Customer Reviews: Franklin Electronics MWD-1510 Merriam-Webster Advanced Dictionary and Thesaurus with 5 Language Translator
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on February 25, 2013
When I was in School my Family got me The Franklin Dictionary & Thesaurus Computer, it was in 1987 over 25 years ago. I still have it and still works although a little outdated. After looking at dozens of Advanced Dictionary & Thesaurus I decided to get this one, Franklin Electronics Merriam-Webster's Advanced Dictionary and Thesaurus. Well, that was a mistake, I find it to be too small for me just under half the size of my old one, it measures 5 Inches Long by 3.3 Inches Wide and the Screen measures 3.2 Inches Long by about 1.1 Inches Wide. The Screen is Hard to Read I have to Tilt the Unit certain way to be able to read it, over a Dark Greenish Background with Blue Lettering Font, Not even Black Color, if you have 20/20 Vision God Bless you otherwise you will have Problems

The Shape of the Unit is Awkward, The Design is Awkward and the Protective Lid is very Annoying The Hard Cover made to Protect the Electronic Dictionary has two screws to fasten in the back of the Unit to keep it secure, even like that it gets on my way, so I fold the Lid under the Unit to control it. When the Unit is on and If I don't use it after 5 Minutes it turns itself Off, I wish it would stay on for good, till I'm done and ready, so I keep clicking the "On" Button located on the right side of the Unit every time to check on another word. It has 7 Books in One, you can read all about that on The Product Details.

The Automatic Shutoff can be set up under Settings from 1 to 5 Minutes, that is the Longest Time. The Franklin Electronic Dictionary also has many Games: Anagrams, Hangman, Jumble, World Builder, World Train, 1 Player Link Four, 2 Player Link Four, 1 Player Tic Tac Toe and 2 Player Tic Tac Toe, I don't Play any of them Specially in such Small Screen. Believe it or not I do like the Clock it has nice Big Numbers, Home Time and World Time, and very easy to set up.

The 5 Language Translator is very limited, it does not have many words, and so many of them I already knew, Example: "House" in various languages: Casa, Maison, Haus, Casa (Italian the same)...or "Eat": Comer, Manger, Essen, Mangiare...who doesn't know that or how to say "Beautiful" in Spanish: Bonito, or in Italian: Bello...The 5 Language Translator is a Joke, I thought it would be more Sophisticated than that! If you have a Kid, Fourth or Third Grader or younger this Electronic Dictionary would be perfect for Them!

The Franklin Dictionary arrived very Fast in a Great Big Hermetical Sealed Plastic Container, I kept looking for any Tools to Pry Open the Hard Plastic Box. If I could I would send it back unfortunately I had totally Destroyed the Thick Plastic Container in my effort to open it. I am been very Generous by giving it 3 Stars! ...Thank You D.D.
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on November 26, 2013
I purchased the Franklin MWD-1510 to replace an 11-year-old MWD-450 whose screen was breaking down (about 20% of the pixels no longer worked). When reading books I'll sometimes encounter words I've never seen before and so having a small electronic dictionary on hand is welcome.

Two things attracted me to the MWD-1510 over other electronic dictionaries. One was its large screen measuring 3.25"x1.25". This is a 73% larger area than the screen of my older MWD-450. The '1510 also has more definitions than the MWD-450: 400,000 versus 274,000 for the '450 (and only 250,000 definitions for the Sharp electronic dictionary). And it has a biographical dictionary for looking up famous people and a geographical dictionary for nations, cities, lakes, rivers, even famous waterfalls (including their heights!) Interestingly, Franklin forgot to include the nation 'Egypt' in the geographical dictionary. All other nations in the world are present including 'Chad' and even the island group 'Seychelles' (NE of Madagascar; pop. 68,598; 107 total sq. miles). But not Egypt. The physical quality of the '1510 is very good and feels, looks like something Apple would make and the font can be adjusted to 3 different sizes. The protective lid is removable but I prefer to leave it on. One advantage the older '450 has over the new '1510, however, is that it gives more variations of word spellings. For example, if you type 'impossible' into the '450 it will list four variations (impossibleness, impossibility, impossibilities, and impossibly). But the '1510 lists only two variations (impossibility and impossibly). On the other hand, the '1510 gives more definitions to words, has more definitions overall, includes phonetic spellings, and has geographical and biographical dictionaries to boot.

Which brings us to a big defect in the biographical dictionary. Typing the last name of someone famous into the '1510 should list all people in its memory with the name, in alphabetical order of the first name. But the '1510 will ONLY list the first entry, not the rest. For example, typing the name 'Smith' into the biographical dictionary will cause a message to briefly appear on the screen saying, 'Entry 1 of 14.' This means there are 14 entries of famous people with the last name Smith and the '1510 then goes on to list the first entry: Adam Smith, 1723-1790, Scottish economist. But it WILL NOT list the other 13 entries. If you try to scroll down to the other 13 names a message will appear on the screen saying, 'No More,' and the Adam Smith entry remains on the screen. Or if you type the name 'Roosevelt,' a message stating 'Entry 1 of 3' will briefly appear followed by the name & description of Eleanor Roosevelt. But if you try to scroll to Franklin and Teddy Roosevelt, the 'No More' message again appears and the Eleanor Roosevelt entry remains on the screen. In contrast, if you type the word 'fly' into the regular dictionary a message appears stating 'Entry 1 of 4' and you can scroll down to see all 4 entries. Or if you go to the geographical dictionary and type in the city 'Springfield,' five different cities called Springfield can be seen (with their location and population) by scrolling down. But the biographical dictionary will not allow you to view all entries. Only the first entry will appear. I e-mailed Franklin about this but got no response.

