The big drain on battery power is the WiFi link and turning pages and I think it is the added WiFi that makes it difficult for the iLiad to so easily quote battery life in page turns.
The iLiad uses rechargeable batteries and I charged the device on Monday, have used it so far for about 20 hours, on top of which I deliberately left the display on for 24 hours and it still seems to have plenty of power left. iRex inform me that with normal use of three hours per day and at an average page turn rate for reading the iLiad should only need recharging once every couple of weeks.
Recharging took less than an hour.
The delay on power up is a bit annoying but nothing compared with the the time one has to wait for a laptop to boot up and load Windows, I said one minute in the review it is probably closer to thirty seconds.
The reader is an open system, you can create your own content, or obtain it from other sources and load it into your iLiad via a laptop/PC, USB stick or memory card. The only lock down at the moment is the WiFi link to download bought content, in particular subscription publications, has to be via the IDS server. However, there is no reason why anyone should not sell or distribute publications for the iLiad in any one of the formats it supports, the only thing is that if a publisher wants the additional feature of wireless push delivery then it has to be done via the IDS server.
I personally do not think that this is a major constraint, it will not prevent me downloading Project Gutenberg or other public domain e-books and reading them on the iLiad, and I like the idea of using it as a paper replacement device, printing documents that I need to carry around directly into the iLiad instead of to a printer, it will make my briefcase a lot lighter.
I am not sure about multibyte characters, but it would seem to support full XML and full PDF and these both support multibyte characters so I guess the answer is yes, However, I will try to find out.
I suspect that CommanderROR is correct that the April launch date for Europe and US is a bit optimistic. If they deliver the units for the field test they are doing with De Tijd newspaper in Belgium before the end of March as planned then they might well be on schedule. I know that they are currently in production in the Phillipines.
I suspect that the early market that iRex are aiming for is not the average e-book reader but the corporate user, the design of the device is certainly auimed at corporates, and the content they are signing up also fits that view. In particular newspapers and trade periodicals, watch out for newspaers like the Times and Telegraph in the UK being distributed via IDS, I believe that they are also talking to textbook publishers, once again a specilist niche and not the main consumer market.