iriver Story HD review
A great screen, but suspect ergonomics and a lack of display options and features put paid to its chances
Review Date: 30 Dec 2011
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £133 (£160 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
You might think a reader with no wireless connectivity or store integration would have a tough time taking on Sony and Amazon, but iriver’s latest ebook reader makes a fair stab at it.
It does so by offering the world’s first 768 x 1,024 resolution electronic ink screen.
Manufactured by LG, this 6in display compares well to the E Ink Pearl screens seen in most of the other readers on the market. Contrast is comparable, as is refresh speed, with pages flicking by at a rate of one per second.
The advantage of the extra pixels isn’t immediately obvious, but is clear with smaller text, such as in PDF files not formatted with ebook screens in mind. Consequently, there’s less need to zoom in than with other models.
The interface feels responsive, and looks elegant. The keyboard makes taking short notes and searching by keyword simple. There’s a generous 2GB of internal storage, which can be supplemented by adding a standard, full-sized SD card.
The problems arise, however, when you come to read, because the ergonomics of the iriver Story HD simply aren’t very good. Instead of placing buttons on the edge of the device for turning the page, iriver has decided a long, thin four-way D-pad is the way to go.
This clicks loudly, which is annoying enough, but far worse is that its position beneath the screen forces you to hold the reader in the bottom-left or right corners, which feels unnatural and awkward.
File format compatibility is generally fine, with EPUB and PDF formats covered, but there’s no MOBI or HTML support and the lack of display options is disappointing.
Font sizes can be changed, and there are eight sizes available, but you can’t change the font itself. PDF manipulation is awkward, with zoom operations taking an age, and panning (if you can call it that) using the cursor keys is painfully slow.
Even if this device had wireless and store integration (the next version will have both), its limited display options and questionable ergonomics put paid to its chances. The fact that the price is rather high doesn’t help either.
Author: Jonathan Bray
- Surface makes $1bn for Microsoft in three months
- Facebook Rooms to give anonymity to iPhone users
- Google buys Oxford University AI startups
- Microsoft Kinect SDK 2 brings apps to Windows Store
- Raspberry Pi unveils DIY tablet kit
- Windows 10: two-factor authentication coming to every device
- What is Google Inbox?
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Apple patent reveals iPhone car control system
- Windows 10 release date, features and how to get the Technical Preview
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- iPad Air 2 vs Nexus 9: Apple and Google's latest high-end tablets compared
- Five things that are actually new in the iPad Air 2
- Bendgate, Antennagate, and why Apple doesn’t care about bad news
- iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date, specs and UK price rumours
- Office Online vs Google Docs: which free online office suite is best?
- iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6 design comparison
- How to speed up an Android smartphone
- Nexus 6 release date, specs, UK price and leaked images
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screen comparison
- Mac OS X Yosemite release date, price and new features
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office