iriver had a monopoly on insane, imaginative designs. Sure, it was mostly centered around PMPs, but iriver's stuff in its heyday was fun enough to make even a screenless MP3 player seem interesting. Lately, however, things seem a little more conservative. Take this iriver Story, for instance: it's a sexy device that seems very on par with other e-readers on the market... and that's about it. We played around with it a bit on the show floor, and found the keyboard to be pretty great, the design solid and slim, and the software pretty slow. With all the extra function-specific buttons on the keyboard, there's less of the arbitrary UI navigation limitations posed by some of the more simplistic e-book readers, but there's nothing so amazing or useful on the device that it would tempt the Kindle faithful. We're particularly worried about book load times, but it'll take some more time with the unit to really see how it stacks up across the board. For now you can check out a video walkthrough of the device after the break.
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iriver Story e-reader hands-on