(Pocket-lint) - iRiver's Story ebook reader fared well when we put it through its paces for a review at the tail end of last year, but it seemed to be lacking something. And that something was connectivity.
But now, with the inclusion of Wi-Fi, and a tie-up with WH Smith's online ebook store, iRiver do now have a genuine Kindle rival on its hands.
Apart from the Wi-Fi addition the spec stays the same.
The iRiver WiFi Story EB03 ebook reader, to give it its full moniker, has a 6-inch, 600 x 800 screen, capable of displaying 16 levels of greyness.
It is Linux based - it has the Flow UI - and it is capable of displaying the usual ebook reader array of files including EPub, PDF, TXT, FBU and DJVU.
It can also be used for basic Microsoft Office viewing (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and is also capable of displaying various picture files like JPEG, GIF and BMPs.
You can also use it as a music player as it will play back MP3, OGG and WMP files and the full QWERTY allows you to take notes and keep a diary on the device - just like the Kindle.
It has 2GB of storage, which you can add to if needs be using an SD card, and you can turn 9000 pages on a single charge. We see Frank Lampard's autobiography Totally Frank is on sale in the WH Smith store at £4.88. You could read Frankie's riveting tale almost 19 times in a row on a single charge if once isn't enough.
So, the iRiver Story has all the ingredients to seriously challenge the Kindle. The only trouble is the RRP of £250. The original Kindle has just seen its price slashed to $189 (£125) and the Kindle DX is now $389 (£256).
iRiver is going to have to hope that potential ebook reader buyers want the newest kit and are prepared to opt for a device that is readily available in the UK.
Update: We've been contacted by our guys at iRiver and told that the price has been slashed to £199. Now, that makes it a much more viable option.