-powered Vox eReader before — it has a tendency to get glossed over in favor of bigger names like the Kindle or the Nook. Kobo’s hoping to remedy that with another retail push, and this time they’ve inked a deal to get those Vox readers into Best Buy stores across the country.
The Vox is probably best known for its Pulse social reading service, which comes off as something like a virtual book club. It allows users to interact with each other while reading through the month’s bestsellers, with a bright visual indicator to let readers know how active a particular page is.
Being Android-based, users are also able to pore through and download apps, but forget about unfettered access to the Android Market — Vox readers can choose from a curated selection of about 15,000 apps.
I’m sure Kobo is glad to have nabbed another big physical retail deal, but I wonder how much good it’ll do them in the long-run. Best Buy counts the Kindle and Nook families among their wares, and the Vox is likely to be a tough sell against known quantities like the immensely-popular Kindle Fire. I’d definitely give the Vox the style advantage with its four arguably handsome color variants, but a pretty paint job does not a bestseller make.
Still, the Vox has enough going for it that it’s worth at least a second glance from consumers, and that’s probably exactly what Kobo wanted out of this deal.