Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review: Purchasing the Story (By Andrew Mason)

"My iriver Story eBook reader arrived on Friday. I've had the weekend to explore its features and see how well it performs. These are my initial thoughts about the device. Hopefully it'll help anyone else who might be considering purchasing one.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the main purpose of the eBook reader for me is to do away with my hefty O'Reilly books and allow me to read to and from work. Therefore, easy of use and legibility were my primary concerns.
First thing I was impressed with was the size and weight of the device. Being roughly the same size as a small paperback and around the same weight, the iriver Story is ideal to carry around. It's a shame that it doesn't ship with a case, or even a protective bag, as the screen looks as if it could be damaged by the slightest pressure. However, being the size of a small paperback it shouldn't be difficult to find a suitable case.
I had ready online that eBook readers suffer from poor page turning speeds, apparently the Kindle is painfully slow. So I was pleasantly surprised to see speed isn't an issue with the iriver Story. Loading a 500 page .epub book takes around five seconds and a page turn is half a second. Pages turn by re-drawing the whole screen, so there is a noticeable black flicker between turns, but this is a necessary occurrence due to the E-Ink technology being used.
Font size is handled well, with three levels of zoom available. I'm happy with the default zoom level that has a nice balance between legibility and the number words on the page. There is also the ability to add your own fonts, but unfortunately this only apples to .txt files and not .epub or .pdfs. I'm hoping this will be resolved in the next firmware update.
Transferring files onto the reader was very simple. The devices shows up on the computer as a removable storage device by plugging it in via USB. Dragging and dropping files is all that is required. Unplugging and switching the reader on again will update the internal database and you're ready to read.
It's still early days with the iriver Story, and this week will be the real test as I use it every day on the busy London underground. But so far I'm very pleased with the purchase."

Review by Andrew Mason

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