iriver_wifi_story A pair of items about e-book readers that aren’t the big three (or, considering Borders’ entry into the market, perhaps I should say the “big four”).

Wired reports that the Korean iRiver Story is now on sale at the UK bookstore WHSmith. It supports the usual formats (EPUB and PDF being the most-used ones on the list) and also the CBZ comic book reader format (in greyscale, of course). It also offers wifi connectivity.

However, Wired notes that the SRP is £250, which works out to about $380 at current exchange rates. Of course, electronics tend to be a bit more expensive in general in the UK, but even so that’s a remarkably high amount in a world where the big four e-book readers (or maybe I should say “big five” counting Sony) are available starting at $150 to $200. $380 would buy the new graphite Kindle DX.

And from a story to a novel: E-Reader Info reports that the color LCD Pandigital Novel, formerly withdrawn due to software issues, is now on sale again at Kohl’s for $140. However, when I went to Kohl’s website to check, I was only able to find the Aluratek Libre (also $140, and, amusingly, listed under the “For Her” section—so e-book readers are a girl thing?).


  1. It is fairly common for consumer electronics products to be priced at similar numerical values across the atlantic, rather than at the same currency converted price.
    So, the iRiver price might be US$250 instead of the full $380. Still the point stands: Even at $250 it does not justify its cost for a follower product.

    BTW, Sony is supposed to be one of the “Big Three”. If Kobo is truly number 4, the fight for number 5 comes down to Jetbook, Aluratek, Astak, Pocketbooks, or maybe Bookeen. We need to see some chest-thumping to figure out the rankings.

  2. Bought a Pandigital Novel Friday at Kohl’s.
    At first it seemed to be a pretty good unit.
    Nothing like the iPad I already have, but I
    didn’t expect it to for the price I paid. (Got it for the wife)
    Graphics for the book covers were terrible.
    I put a couple of epub books on it and it worked decently. So I decided to keep it until I put some PDF’s on it. PDF’s were really slow and the reader crashed repeatedly. (PDF server not responding)
    I reset the device a couple of times to no avail.
    Then the device started to blink with dinging noises.
    I tried to go online but the browser window kept scrolling up and down on it’s own as I tried to register for a Barne’s and Noble account. I was never able to complete the application for the account.
    It is something that has possibilities.
    Needless to say they still have a number of bugs to work out.

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