i just received my newest toy, the irex iliad e-book reader. pretty nice so far, the screen is much bigger than the sony reader screen, and not only is it bigger, it also has more grayscales (16 as opposed to 8, they obviously use the newer version of e-ink's electronic ink display) and it even has a touch screen! and even though the device is much bigger, it does not feel that much heavier, probably it is much more plastic. in terms of stylish design, the sony is much nicer, but because of all the metal, it is also much heavier (in relation to its smaller size). i'd prefer a titanium housing for the iliad - rugged and light!
now that i actually have an iliad, i immediately ordered the sdk, which should give me access to the iliad's operating system (irex then responds that they will get back to you within a week - pretty laid back folks). this is the real beauty of the iliad: instead of being as closed as possible, such as the sony reader, they (at least in theory) embrace a more open approach. i still have to see how far that is going, and i am really curious to see how easy it is to run programs on the iliad, but the possibility alone is nice.
before posting a review of the iliad and its built-in software i first have to play around for a couple of days and see how it works. i am definitely not looking forward to schlepping the charger and the docking station around, though; who ever designed these contraptions did a remarkably bad job and should take a look at the sony stuff. what is all that excess plastic for? why do i need three cables to do two things?