The recently launched iRex iLiad electronic reader 800 SG is yet another eBook reader aimed at capturing some of Amazon’s thunder. My short iRex iLiad review looks at it’s features and spec to see where it can take on the Kindle and win.
It seems, at the minute, that all the big eBook reader manufacturers are looking to tag on to the tails of the market leader, Kindle, and are offering not just matching hardware specification but also equal services. The new iLiad is no different, 3G connectivity, in built eStore and best selling titles at under ten bucks. but the iLiad does offer some things not found on the Kindle 2 eBook reader.
First up, the screen is larger, at 200mm (8 inch) it beats the Kindle’s 150mm (6 inch) screen by a clear 50mm (2 inches) and utilizes touchscreen technology. Irex to get rid of the ugly qwerty keyboard Amazon use on their Kindle models and use instead a touchscreen interface and stylus to access the devices navigation.
Unlike the Kindle, iRex have again opted to go the open standard route. The 800 SG supports a multitude of D.R.M. protected file formats. ePub is the talk of the industry at the moment, so it’s good news that iLiad support what many see as the industry standard format. You will be able to purchase your content from most any source but more importantly download free content to read on your digital book reader.
The companies new joint venture with the book store Barnes and Noble gives users instant access to 750k online book titles, these can be downloaded on to the device in less than a minute. This is achieved through the Verizon wireless 3G (broadband) network, the bill for this being picked up by iRex in the same way Amazon do. With no on board web browser, purchases outside of the Barnes and Noble site will have to be done through a computer/laptop connection.
The 800 GS model is also able to be used in both portrait and landscape orientation, both allowing for adjustable font re-sizing, and is said to be the best reader for content that is graphic rich. That’s great news as the company have also fixed up a partnership, with Newspaper Direct, for newspaper and magazine digital delivery that is easily downloaded on to the device’s 2GB of in built memory.
Like the very latest Kindle – the International – the 800GS can be used around the globe, thanks to the Gobi communication module included in the reader and distributed by Qualcomm. It will initially only be available to purchase through the US electronic Best Buy stores for around $400 but should be available to buy in European markets from Spring 2010. Word is that their much coveted colour screen eBook reader will be available some time in the winter of 2010 or spring of 2011.
The new iRex iLiad electronic reader seems to have given users what I have seen being requested on other iRex iLiad review sites over the past couple of years. No proprietary file formats to tie you to where you buy your ebooks, a screen big enough to hold a good quantity of text in either mode, all included on an eBook reader that is well designed and built, includes the latest screen technology but above all is affordable.