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New e-reader showdown: Google's iriver Story HD vs. Amazon's Kindle Wi-Fi

Google's first e-reader from iriver is practically a Kindle Wi-Fi clone, so it's only fair to pair them side by side for an e-reader showdown.
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By Gloria Sin, Inactive on
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1 of 7 Gloria Sin/ZDNet

The iriver Story HD is the first Google-compatible e-reader; the device was introduced at CES 2011 earlier this year.

According to iriver, the Story HD has the highest-resolution 6" XGA e-ink display to date at 1024 X 768, which means "63% more pixels and faster page turns than the competition."

Like the Kindle Wi-Fi, it features a QWERTY keyboard but has an up/down button (rather than a left/right button) for page-turning.

Read more about the g-reader here.

Photo Credit: Official Google Blog
Captions: Gloria Sin

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2 of 7 Gloria Sin/ZDNet

iriver Story HD Specs

The iriver e-reader is powered by the Freescale Cortex A8 CPU with 2GB of onboard storage. It has built-in Wi-Fi and comes with a SDHC card slot (as pictured) for "sideload content".

Its two-tone design is definitely a step up from the monotone slab that is the Amazon Kindle.

Photo Credit: SlashGear.com
Captions: Gloria Sin

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3 of 7 Gloria Sin/ZDNet

iriver Story HD's Google Connection

What makes the iriver device a g-reader is the fact it connects to the Google ebookstore out-of-box, where many e-books are available in the cloud and are accessible in-browser/in-app (except copyright-protected works). Plus, users will be able to continue reading the same e-book from PC to phone to e-reader without having to move the same file between multiple devices.

The Story HD also supports Adobe EPUB and PDFs with DRM, so users can also enjoy e-books from public libraries and paid titles -- offline.

Photo Credit: Gloria Sin
Captions: Gloria Sin

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4 of 7 Gloria Sin/ZDNet

Screen Size: iriver Story HD  vs. Amazon Kindle Wi-Fi

In white is the Google e-reader (left), while the Kindle Wi-Fi is in black (right).

Although both devices feature a 6" display, the image on the Story HD looks to me to be a bit larger than the one on the Kindle, which has a slightly wider margin around the image than on the iriver e-reader.

Photo Credit: CNET
Captions: Gloria Sin

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5 of 7 Gloria Sin/ZDNet

Screen Detail: iriver Story HD vs. Amazon Kindle Wi-Fi

In this photo, the Story HD (left) shows a more intense black than the Kindle's lighter shade of grey (right), when displaying the same illustration of a tiger side-by-side.

Photo Credit: CNET
Captions: Gloria Sin

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6 of 7 Gloria Sin/ZDNet

Screen Detail 2: iriver Story HD vs. Amazon Kindle Wi-Fi

The Story HD (left) is able to display the various shades of grey more clearly than on the Kindle Wi-Fi (right), in this photo of a Google Map.

Photo Credit: CNET
Captions: Gloria Sin

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7 of 7 Gloria Sin/ZDNet

User Interface: iriver Story HD vs. Amazon Kindle Wi-Fi

Though just a photo of an early version of the iriver software/user interface (left), it already looks more typographically interesting and magazine-like than the Kindle's straight-forward, list-style UI (right).

Now that you've had a chance to see the iriver Story HD and the Amazone Kindle Wi-Fi next to each other,which e-reader will come up on top? Is Google too late to the e-books game or does it stand a chance with the iriver Story HD?

Photo Credit: CNET
Captions: Gloria Sin

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