Optimized 'HD' Google e-Reader in Stores July 17

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As the competition with Amazon’s Kindle heats up, Google revealed it will launch an optimized e-reader, and will be available for purchase as soon as this weekend.

The latest version, called the iRiver Story HD e-reader, will be up for sale in Target stores nationwide and on Target.com on July 17. The iRiver Story HD is the first e-reader integrated with the open Google eBooks platform, and allows you to buy and read Google eBooks over WiFi, according to the official Google blog, but does not have 3G connectivity.

“The iRiver Story HD, which retails for $139.99, is slim and lightweight with a high-resolution e-ink screen and a QWERTY keyboard for easy searching. It includes over-the-air access to hundreds of thousands of Google eBooks for sale and more than 3 million for free,” according to the July 11 blog post. “With the Story HD you can now browse, buy and read Google eBooks with your e-reader through WiFi, rather than downloading and transferring them from computer to e-reader with a cord as you can already do with more than 80 compatible devices.”

According to iRiver’s product specs, the Story HD is 7.5 inches-by-5 inches and has a battery life of about 14,000 pages. The 6-inch display screen is 768x1024 pixels and includes a Collins Dictionary.

In certain tech circles, however, the term “HD” is being questioned since it universally refers to “high definition,” or high resolution image functionality.

“The name is somewhat mysterious. When applied to a television, ‘HD’ generally means ‘High Definition,’ which refers to a digitally compressed high resolution color image. Since the iRiver Story HD is a black-on-gray e-ink reader, I’m not sure what HD means. Maybe our colleagues at the Technology blog can explain what the ‘HD’ stands for,” blogged the LA Times’ Carolyn Kellogg.

Google confirms that the iRiver Story HD features a “high-resolution e-ink screen and a QWERTY keyboard for easy searching,” so Ms. Kellogg, it seems HD is apropos for Google’s new device.

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Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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