IREX - Digital Reader
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Rating 3.7 out of 5 stars with 31 reviews(31 Reviews)
Rating 2 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Great Screen, Bad UiPosted .
I was an owner of the new Irex DR800SG for 3 days. It arrived on Friday. I returned in on Monday. Reasons: It costs the same as Sony Daily Edition, but 1. cannot do annotations, 2. cannot zoom pdfs, 3. cannot do handwritten notes, 4. has no housing for stylus, 5. has no ability to go to the set page. It is not designed to be comfortably navigated via it's buttons, and it's flipbar when moved left or right opens long slit into the insides of the reader. It wants users to register into 3 different systems, yet it does not use this registration to login into the B&N store in the eBook Mall, you need to enter login information each time you use it. It does not come with a cover. I could possibly have lived with most of the shortcomings, except one- no ability to pick a page of the book you need to go to. That is inexcusable.No, I would not recommend this to a friend
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Good size, reasonable pricePosted .I would recommend this to a friend
I'm not sure what the other reviewer is basing his reivew on as these readers were literally just made available... that said, take my review with a grain of salt too. I'm basing this on the fact that I have used both the Kindle and the earlier generation iRex (the Iliad... which is strikingly similar to this reader -- same display, similar UI). First, all of these 3G e-readers have the same basic functionality: 1. you can wirelessly download content from their retail stores (Amazon, Sony or B&N) 2. you can browse your content & read it... This is basically all the Kindle, Kindle DX, Nook & Sony readers do and the iRex does the same and more, so I'm not sure why it is lacking in features as the earlier review mentioned. I actually much prefer the size of the iRex, it's about the same as reading from a paperback while the 6" Kindle, Nook & Sony readers feel like reading from a 3x5 notecard. If you don't care, then go small & save yourself $150. Personally, I think there is a big difference. So if you want to start comparing at that size, you should compare the Kindle DX which is about $100 more than the iRex (albeit bigger) or look at other readers like the QUE or Skiff reader. Btw, the iPad is not even in the same category... nowhere near the same battery life & reading experience is the difference between looking at a monitor & a piece of paper...for hours. If you're just reading books, then I think the iRex makes a lot of sense. It's cheaper than the DX, is plenty big & has the same functionality & also lets you write/annotate what you read. Also, unlike the Kindle, I like the fact that you can add existing content from your computer and expand your memory if you like. Even though the iRex can be used to read other stuff, if you often want to read newspapers, unformatted PDFs, office documents, etc... then I think you need to ante up for a QUE or Skiff when they are ready. What I think iRex is lacking is good software support/dev, though I believe the underlying system is Linux based & hackable to allow 3rd party apps. The hardware, though, is very nice. The screen is excellent, I love the flipbar ergonomics and the stylus input is good for stuff like crosswords & sudoku. Given the other options, I think the price is not outrageous if not fair... i.e. what is the upgrade from Kindle to Kindle DX? It's nothing but screen size. Same thing for the iRex, but you get a few other things too. But don't take my word for it, go to a store & compare 'em & see what works for you.
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Great option for dedicated eReaderPosted .I would recommend this to a friend
* One reason I chose it is because it has 1 big button to turn pages. That’s what I do 99% of the time when I read. I don’t type, or browse or watch videos while I read. I like to be able to hold the reader whichever way, so having buttons to accidentally push isn't what I want. * Page turns are speedy. * In order to accomplish the 1 button trick, you need a second way to interact with the device. A stylus/touchscreen with the resolution of the Wacom is perfect for this purpose. You don’t accidentally interact with the touch screen when you don’t intend to, no matter how you are holding the device. But you don’t really need to interact with the device much—I read for hours without touching the stylus. * (Lack of) Stylus storage is lame. * Folder organization is great (requires simple file edit to enable). * Screen is great. It is big enough to read letter-size pdf. It is clear sharp and comfortable. Yet the device is barely larger than a Kindle. DR800 has the largest ratio of screen size to device footprint around. * Side-loading content with USB from Windows and Linux have worked quickly and flawlessly. Simple and fast wins over network configurations and having to install desktop apps to support the device (everyone really loving those 90MB iTunes updates every few weeks?) * I have bought and downloaded books from B&N. This is clunky compared to reading on the device, but not difficult. * Note taking is missing, but supposedly coming with an update in April. We’ll see… * I purposefully chose a reader-only device. Minimal browsers, apps, keyboards, etc. Convergence "everything" devices must fit in your pocket to be useful (iPhone—I have and like, but not great for reading; Swiss Army Knife—ditto). * I also chose a reader that is not vertically integrated (single-source for device, content, desk top apps, web sites) because I wanted to maintain choices for content and interactions with my other computing environments.
