Many of us have already gotten use to and love the Kindle, or the Nook, or one of the current e-reader devices that takes reading books to the modern computer-age level. We now will have the chance to use a device that features integration with Google eBooks with the iRiver Story HD.
We’ll be able to grab one in the United States exclusively at Target on July 17. The Story HD features a 7.3-ounce bodyweight, a six-inch high-definition (768×1024 pixels) E-ink display, a
QWERTY keyboard and a $139.99 price tag. Customers can pick them up at Target’s
website, or at retail locations nationwide.
The new reader lets customers download content via WiFi from Google’s cloud-based library of over 3 million free works. Thousands more eBooks are also available for purchase on Google’s
According to a post on the Google Blog by Google Books Product Manager Pratip Banerji, customers can also access Google eBooks on over 80 compatible devices. However, the Story HD skips the step of having to download titles to a PC and sync up the reader to access the books.
“We built the Google eBooks platform to be open to all publishers, retailers and manufacturers,” wrote Banerji. “Manufacturers like iRiver can use Google Books APIs and services to connect their devices to the full Google eBooks catalog for out-of-the-box access to a complete eBook store. You can also store your personal eBooks library in the cloud–picking up where you left off in any eBook you’re reading as you move from laptop to Smartphone to e-reader to tablet.”
USA Today outlines some of the challenges the Story HD faces, including “stiff competition from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony, the most established players in the dedicated reader market,” as well as the device’s lack of a touch screen and its relatively high price tag (when
compared to devices like the $114 Kindle).
Story HD is iRiver’s first e-reader introduced to U.S. customers, though iRiver has been selling devices overseas.
A Few Specs of the Story HD
The device will have a six-inch XGA (768 by 1024) E Ink display that the company claims as a world’s first — the display has about 64% more pixels than rivals. At 7.3 -ounces, it’s also lighter than competitive devices and iRiver claims a battery life that will let you flip up to 14,000 pages or up to six weeks of standby on a single charge.
The Bottom Line
Even though the Story HD will be pretty to look at, the biggest selling point will likely be its connection with Google. Check it out at a Target near you.