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Comparing Electronic Dictionaries

If youíve got a child thatís heading off to college, you want to be certain theyíve got all the tools they need for success, including the electronic ones. And even though most young people have access to reams of information via a smartphone or laptop, they should definitely leave some room for an electronic handheld dictionary.

These devices are light years ahead of the wonky handhelds that were first introduced in the 1980ís and are packed with great features. The Franklin SCD-2100 Speaking Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition, for example, is much more than just a device for looking up the meaning of words. This easy to use device comes pre-loaded with a thesaurus and a punctuation guide. Itís an all in one reference tool that can be used in plenty of places where smart phone and laptop use are discouraged, including test environments.

Despite the abundance of electronic devices in our lives, most of us know very little about what we should be looking for in an electronic dictionary. Thatís why anyone considering this purchase should spend plenty of time reading one electronic dictionary review after another on sites like Amazon.com.

User reviews like these can provide tons of great information if you know how to read them. We always discount reviewers who come across as being too negative. Itís not a knock on the reviewer; itís just that people who have bad experiences tend to be more vocal than those have positive ones. Still, once youíve read three or four reviews, youíll probably get a good idea of what features other users like, love and hate outright.

Weíd also issue a word of caution to anyone who blindly follows user reviews for electronic dictionaries, or anything else. There are plenty of people out there who have problems whatsoever paying writers to write positive reviews, whether theyíve actually used the product themselves or not. Thatís another reason why we tend to discount reviewers are a little too positive in their analysis of a device.

So what other features you should be looking for in an electronic dictionary? One feature thatís often overlooked by online shoppers is how the device feels in your hand. Of course you canít feel anything over the Internet, but if youíre really serious about buying one, it might be worth a quick trip to OfficeMax to hold one for yourself.

If youíre going to be taking a foreign language in college or high school this year, youíll definitely want to consider dictionaries like the Ectaco ES900 Dictionary. This well regarded device comes pre-loaded with a Spanish language dictionary thatís very simple to use. Itís also got a pronunciation feature that makes studying those challenging verb conjugations a lot easier, especially for beginners.

Electronic devices are notoriously delicate and weíre not always sold on purchasing generic electronics that come with deep discounts. A device like the Sharp Electronics PW-E550 Electronic Dictionary definitely costs more than a generic, but itís going to last a lot longer and comes with way more features.

For example, this device doesnít just come with a thesaurus; it comes with the Oxford American Thesaurus. Thatís a reference tool that can be found in every library in the country and youíll have it right at your fingertips. If youíre not willing to pay a little extra for that, why bother at all?

Evaluating and comparison shopping definitely takes time, but itís time well spent. After all, an electronic dictionary is a device youíll be relying on late at night, or in serious crunch time during finals week. Thereís no reason you shouldnít have the best reference tools you can possibly find for these important moments.



Last Updated on: Jan. 12, 2015
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