If this dictionary had said, "Oxford Italian Bilingual Minidictionary" or something... then the customers would know exactly what to expect: a really little (albeit fat) dictionary... with half the words that the width of the book would allow. But it doesn't (say that).
The fact is, the folks that produce this dictionary could have given you twice the bang for your buck. But they didn't. They could have produced two of these "minidictionaries" ... one Italian-English, and one English-Italian, in order to give you more bang for your buck, while still serving both those translating or learning from either language to the other... but they didn't.
I do not know whether in more expensive dictionaries in the Italian series do this or not... but this dictionary didn't. So what you get is a fat little pocket-sized book... with precisely half the words you could've gotten... for the same money. What this means is, this is nowhere near the little powerhouse it could and should have been, had the company wanted to really impress it's customers with the value of this little book.
I am only just starting to learn any Italian, and already I can tell you, this little dictionary simply doesn't cut it. And it lakes the helpful second use of dictionaries like the Japanese one of the same line, of which you can at least say, that of the few words you DO get, at lest you can look up kanji spellings for those words, which is some kind of plus. This is in our alphabet, and so, you do not get any such additional pro.
As you can probably tell by now, I had hoped that since Italian is written in letters all English-speakers can read, that the people producing this book would have done the awesome thing, and given us an entire little volume of English-Italian translations. Instead, it's only half of what I had hoped it would be. Which means the whole point of getting it (so I wouldn't have to rely on their much, much more comprehensive online resource, which is FREE)... I could actually have something I could look at that would help me with most of my inquiries, without going to a web page. It didn't.
Barring very, very simple vocabulary questions, this dictionary simply doesn't cut it, because the folks who made it DID cut what you get (and could have gotten)... in half.
If you're going to buy a minidictionary for a language that features a different alphabet, then there would be some plausible reason for having one of these. They're a nice size, and thus won't clutter up your desktop or what have you, and will permit you to look up a number of very common words in that other alphabet, so you know how to write them in the other language. But for languages that use this alphabet, you're paying for something that looks like it should be a lot of help, but which is really all of the words it does give you, repeated twice... once in each language, for what amounts to no good reason. Granted, it may be better than nothing, but... that may be all it's better than.