GOOGLE GETS AN E-READER
The iriver Story HD is the first e-reader to have the open Google eBooks platform integrated. Target has exclusive rights to sell it for 6 months, at $139.00. iriver details are here. They'll be on sale July 17.
The unit has a higher resolution (768 x 1024 at 213 ppi] vs the Kindle's 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi) though I haven't read about the darkness of the font (the Nook Touch has less-dark fonts than the Kindle or even than the first Nook), but that display sounds good, and it's said to have faster page turns. Here's their HUGE photo of the device.
However, as you can see, it looks like a Kindle, with bronze-color lined keys (38 of them) and is not a touch-screen model.
Google has about 3 million books for download, the free ones primarily public domain books and historical documents from academic libraries, but whether its paid books are competitively priced is another story.
The images to the left, above, are of Kindle and Google versions of a book I ran across last week, when I was surprised at the price difference. Google has this bio by Michael Munn for $14.72, while the Kindle price is $0.99 -- I didn't look further, but the difference in cost really caught my eye.
Besides the comparison-pricing of paid books, there are some other interesting considerations:
. Google eBooks, which come in the ePub format and which use Adobe ADEPT for its digital-rights management ("DRM"), can be read on other e-readers, but cannot be purchased on other e-readers yet (LA times.)
. The iriver connects to and syncs with the Google store via WiFi (no 3G cell phone wireless with this) and while it works via direct downloading of Google books,
UPDATE - The above was from TekGoblin's Andrew Wilson, but Commenter Tom Semple says that books that show "Nook/Sony" can be downloaded [to the computer] and sideloaded using Adobe's DRM, though there used to be some ebooks sold that didn't allow this option, he added. Will have to check that out further. [End of update]
. Also, TekGoblin's Andrew Wilson points out "...[the Google Books system] puts a crutch on the Story HD by not allowing it to [directly] download ebooks from anywhere else but from Google."
Contrary to some misinformation, the Kindle can download ebooks from many other sites.
. The dictionary used is 'Collins Dictionary.'
Essentially, this is a dedicated e-reader, made for just Google Books, but that means a lot of books. As for Amazon's Kindle and open systems, Kindle books can be read on almost every type of device these days via its Kindle apps for Apple devices, Blackberry, Windows 7 Phone, Android, PC, and Macs.
The stories don't mention various features such as highlighting, note-taking, clippings (how they function if they're available), nor the many other features that other e-reader owners are used to -- they are targeting people new to e-reading (probably for that reason). If curious what other functions to look for (if they're of interest), see the Nook vs Kindle features comparison here.
GeekWire's Todd Bishop opens his report with:
' Will this device give Amazon’s Kindle a run for its money? Probably not, at least not on its own, but it’s a notable step for Google’s digital books initiative, as the first dedicated device with the search company’s eBooks platform integrated into the experience out of the box. '
Kindle 3's (UK: Kindle 3's) K3 Special ($114) K3-3G Special ($164) DX Graphite
Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers. Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.
(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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