Dymocks launches iLiad ebook reader

iliad.pngWe already told you that Dymock's had added downloadable audio books and ebooks to their website in November, and now it has launched its promised ebook reader, the iLiad.
iLiad is about the size of an A5 piece of paper, and weighs in at 389 grams. It has 128mb of memory available to be used, and you can add memory capacity in the form of compact flash or MMC card.You can also read from USB devices.
You can upload books to the iLiad from a computer wirelessly, via USB cable or from a memory card. You can make notes on docuements using its stylus.
It supports a range of formats - PDF, HTML, TXT, JPG, BMP, PNG  and PRC (Mobipocket - the format used for ebooks in the Dymocks store).
I haven't gotten to see an iLiad yet, but they've got them on display at the George Street store in Sydney. They're also selling them on their online store.
The SMH points out that the $899 iLiad failed to gain market share when it was launched in the US about a year ago. But probably the most high profile ebook reader currently on the market, Amazon's Kindle, is unlikely to be sold here.
Unlike  the Kindle, iLiad doesn't allow you to use 'always on' wireless to buy books on the go. The SMH story quoted Dymocks as saying iLiad's internet connectivity is mainly for uploading software updates.
And if the $900 pricetag doesn't phase you, you probably won't mind paying an extra $90 for the leather carry case either.


Comments

    The kindle looks like a brick compared to this thing, and their business model is a touch obnoxious (you have to pay to read free blogs? WTF).

    I can't see many reasons to go with this thing instead of an eee pc really. Half the price, and a fully functional laptop instead of a restricted reader, sure its 520 grams heavier, but is that really that big a deal when you're still talking about under a kg total?

    They're nuts. My pda (Palm Tungsten E2) cost only around $400 a year or so ago. My books are on it (in whichever format I choose), my menus & grocery lists, photos, bus timetables, calendar etc. It's comfortable to hold and easy to use. I can't believe how much money these companies expect people to pay for such a limited product. I'll stick to the pda thanks.

    How much is it ... ?!?!?!
    Let me re-read the article...
    No.. I was right, it definitely said AUD$900 !!!

    They have GOT TO BE KIDDING.
    If they (Dymocks) sell more than 6-each of these they are geniuses. Fair dinkum. Do they think that we don't HAVE the internet here in Australia. That we don't KNOW how much things cost in other countries. Or are they REALLY just that STUPID.

    WOW... that's all you can say... WOW.... not even hardcore pavlovian Apple zealots would stand paying that much for a device so narrow in it's function, even if it was was blessed on stage by Pope Jobs... However... maybe if Dymocks get stuck with.. what am I saying... LOL.. WHEN they are wondering what to do with the boxes and boxes (and boxes) of these things gathering dust in the inventory alongside the Max Walker books, they might do worse than to silently put an Apple logo on the front and try their luck. I mean clearly they are already huffing from the a big ole' bag-o-crazy with the starting price of NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS...

    I think you get the prize for the best comment on Lifehacker AU, ever. If only I had a prize to give you! lol

    This is a poorly researched article (correct info but leaves out too much relevant details) and so it is understandable that the comments seem to be based on misunderstanding the iRex Iliad and are making direct comparisons between it and the Amazon Kindle.

    The iLiad is the most advanced e-reader in existence and is quite different from the Kindle in important respects. The Kindle can merely display books, newspapers, periodicals etc. It does it well and its best feature is the ability to buy books on the run using the built in wireless.

    The iRex iLiad on the other hand has a touch screen that makes it like a piece of paper that you can write on, draw pictures and so on as well as display books, periodicals etc.

    More info here: http://www.irextechnologies.com/products/iliad

    Both products use a revolutionary new display technology called e-ink which looks a lot like real ink on real paper. Because it is electro-chemically produced the e-ink has none of the eye strain problems associated with reading on computer monitors or PDA's. It is as comfortable to read as a real book.

    Where they differ is the wireless book buying ability of the Kindle and the handwriting/drawing functionality of the iLiad. One is a simple and so cheaper technology, the other is more sophisticated.

    The Kindle has benefited from a lower price but also by Amazon's huge marketing resources. Thje iLiad on the other hand is made by a small Spanish company without a large corporate marketing machine, and on top of that it is expensive, so I suspect it will struggle to make huge sales.

