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WikiReader Pocket Wikipedia

3.3 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews
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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
2 used from $40.00

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Technical Details

  • Instant Search through 3 million topics
  • Discover new topics with Random feature
  • Over 50 hours of operating
  • Suitable for indoors and outdoors
  • Parental controls for protecting children from adult content

Product Description

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

Product Information

Product Dimensions 3.9 x 3.9 x 0.8 inches
Item Weight 4.5 ounces
Shipping Weight 8.8 ounces
ASIN B002N5521W
Item model number PANREADER
Customer Reviews
3.3 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #181 in Electronics > Office Electronics > Electronic Dictionaries, Thesauri & Translators
Date first available at October 12, 2009


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Got mine 5 days ago [...] and have had some fun with it. However the fun was dampened by a defective touch screen. The bottom 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the screen doesn't respond to touch, meaning I can't access the bottom row of letters or the space bar. I contacted customer support and the were prompt in replying. They had me load a different kernel file, hoping that would fix it, but it didn't. they said they will be shipping out a replacement soon, so hopefully this one will work as designed.

Aside from the touch screen, the co-workers I showed it to thought it was pretty slick.
My co-workers all carry Blackberrys, but due to corporate policy can't install wikipedia software. I don't have a smart phone, due to no Verizon service where I live, so this works great for me. I like the fact that it uses standard AAA batteries and will run for 90 hours of powered on time.

It also has a couple of hidden features when you hold down a button while powering up. Search throws you a list of forth programs that are mostly diagnostics. There is a little line drawing program that is fun to scribble with, and also a calculator. The calculator can also be accessed by holding down the history button while powering up. Finally, the random button on power up is some sort of serial communication screen. One other thing, one of the diagnostics displays a reading from a thermistor, so I suppose someone could create a tiny app using that as well.

In the short time that I have had it, I noticed a couple of small issues with the data on it. It looks like it is missing some numeric info. The example I noticed was the wikipedia article on prairie dogs as to their size and quantities. Also some special characters, like foreign letters, are not displayed correctly.
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...Ok, so I feel like a scumbag complaining about having the entire globes information in my hands, accessible at any time in an instant, but nevertheless, I do!

Its a great item. And I got it on a deal-a-day site brand new for $15 which I think is all its worth paying for. The main reason is that it comes very limited and restricted. Here are a few issues why:

1) Why would you need this? I do, because a large part of my commute is in a subway with no internet connection. Can't think of any other reason as to why anyone would need this (traveling abroad with no wireless data plan I presume?). But if you do have a connection, even the most basic of phones these days will get you on to wikipedia.

2) The first few times I did look something up, the entire article wasn't even there! It literally states "Article Truncated Due to Size". Well, that doesn't sit right with me. I wouldn't mind it so much if I could personally buy a larger SD micro card and update it with a non-truncated wikipedia. But the Support Team never got back to me and I can't see how else to do it. I understand that adding images would greatly increase the size of the file but to cut off the articles seems like its missing the point.

3) They cheap out and send you the 4 GB SD Micro card which fits only a non-image truncated wikipedia on it. I added wikiquotes, dictionary, and the chinese wikipedia on to it after getting a larger card. Its pretty simple to do but should be easier. Since none of this stuff is restricted why not have the wikireader update software just ask "Do you want to add the dictionary?" Why hold back? doesn't make any sense.
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I suffer from sensory overload: too many things impinging on my consciousness too much of the time. When I look something up on Wikipedia, I don't like to be distracted with things like email notifications, cell phone rings, etc. and then lose my focus. Along comes the WikiReader, enabling me to do just that, and access Wikipedia whenever I want to. It's reasonably priced and best of all, there's no monthly fee, no Internet connection needed. I am so sick of gadgets that I really don't need. This is something I do need, and enjoy using, too. It's easy for me to rationalize spending $99 for it.

Yes, Wikipedia is available on the iPhone and the iPod Touch, but my phone rings, I get distracted, and the somewhat stressful pace continues. With the WikiReader I can tune out the distractions and relax while indulging my curiosity, satisfying my appetite for knowledge and wikifacts. For me it's a form of focused attention, meditation. And it's a fun learning experience, too. It's portable, unlike my desktop computer. Unlike a laptop, it fits in my purse or pocket, I can take it where ever I go. I can even sit and soak in knowledge as I soak in the bathtub. It's great on an airplane when I'm sitting next to someone I'd rather not converse with.

It's straightforward enough that I can use it right away, and it bridges the tech gap between my kids and me. What a gift!
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Verified Purchase
I purchased the WikiReader a few weeks ago, and I can't put it down. It's a great little gadget for anyone who is naturally curious or just likes learning about new things.

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.
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