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237 of 238 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 24, 2009
Verified Purchase
I've worked with 3 different Franklin electronic dictionaries over the last 15 years including an older Language Master and a Bookman unit that supports book cards. Compared to these units, the SCD-2100 was quite a departure in terms of form factor but the basic interface remains familiar and intuitive. The first thing that jumps out at me is just how tiny it is! The pictures don't do a good job representing the size...the unit is only about 4 inches wide. Despite the small size, however, the keys don't really feel any smaller and the screen is actually much larger and higher-resolution than the old 3-line display models. Also, compared to the old versions, the SCD-2100 is also very speedy when it comes to spelling corrections and normal operations.

Unfortunately, the fit and finish feels cheap and it takes considerable effort to even put the battery cover on properly. (If you don't put in on just right, it will interfere with the opening and closing of the screen past vertical.) I also noticed that the plastic casing doesn't feel very rigid, so I wonder how long it will survive in a backpack. Considering how much this thing costs, it's disappointing that the old units appear to be better in this respect. My final complaint is that the speaker isn't particularly loud, though there is a headphone jack.

The SCD-2100 has a very long feature-list and a few surprises that I did not expect. The main reason I bought this was for the Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, which in my opinion, provides vastly richer definitions for many more words compared to lesser models. (Instead of generic single-word definitions, the Collegiate version enables me to appreciate the nuances between similar words.)

It appears that in an effort to slap on as many features as possible, this device has now become pretty travel friendly. In addition to its small size and basic 5-language translator (English/Spanish/Italian/French/German), the unit also performs basic unit conversions (temperature/weight/liquid volume/lengths) and has calculator that can do currency conversions. (There's also functionality for inverses and square roots...) The only annoyance with so many operating modes is that more button presses are required to get to where you want to be. For example, to look up a word, you need to first power up the unit and then select the dictionary from the menu (which is thankfully at the top). Franklin has made an effort to alleviate this however, with the use of 5 function keys that allow you to switch between modes without going to the menu, though you cannot program the keys.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the device. Performance is much improved compared to previous models and is several times faster than using the Collegiate Dictionary on a book-card. Also, the new small form factor doesn't really compromise on screen-size or quality.

Notes:
No Book-man Card Slot
Won't dictate bad words, but they're in the dictionary
No speech support for 5-language translator
Organizer appears to be able to hold about 300 entries. Entries were retained during a battery change (~30 seconds).
Keys are rubber and make distinct clicks when pressed
Uses 2x AAA
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90 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2009
Verified Purchase
I've owned a Franklin LM-6000 when it first came out, and it was a great tool. I recently got a Franklin SCD-2100 for my kids, and it is so much smaller and lighter.

Features that I think would improve the product are: backlighting, simple definition mode for children to use, and higher resolution LCD screen. I'd give a 5-star rating, if the device has these features.

This device has 2-zone clocks, calculator, 5-language translator, games, guide to punctuation and style, signs, symbols and tables, thesaurus, concise English Usage guide, and more. The font size can be adjusted in 3 different sizes. Pretty useful features, in my opinion.

This device is a keeper. Hopefully it won't get lost/misplaced too easily due to its very small size.
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80 of 84 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 3, 2010
Verified Purchase
Pros:
Compact, light, attractive looking, feature rich electronic device. Games, exercises, and productivity tools such as currency and unit converter, calendar, sceduler, stop watch, etc. can be very useful. Depending on the purpose, you may be satisfied with the product.

Cons:
- No accents are displayed to show the pronunciation.
- Sound is muffled and can't really make out what the word is. It is not the speaker problem; sound wasn't clear through earphones either. I tried it on two other people, and they couldn't decipher the word either. So, the "speaking" part is pretty useless.
- The device is supposed to have "Definition" button, but it is missing.

We bought this product to help our child with preparing for the spelling bee. I read the PDF manual on Franklin's Web site to make sure it has spelling bee function before placing the order. Because of the cons listed above, it is not useful for the purpose we bought it.

For the spelling bee functionality, I was hoping it would present random words. No, you have to input a word list. I was OK with this problem - I can probably update the word list easily using computer interface. I haven't tested that, though. The biggest problem is that it will only speak the word - no other clues like origin, meaning, used in a sentance, etc. According to the manual, we are supposed to push "Definition" and the device will show the definition of the word. We couldn't find out where that button is.

I called their support immediately after they opened (8 AM Eastern) and was promptly attended to by a human. The lady confirmed that the device won't display accents for pronunciation. (She said english language doesn't have accents!) Then I moved on to the "Definition" button issue and she said she doesn't know where that button is either. She is reading the manual and looking at the device (just like we did) and she was as lost as we were.

