updated 09:25 am EDT, Mon July 11, 2011
iRiver Story HD first e-reader with Google eBooks
iRiver made a big splash in the US on Monday with word of not just its first major e-reader for the US but a first for the industry. The Story HD is the first dedicated e-reader to support Google eBooks and can buy or otherwise grab books over Wi-Fi. Google's platform gives it an edge as any company can integrate it without needing an official app, possibly preventing lock-in with a particular device.
The Story HD itself aims at the Kindle 3's territory with the combination of a higher resolution, 1024x768 e-paper screen and a QWERTY keyboard underneath to quickly find books. It runs on a relatively quick ARM Cortex-A8 processor from Freescale and holds 2GB of books itself, with an SDHC slot available to take much more.
iRiver ships the Story HD to the US through Target's online and retail shops on July 17. It will stay roughly price competitive with Amazon's device as well as the Barnes & Noble Nook at $140. Google hasn't hinted when other e-readers might get the treatment, but Android and iOS users can already get a free app.