Another defect concerns the setting for auto shut off. The '1510 can be set to automatically shut off after 1,2,3,4, or 5 minutes of non-use. The problem is that no matter what setting it's in, it ALWAYS shuts off after 2 minutes. I prefer a 5-minute shutoff but it won't do this. Also, three different sizes of fonts are available and the largest size is adequate for me. But I wish the other 2 font sizes were larger, not smaller. The 2 smaller font sizes are too small.

Finally, the background of the LCD screen is too dark (medium gray) which makes reading the black-pixel display somewhat difficult although a larger font size (currently unavailable) would ameliorate this to some degree. By comparison, the background of the LCD screen for my Timex watch is nearly white making reading the black numerical display very easy. And although the letters of the '1510 can be made darker via the contrast setting, this also darkens the background as well so there's no real improvement here.


a). 450,000 definitions

b). 500,000 word thesaurus

c). bio and geo dictionary

d). large screen

e). fairly intuitive


1). Defect: cannot scroll down to multiple entries in bio dictionary.

2). Defect: auto shutoff is always 2 minutes regardless of setting.

3). 2 of the 3 font settings are too small

4). LCD screen background too dark making reading difficult.

A minor quibble: After switching on the '1510, a menu appears with a highlighted area on the [word] dictionary. You must then press "enter' in order to arrive at dictionary mode for looking up words. But since most people will probably use the '1510 mainly for definitions of words, as opposed to looking up famous people or locations in the bio and geo dictionaries, the '1510 should immediately go to word dictionary mode after being switched on rather than going to the menu and requiring the pressing of "enter" to arrive at the word dictionary. In contrast, my older MWD-450 immediately goes to word dictionary mode whenever it's switched on. I don't have to push a 2nd button.

Since I bought the MWD-1510 for its huge dictionary, large screen and found a new one online for only $21, I am satisfied. But the glaring defects with the biographical dictionary and auto shutoff cannot be overlooked. Three stars.
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on May 5, 2013
I needed one desperately so I'm keeping it, but unfortunately it's very difficult for me to see. So if your eyesight is not
as good as it should be, you'd be better off ordering another type. It's great has games and all sorts of
word helps. The print is very, very tiny.
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on March 10, 2013
Before I buy it, I thought a panel is bright looks like a picture.
When I got it and used it, I found the light of the panel is so dark...
the level of words is low....
so I woudn't like to recommend my friends...
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on December 26, 2013
I was very disappointed as I was looking forward to using this as an aide while reading and also doing cross-word puzzles. I could not get the batteries to engage for any length of time. I took the batteries to a local watch repair to have the batteries tested and they were okay. While there, he was able to get the item to go on, but had trouble turning it off. Eventually, it did turn off; however, he was unable to get it to turn on again. There must be something wrong with the connection.

Leona McElroy
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on April 21, 2013
American Heritage (Royal RP series) gives much more information.
No advantage over one I had.
Would not necessarily recommend Merriam-Webster's Advance.
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on April 10, 2012
The only problem I find with this electronic dictionary is the need to tilt the case downward while holding it in the air in order to see the first row of words, usually the word that I'm defining. I also found the dictionary much more detailed than what I find with the Nook built in dictionary, although the Nook comes with Merriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary. Still, much faster than looking up the entry in a hand held paper Dictionary, yet not as convenient as a built in e-reader Dictionary. Overall, I recommend that you buy this Dictionary, refurbished, for a good value.
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on September 12, 2015
The display is the villian. Far too small and poor definition as well as over crowded. The top line is partially obscured by the surrounding plastic case. Direct head on lighting is also required. I cannot comment on other aspects since I returned it the day after receiving it. Watch out for return costs!
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on July 24, 2014
Instructions lacking.......difficult to read. Found many words not available and limited definitions. High School level at best.
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on January 26, 2016
PROS: The size is great, and this dictionary was just what I had hoped it would be in terms of content. It has a larger content of words than my abridged "pocket" dictionary (paperback sized but very thick) and is small enough to leave at the bedside when I read at night.
CONS: As has been mentioned by others, this is VERY HARD TO READ. I have reset word size and lighting, but to be honest, I think the only place this would be good for me to see would be outdoors with great light. There is hardly any angle I can find using the bedside light that allows me to clearly the content on the screen clearly. Also, as mentioned elsewhere in other reviews, the top most line is even harder to see than the lower ones.
OTHER THOUGHTS: I will continue to use this until I find a replacement with a better screen. I was hoping to avoid similar sized devices with flip open screens (greater screen size) due to the frailty of connections through hinges but think that is where I'll have to go next to find a better screen. That's too bad because this device would get 5-Stars except for the hard-to-read screen.
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