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iriver Story HD review

5.6/10 AVG.
RATING



5.6/10
Informr score
The iriver Story HD currently has an Informr score of 5.6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 9 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

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.

Aesthetically, the Story HD actually seems as if it was created about ten years in the past. The device is similar in looks to the first generation Kindle, and the appearance is not helped by a mini USB port on the side. In terms of the High Definition aspect, the iriver Story HD does not play HD video or anything the sort, it just has a superbly crisp and bright six inch screen for reading books. The resolution is 768 x 1024, which is far higher than the Kindle or the Nook that both support 600 x 800 resolutions. This resolution results in much sharper images and text, which may be a plus to some users. Since this eReader is used mostly to read books, however, some users may feel the HD capability is not as important.

There are many positive aspects to the Story HD. Google has a wide selection of books and most are available at relatively low prices, meaning that once you buy the Story HD, you will not have to spend very much on individual books. This eReader is priced at about the same level as the Kindle and the Nook, which is unfortunate as they have features that the Story HD is lacking, such as a web browser.

Need to Know Facts: iriver Story HD

1. Bright, sharp display. (The Good)

2. Google Books integration. (The Good)

3. Poor industrial design. (The Bad)

4. Slightly heavy. (The Bad)


Screen Size
6"
Storage
2 GB
3G
No
Reading Time
-


What the Critics Are Saying...


Expert Reviews

The Story HD has some interesting features and a refreshingly clear interface, but the lack of Wi-Fi and built-in store puts it at a disadvantage. Its keyboard seems wasted, and it's not as good value as the Kobo Wireless eReader or the Amazon Kindle, both of which cost about £20 less.

- Barry de la Rosa, Expert Reviews
The eBook Reader

It is a decent device with plenty of potential but it leaves much to be desired. The higher definition screen is nice, and so is having Google eBooks onboard, but that's not enough to counter the competition. Hopefully iriver will continue to develop the firmware to add to the functionality of the d...

- Nathan, The eBook Reader
Cnet

Now, if the Iriver Story HD cost $99, things would get a lot more interesting. But it doesn't (not yet, anyway), so it's hard to recommend. That doesn't mean it's not a relatively well-designed e-reader that we actually liked in a lot of ways. But the competition has become pretty fierce in the e-re...

- David Carnoy, Cnet
The Verge

Still, given the very simple interface of the Story HD and the sometimes disappointing Google ebookstore, the Story HD presents a fairly satisfactory overall experience, and while it's not able to compete point-for-point with the Nook or Kindle, it also doesn’t completely lose against those co...

- Laura June, The Verge
Laptop Magazine

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...

- K.T. Bradford, Laptop Magazine


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Quick view

Screen Size
6"

The iriver Story HD's screen size is 6 inches with x pixels resolution.

Backlight
No

There is no built-in backlight.

Storage
2 GB

Internal memory is 2 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

3G
No

This model has no 3G wireless capabilities.

Story HD Specs

Overview
Release date July 17, 2011
Regions available USA
Networks
No cellular data
SIM card No
Operating System
Processor Freescale i.MX508 800 MHz
Internal Storage 2 GB
RAM No
ROM No
Flightmode Yes
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included Data Cable, Manual
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 1800 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 4 hours
Reading Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 42 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors Brown
Dimensions [H x W x D] 19.1 x 12.7 x 0.9 cm (7.5 x 5 x 0.4 in)
Weight 207 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Grayscale
Technology E-ink
Colors Unknown
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 6 inches
Backlit Illumination No
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Anti Glare No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen No
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Page Turn Key No
Physical keyboard Yes
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock No
External Volume Control No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth No
WiFi 802.11 b/g
WiFi Encryption No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC
PC Synchronization No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Audio / Video
Audio Playback No
Audio Formats No
Video Playback No
Video Playback Formats No
Streaming Video No
External Speakers No
Headset Jack No
Vibration Alert No
Content Formats Supported
Content Formats Supported No
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Google Reader

Related Links Manual (PDF)
iriver Story HD Reviews
Where to buy iriver Story HD
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Critic Reviews


Expert Reviews

The Story HD's high-resolution screen and clear interface aren't enough to make up for the lack of Wi-Fi or a built-in eBook store at this price

from Expert Reviews

The Story HD has some interesting features and a refreshingly clear interface, but the lack of Wi-Fi and built-in store puts it at a disadvantage. Its keyboard seems wasted, and it's not as good value as the Kobo Wireless eReader or the Amazon Kindle, both of which cost about £20 less.