    A pity because it is time to ditch the environmentally unfriendly practice of using dead trees just for reading. It is also quite marvelous that with these devices it is possible to carry around hundreds of books in a handbag, and take advantage of the good things e-reading offer like adjusting print size with the touch of a button.

    As an artist I have been hoping someone would import the iLiad as I suspect it will make a great sketchpad as well as book reader. And now I have a price point to save up for (maybe for next Christmas) (I need a rich relative :-))

    'If they (Dymocks) sell more than 6-each of these they are geniuses. Fair dinkum. Do they think that we don't HAVE the internet here in Australia. That we don't KNOW how much things cost in other countries. Or are they REALLY just that STUPID.'

    Dymocks are australian, and only australian.

    but yes, overpriced.

    Hey Tony Johansen - is iRex a good employer?
    I honestly can't see the attraction of e-readers. I read my newspapers online anyway and I really don't mind grabbing an actual book to read.
    Hel's comment sums it up nicely - at that price point I'd rather buy a PDA that does more.

    Citizen D, the comments here (and in the US incidentally) about e-readers tend to be like those before the iPod, or even those of people who have never used computers before. I do not have any connection with anyone selling e-readers of any kind, but I suspect that as they take off and the prices come down you too may discover the convenience of them. Just as you likely did when iPods became popular. Remember the inconvenience of music on CD's and not on the computer?

    PDA's don't figure in this. Because they have backlit LCD screens they have battery life problems with reading, screens that are too small for comfortable reading, and eyestrain issues due to an electronically produced image of the text. A PDA is okay for reading in a pinch, but it is no where near comparable to the pleasures of reading a real book. e-Readers aint perfect but they are a more practical solution for reading material. Battery life is not an issue as the screen does not use power for anything other than turning pages, and there is no eyestrain. To that you need to add the things the e-reader can do which the PDA cannot such as adjusting text size easily which is fabulous for older readers.

    Dymocks problem is that there are few e-readers on the market for them to go with and the iLiad just so happens to be the most expensive one. On the other hand, it is also by far the best one. They need to crank up their marketing a bit and tell people about the advantages of this one or the debate will be dominated by people like yourself who appear to dismiss them without trying one.

    No way am I spending that much on an e-reader device. Even if it wasn't out of my price range. It might be fancy and la dee da but whatever. I just wanted something to read e-books on. Something simple and basic! I mean sheesh, you can buy a laptop for that kind of money. Not as portable granted, but it can do a lot more.

    You know Tony Johansen you never say in your last post that you don't work iRex.

    Thank you, TH, for your balanced appraisal of this device. The knee-jerk reactions are of little help and display a profound ignorance of design and function. Inevitably, such devices will reduce in price as they are adopted. Digital television, DVD recorders, and HD drives are just a few examples of technology which was highly expensive at introduction - yet cheap as chips, later on. Early adopters usually do pay high prices for the privilege. The rest of us have to wait until the price level drops to meet our expenditure limits.
    Incidentally, when comparing apples with apples - so to speak, i.e. quality, performance, and features ... Apple have never produced expensive products - that myth has been disproved so many times, it is exceedingly ignorant to continue to use it.

    Value does not mean "cheapest" but rather a combination of good design, quality components and manufacture, successful integration, effective combination of form and function, and reliabilty - at a fair price.

    I cannot justify 900 for a reader that I can draw on when Techcrunch has proven they can make a full-fledged tablet pc for around $300 US, that would be around 500 in Australia, still cheaper and it's color, a prototype but I can wait.

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/19/techcrunch-tablet-update-prototype-b/

    Cost nothing to join a local library. I dontt hink they will sell till they are near the $100 mark.

    i like the look of the e readers, and i have had a good look around online and the cheapest place to buy the iLiad is on the Irex shop website, inc deliver 2 australia and even buying an australian adapter too.. dymocks price has actually gone up to over $1200 AU. and thats not including delivery.

      No. This model is still $900. The $1200+ model is the iLiad 2.

      Also you need to consider the cost of importing into Australia. I don't suppose any of you have noticed the price of books in Australia, compared to overseas? There are not only customs duty fees applicable to importing books in Australia, but also a price 'normalisation'. This is why it can be up to 50% cheaper to order books in small quantities from overseas, and also why local retailers encourages special orders. Dymocks is actually one of the major retailers advocating cheaper books in Australia.

    $900?! Ha ha ha! Whoo!

    Call me back when they drop below $300.

    Oh, and I'm a gadget nerd. Call the average person back when they drop below $150.

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