Top positive review
126 people found this helpful
Amazing bargain. This device has gotten a bad rap because people don't know what they're doing.
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.