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Old 06-28-2011, 04:59 AM   #1
perma
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A small review of the iRiver Story HD

So I just picked up the iRiver Story HD and thought that I might share a few thoughts with you. I haven’t read a single line about it since CES which is a shame since it’s a nice reader with a great screen. I have had it now for a couple of days and so far I am very satisfied with the story HD. This version I got is the so called the basic version and contrary to the CES preview it lacks wifi. I paid about 220 $ for it here in Sweden which included our vat of 25%. That makes it comparable to buying a kindle at Amazon.com and having it shipped to Sweden which would cost me about the same amount of hard earned money.


First of all the screen is simply just great. The high resolution really makes a difference. The text is very crisp and clear. IMHO the contrast is comparable or slightly better than on the e-ink pearl readers I have seen but the increased resolution really makes all the difference. I haven’t had the opportunity yet to compare it side by side with the kindle but compared to my Cybook opus (visiplex) it’s great. It's hard to take a good photo of the screen but here's an attempt...


The page turns are very fast. It seems that the HD does a full page rendering for every page turn yet it still very fast and there is no visible ghosting afterwards. Overall it loads the books quite fast; it takes a few seconds to load a book and 1 or 2 seconds to get back to the main menu.

Navigation works fairly well. Page turns is controlled by the silvery 4-way switch in the middle, which allows for left/right/up/down navigation. I would have appreciated buttons on the side of the reader as well now you’re more or less forced to hold it in the bottom and it can be a bit difficult to turn the pages sometimes.

A nice surprise was that the Story HD handled pdfs very well. I loaded up a couple of large research papers of > 2M file size and they were rendered fast and without errors. Page turns were very quick here as well. I haven’t tried any comic book files but since they worked nicely on the Story Cover I assume they will work here as well.

The software is at 1.0 as a bought it and it does not have that very many features. Still you’re greeted with a rather nice menu screen which shows an excerpt and the progress in the book you’re currently reading. You can also see a selection of books in your library as well as a bookmarks and found words list. Inside a book you have a selection of font sizes and so on as well as a dictionary lookup function. The dictionary was a disappointment for me since you can’t mark the word you want to look up but you have to type it in with the keyboard. What’s up with that? There are also a few bugs in the software a few times the reader has gotten stuck on some sort of page turn loop, where it just kept turning pages over and over, but a press of the home button got me back to the main menu. Some epub files also seem to be displayed incorrectly with line breaks within quotation marks not working properly.

It would be interesting to hear other users experience with the Story HD especially if somebody can find the wifi version (if it exists). Since the lack of media interest/pr from iriver it will also be very interesting to see how much effort will be put in firmware updates and development. I feel that this reader has a lot of potential and it’s a good reader of you like me want a great screen and do not care about touch/wifi/social functionality.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:35 AM   #2
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Nice review. This could be an interesting device.

Does it utilise a micro-usb connector and does it appear as a mass storage device when connected to a computer?

Will it play mp3 files and does it have a headphones output?

Does it sense orientation and turn the document accordingly?

What is your experience with battery life?

I couldn't find a manual for this device. Do you know if there's one available in electronic format?
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:21 AM   #3
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Here's a site where it's being compared to a Kindle http://www.onlinesocialmedia.net/201...ures-compared/ there is also video at the end of the article. The screen does look better.

Last edited by owly; 06-28-2011 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:05 AM   #4
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There are few films up on Youtube and what I noticed was that the keyes seemed to give off a very audible klicking when used. Do find it so?
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seron View Post
Nice review. This could be an interesting device.

Does it utilise a micro-usb connector and does it appear as a mass storage device when connected to a computer?

Will it play mp3 files and does it have a headphones output?

Does it sense orientation and turn the document accordingly?

What is your experience with battery life?

I couldn't find a manual for this device. Do you know if there's one available in electronic format?
Yes it functions as a standard mass storage device with a micro usb connector. The connector actually is a bit to thick for the otherwise rather slim frame, micro usb would have been much more appropriate I think.

My version has no mp3-functionality at all and therefore no headphone jack.

It has no automatic orientation sensor that I have noticed. It does have a keyboard key for switching orientation though.

Since I've only had it for a few days I can't really say that much about battery time yet. So far it seems good ...

There is a manual on the device, its not very informative and very "thin". It covers basic functionality ok though.

