At first glance it gave the impression of being a cut copy paste version of the Amazonian Kindle. A closer look at the iRiver brings out its subtle difference both in design and features that makes it one more unique feature rich, fresh entrant in the e-reader market. What seems apparent is that iRiver Story has invested quite a lot in the packaging and marketing material to make their first e-reader, the iRiver look quite impressive.
The iRiver falls under the 6-inch category of e-readers. Thatís the dimension of its display which is of Vizplex e-Ink screen that feature 8 levels of greyscale, which is same as in case of the Sony Touch or the Pocket / Bebook. Compared to the Kindle which has 16 grey scale screen, the iRiver has 8 levels of grayscale with 800 X 600 resolution, though both make for quite a comfortable reading experience.
Coming to ease of navigation, the iRiver has added side buttons that makes it convenient for both left and right hand use while you can also use the keypad to make your way through the menus. Overall the navigation process is simpler and more intuitive compared to the Kindle. Page turning or flipping is swift and at £229 the iRiver also comes with features like a diary, memo facility, built in speaker and a voice recorder. All of these features sure are handy though itís not likely to be used that frequently. The gadget has an on board memory of 2GB, which is enough for several hundred e-books and can be expanded further with SD Card.
On the aspect of format supportability, the iRiver once again offers ePub, PDF, TXT readability and is able to display DOC, PPT and XLS files as well. iRiver also supports JPEG, BMP and GIF format, something that will be liked by those who take pleasure in reading comics. This is much unlike the Kindle that is limited to be compatible with only those supported by amazon.com and the PDF file formats. You can be at our e-reader forum for more on compatibility issues or for e-books of your choice at extremely affordable rates.
So can the iRiver be hailed as a perfect substitute for the laptop? Why not? For this is one e-reader where you can also upload your business document along with all annotations and have them at hand at all times.
However, issues remain with its build quality, which is no where close to the best in class. What is lacking is the solid feel that you get to have with the Kindle. Having said that, the iRiver does not quite feel cheap either. In fact, itís quite attractive looking with a keyboard that works excellently. In the UK, it is even pricier than the Kindle.
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