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
- Music and lights could trigger malware
- Apple vs Samsung battle moves to suppliers
- Outgoing Intel CEO: we could have powered the iPhone
- Google Glass draws attention of US Congress
- Yahoo seeks "cool" with Tumblr purchase
- Dell profits slide 79% amid buyout talks
- Forget cloud subscriptions: users prefer standard licences
- McAfee: cloud storage could help spread viruses
- LulzSec hackers saw themselves as "latter-day pirates"
- 4G doesn't interfere with TV
- Hands on with the new Google Maps
- Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look
- Why I won't subscribe to Creative Cloud
- GoPro camera strapped to a remote-control helicopter: the ultimate boy's toy
- Acer Iconia A1 review: first look
- Acer Aspire P3 review: first look
- Acer Aspire R7 review: first look
- How we produce the PC Pro podcast
- Google Now draining iPhone battery
- The government website that doesn't work with IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Macs or smartphones
- iPhone apps for business travel
- How to get a job as a mobile games developer
- 25 best Windows 8 apps
- Introducing Arduino - a simple Raspberry Pi alternative
- The tweeting spaceman
- Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One
- 30 best web apps
- Getting started with HTML5
- The fall and rise of PC gaming
- The Dynabook is everywhere, but affordable internet isn't
- How to fix Facebook: Social Fixer
- Taking the stress out of WordPress updates
- Where to download free web fonts
- Turn your tablet into a Sky+ remote control
- How to measure the success of a new IT system
- Three years on: the state of the tablet market
- Windows 8: what works and what doesn't
- Yes, I write down my passwords
- How to make money from apps
- Hack your own radio transmitter
There are dozens of exciting prizes up for grabs on PC Pro Competitions. All our competitions are free to enter. Try your luck.ENTER NOW