Conclusion: Despite the notion that the iPad and the onslaught of Android tablets would kill e-readers, that just hasn’t been the case. For those seeking to surf the internet, watch videos, play games, and use various apps, the tablet is the obvious choice. But for those who simply love to read and are looking for a way to replace paper books, the choice is still an e-reader.
Summary: iriver’s follow-up ereader to the Story (and its first US market offering) — the Story HD — features a newly redesigned piece of hardware, but you might not know that it's a 2011 product from a glance. The design is downright retro in some ways, featuring little goldish brown pill-shaped keys, a metal rocker navigation button, and a matching goldish brown rubberized back. The software is incredibly simple and stark — this is one ereader you won’t be surfing the web on.
Pros: Crisp, high resolution display, Very light, Quick, responsive software
Cons: Same price as competition with fewer features, Power button poorly placed, No ability to highlight or make notes
Conclusion: The iriver Story HD sports a fantastic screen and it's the first ebook reader with Google eBooks integration, but an outdated feature set can't compete with leaders like the Kindle or the Nook.
Pros: High-resolution 1024-by-768 E Ink screen. Fast, responsive performance. Google eBooks sync online, and with other devices.
Cons: Hardware feels a bit flimsy. Requires too much effort to sync. Few reading customization options. No newspapers or magazines.
Summary: The Story HD is not a Kindle. It’s a digital piece of paper with an awesome resolution, non-DRM file format support, and expandable storage. Everything else about it is basic, but that’s OK because it shouldn’t try to compete with the content providers. The Story HD is for those of us who have documents, comics, self scanned books, or libraries full of ebooks from the days before digital reading became popular enough to slap DRM on everything.
Summary: At first glance, the $139 iRiver Story HD seems like a solid eReader contender. The HD display differentiates this device from the Kindle and Nook, as does the wide document support. However, these features don't balance out the uncomfortable design or the inability to make notes and highlights. The Google eBook integration works both in the Story HD's favor and against it.
Pros: Crisp E Ink display, Clean user interface, Wide format support, Wide-ranging ecosystem
Cons: Poor ergonomics, Lacks notes and highlights, No font face choices, Hard to use one-handed
Excerpt: (1 items) Google is everywhere right now. The company has made a strong push with its Google Books project, but until now it hasn’t had a tie-in to a stand-alone e-reader. That changes with the iRiver Story HD , which goes on sale Sunday at Target’s stores and website for $140. The Story HD makes getting Google ebooks onto an E Ink-based reader reasonably easy; in my trials with the device, however, I found myself frustrated by the Story HD’s cheap design, poky...
Pros: Clean interface, High-resolution XGA E Ink display
Cons: Buttons are stiff, and poorly placed, Sometimes sluggish navigation
Excerpt: The iriver Story HD is one of the latest eReaders to enter the market. This eReader boasts an HD display and a very powerful eReader processor. iriver also has a partnership with Google Books, similar to the partnerships between the Kindle and Amazon and Barnes and Noble and the Nook. This way there is a clear medium through which books can be purchased onto the Story HD, which is not the case with a few other eReaders on the market.