As for the audible klicking from the keys..it's really nothing that I have noticed, the keys are not inaudible but not loud either...perhaps I will start to think about it now though, that would be a bummer
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:58 AM   #6
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perma, thanks for your review.

the video on http://www.focus.de/digital/multimed...vid_25706.html shows both the iriver story hd and the amazon kindle side by side.
they don't make a statement about the contrast but state that their impression with PDF or newspapers is better than for the kindle (mainly due to the higher resolution). judging from the video, I would say that the contrast of both devices is about the same.

today I got a story hd myself. being mostly interested in PDF, I can share the following first impressions with PDF:
  1. I'm very impressed by the sharpness and contrast of the display, especially in sunlight
  2. under good light circumstances, I can read books with an original size of 170 × 242 mm without switching to landscape mode. the text is rather small but for me it's OK, even for mathematical formulas. this is my personal impression, I imagine that it's too small for others, and difficult to read in bumpy environments such as a bus.
  3. PDF zoom works like this: 1. you press the zoom button, zoom in/out using i and o keys. the clipping of the document can be moved using the arrows keys.
  4. Probably as in any other eReader, it's a very slow process to move between different regions within a single large PDF page. For interactive reading of large format newspapers and such (where you need to zoom and pan very often), you are probably better off with a tablet computer.
  5. Turning pages is indeed quite fast (but I don't know how it feels for other reader devices)
  6. Switching between landscape and portrait mode is a little bit inefficient: 1. press rotate button, 2. select one of the three rotation modes with the arrow keys, 3. apply the new rotation using enter key. I would have preferred simply toggling between two rotation settings by pressing the rotation key once.
  7. Bug (?): In landscape mode, documents can not be zoomed in/out. The zoom level is fixed to fit the width of the page. For documents with a lot of space landscape-zooming would be desirable.
  8. Bug (?): Zoom settings are lost when closing the current document.
  9. Bug: The table of contents of my PDF's is displayed, but unfortunately you can't jump to the entries (even though it works with any other PDF reader on the PC). The electronic manual which is shipped with the device as PDF has a table of contents which DOES work.
  10. It's not possible to add textual annotations to pages, or write down general notes. You can, however, annotate pages using bookmarks and words which you looked up in the dictionary while viewing a page.
  11. General note: I would have preferred hardware keys which are larger and more soft. But I can get used to them when typing using my fingernails.

These are mostly software related issues and I hope the bugs will be addressed.

For me, I believe I can live with 8. and 9. by a work-around: Pre-processing my PDF's to have smaller white margins. Haven't tested it yet.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:32 PM   #7
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hello

Hello everybody
This is my first post here and I read a review about the iriver story hd.
Thank you for that.

Il live in France and I have no ebook but I'd like to have my own to read documents like pdf when in the subway.

I'm interested in the iriver because they say it has a better and a sharper screen yet I find it very hard to find where to buy it.
Not even amazon or ebay.

Could you tell me where to buy it in sweden or in another european country with english internet shop (I don't speak swedish) ?
Is there any information about a release in France or other countries ?

Thanks
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:57 PM   #8
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that's a sweet, handsome device. the screen looks great!
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacquot View Post
Hello everybody
This is my first post here and I read a review about the iriver story hd.
Thank you for that.

Il live in France and I have no ebook but I'd like to have my own to read documents like pdf when in the subway.

I'm interested in the iriver because they say it has a better and a sharper screen yet I find it very hard to find where to buy it.
Not even amazon or ebay.

Could you tell me where to buy it in sweden or in another european country with english internet shop (I don't speak swedish) ?
Is there any information about a release in France or other countries ?

Thanks
I got it from a retailer in Sweden who apparently does not deliver abroad. They don't even have their website in any other language than swedish. The distributor of iRiver in the Nordics seems to deliver abroad though, their website is http://canman.se/ and they state that "We can arrange shipment outside of Sweden. Please contact us for more details if you’re interested in placing an order outside of Sweden. Please send us an email to info@canman.se". No idea how much it will cost there but it could be worth a try.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:04 AM   #10
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@Jacquot
Why not contact the French distributor? See http://www.iriver.com/etc/wheretobuy.asp for contact information.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:47 PM   #11
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The dictionary was a disappointment for me since you can’t mark the word you want to look up but you have to type it in with the keyboard. What’s up with that?
Settings --> Usage Information --> Scroll "Off"

Then the Up/Down Keys won't turn pages any more and instead you can select words and show the dictionary by pressing enter. It's awfully slow though ...
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:47 PM   #12
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What ebook formats does it work with? Can it open cbz/cbr files?
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by pata View Post
What ebook formats does it work with? Can it open cbz/cbr files?
According to the manual:
Supported file format: PDF, EPUB, TXT, DOC, PPT, XLS, HWP, DJVU, FB2
Supported comic book format: JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF, ZIP


A few things I noticed after using it for a day:
- it doesn't save the correct page when you leave a book, I always have to go back 1 page after reopening it
- changing the font size or other settings (reflow, bold, dithering) is not saved
- the 'Book List' view on the home page only ever shows 4 books and is not scrollable
- as I mentioned before, looking up words in the dictionary is extremely slow; jumping from word to word takes much longer than changing a page!
- PDF support is great, dithering (for pictures) and making the font bolder works really well

Well, that's it so far. Overall it works well, but the software is still pretty buggy.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:40 PM   #14
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Question

Has anyone figured out if it is possible to follow hyperlinks of ePub documents?
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by sgiessl View Post
Has anyone figured out if it is possible to follow hyperlinks of ePub documents?
Since the released version of the iRiver Story HD in Europe doesn't seem to have WiFi, how should it be possible to follow hyperlinks? Do you mean inside one document?
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