Electronic dictionaries are potentially offputting because you have to key the word in -- tedious if you're also using a computer WP package which means you'll have to key the word in twice. But wait ... if you don't get the spelling correct, this machine suggests similar-looking words. And if there's any word you don't understand in the explanation of a word, you simply move the cursor to that word and jump to its explanation. Hopping around from word to word is much easier with the Sharp than with a hardcopy dictionary.
The Sharp also contains a good thesaurus and ... uniquely ... a fine book of quotations, from the Oxford University Press. I have the hardcopy versions of the Oxford Dictionary of English and the Oxford Book of Quotations, and I know from the size and weight of them that I would not want to lug them around. Yet this device weighs little more than a scientific calculator.
The reason I refer in the title to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is that, unexpectedly, the Oxford Dictionary of English contains a reasonable encyclopaedia. This is not sufficiently extensive to have the people at Britannica worried, but if I key in, for example, RICHARD and hit the ENTER key, I get 60-word write-ups of each of the three King Richards of England.
It is a minor marvel.... Read more ›
The content in the PW-E500 is what really makes it special, and I've found myself using all 3 of the reference works included. The dictionary definitions are superb, and the use of encylopedic data is an essential part of its appeal,along with the clearest text I've seen. The thesaurus is excellent, and I've found the quotations book to be both useful and informative.
I've used products by others, but what I've found different with the Sharp device is how it can be used as an interactive tool, leaping around different words, going back and forth in search of the right one. It's something that would take too long with normal dictionaries.
In summary - it's exceptional/extraordinary/singular/unprecedented... , and judging by reactions from my colleagues, will also be making many more appearances.
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