Read full review

The Story HD has some interesting features and a refreshingly clear interface, but the lack of Wi-Fi and built-in store puts it at a disadvantage. Its keyboard seems wasted, and it's not as good value as the Kobo Wireless eReader or the Amazon Kindle, both of which cost about £20 less.

Read full review

Less

The eBook Reader

It has the feature-set of an ebook reader from yesteryear

from The eBook Reader

It is a decent device with plenty of potential but it leaves much to be desired. The higher definition screen is nice, and so is having Google eBooks onboard, but that's not enough to counter the competition. Hopefully iriver will continue to develop the firmware to add to the functionality of th...More

It is a decent device with plenty of potential but it leaves much to be desired. The higher definition screen is nice, and so is having Google eBooks onboard, but that's not enough to counter the competition. Hopefully iriver will continue to develop the firmware to add to the functionality of the device. At this point it falls into the category of a good but basic ereader.

Read full review

Less

Cnet

A decent e-reader for fans of Google Books, but it's tough to recommend over its identically priced competitors, which offer touch screens and 3G

from Cnet

Now, if the Iriver Story HD cost $99, things would get a lot more interesting. But it doesn't (not yet, anyway), so it's hard to recommend. That doesn't mean it's not a relatively well-designed e-reader that we actually liked in a lot of ways. But the competition has become pretty fierce in the e...More

Now, if the Iriver Story HD cost $99, things would get a lot more interesting. But it doesn't (not yet, anyway), so it's hard to recommend. That doesn't mean it's not a relatively well-designed e-reader that we actually liked in a lot of ways. But the competition has become pretty fierce in the e-reader arena, and while the Iriver HD Story measures up in many respects, it falls short in others.

Read full review

Less

The Verge

The Story HD has a high resolution display, but it's not enough to make up for a lack of features

from The Verge

Still, given the very simple interface of the Story HD and the sometimes disappointing Google ebookstore, the Story HD presents a fairly satisfactory overall experience, and while it's not able to compete point-for-point with the Nook or Kindle, it also doesn’t completely lose against those...More

Still, given the very simple interface of the Story HD and the sometimes disappointing Google ebookstore, the Story HD presents a fairly satisfactory overall experience, and while it's not able to compete point-for-point with the Nook or Kindle, it also doesn’t completely lose against those competitors, either. In fact, as a utilitarian product, it doesn’t fare too badly, and the performance of the device is solid, with no sluggishness or delays. The real sticking point, I think, is in its price point. At $139, the Story HD is the exact same price as the Wi-Fi-only Nook and Kindle, both products which outshine iriver’s offering in several key points. If this were a $99 product, it would be much easier to overlook some of the very minor drawbacks to this device. As it is, it’s not a bad product by any means, but better ones can be had at this price.

Read full review

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Laptop Magazine

It has high-definition display but falls short on ergonomics

from Laptop Magazine

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....More

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. After all, if you can load these books on any number of eReaders, why choose one that's not quite there--especially when the Nook Touch is the same price and the Kindle Wi-Fi is $10 less? However, if you're dedicated to building a library under Google's aegis, then the Story HD will at least make it easier to keep all your eBooks in one place.

