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“It's odd but it gets harder these days to find a...”

Written on: 14/12/2010 by leighwont (8 reviews written)

It's odd but it gets harder these days to find a device that is made for a specific purpose and as a result does it's job very well. The iRiver Story is a good example of such a device, by keeping it simple it performs very well. Admittedly it does play music and the speakers will obviously add a little to the weight but it still not much heavier than you average paperback and if you choose to use that function it doesn't sound too bad at all.

If, like me, you don't waste the battery on music then it's life is very impressive, the quoted 9000 page turns isn't far off the mark and that gives you around 30 books between charges. At my rather slow reading rate it last many months and even at my girlfriends much more impressive rate it lasted her a couple of months, so more than enough for most trips. As well as battery life the e-ink has another significant advantage over a laptop/tablet display and that is you don't suffer from sun glare and the lack of a back light is easier on the eyes.

The interface is very simple and I was up and running in minutes, it's easy to add books as it's just treated as a removable drive you just have to remember to turn it on before plugging it in and select the option on it to connect so it doesn't just charge. 2GB of storage is ample, if you are dealing in text only it will fit a couple of thousand books and if somehow that isn't enough you can add cards of up to 32GB so you will have plenty of room for choice. It is similar in stature to the Kindle and that helped me pick up a case for cheap since it was meant for the more popular Amazon device. It's worth bearing in mind the screen is quite fragile (so I'm told I've not tested that) so it is a bit of a shame it doesn't come with a case. The reason I chose this over a Kindle is better battery life and support for EPUB, this gives you a wider choice of retailers for books.

The only really downside is a lack of options to improve the readability of books once loaded. The zoom function only removes uniform margins and focus on the center of the page, you can't for instance zoom in on the top and then the bottom of a page. This means the book has to be somewhere near readable on a small screen in the first place and this is not always true of PDFs meant to be viewed on a big computer monitor. This does mean some books need to be processed before putting them on the reader but a handy free program called Calibre can help you with that.

Minor faults aside it does a great job of being like a book, well more like 2000 books but just taking up the space of 1.

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