When the wireless iRex was announced online, with the news that it would be available at Best Buy online an eventually in stores, I was so supremely curious. Even though the price tag is still way high, and way out of reach for most people, I ordered one thinking that if it would solve my Kindle problems, and perform the way I wanted a wireless reader to perform, it might be a better option for many.
Currently, I’m using Kindle II for most of my reading. I was using a Sony 505, but it had a very sad and unfortunate accident with the leg of a table, and half the screen doesn’t work. Plus, I have difficulties loading the content onto the 505 because I can’t always connect external devices to the computers I’m using.
I like using the wireless connectivity to load books on the Kindle. I like how light it is. I like the sticker I have on the back. I especially like that I can buy .mobi files from vendors other than Amazon and, by using Calibre’s preference set for Kindle, email those files to my device.
But I freaking HATE that I can’t organize my files. Holy crap, it makes me miserable, that hot mess of content organized by date added or date read or by author. “Most recent” could be the last file I looked at (because it arrived on the device with a name I don’t recognize) or the last file I sent (and I have to peek at it multiple times to see what it is).
So when I saw the iRex 800SG with onboard 3G wireless, along with on-board links to bookstores like Barnes & Noble, AND I found a link to a a potential hack to enable file organization, I thought, OH HO. This might work!
Alas, my impression of the IRex 800G: utter lamesauce. This is the first digital reader that I’m tempted to give a DNF review to – it’s that bad.
The good alluring points:
- HUGE screen. One big screen – that’s touch enabled!
- Wireless on board!
- Potential file organization – I can’t tell you how much that file organization possibility makes me giddy in my pants.
The fail parts:
You. Can only. Use. The Stylus. To Interact. With the Screen.
Seriously. I poked at the screen, pushed the buttons on the side, looked at the back. I handed it to Hubby and asked if he could figure out how to turn the page. Both of us were all, “WTF?” Then, I realized: it wouldn’t react to my fingers or my fingernails.
Just the stylus?
Yes. Just. The stylus. The screen will only react to the stylus, and not my fingertip, as do the Sony Touch and the iPhone, and other touch-sensitive device.
No damn way. I have to hold on to the subway pole with one hand and hold a reader in the other. There’s no way I can use this practically, to say nothing of the fact that the stylus is TINY.
AND there’s no place for the stylus to be stored on the device. Just a pocket on the case. This thing is asking to get lost.
What a shame. This big huge beautiful screen, and it looks spiffy, I must say. The menu screen is very easy to read, and the available categories make sense. I used the stylus to connect to the BN.com bookstore – piece of cake. The wireless didn’t hang like some carriers tend to do in my area (*ahem* AT&T) and the menus for the store and the book navigation were not unclear. Except for turning the freaking page.
Stylus only? No, thank you. You can NOT call it a touch screen if touching it with your actual finger does nothing!
The other shame is that I couldn’t get the file organization hack to work. This may be because I am not so good at hacking a file system, despite four tries on two computers.
So I remain on the Kindle, and await the iPad to see if my retinas scream at me in rage and ire at being asked to stare at a lit LCD screen all the time. Heck, maybe the color Kindle will have file organization please for the love of all that is digitally awesome.
But alas, as much as I was super excited to try it, the iRex is not for me.
It is, indeed, “Reading at ts Finest.”