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iRiver Debuts Wi-Fi Ebook Reader

Gadget manufacturer iRiver has unveiled a new ebook reader called the iRiver Wi-Fi Story and which is already available in the UK with a suggested retail price of £250.

iRiver, which is better known for its superb media players, will partner with WHSmith for the launch and Wi-Fi Story users will be able to download book from the WHSmith e-book store whenever they can hook up with a Wi-Fi connection.

The seems to be a bog standard ebook reader that resembles the Amazon Kindle. It comes with a 6-inch, 4-bit greyscale screen that can show 800x600 pixels and is powered by Linux, with a Flow UI front end.

Apart from Wi-Fi connectivity, it packs 2GB internal storage (that can be upgraded to 32GB thanks to a SD card reader). It can read the more popular ebook form factors on the market (EPub, PDF, TXT, FBU, DJVU) as well as Microsoft Office and other picture files like JPEG, GIF and BMP.

Not surprisingly, you will also be able to use it as a music player thanks to its compatibility with MP3, OGG and WMP files. The Wi-Fi Story has a battery life of 900 pages and, unlike some of its competitors, carries a QWERTY keyboard.

Unfortunately, other ebook reader cost way less than the iRiver Wi-Fi Story; the Kindle can be had for as little as $189 (that's around £150). Ironically, Amazon still stocks the old version of the device for £185.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.