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Excellent eReader......Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
Got my new DR800SG delivered on Friday and have had a chance to set it up and start reading my first book, a couple of newspapers, and PDFs. First impression out of the box is one of quality and uncluttered simplicity. The screen takes up the vast majority of the device with just enough of a bezel/frame to make it very comfortable to hold. It charged completely in about 7 hours as mentioned in the instructions. Reading on the device is awesome. The bezel/frame matches the screen color exactly and the IREX logo is very subtle. There is only a page flip bar and a menu button on the left bezel and even these carry the screen color. The result is there is nothing to distract focus from the content on the display. Very simple to use; the page bar is a great user interface and the bookmark functionality has already proven useful. Device has a large enough display to make the most of newspapers and response on large PDF files I have is impressive. One piece of advice is to read the instructions about setting up your MyIrex, Adobe, and Barnes and Noble accounts. This is most easily accomplished sitting at your computer where you have a full keyboard. I stupidly did most of the setup on the device itself but reading the instructions earlier would have saved me some time. Clearly this product was designed by people who understand and enjoy reading!
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Great reading experiencePosted .I would recommend this to a friend
What stands out right away is the display, both its size and clarity. The display is noticeably larger than the Kindle 2, Nook, or Sony. In fact, if you look at display area, IREX is about 30 sq. in., Kindle 2 and Nook are about 18 sq. in., and the Sony Daily Edition is about 22 sq. in. But the weight and physical dimensions are nearly the same among all 4 products...the IREX feels like the perfect balance between readability and portability, and to me this is its nicest feature. The contrast of the screen seems quite a bit better than the other e-readers also...especially when compared against the Sony Touch readers, which are dark and have a lot of glare. Page refresh also seems to be faster, which is nice. The device itself is kind of plain looking and not quite as attractive to the eye as the Nook or Sony, but I'm not buying an e-reader to make a fashion statement. Still, I suppose it would be nice to be able to personalize the reader a little bit. I like using the flip bar to turn pages back and forth when I'm reading - it seems very natural and intuitive, and roughly approximates the feel of turning the page of an actual book. You can also use the flip bar to navigate through the icons and menus, which is nice, but similar to the Kindle this can be a slow process if you're trying to scroll to the last icon on the page or the last option in a menu list. This is where the stylus comes in handy - you can get where you're going a lot faster in some cases, although having finger touch would be even better. I also like the sleeve included in the box. It has a nice look and feel, is lightweight but still provides protection, and most importantly gives you a place to hold the stylus since there isn't a place on the device itself to hold the stylus. Otherwise it has most of the features you would expect out of an e-reader today - 3G wireless, long battery life, ability to change font size (except with Barnes & Noble books, for some reason) and portrait/landscape mode. Overall, I'm very pleased. While some of the smaller details could be improved (aesthetics, add finger touch), the core purpose of the device is the reading experience, and that part has been fantastic.
