When it comes to the brand-new IREX DR800SG eReader, don’t judge a book by its cover. Though the IREX ($399; available at select Best Buy locations) doesn't carry as much weight (yet) as Amazon does with the Kindle ($299), or Sony does with the Reader Daily Edition ($299), here’s everything you need to know: In 2001, IREX developed the electronic paper display used in the Sony Librié, which was the first commercially available eReader (launched in 2004). In other words, they’re official. And now, they’re launching the DR800SG, which is guaranteed to change the way you look at eReaders.
For starters, IREX is the first eReader manufacturer to partner with Barnes & Noble, meaning your DR800SG will have access to more than 750,000 titles—or more than twice as many as Amazon currently offers. The DR800SG also comes connected to the Verizon Wireless 3G network (at no additional cost), so you can purchase and download eBooks from virtually anywhere. And when you actually flip it open? There's an impressive 8.1-inch touch screen, the latest paper display technology, and a handy stylus to help you control it all. Now that sounds like a good read.
Chris Yuscavage is the former lifestyle editor at VIBE and lives in Jersey City, N.J.