iRiver Story HD eReader is designed for Google eBooks
The iRiver Story HD is the newest entry into the world of e-readers. It was released on July 17, 2011. It has certainly made the e-reader market a bit more interesting not only for users but also its competitors.
It has achieved this by having a competitive price, stunning resolution, QWERTY keyboard, and the ability to download Google Books.
The e-reader is the brainchild of iRiver Limited, a company with its facility found in Guangdong, China. (It also has offices in Moscow, Hong Kong, Japan, and EU). Established in 2005 it currently has around 1,000 employees.
The e-reader isn’t the only product from iRiver Limited. They also manufacture MP3 players, including flash type, CD type, and HDD type, as well as an electronic dictionary.
With regards to its long-term plans, iRiver doesn’t have any direct intention to be the best in the field. It simply aims to produce products and offer services that can meet the demands of its target market.
To achieve their goal, they keep 4 core values in mind. These are easy access, innovation, design and competitive pricing.
With easy access, they want to create products that are reachable as well as fast and convenient to use.
Innovation means coming up with devices that are ingenious, crafty, and technologically driven.
Products should also be visually appealing without compromising its purpose. Finally competitive pricing allows you to compete against established brand names like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
It’s Not the Prettiest
iRiver Story HD isn’t the prettiest e-reader in the market. In fact, at first glance, you’ll immediately think about it as one giant calculator. Though it has a QWERTY keyboard, its location makes it out of place, and the keys smaller than Kindle’s and uncomfortable to press. Moreover, since you don’t do a lot of typing in it, it’s almost useless. The e-reader is also available in very limited colors and thus doesn’t immediately appeal to your visual taste.
Nevertheless, with its size at 7.49 by 5.02 by 0.37 inches, it is already comparable to Amazon Kindle 3. It is lightweight at 7.3 ounces (207g) and slim, making it comfortable to hold and carry for longer periods of time.
Instead of the typical left and right buttons, iRiver Story HD possesses up-and-down arrows. The change in page buttons is irrelevant, though, as the e-reader has very fast page turns.
The Best Resolution
iRiver e-book reader is pretty basic. It doesn’t support mp3 files as well as audio playback. However, it tries to make up with its display resolution. While the existing e-book readers such as theKobo eReader devices, as well as Nook and Kindle have a resolution of 800 by 600, this one has 1024 by 768. This means that it has more pixels occupying almost the same space size as that of other e-readers.
Though it still uses E Ink® display, the very high resolution makes reading on the iRiver Story more pleasurable and easier. The contrast is much higher, glares are reduced, and the fonts are sharper. Even using the smallest font an image can appear legible, so you don’t have to maximize the text screen.
Friendly with Google Books
Another big advantage of the iRiver eBook reader is its direct connection to the Google eBookstore. You can download close to 3 million public -domain books for free, as well as several titles from no less than 200 bookshops, through a Wi-Fi connection.
This is also one of the best, if not the best e-reader, with regards to PDF. Unlike Kindle, the graphs remain visible even if you reflow the texts, and unlike the Nook, you can change the screen orientation to landscape.
Google is also known for its cloud services, which has a vast impact in the design and function of iRiver e-reader. With it, there’s no need for you to download a copy to your e-reader as you can just save it in the cloud. This means that titles can be accessed using other devices, such as laptops, tablet PCs, and mobile phones.
iRiver Story HD sports a Freescale 800MHz processor, which is similar to the one found in the Kobo Touch. This allows faster page turning and navigation, though it gets sluggish sometimes. It doesn’t have a stellar built-in memory, which is only half to what you can find in the newest Kindle, but 2GB is enough for at least 1500 books.
Nevertheless, it still tries to impress you by making it one of the e-readers that can support several MS Office documents, such as PowerPoint, Excel, and word processor. Besides PDF, you can also view TXT files.
One of the biggest downsides of iRiver Story HD is actually its limitation with Wi-Fi. Though you can connect online, it doesn’t let you do anything else except search and download straight from Google eBook store. It also doesn’t allow you to search any text among the pages. You cannot use it to check e-mails or browse the Internet.
There are also inconsistencies with regards to its battery life. The company claims it can last for around 3 weeks, others shorter. There may be some truth to it, but one may have to turn the Wi-Fi off to achieve such duration, and it still pales in comparison to the battery life of Kindle or Nook, which have a battery life of up 2 months.
Lastly, for you to check some ePub formatted titles, you have to download them to your PC before you open them on your reader.
A number of e-reader users believe iRiver Story HD is somewhat too late to make a major impact. Once could say the HD is try to swim up the river. While Nook, Amazons Kindle reader, and Kobo readers are busy upgrading theirs to newer, faster, and better versions, iRiver comes in with the most basic functions. However, it banks on one aspect that is highly essential to readers: resolution and price. Thos features alone, can give popular existing e-readers a run for their money.