10/19/2011 10:35 EDT | Updated 12/19/2011 05:12 EST

Kobo Vox Tablet: Canadian Ebook Company Releases Full-Colour Device


TORONTO - The Canadian ebook company Kobo is getting into the crowded tablet market and beating a major competitor to the punch.

Orders are now being taken for the Kobo Vox, a full-colour seven-inch tablet about the same size as the BlackBerry PlayBook. It's selling for about $200 and shipping starts on Oct. 28.

It's a Wi-Fi only device, runs on the Google Android operating system and has eight gigabytes of built-in storage, with the ability to add up to 32GB more with an SD card.

Kobo says the Vox will run for up to seven hours, if the WiFi setting is turned off.

The Vox will compete against a long list of tablets on the market, including Apple's bestselling iPads, the PlayBook, Samsung's Galaxy Tabs, Motorola's Xoom and a host of smaller rivals. But the Vox is about 60 per cent cheaper than the least-expensive iPad.

Kobo's largest ebook competitor, Amazon, also announced its own tablet recently with similar specifications. Called the Fire, it's not due for release until Nov. 15 and is also selling for $199 in the U.S. There's no release date set for Canada.

Kobo says the Vox will also come with three free colour books, 12 magazines and seven newspapers.

It will be available in black, green, pink or blue.