In a serious bid to stay relevant, the iRiver Story HD has lowered its price from $139 to $99 until October 15th. The price cut is firmly attributed to the recent $79 offering from Amazon for their 4th generation Kindle.
The iRiver Story HD is the first e-reader that is integrated into the Google Books ecosystem. The device is only being sold at Target locations in the USA and is not available internationally unless you buy it from our sponsor Shop e-Readers.
We reviewed the iRiver Story HD when it first came out and we were surprised you could not buy or even download books in Canada. Google has promised that by the end of the year they will launch in the UK, Australia, Canada, and other markets. This will ensure that users in international markets could buy or download free books right on the device.
The iRiver Story HD e-reader features a six inch e-ink display with a tremendous resolution of 1024×768 pixels. It certainly packs a punch and you can see where they fit the HD into the selling point. Pictures and comic books look wonderful and very vibrant in comparison to other e-readers on the marketplace.
The screen itself features the latest generation e-ink PEARL technology and displays 213 DPI. You can see other examples of e-readers that use a PEARL screen if you go check out the Amazon Kindle 3rd generation, Sony PRS-650, and Nook Simple Touch.
The e-Reader does have a Freescale i.MX508 800 MHZ CPU processor, which should make the device snappy, but sadly it does not. The page turn speeds are on par with the lightning quick Amazon Kindle, but you really notice the lack of speed with this e-reader when you are doing routine tasks. When I clicked on an ebook to open it, it look almost 35 seconds for the book to actually open. I also noticed the lack of speed when opening the bookstore.
There is a 2GB memory to store your ebooks and content, but only 1.5 is really usable. You can further enhance the memory via the SD card up to 32 GB.
I really liked this device because the resolution is the best in the business and pictures, comics, and graphic novels really shine on it. It does feel flimsy and the design quality is not very good. Although, if you love free books, you can download millions from Google Books.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.