September 25, 2009, 8:01 AM — Earlier this week IREX launched their DR 800SG e-reader. This is a $400 e-ink reader with an 8.1" screen and 3G connectivity to be provided by Verizon (at no additional cost) in the US. IREX is partnering with Barnes & Noble for its on-board bookstore, which is interesting. Remember Plastic Logic is also partnering with B&N for its e-reader.
IREX claims the DR 800SG has a faster page refresh than other e-ink readers. It supports the EPUB format as well as PDF, and IREX says they're open to supporting other forms of DRM. The DR 800SG uses a stylus for it's touch-screen capabilities, according to a hands-on post at Engadget.
What I'm finding most interesting about the IREX is that it'll be available in 'select' Best Buy stores this October. For as much action as there's been in the e-reader market lately, I've never seen one in a store. Maybe I'm just in the wrong shops, but until now I'd have to buy an e-reader based on what I've read about them online. Putting these things in retail shops where a potential customer can pick one up and play with it is a no-brainer; why has it taken so long to happen? According to an article in The New York Times, the Sony Reader series will join IREX at Best Buy, so we'll see how that plays out.