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
My favorite eReader, as of May, 2010Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
I have experience with a Kindle, a Sony Daily Reader and an iPad but I like this IREX 800 better. The screen size of the IREX is bigger than the first Kindle but the unit is much smaller than the Kindle DX. The touchscreen on the Sony was barely readable. The iPad is really a computer more than an eReader and is physically larger than I want for my purposes. I might read some books with an eReader but my main purpose is to access large .pdf files. This unit handles pdf's better than the other eReaders, fairly fast. Navigation within a pdf is still a bit clunky however, for instance; it needs a "Go to page_" feature. The unit can be used without the stylus but using the stylus is easier. The stylus is small and there is no hole or slot in the unit to hold it. I'm afraid I might lose the stylus some day. Because IREX is not as common as Amazon or Sony there are not as many aftermarket add-ons such as covers available. A year or two from now ther may be a better melding of eReader and tablet computer technology but as of May, 2010 I'd say the IREX DR800SG is the best eReader for .pdf's, nearly a perfect size, smaller and lighter than the iPad or Kindle DX.
Rating 2 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Poor value for the costPosted .No, I would not recommend this to a friend
The DR800 is very ergonomic and has an excellent screen with high contrast (much, much better than the Sony touch screen readers). As such, it is excellent for reading books and PDFs that were specifically formatted for its screen size (or smaller). Unfortunately, that's where the capabilities of this rather expensive ereader end. It cannot do anything else. It has no dictionary, the user cannot take notes, it cannot zoom a PDF, and in a completely bizarre omission of functionality for a device designed for reading books, it cannot go directly to a specific page in a document (it can only jump to bookmarks). The device also has no dock for the stylus, so I imagine most people will likely wind up losing the stylus in short order. It is not a touch screen, in spite of the specifications on the Best Buy website, so you must have the special stylus to use its touch capabilities. Without PDF-zoom, this device is useless for viewing more complex PDFs (with tables and graphs, for example) that were formatted for a larger size that this screen. It can reflow a PDF at a larger font size, but most of the formatting of the document is lost when you do this, so complex elements like tables and graphs either render incomprehensively at the larger size or simply not at all. The screen itself is excellent with fast response, and without the touch screen layer that Sony uses on its higher-end devices, it has little glare and outstanding contrast. If that alone is worth $400 to you, then by all means get this device, as it will be an excellent book reader for you. Without more advanced capabilities such as note-taking, dictionary support, or more advanced PDF rendering, it is a rather expensive option for a reader with only the most basic capabilities. It is worth noting that the manufacturer, Irex, has stated their intention to provide firmware updates in the near future to expand the device's capabilities, but it is equally worth noting that over in Europe, where Irex is more widely known, the company has a very poor reputation for releasing updates for its other products anywhere close to the timeframe the company initially promised. Buyer beware. If you want better capabilities than the current firmware offers, you may want to put off your purchase until Irex actually gets around to releasing future updates instead of relying on promises of updates that may or may not materialize.
Rating 3 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Good reading contrast, but very slow.Posted .No, I would not recommend this to a friend
I chose to go with the iRex over the other ereaders because I wanted a dedicated eReader with the flexibility to review pdf's. This readers is very elegant, it is super simple no frills. The pdf ability is great if pdf is plain text, but as soon as there are graphics you can't zoom in on the page and it is very difficult to read. The response of the reader with the stylus is very slow and inaccurate. I couldn't page down to see additional titles in the ebook or newpaper stores, it was far to difficult to get the styles to respond to a simple tap or drag on the vertical scrolling bar. I calibrated the stylus many times with no improved results. The keypad was way too slow. I had to back up many times in order to retype. I go back and forth between Puerto Rico and the US, and there is no 3G coverage in Puerto Rico. This isn't a dealbreaker, but I didn't know that going in to this purchase. Not having folders to store books is a major drawback, it takes a long time to flip from page to page better organization would make it less frustrating. The page turning bar is helpful, but it feels like it will break very quickly. I had set up all my passwords and information in ebookstore, but had to log in again when I wanted to download a book. This takes way too long with the stylus keypad and is very annoying. Also, the ebookstore that is available is difficult to navigate, and slow. It took far too long to review only 10 books, I was frustrated with the lack of ease to navigate through the ebook store. And they didn't have the Newspaper I was looking for (The Boston Globe). Overall I actually like it to read, it is great in any type of light. It just needs a lot of improvement with the response and stylus.