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Customer Review

230 of 231 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful device, 12 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Seiko ER-9000 Oxford Reference Library (Office Product)
I started out looking for a much simpler gadget than this: I originally just wanted a dictionary, really: something to provide definitions (i.e., one step up from the very simplest pattern-matching crossword-solver word-list device).

Then I got thinking about what qualities would be most useful, and a good-sized screen came high on my list. I would hate only being able to see a few words of explanation at a time, and having to press buttons to scroll and see the rest (probably with a perceptible delay between each character appearing). That, for me, would seriously detract from the usability and enjoyment.

Secondly, I quite wanted the Oxford Dictionary of English, with its large, well-selected word list and a style to suit my taste. I'm not sure the Concise Oxford would have satisfied me, with, "only" 240K words!

So, this ER9000 fits the bill nicely. In particular, it has a whopping great screen; on its medium font size you see 14 lines by about 45 characters (the "about" is because it uses a proportionally-spaced font).

There's much more too, with the thesaurus, Concise Britannica, and a few other Oxford publications included. As I say, I didn't originally go looking for these, but it's great to have them - especially the thesaurus, which provides a bountifully cornucopial plenitude of synonyms. Although the ER9000 is priced significantly above what I originally budgeted, the more I thought about it the more I became happy to pay extra for these features.

One wonderful thing is how well the books are integrated together. You can essentially jump from any word in the display to any place where it is referenced, in any of the books. In particular, this makes hopping around the dictionary a very simple thing to do.

The user interface is well designed, with the clear intention of maximising efficiency and minimising keypresses. Given the plethora of functions, this could have become quite a complicated device to operate. But with very few exceptions the functionality is easy and quick to use, with nothing more than a minimal number of keystrokes away, and the most frequently used features particularly easy to access. Read the instruction book - you'll learn a few tips about how to use it most efficiently.

At the price, this is a premium piece of kit. It's not worth buying if you're only going to use it infrequently, or for crossword-like pattern-solving. There are far cheaper gadgets that do that job perfectly well.

However, as a genuinely powerful research tool that replaces a shelf full of books and is far quicker to use, this is well worth the money.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Jul 2009 13:37:57 BDT
 says:
What is the battery life like, and how is it powered?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2010 14:16:22 GMT
Dayna Claire says:
It takes two AA batteries. My batteries have lasted for two years so far and show no sign of wear - and I use this wonderful device several times a day as I'm studying.

Posted on 17 May 2013 15:21:58 BDT
Dj Peattie says:
Thanks a million! Like you I wasn't thinking of such an expensive "dictionary". Now you've made me reconsider !
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