11 July 2011

Google eBooks and Iriver launch Story HD e-reader

Back at CES in January, we got an early look at Iriver's Story HD, a new e-ink-based product that the company was touting as the world's "highest-resolution 6-inch e-reader." Well now, that e-reader is set to launch July 17 with the Google eBookstore on board, making it the first Google eBooks e-reader. 

The 7.3-ounce Story HD, which retails for $139.99 and sports an electronic paper display made by LG, offers XGA (768x1,024 pixels) resolution and has 63.8 percent more pixels and faster page turns, thanks to an advanced processor from Freescale Semiconductor based on ARM Cortex technology. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and allegedly gives you up to six weeks of battery life from a single charge. As far as other specs go, the Story HD has a QWERTY keypad, and supports EPUB and PDF formats with DRM. 

Aside from the Google eBooks integration, obviously the most interesting selling point will be the crisper text that the higher-resolution display delivers. But with more e-ink readers moving to a touch-screen interface and a more compact design without a keyboard, the Story HD's design faces the problem of seeming marginally dated at launch. It's also unclear how much people care about Google eBooks at this point after it hasn't exactly set the world on fire since it launched late last year. 

The new e-reader will first appear in Target stores and on Target.com next week. As soon as we get our hands on a unit, we'll let you know what we think in an in-depth review.

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