Can Google’s Story HD Stack Up to Other e-Readers?

July 26, 2011

4:05 pm

Last week, as blogs and social media buzzed with Google+ news and tips, another Google-related product quietly entered the e-reader market space. Google and Korean manufacturer iriver partnered to release the first Google eBooks-integrated e-reader, the Story HD.

The Story HD went on sale July 17th and is available exclusively at Target for $139.99. It is the first e-reader to be integrated with the open Google eBooks platform, allowing users to buy and read Google eBooks over Wi-Fi.

Features of the Story HD include a slim and lightweight design, a high-resolution E Ink screen, and a QWERTY keyboard. Users have access to more than 3 million free Google eBooks and can purchase hundreds of thousands more through the platform. They can browse, buy and read Google eBooks directly through the reader. Additionally, users can store their personal ebooks library in the cloud, allowing them to pick up where they left off in any ebook they’re reading as they move from one device to another.

The Story HD is not without its critics, as MacWorld‘s Melissa J. Perenson found the display’s weak contrast as well as the lack of page-turning devices alongside the display to be problematic. In Publisher’s Weekly, Calvin Reid reported that the Story HD’s basic technology may seem a bit dated compared to the Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch or the Kobo Touch Edition.

The Story HD is getting plenty of its own social media buzz, too. A quick search on Twitter and Facebook reveals Story HD fans professing their love for the device because it allows them to shop at independent bookstores, as well as detractors, claiming the Story HD has nothing over the Kindle.

Which e-reader do you use? Have you tried the Story HD, or are you completely loyal to your Kindle–or to your good, old-fashioned bookshelf?

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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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