Head to Head: iRex DR800S vs iRiver Story

The touch screen aside, the DR800S' larger, better quality screen sees it through this category; yes, it makes it a much more expensive device (around 60-70 per cent of the manufacturing cost of an ebook reader is for the screen alone), but it does make reading particularly of PDFs far easier, while photos are rendered far more impressively.

Rex - A QWERTY keyboard for use with the stylus pops-up if the search function is used.

Winner: iRex DR800S

Speed and battery life The Story has a quoted 9,000 page turns on its 800x600 pixel E-Ink screen. In theory its smaller screen, compared to the DR800S, should offer a longer battery life, though the provision of MP3 playback does mean power will be used up more quickly; iRiver quotes 20 hours audio playback.

We used the Story intermittently for over a week, largely for page turns (and a few hours of music), and the battery lasted throughout.

iRex - The system occasionally freezes, though it's generally much faster than the iRiver Story

The screen refreshes in around two seconds. That's twice as long as on the DR800S, and though we wouldn't berate the Story too much, it was noticeably slower to load PDFs and to zoom-in on documents.

Unfortunately, we didn't have the DR800S for quite as long so couldn't stretch its battery to the limit, though after many hundreds of page turns in our test it was still showing full charge. iRex tells us that the DR800S should last for 16 hours of continual reading.

The winner in this category is obvious, though it's largely decided on speed.

Winner: iRex DR800S