Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price free/subscription

Imagine a device somewhere between A4 and A5 in size that lets you read e-texts and make your own annotations. And imagine it offers you a screen format that is so easy on the eye that reading text on it is almost like reading a book or a newspaper. Even outdoors in bright sunlight. This is what you get from the iLiad Reader.

The iLiad is not the first of its kind, with Sony's eBook reader using the same screen technology. The Sony device however, has less advanced specifications and is compatible with fewer file formats. Also, crucially for our UK based readers, the Sony Reader is not available in this county.

iRex, the company behind the iLiad Reader, suggests a myriad of uses from the educational to business sectors. If you only think of it as a way of reading the occasional novel then according to iRex, you are missing a trick. It is compatible with a seriously useful array of file formats: PDF, HTML, TXT, JPG, BMP, PNG and PRC (Mobipocket).

Plain text and PDF are probably the crucial formats in the list. Plain text based e-books are widely available for free on the Internet and Project Gutenberg is a great place to start searching.

Anything you can see on your PC can be saved as a PDF, and there are free PDF creators out there if you don't happen to have creation as part of another application you are using. So anything, from a screen shot to a Web page or a diagram, can be read on the iLiad Reader.

There is 128MB of accessible storage built in. As for getting content onto it, well you can connect to a PC via USB or Ethernet using a separate hub unit that connects to a slot on the bottom edge of the device. But there are much easier ways.

It has built-in Compact Flash, SD and USB slots and will read content direct from flash storage including a USB stick so you can copy stuff from your hard drive and use a flash device as permanent storage for the iLiad Reader.

Another option is to use the free PC desktop companion software, which will queue files for sending over a wired or wireless connection (Wi-Fi is built in), as well as make a backup of your device and do fancy things with PDF documents - more on that later.

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