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An Electronic Encyclopedia: Your Options

Updated on September 27, 2011

Do You Need an Electronic Encyclopedia?

Even with easy access to information online, having an electronic encyclopedia can still be a good thing. There are of course several options out there and each offers it's own advantages. In any case, these electronics options are more affordable and much easier to update than a traditional set of encyclopedias.

Your Options
One option is a electronic encyclopedia that requires no computer or internet access to use. It's the Pandigital WikiReader. Beyond it's self contained nature allowing you to use it anywhere, it's advantages include it's portability and it's ease of use. It's primary drawback is that it accesses Wikipedia which is not as authoritative as a more traditional encyclopedia. However, in many instances this source of information is quite sufficient and can even provide a lot of fun as well.

The other option involves access to traditional encyclopedias via software. Clearly users need computer access and OS compatibility to make use of these products. Their advantage is their affordability and their access to a well recognized and authoritative source.

The Pandigital WikiReader

Pandigital now offers an electronic encyclopedia that puts the English version of Wikipedia in your palm. It requires no internet connection so you can use it absolutely anywhere.

This devices features a black and white touchscreen with a virtual QWERTY keypad and some gestural controls as well. It's readable in direct sunlight and operates off of 2 AAA batteries which should last approximately one full year. With it, you get access to over 3 million topics.

Users can search on specific topics by typing in the subject they are interested in learning about or they can use the History button to look back at items viewed previously. The random button, as the name would imply, will bring up a random topic.

Updates to the information on the WikiReader can be downloaded online or inserted via it's MicroSD card slot. (These are available for $29/year). The device measures 4.7" x 1.2" x 1.9".

This device is great for students, trivia buffs, and kids who enjoy learning all kinds of new things.

Encyclopedia Britannica

Now you can have the Encyclopedia Britannica without investing hundreds of dollars and a great deal of space for the many volumes of the hard copy version. This electronic encyclopedia provides access to a definitive source of knowledge collated and approved by experts in their field.

Each version has it's own highlights and focus. The Deluxe version includes video and audio clips, 87,000 articles, a collegiate dictionary and thesaurus, 21,000 images and illustrations, as well as a world atlas. Users can search, save searches, and find updated and new articles online.

The Student version features over 100,000 articles and provides homework help in the form of interactive lessons, study guides, how-to documents, and even test preparation materials that can help improve scores on the ACT and SAT tests. It even offers foreign language translation with it's Spanish/English dictionary. It is a great resource for elementary, high school and college students as well.

This electronic encyclopedia is perfect for professionals and students as well. Users need to check compatibility with their OS when buying.


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    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Very useful info. I am an info junkie so these would be great for me to have!

      Thanks for sharing

      Love and peace


    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 7 years ago from Holly, MI

      Gosh I didn't know there was such a thing. I need one of these! I have my grandma's encyclopedias from when she was very young so I don't even use them for fear of ruining them...this is definitely a product I could get some use out of! Thanks!

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      Didn't know about this - I have done a few hubs on the Nook and Kindle I need to research more - thanks.