Read full review

Less

Engadget

There's just nothing all that compelling about it

from Engadget

Were it launched rather than just announced back in January, the Story HD may well have been a contender. As it stands, however, the reader is a victim of its own timing, having been eclipsed by both the Nook and Kobo -- and we still haven't seen what Amazon has up its sleeve for the next generat...More

Were it launched rather than just announced back in January, the Story HD may well have been a contender. As it stands, however, the reader is a victim of its own timing, having been eclipsed by both the Nook and Kobo -- and we still haven't seen what Amazon has up its sleeve for the next generation. The device's "HD" display is a nice feature, but it's hardly enough reason to recommend it over the competition. The Google partnership is neat as well, but again, it's just not as compelling is it might sound at first, since the software giant's content can already be loaded onto most readers, and from the sound of it, this is the first of many such partnerships to come. The basic nature of the software, meanwhile, might not be a deterrent from users looking for a simple e-reader, but it really just underscores one of the Story HD's biggest shortcomings -- there's just nothing all that compelling about it.

Read full review

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PC Magazine

Fantastic screen and the first ebook reader with Google eBooks integration

from PC Magazine

Two years ago, the iriver Story HD would likely have been a serious contender. But in 2011, where the Nook and Kobo readers have received major upgrades, and the Kindle remains an excellent device, using the Story HD feels like reading in a time machine. It works fine, and the Google integration...More

Two years ago, the iriver Story HD would likely have been a serious contender. But in 2011, where the Nook and Kobo readers have received major upgrades, and the Kindle remains an excellent device, using the Story HD feels like reading in a time machine. It works fine, and the Google integration is nice, but it just might be too late for the iriver Story HD. For now, the Barnes & Noble Nook Touch Reader remains the best ebook reader on the market, and the Kindle is a close second.

Read full review

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SlashGear

The iRiver Story HD is such a purist device that it does feel a little outdated

from SlashGear

The iRiver Story HD is such a purist device that it does feel a little outdated. Outwardly it looks to be competing against the Amazon Kindle as it has the same overall form factor, a 6-inch E Ink screen, and full physical keypad below. But, it does away with a lot of the features of recently lau...More

The iRiver Story HD is such a purist device that it does feel a little outdated. Outwardly it looks to be competing against the Amazon Kindle as it has the same overall form factor, a 6-inch E Ink screen, and full physical keypad below. But, it does away with a lot of the features of recently launched e-readers such as the ability to surf the web, check email, and listen to music or audio books. The iRiver Story HD completely forgoes all this although this is not necessarily bad. For many this means a lot of skimping on features, while for others this means a pure reading device absent of all the distractions. Whichever way you look at it, the iRiver Story HD certainly isn’t making any bold moves except perhaps in its radical color choice. Brown? It’s still hard to grasp how the design team decided on this color, but it certainly does the device a huge disservice. A neutral gray or even a muted lime green or pastels, but brown? Priced in line with the Amazon Kindle at $139, the iRiver Story HD is lacking in certain features, but to some it’s made up for it with a higher resolution display, longer battery life, lighter weight, expandable storage with SD card, and Google eBookstore integration.

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PCWorld

It offers a crisp, high-resolution display, but its chintzy design leaves much to be desired

from PCWorld

iRiver says that the Story HD's 1800mAh lithium polymer battery takes about 4.5 hours to charge, and that it can last for up to 14,000 page turns, or up to six weeks on standby. That puts it close to, but not quite at, the longevity of the competition. Frankly, that the United States market has g...More

iRiver says that the Story HD's 1800mAh lithium polymer battery takes about 4.5 hours to charge, and that it can last for up to 14,000 page turns, or up to six weeks on standby. That puts it close to, but not quite at, the longevity of the competition. Frankly, that the United States market has gotten the IRiver Story HD at all is a surprise; the company introduced its first e-reader for international markets two years ago, and is only now bringing its third-generation product to the U.S. The partnership with Google Books should give this e-reader a boost, and it may give Google Books a boost as well. iRiver's design for the Story HD feels rough compared with the approach that Barnes & Noble and Kobo have taken, and the interface has some work ahead of it, too. But the emergence of the first Google Books-based e-reader will surely drive competition among the players in this market, and that can only benefit book lovers.

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