I’m a fan of iRiver; have been ever since their SlimX MP3-CD player. I’ve admired their other gear from afar, and I suspect that will be how I admire their latest, the Cover Story e-reader. It’s among the cleanest readers I’ve seen, perhaps outdone only by the Plastic Logic Que (R.I.P.). iRiver knows how to make a slick device, that’s for sure.
They never can seem to make them popular stateside, though. People here like the “total package,” i.e. the Kindle with built-in store, or a multi-purpose tablet like the Nook Color. Something that, like many iRiver products, is capable of doing many things but doesn’t hold your hand, isn’t destined to be a hit. At around $200, it’s a little expensive, but not unrealistically so.
That said, it looks like a nice little gadget; depending, of course, on the resolution, generation, and responsiveness of the 6″ touch display. It’s not clear whether it’s the newer Pearl e-ink displays, but I think it is — iRiver doesn’t strike me as a cut-rate sort of manufacturer. I don’t know what to make of the orientation, though. The logo is upright, but I don’t think they’d put the controls at the top like that. We’ll have to wait and see it in action.