iRex Iliad


We’re looking at eBook readers at the moment, the first one we’ve received in the post (this took one day to arrive via Germany) is the iRex Iliad. There are a few reviews available on the net, so this isn’t an exhaustive review, but a review from the point of view of a librarian.

There are a number of things to like about the iRex:

  • The display is fantastic; it’s big and based on Electronic Paper – there are a few remnants from previously displayed pages, but nothing to bad
  • The simple file transfer mechanism; the Iliad appears as a mass storage device on your computer
  • Character set support
  • Multiple eBook formats are supported
  • Note-taking feature

On the other hand, there are a number of things that I’m not keen on:

  • It’s a slow device and somewhat unresponsive device, boot time is long, as are load times for books
  • It has wireless and wired support, but it doesn’t allow you to access eBooks on the Internet directly
  • The user interface isn’t prefect
  • No OCR on note taking

On the whole, I don’t think that this device isn’t going to cut it for libraries; for a start, a lot of the content we subscribe to is unsupported by this device; any of the content delivered by eBrary, NetLibrary or Dawson Era will not be available (unless you turn it into a PDF a few pages at a time!), and you can’t browse these pages as webpages from the device anyway because it doesn’t allow you to surf the net. A combination of internet connection and relevant plugins would make this very device interesting, but without them, it’s just a consumer toy. As such, it might be the toy I’d buy.


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