WikiReader Pocket Wikipedia
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- Offers the entire English Wikipedia with 3 million topics
- No internet connection required
- Fast, portable and informative
- Fun and easy to use touchscreen interface
- Battery life runs for months, not hours
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WikiReader delivers the joy of information by offering three million Wikipedia articles in a simple $99 handheld device. It turns on instantly, and works for months before replacement of its two AAA batteries is necessary. The large monochrome screen uses a touch interface. Articles are scrolled with a stroke of the finger and hyperlinks selected with a simple tap. Three buttons, Search, History and Random, offer the convenience of reading specific topics or the serendipitous pleasure of discovering something by chance within Wikipedia's rich array of articles ranging from Freud to Final Fantasy. Updates for the WikiReader are provided quarterly and available for free download. A yearly subscription plan for updated microSD cards is also available for $29. For more information including news, videos and updates, Google for: The WikiReader
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Functionally it works well. Provides rudimentary search (title only) of current library (you have to switch to the library you want to search and can only search one at a time...) As some have said, a bit tedious for long articles (navigation via links through the article's table of contents would be useful here...
Two points that I've seen in reviews that I'd like to address:
1 - Some people think the WikiReader is unnecessary and redundant because of other devices on the market (such as smartphones) which can search Wikipedia and do many other things -- since the WikiReader does only one thing (Wikipedia) it must be pointless. Well, there are *many* people out there who don't have a smart phone or aren't even very computer savvy. The WikiReader is easy enough for anyone to use, and even though it does only one thing, it does it very well. But the clincher for me is the fact that it's all completely offline. Since all 3 million Wikipedia articles are stored on a Micro SD card inside the WikiReader, you can literally use it anywhere, with no need for a wi-fi or cellular connection to do it. There's no other device out there which can make that claim when it comes to Wikipedia access.
2 - I've also read the complaint that since the WikiReader will only receive updates a few times a year, that it's a silly product -- because the Wikipedia site is always being updated, the version on your WikiReader will always be outdated. I find this line of thinking a little laughable. It's like saying that it's pointless to publish any sort of reference book because newer information is available on the internet. While it's true that some pop cultural articles may be outdated because of the constant antics of celebrities, I assure you that there's millions of other articles on Wikipedia on a myriad of subjects that won't be affected by the fact that the version of Wikipedia on your WikiReader is a few months older than what's on Wikipedia at this very moment.
That's just my two cents on the WikiReader. It's a solid little device with great battery life that succeeds at what it was built for -- access to Wikipedia anywhere. 3 million fascinating articles in your pocket, anytime or anyplace you want. And it's getting better all the time: When I first unboxed my WikiReader, I found that scrolling down the page in longer articles was a little sluggish. I went to the WikiReader website and found that a fix had already been released. I downloaded the file (it was quite small), dragged and dropped it onto my Micro SD card, and noticed an instant improvement on page scrolling. It was nice to find that the WikiReader team is in touch with their consumers and constantly working on improvements for the device, and also that the update process is so painless.
I knew what I was buying and its OK.
I wish it was an inch or so bigger with easier to touch keys.
I think most here do not get the ideal use for this. I bought it for
a cheap encyclopedia for my elderly parents who are not tech savvy
and who do not do smart phones or wireless Internet. I also figured the brain stimulation would help them keep sharp.
The device is non threatening for the computer illiterate and their 10 year old grand daughter who has her own laptop
wanted to take it home.
So it does serve a purpose and its inexpensive. Give us a fine tuned one that is bigger and more powerful under $50
and I think that would be ideal.