iriver Story HD

iriver Story HD
Developed by: iriver
Ranked: 9th
Overall rating:
Best price: $129.99
Purchase:

Stephen
Qualtrough

Reviewer

Technology should make our lives easier

Review summary

Good points iriver Story HD review good points

• High resolution screen

• Google books integration

• Fast loading speeds

• Long battery life

Bad points iriver Story HD review bad points

• Unattractive keypad and look

• No audio

• No annotation

• Only Wi-fi

Our verdict

The iRiver Story HD is a sturdy e-reader, the insides of the device seem to all be above average, but with lacklustre software features and an ugly design, it does make one question if it can step up against the likes of the Kindle 3G.

Screenshot of iriver Story HD 1 Screenshot of iriver Story HD 2 Screenshot of iriver Story HD 3



Full review

The iRiver Story received a Wi-fi upgrade in 2010 and has since tried to compete against the Nook and Kindle and with quite powerful hardware features, it is capable of outperforming both in some areas. It just seems Amazon and Barnes & Noble, the developers of the Kindle and the Nook, were capable of adding more software and polishing their e-readers with a more desirable design.

Design

A coffee-coloured anything never really goes down well, it reminds us too much of the awful 80’s sofas that used to be a fantasy back in the day, and are now seen sitting lonely in a car-boot sale for next to nothing. This is what the design screams at us, ugly and unwanted.

Of course, if you’re into the coffee coloured exterior with the orange-lit up interior looking something like the buttons on an elevator, then this will be right up your street.

The build is sturdy though and could probably survive a few drops to the floor. The keys aren’t that easy to touch, since they’ve been modelled in an odd pill-like shape.

The HD display is something the iRiver Story tries to idolise is the reason you should purchase their e-reader – even though text is more crisp and images look sharper and more fancy, it’s not a huge difference from the Kindle 3G.

Ease of use

We’ve already stated that the keys aren’t the easiest function to type with; they make the Kindle keyboard look flawless. The designers also decided to add page switch buttons at the bottom, near the keypad, a place which is irritating to get to when holding the e-reader in bed.

Searching doesn’t take that long and the device doesn’t have a huge tendency to fail when you’re looking for something. The device doesn’t have a huge amount of menus to get through either, something we were quite happy with.

Content

Amazingly, this average e-reader managed to get Google to become their platform for books, and become the first e-reader to have Google place their Linux based library onto an e-reader.

This gives the user enough books to last them a lifetime, unless you’re some kind of supercomputer. With 3 million titles, the Google Books store is very fruitful. Surprisingly though, not as fruitful as the Nook or Kindle though, still, you won’t find yourself in a lacklustre library.

Connectivity

Adding Wi-fi was a good start for the e-reader, now we just await there 3G version. Still, Wi-fi is still what most e-readers have and it is accepted that most people don’t take their e-readers out a lot, and if they do, they’re already packed with books for the journey.

Battery

Battery life is a pretty odd subject when it comes to e-readers, going from smartphones battery life of around 8 hours average; tablets at the same and laptops at a bit more, then somehow e-readers manage months without a recharge.

This battery can last around one month if you read an average of 30 minutes a day, a bit lower than some others. This will be an effect of the HD display and the fast processing unit.

Storage

2GB’s of onboard storage is small, even when the Story was originally released – Kindle now has double this amount and a good storage cycle to delete/store clutter.

That being said, iRiver has a SD Slot for expandable memory – now all you need to do is purchase one of those ancient SD cards.

Features

Running on a Linux based operating system, it isn’t as user friendly as Kindles or Nook’s. That being said, the OS is more open source, for people into developing.

Google’s first partnership with an e-book company is with this e-reader and Google Books runs on the e-reader.

It features a fast Freescale i.MX508 ARM Cortex-A8 processor that can run pretty quickly. Flash still takes the toll for speeds though.

Overall

The iRiver Story HD has three compelling features: HD, Google Books and good hardware. But it lacks any real butter to make the system run smoothly and look nice. Realistically, you can do better with the new Kindle for the same price.



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Ratings breakdown

Overall
 received a rating of 3 for Overall
Design
 received a rating of 4 for Design
Ease of use
 received a rating of 3 for Ease of use
Content
 received a rating of 3 for Content
Connectivity
 received a rating of 2 for Connectivity
Battery & storage
 received a rating of 5 for Battery & storage
Features
 received a rating of 3 for Features