I have been a fan of the little electronic information centers from Franklin for many, many years.  In your hands, dictionaries, bibles, medical information, bar recipes, organizers, talking products, and much more.

This little Franklin PageMark Dictionary, with a retail price of $50, is their latest in a line of ultra-thin, light and flexible devices small and thin enough to be used as a bookmark.  I saw it at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year and I just had to check it out.

How often have you or your student wanted or needed to look up a word in the text being read for enjoyment or for study?  Most of us, at one time or another have needed and continue to need this kind of help.

The PageMark Dictionary is one of those little, effective products I have come to expect from the minds behind the many Franklin Publishers products I’ve tested over the years.  It is really thin, and small, yet packed with useful features I really like.

First, note its size – thin as just a few pages, except for the display, and certainly small enough to really be used as a bookmark.  First, it is a dictionary, a complete Merriam-Webster with more than 80,000 entries, all easily viewed on the tiltable screen.  The thin plastic of the main part of the product is imprinted with a QWERTY keyboard, too small to really type on but ideal for entering letters for lookup and for other functions.  Other imprinted buttons are strategically placed on the surface as well. Dictionary functionality is easy, as expected.

In addition, the PageMark also display local time and date the use sets.  Several word games are also built-in, such as a crossword solver, dictionary hangman, something called SAT Hangman, My Word List Hangman, Dictionary Jumble, SAT Jumble, My Word List Jumble, Anagrams, and 1 and 2 Player Tic Tac Toe.

Beyond the game lies more functionality in the form of a calculator that can make currency and metric conversions and a password-protectable databank into which up to 100 names and phone numbers may be entered.  All this in a product so small!  And there is more.  Each feature is as easy to access and to use as is the dictionary.

How about a spelling bee from its user-defined word list and from the SAT word list or flash cards?

I think you get the idea of how much added value is crammed into this little gadget.  On the surface, it seems like a cute little gimmick, but it is really a very useful and handy tool I like to use.

Powered by a small Lithium battery-type flat battery, it should operate for a number of years before battery replacement is needed.  For anyone with the desire or need to become more literate, the Franklin Publishers PageMark Dictionary could be an indispensable tool that is fun and easy to use.  No, it may not be the highest of high tech, nor is it as exciting as, say, TiVo, but it IS fun to use and I am sure you or your student would find it a worthwhile investment.  I keep it handy as I read, using it as a bookmark, at home and when I travel.

Remember this product as a gift for any reader, traveler or at back-to-school time for the student if you haven’t given it before school starts again after the summer break.

More information is at www.franklin.com.  Be sure to check out their other products, too.  Shop online like I just did and find it for less!

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