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Showing 1-10 of 100 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 108 reviews
on October 9, 2012
The piano itself is pretty neat and works with both the iPad and iPod, but the piano apprentice app that you have to download leaves a lot to be desired. I thought it would be more of a basic piano lesson, learning the notes one at a time then putting them together to form the song, but instead the song plays at full tempo and is hard to follow. Besides which, there are only 4 songs to learn.
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on October 24, 2013
Usually I'm the guy to come in and rain on everyone's parade and tell them a product is not as good as they think it is. In this case I'm happy to be the one giving a much better review to something which has gotten a bad rap.

I paid $35 for this device which is worth a heck of a lot more, and I can say it's completely exceeded my expectations. After I read the reviews here, it was looking like this came with lousy software and might not work well with other software. It's partly true that the bundled software isn't great, but it's not deplorable either.

Thee good news is that you don't have to use the bundled software at all if you don't want to. There's a terrific piano teaching package called Synthesia which works almost perfectly with this keyboard and makes it the deal of the century. You have to go into it's settings page and set it up properly for the Ion Piano Apprentice (it has special settings for it), and once you do, it plays perfectly with the light up keys and everything. You have access to hundreds of songs and can learn in "guitar hero" style or by reading sheet music. This is really great software for learning songs (and lots of them).

EDIT: I have noticed a few anomalies with the way it handles the lights with synthesia. I don't think this is a major issue. A lot of it seems to be from passing through the metronome clicks to the keyboard, which I turned off. Sometimes repeat notes don't show up if you miss them the first time. This doesn't change my conclusion. At this price, the lights are really a bonus.

The combination of Synthesia's software with this keyboard makes this thing a ridiculous deal at $35. The action of the piano is quite good at that price and you won't find any other kind of keyboard with lighted keys at 3x the price. I would be happy with this purchase at $75- at $35 it's a silly deal.

If you're not an idiot who can't download some software and change some settings, you should pick this deal up while the getting's good.
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on February 19, 2015
I have small hands for an adult--they are about the size of a twelve-year-old's hands. I found the keys small and uncomfortable to play.

I did download the additional software that another reviewer recommended, which was helpful, except for the fact that the range of some songs made it impossible to play all the notes on either the left or the right hand. This was thoroughly frustrating.

The educational videos included with purchase were generally useful.

Finally, one of the keys broke, which was very disappointing. They turn out to be of thinner plastic than I might have wished--yet playing them appears (as far I can tell) to depend on applying enough force to bend the plastic, rather than some lighter, more touch-sensitive mechanism.

I think this product needs to be a larger size and undergo a little more development to be a real pleasure to use.
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on January 1, 2014
Got this gift for my little cousin who expressed interest in music, particularly the piano. Simple gadget for her to play with and hopefully learn something.

For concept alone it's a nice purchase for kids.

If you were not aware, this device only operates when plugged into an Ipod/Iphone/Ipad AND you have the piano apprentice app. Nothing too absurd, just worth the mention if you think it's anything more than an extension.

The App itself would get less stars, like most products today it does have the basic piano. However, every product that you purchase these days will try to milk you for more money and that's always a bummer.
If you want the learning songs that play at full tempo then you have to pay for them.

In conclusion, product is pretty cool idea with fair execution. However, the app leaves something to be desired. Since this is just a gift for my little cousin and not for my own use I can't say that I'm too upset at that.
I'm sure if it gets more serious, then the quality of the app will impact my rating.
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on December 26, 2015
This was bought for a family member for Christmas. She absolutely is thrilled with this unique and FUN iPad keyboard. She's been using it almost nonstop since she opened it and can't seem to put it down because she's enjoying it so much! Best item I bought this Christmas! She's never touched a keyboard or piano in her life and is finding it easy to learn it because of how fun and easy this makes learning to play. The keys lighting up to visually show you what key to play is just so fun and makes learning such a pleasure. This comes with my highest recommendation! (She has iPad 2)
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on January 16, 2014
I ordered the one with the lightening adapter and it works fine with my retina mini ipad. BTW it also arrived with an ac adapter included. Nice surprise.
I gave it 5 stars because it does what it says it will do and included adapters and batteries. All I had to do was add my ipad.
Yes, the keys are small, but usable. I already have an 88 key full size Roland midi and a 49 key m-audio oxygen midi. I needed something small and light to take with me on a trip to keep up my practce. This is just right for my needs. It is fairly well built and the speakers are decent. So far works great on batteries too.
I actually like the built in song lessons. Great for getting used to the keyboard. And Synthesia works fine on it, including the key lights. It took a bit of tweaking the settings. Synthesia is not great for playing both hands on this keyboard, however, as only one hand will fit on the screen. The included apprentice songs are simplified to fit.
If this is your only keyboard, you will be disappointed if you are expecting a major instrument. But for a supplemental keyboard, its great. The white keys are actually only somewhat narrower than fullsize, but much shorter. The black keys are very narrow, but you can easily fit your fingers between them.
Hey for about 50 bucks for everything but the ipad, plus another 10 to get same day delivery, I have no complaints.

As a bonus, I downloaded Synthesia for imac to use with my Roland A-88 and have learned to load midi files to it. It's great. I already had the ipad version, but didn't realize how versatile it is until I started reading the reviews here.
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on January 12, 2016
Great learning tool for beginner. I used a different iPad application (just see the other reviewer's comments for details on the free Synthesia app) instead of the free app that comes with iON). No problems connecting this to my iPad, latest version in 2016.
I Reallllly did need the physical response of real keys (pressure as well as moving around the fingers) that is provided with the Apprentice device, and the light-up-keys are handy when first learning.
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on November 14, 2013
This is a great item. I give it a 3 because you cannot add new songs from an external source. I love the concept and idea. I'm actually ready to play Christmas songs that I learned how to play with this Piano Apprentice. I highly recommend this item if you want to get your child to start learning piano.
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on March 7, 2014
I am nonplussed. I am glad I only paid $30 for it, but still don't feel I got my money's worth. I don't care for the app developed for this keyboard, and am still attempting to get synthesia to work as flawlessly the way others claim it does. I have tried changing the settings, but still find it to be cumbersome. I feel like I am playing with a novelty toy. It looks kind of neat but doesn't have much value performance wise. I also couldn't believe that this device didn't come with a power cord. Right now I am very disappointed with this item but I will change my review if my opinion changes.
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on March 29, 2014
This thing is too cool for words, but for learning to play? Forget it:

It seems like Ion created this thing, and as an after-thought, threw in 5 songs to learn so they could call it "Apprentice." The songs are IMPOSSIBLE to learn, since they require left and right hand playing right from the start. Good luck with THAT. And on my devices, the left hand only and right hand only options don't even work--and the songs STINK.

However, despite its small size, it's an incredible midi controller for the iPhone and iPad. You can play with its native app, but it also works via Garage Band AND Alchemy, which is free. As previously mentioned here, if you buy this 30 pin version and have a newer lightning connector device, you'll need the $30 adapter. (It works fine on my iPhone 4s, but I'm going to need the adapter for my new iPad mini.)

I play guitar, and will be using this as an accompaniment--rigging it with mechanical actuators to hit individual notes using my FOOT! Long story, but the point is, this is a seriously decent midi input for just 50 bucks, and you can't go wrong at THAT price. And the keys, while narrower and shorter than "real" keys, have actual pressure action.

This thing is FUN!!!
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