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Both my son and I are dyslexic, and the nature of our dyslexia is that we struggle with spelling and have difficulties with phonological awareness. So, I decided to purchase a spellchecker for my son to use at school. The spellchecker that I bought is a Franklin Collins Pocket Spellchecker (SPQ109).
The Franklin Collins Pocket Spellchecker is handheld/ pocket-sized.
The spellchecker used to assist with phonetic spelling correction, and its price ranges from £16.70 to £21.14.
The product’s scale size is 10.3cm by 7.4cm by 1.4cm.
The spellchecker is sophisticated with its one colour design of black.
Inside, the buttons are dark grey at the top and bottom, with light grey buttons in between.
The spellchecker has a clear layout, with equal spacing in between each button. Secondly, the letter arrangements follow the standard set-up of the keyboard for a laptop or computer. Likewise, the on/off button displayed at the top right of the keypad. However, the back and enter buttons are at the bottom of the keypad, oppose to the righthand side, where you would usually see them on a keyboard. Furthermore, the menu button is at the bottom left-hand side of the grid.
Franklin Collins Pocket Spellchecker has predictive text and spelling corrections such as assistance with homonyms. Likewise, it also has a word builder that gives you possible solutions while entering in a word. Lastly, the product used to correct spellings that are in English only.
The product prompts you to enter a word, plus gives clear instructions.
There is a square navigation button to the bottom right of the grid, which displays up, down, left, and right.
The buttons display both numbers and letters on them. Likewise, the keyboard buttons have maths symbols for calculations too.
Furthermore, when you press the calculation button, abbreviated as “CALC,” it changes the button function so that you can enter numbers as opposed to letters.
As well as being a product to assist with spellings, the pocket-sized spellchecker also offers conversions, such as:
- Measurements (e.g.UK ounces to ml).
Franklin Collins Pocket Spellchecker has fun learning games that incorporate practising spelling words, such as:
- Word Train.
- Spelling Bee.
- Word Deduction.
- Word Blaster.
Positives and limitations.
- Already assembled.
- Minimal, not an overcomplicated design.
- Travel-sized for convenience and used in multipurpose environments.
- Easily stored and does not take up a lot of space because of its size.
- Longevity as the cover provides the product with protection.
- Adjustable contrast.
- Ideal for someone who has dyslexia.
- Has keywords of terms on the inside lid, giving clear descriptions of button functions.
- You can set the level for the games to go at your own pace.
- No lid latch or push button to open and close the cover.
- Has small buttons.
- Not multilingual
- Not easy to handle for someone who has difficulties with coordination or fine motor skills, such as Dyspraxia.
Smartphones and Computers.
Most smartphones and computers already have spellchecker software installed; although, I am thinking of the day-to-day practicality of school while reviewing the product. Likewise, the Franklin Collins Pocket Spellchecker’s purpose of use would be during lessons at school.
Mobile phones are not allowed during lessons, and not all students have access to a laptop during school lessons, hence why a portable spellchecker still has its use.
Seiko Oxford Spellchecker.
Another alternative product is the Seiko Oxford Spellchecker, priced at £24.99. It comes in a funky blue design, with the function buttons highlighted in blue to distinguish them from the letter/number keyboard buttons.
The Seiko Oxford Spellchecker offers similar functions (games, conversions, phonetic spelling correction) to the Franklin Collins Pocket Spellchecker; however, at a few pounds more. Lastly, the dimensions are slightly bigger at 15.24cm by 15.24cm by 7.62cm.
Franklin CWM109 Collins Crossword Solver.
The Franklin CWM109 Collins Crossword Solver comes in at the price of £24.99. The product has light grey buttons, with red function buttons at the top and bottom of the grid. Although, the colour red is not ideal for users who are colour blind.
In terms of advertisement, the Franklin CWM109 Collins Crossword Solver is promoted more to users who would use the product for solving crossword puzzles. However, the crossword solver also has a phonetic spellchecker as well as a thesaurus installed.
The Franklin Collins Pocket Spellchecker’s function designed and centred around users who have difficulties with spellings. While talking on that subject, I feel that it is a fantastic product for the primary purpose of phonetic spelling. Likewise, my son sometimes spells words how they sound; so, could struggle solely using a dictionary to search for the meaning of words, as well as the spelling. Hence why a spellchecker; (a phonetic one) is an ideal aid to have at school.
What is even better is that you could first try and spell out the word, then afterwards, the spellchecker provides you with a list of word options that you can scroll down.
Despite the positives of the product, I feel that the spellchecker has its constraints in terms of physical design. To ergonomically optimise the design, I suggest the addition of a holder or adjustable stand, to support the spellchecker and prompt it at an angle that best suits the user. Furthermore, another suggestion (for ease of use) is to provide a push button pen to press the buttons rather than using fingers. Otherwise, create a new portable design that has larger buttons that would improve product function for users who have difficulties with fine motor skills. These suggestions would make the product more accessible to a wider audience.
Disclaimer: The post is based on a personal review of a product and for information and educational purposes. The product is for my son’s personal use and his needs. I receive no payment or any other commission for writing this review.
Here is a link to one other product review on the blog: Pelham Talking Alarm LCD Watch.