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Best Electronic Dictionary

Who wants to lug around a thick, dusty old dictionary? Be it hardcover or paperback, most reference guides weren't designed with portability in mind. With an electronic dictionary, you have a conveniently portable wealth of knowledge.

Most e-dictionaries provide the three big essentials including dictionary, thesaurus, and grammar usage. However, many also loaded with additional reference materials and vast word banks to offer an exhaustive overview of the English language. Many of the best electronic dictionaries offer extra features including games, spell check, calculators and even personal organization software. This list spotlights five of the best electronic dictionaries you can find on the market right now, each chosen based upon criteria including their generous amount of word and knowledge references, their ease of use and functionality, practical special features, and value for their price.

Franklin Speaking Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition

Franklin's SCD-2100 combines the most complete reference software and technology to bring you an electronic dictionary for mastering the English language. This unit has no less than nine resource guides, including Merriam-Webster's Speaking Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition with over 500,000 definitions to choose from. There’s also a Thesaurus with 500,000 synonym and antonym listings, a concise usage dictionary, punctuation and style guide, SAT words guidebook, and a five language translator.

Each reference book is easily accessed and displayed on the SCD-2100's fold-in-lid screen with words sounded out and definitions read out loud by speech software. There's also a USB link to hook the unit up to any PC or MAC so you can download a user defined personal dictionary in Excel .csv files. The dictionary is easily portable, measuring only 3-by-4-by-3/4 inches, a perfect fit for your pocket. A scientific calculator and five word games come installed as well, rounding out this amazing unit.

Atlas A808 Smart Dictionary & Tablet

The A808 is really more of an encyclopedia than a dictionary given the amount of dictionaries and educational resources available when you turn it on. There are 18 dictionaries pertaining to science and literature along with additional dictionaries focusing on electrical and mechanical engineering, architecture, and chemical dictionaries. Additionally there are dictionaries focusing on military, sports, law, and even a basic medical dictionary. Accompanying the standard word dictionaries for the English language there are multiple dictionaries translated into foreign languages including Arabic, French, and German to name a few.

Since this is a tablet, it has all of the interactive capabilities you need including a web browser, access to Google, Twitter and other social media, download a multitude of language, entertainment, and education apps from Google's Play Store and connect to news and weather information. It's the perfect device for students and parents alike.

Royal Machines RP Pro 29534F American Heritage Electronic Dictionary

Whether you're a student, a traveler abroad, or a new citizen of the United States trying to grasp the nuances of the English language, this electronic dictionary has something for everyone. Royal Machines has loaded the RPPro 29534F with essentials from some of the best brands the world of reference guide world has to offer.

This device delivers the American Heritage Collegiate Dictionary offering 400,000 word definitions, Roget's Thesaurus with 500,000 synonym listings and Barron's Hot Words featuring word lists and exercises to prepare for the SAT's and other standardized tests. You also get a translator for Spanish and French words, an abbreviation dictionary, spell check and a compatible Encyclopedia Britannica CD-ROM for use on a PC or MAC.

It's quite a versatile resource tool for the English language, but Royal went one step further, giving it capabilities of a personal data assistant. The unit stores names, addresses, phone numbers and can even offer calorie counts on popular foods and beverages. A drawback is the small backlit display is a bit tough to read due to the size of the unit and the keyboard is not well-suited for large fingers.

Ectaco 500AL Oxford Multi-Language Electronic Translator

An incredibly effective word tool, the ECTACO 500AL offers complete English language features. An English grammar feature includes coverage of irregular verbs and commonly used American idioms. The text-to-speech feature clearly pronounces and enunciates all these words and phrases for proper usage in conversational situations. Studying for the SAT? The SAT 5000 vocabularies help students prepare for this important standardized test. There’s also some fun linguistic games which help build your word skills, among them the always popular Hangman.

The 500AL offers dictionaries in over 49 languages ranging from the more widely used languages such as French, Spanish, and German to those far less common like Turkish, Croatian, Armenian, and Korean. The device offers full translation and text-to-speech phonetic capabilities for each into English, even translations between foreign languages. 

Zelco Electronic Bookmark Dictionary II

This is the second version of Zelcos popular Bookmark Dictionary device, ultra-slim and meant to be nestled between the pages of your favorite tome just like an actual bookmark. Just enter the word you're unfamiliar with and the device will fetch your information using the fourth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary. The Electronic Bookmark Dictionary II also includes a calculator, measurement converter as well as displaying the time and date.

Marc Gottlieb
I'm a rabid sports-aholic who's been to Super Bowl XXI, the Indy 500 and witnessed Doug Flutie's hail mary pass to Gerard Phelan live in Miami. Sundays are sacred in my household and I'm a two-time back to back champion of my fantasy football league. I played a lot of sports in high school; football, soccer, tennis, lacrosse and I was on the school ski team. I even tried my hand at racquetball in college. I've jumped out of two perfectly good airplanes and bungee jumped off a construction crane. Since then I've worked for one of the top product placement companies in Hollywood, coordinating with most of the major sports apparel labels to get their products featured in films and TV. But it's a life-long obsession with music and film that has given me years of experience with the latest technologies and innovations in electronics. If they've built it, I've tried it and likely bought it. Laserdisc, DVD, Bluray players; I own multiple units that cater to all of these formats and more. A misspent youth immersing myself in pop culture meant I craved the hottest devices through which to enjoy it all, and at the highest possible quality. What I learned over time though, is that the most expensive items aren't always the best.
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