8.1-inch iRex DR800SG ebook reader officially announced

A new ebook reader has hit the American market as iRex Technologies has officially announced the launch of its 8.1-inch DR800SG - a direct rival to Amazon's Kindles and Sony's Readers.

With a pen-based touchscreen and 3G wireless capabilities for OTA downloads, provided by Verizon, the new device gets 2GB memory, content from Barnes & Noble eBookstore as well as offering support for multiple formats, including the ePub format as well as other DRM-ed solutions.

The DR800SG gets a Qualcomm Gobi "multi-mode" 3G embedded module for connectivity to 3G networks around the world. This contrasts with the Kindle's "WhisperNet" tech that only works in the US.

Users will not have to pay for data charges iRex confirmed, with the costs of downloads included in the cost of the book.

Despite this though, the UK will have to wait a little while before the iRex DR800SG is officially available over here. It's been revealed it will launch in Europe the first half of 2010.

Best Buy will offer the DR800SG at "select stores" in October. The new ebook reader will go on sale for $399.99 (£244 at today's rates) and come complete with a leather cover. Wireless access to download content is included in the cost of the DR800SG and no contract is required.

iRex has also said that they hope to launch a full finger touchscreen device in Q2 2010 as well as hinting they are working on a full colour offering.

Stay tuned for images.

Additional reporting by Stuart Miles.