We are returning the product.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2009
This product is pretty small, light-weight and simple to use. I like the keyboard arrangement. It has a SAT word list and also a custom word list. The custom one can only contain around 40 words. Don't expect the material used for the device is fancy. It's very basic, but it serves the purpose of being an electronic dictionary. The sound it produces for words gives you the idea of how we should say the word, but it is not like real human voice.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2010
Verified Purchase
I am a voracious reader. I read all sorts of genres and my interest is so vast that I always stumble on unfamiliar vocabulary. I also want to know how to pronounce words, and I read quotes daily for inspiration. Am also curious on the origin of words.

This compact device is all that I have ever needed next to my MANY library books and purchases. Now, I will probably get into crossword puzzles as well, because anything to improve the vocabulary is needed. It remains at my bedside or in my purse because it is just as important to me as my cell phone and wallet.

I do question durability, however, I am always careful with my electronic devices, so, I plan to get a small case to put it in for protection. Well worth the purchase so far!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2010
Verified Purchase
I have had this dictionary for 6+ months now, and it is one of the few gadgets that have been so valuable that I am compelled to write a review. That alone speaks great praise. I take this e-dictionary everywhere. Few are the times I forgot to carry it with me. I am a college student, and an avid writer/recorder/reader. Thus far I have failed to find a word that this dictionary doesn't contain, and I have run across some very obscure literature from a very diverse origins. I use it daily. The thesaurus is invaluable in writing your own pieces. My favorite feature is the ability to look up words from within definitions. Every word that is contained in the dictionary, thesaurus, or any other book herein, is an active link to the definition of that word. You simply press `enter' and arrow down to the word within the text, and you are taken to the dictionary entry.
Battery life is outstanding. I have yet to replace the first set of batteries and still have a full bar.
Boot-up is very quick which makes pausing from your book to look up a word quick and easy.
The ability to create your own vocabulary list is great if you have a word fetish like me.
I realize this is a bit pricey gadget, but it is definitely worth every penny. Especially if you read a lot of tough literature or just want to increase your vocabulary - it's worth it!

The ONLY downside to this device is its durability. It does feel somewhat cheaply made, but I have dropped it a couple of times, and it still functions the same. If you are one to take care of the things you own then this dictionary will last. Absolutely recommended!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2011
Verified Purchase
I've been buying and using these dictionaries for many years now.
I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about this product. Never has
the sound been so bad. If you take the sound out of the equation,
it's still a very good product.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2011
Verified Purchase
These comments do not pertain to the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary itself, but to the electronic device that holds it, which a shoddy piece of work. To begin with, it is too small (3" by 4") for a dictionary with 57 keys. When a word of, say, eight letters or more is entered, the odds are that the user with normal size fingertips will hit a wrong key or two, which necessitates making a correction or retyping the word. A second major flaw is that the letters that appear on the "Enter an English word" screen are very small and to make matters worse the last letter in the word being input is partially obscured by the rather thick cursor so that it is hard to tell at a glance what the last letter is. Finally the contrast between the letters on the screen and the background of the screen is very weak, even when the user sets the contrast adjustment button at high contrast. I should also mention that the characters on the screen can be set to three different sizes, which is helpful when reading definitions, but the letters in the "Enter an English word" screen is set to the smallest font and cannot be enlarged. I use four different electronic dictionaries in my work (none made by Franklin) which are light years ahead of the Franklin "Merriam-Webster's Speaking Collegiate Dictionary." If you like the Collegiate Dictionary, you'll do better to buy the book version.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2010
Verified Purchase
The Franklin dictionary is very easy to use. The buttons are large enough for me to press and type without making many mistakes. It really saves me time, because in research or projects, instead of having to heave a heavy dictionary onto my desk and flip throught the pages, i can just search and type in the word im looking for. Usually, if i read a book, i may run into some words that i dont understand. i do my best to keep them in the back of my head because i dont want to get to get a pen and a piece of paper, or define it on the spot. Later on, i would forget. But, if i have the Franklin with me, i can turn it on(takes less than 5 sec.) and search the word. Also, if u choose to turn the feature on, you can have a word-learning feature that will teach you a new word every time you turn the device on. It is very useful. Also, it is very convenient. It has games, a calendar, time, and even an address book. So, if you are one of those people who are trying to save time searching up words instead of flipping through big dictionaries, the Franklin is the best.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2010
Verified Purchase
This dictionary was a gift, for my wife to use in school. She loves it and says that it is easy to use, and is fun. She uses it twice a week at school, and at home when she dose her home work. Great tool for anyone the need words sounded out to them. Good over all tool. Thank you.
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