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iRex iLiad
iRex iLiad
Manufacturer iRex Technologies
Screen 124×152 mm (W×H),
768×1024 pixels,
160 ppi density,
16-level grayscale
Electronic paper.
Operating system Linux (2.4 kernel)
Input Wacom touchscreen,
Graphical user interface,
next/prev/quick access buttons.
CPU 400MHz Intel XScale.
Memory 64 MB RAM,
256 MB (128 MB available) internal storage,
Expandable via USB, MMC or CF cards.
Networks MyiRex account
Connectivity WiFi 802.11g,
10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet LAN (via travel hub),
USB port, audio jack.
Battery Lithium Ion battery.
Physical size 155x217x16 mm (WxHxD)
Weight 389 g (13.7 oz)

The iLiad is an electronic handheld device, or e-book device, which can be used for document reading and editing. Like the Sony Reader or Amazon Kindle, the iLiad makes use of an electronic paper display.


[edit] Description

Main specifications:

  • an 8.1-inch (21 cm) electronic paper display, area for displaying content is 124x152mm
  • a resolution of 768x1024 pixels (160 dpi)
  • 16 levels of grayscale
  • a USB connector for external storage,
  • a CompactFlash Type II slot for memory extension or other applications
  • a MultiMediaCard slot for MMC memory cards
  • a 3.5 mm stereo audio jack for a headset
  • WiFi 802.11g wireless LAN
  • 10/100 Mbit/s wired LAN
  • 390 grams (14 oz) weight
  • 400MHz Intel XScale processor
  • 64MB RAM
  • 256MB internal flash memory (128 for user, 128 for system)
  • Linux-based operating system (2.4 kernel)

It measures 155 mm × 216 mm × 16 mm (width × height × depth), the size of an A5 document, or roughly a 6"×9" steno notebook. The display used is an active matrix electrophoretic display, which uses E Ink display film manufactured by E Ink Corporation. Underneath the E-Ink screen is a digitizing tablet by Wacom which requires a stylus for input. When it was introduced, the Iliad had largest screen size of existing e-ink products, but the newer iRex Digital Reader 1000's 10.2-inch (26 cm) display is now the largest in production.

The iLiad is capable of displaying document files in a number of formats, including PDF, Mobipocket, XHTML and plain text. It can also display JPG, BMP and PNG images, but not in color. As of May 3, 2007 Mobipocket is supported, making the mobipocket digital rights management (DRM) content available on this platform [1]. iRex's product page for the iLiad states that "Support for additional E-book formats will become available over the coming months. [1]"

Through its wireless service, iDS, the iLiad can also directly download content. Les Echos, a french financial newspaper, is distributed this way, as is Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, and additional content is expected. Users can connect to their computer over a wireless network to sync new data onto the iLiad's internal memory or an inserted MMC, SD, or CF card. More wireless and network functions are to be delivered in upcoming firmware updates.

The distributor of the iLiad is iRex Technologies, a Philips spin-off company. It was initially advertised in December 2005, to be launched in April 2006, but was delayed until July, when it started to be sold as a beta product. It was released to the general public near the end of July, and since then has undergone considerable software revisions.

Its list price in Europe is €649, and in US $699.

[edit] Advanced Features

One of the advanced features of the iLiad is the ability to add notes to existing documents. With the integrated Wacom tablet and stylus, it is possible to write directly on almost any document and those notes will remain on that document whenever it is viewed on the iLiad. Using the desktop software, those notes can be merged into the original document.

This ability provides one of the most important features of paper books, often forgotten by ebook developers. In a word, malleability. Books in today's world are not read-only, notes in the margins, folded pages, highlighted text and strikeouts are familiar to anyone who visits a used book store. The iLiad's annotation feature brings ebooks one step closer to being a real replacement for a paper book.

[edit] Third-party development

Because of its open Linux operating system, the iLiad is able to run third party applications created for it. Developers and users wishing to create or run third party applications can request shell access from the manufacturer.

Developers have been able to improve on the device's functionality by porting viewers such as FBReader, and programs such as abiword and stardict. Full screen PDF reading is made available by community-supported iPDF releases. Programs for recreation, including audio playback, sudoku, and calendars, are rapidly growing community content available for use on the iLiad. Independent users have also reported successful porting of mobile web browsers to iLiad's Linux platform, although with limited functionality and many bugs.

iRex as a company has had a lukewarm relationship with its Open Source developers. Most of the complaints toward iRex center around speed of release of SDKs and other information. They have, however, also been quite forthcoming on some projects and some of the changes the community has made have been integrated back into the company's software distribution, perhaps the most notable being that of stylus and input calibration, an external development project led by Jay Kuri and published as part of the main distribution in early 2008.

[edit] Version 2

In September 2007, iRex Technologies released an update to the iLiad. While officially called "iLiad 2nd Edition", it is generally noted to be a minor update to the original.

The update includes:

  • Redesigned backplane
  • Increased battery capacity
  • Software version 2.11
  • Updated travel charger
  • Included case

The 2.11 software, which contains stylus calibration, extended battery life, and other things, is also available to first-generation iLiads.

[edit] Book Edition

In May 2008, iRex Technologies added a third installment to the iLiad line of products, this time branded under the name iLiad Book Edition. This is the iLiad Version 2 without WiFi and a new silver look. The technical cutbacks place it at the $599 (euro 499) price point, which is cheaper than the original. It also comes with 50 free Classics, including works from well-known writers Jules Verne, Charles Dickens, Lewis Caroll, and Leo Tolstoy.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b

[edit] External links

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