Top positive review
91 people found this helpful
Much Improved, this is the best program now days
on March 27, 2008
This program is MUCH IMPROVED! If you'll see my review of Mavis Beacon 17 I believe it was, you can see where I pointed out this programs flaws. However, these have all been resolved and this program has become satisfactory in every way in my opinion.
Mavis Beacon 20 (I have only tried the platinum edition) also has a new practice feature which I haven't found anywhere else, where you can choose from a huge selection of articles where you just type right along with the text while the text you type appears in the lines in between the text to type (no looking halfway down the screen to see mistakes), errors appear in red and make a little noise to let you know that they have occurred. This is a great practicing tool for after you learn all the keys and want to stay sharp. I should also add that these articles are legitimate or legitimate style articles that are actually interesting and fun to type (such as outtakes from Ben Franklin's biography, to scientific articles, many topics) unlike those boring, fake ones that usually are in place on typing programs (which make you feel like you're back in elementary school) and you can even import your own text.
This has really been turned into a very fine program and out of all the programs out there (I've tried alot of them) this one without question gets the highest recommendation. All features have become very practical and user friendly. There's also a ten key learning portion of the program (as with the older versions as well) The interface also has been spiffed up very nicely with pleasing graphics a whole array of new and actually fun games. Bravo to Broderbund for setting the bar to new heights in this program.
I've got to admit, I learned all of the keys typing on mavis beacon 17, but I doubt that it's any harder on MB 20. The main thing that was really lacking on MB 17 (besides being a junky program) was that you couldn't repeat lessons, which you can now do on MB 20. If you're looking for a program with no small glitches but is much more boring and with less features, then you should look into TypingMaster Pro which you can demo, which is a fine program by the way and If MB is too difficult for you then TypingMaster teaches two keys at a time, however I can't remember how many MB would jump up at a time, however you could always just repeat lessons until you get it. Overall if I was having to spend money on something that I was planning to use for a long time, I would pick Mavis Beacon any day simply because of the practice feature, which I use EVERYDAY. On any other program, after you've learned all the keys, the only thing you can do to practice is to take the final tests over and over again. Unless you go right into a daily regimine of heavy typing, then you will get rusty real fast and this feature makes for an easy and interesting way to stay sharp. You can try a flash demo of MB 20 from their web site. Also, There's an annoying feature on mavis beacon where a hand is displayed on the screen typing the keys as you type, this can be turned off in the options. If you look, there's actually not a whole lot out there to choose from when it comes to typing programs, but I've tried about every one I could find, and this would easily be my choice. If people who don't like it find a more useful program, then they should list it in the comments for this review. I'll finish by saying that TypingMaster might be a little easier to learn on, but I own both of them and still use MB everyday and deleted TypingMaster off of my computer a long time ago. It may all depend on how you want to use it.
The lessons plan showing how many new keys per lesson can be viewed in the screenshots shown above on this page.