Sunday, March 18, 2007

Besta CD-616

My mum has been very hardworking at work and MOE decided to send her to attend enrichment classes at Civil Service College at Holland Drive, Buona Vista. She really found the classes interesting but too bad the lessons were conducted in English. Since my mum was Chinese-educated and only took English till Grade 6, she found the English notes a chore to digest. Then she told me that she saw a fellow classmate having a portable English<->Chinese dictionary. Immediately, BESTA came to my mind. She had expressed her interest to me iin getting one for herself, but I had thought that I would just find one simple second-hand one, since she was not-too-tech-savvy. And so I dragged...weeks became months.

Today, is her birthday, so I decided that I should get her one today. So I went down to a few Popular bookshops and only a few had the IKnow Counters (official retailers). I found one at Toa Payoh Interchange, inside CD-RAMA. The lady tending the counter introduced me to the range of their available products. I was interested in getting the CD-218 marked at S$388. However, CD-218 being a new model and having sentence translation, does not have a back light LCD, that makes viewing difficult, even in the lighting of the shop. I immediately rule out all of those without back light. Apparantly, only the colored displays have backlight. So I was left with CD-616 marked S$488 and CD-628pro marked S$688. She showed me both models and recommended me the CD-628pro and offered me to pick up the trade-in offer. The offer is that I bring in any old, CMI but as long functional digital dictionary of any sort, she will let me have it at S$528. However, if I don't, I can buy a cheapest and new one and then trade it in, such that I only pay S$680. Both models do not have sentence translation, useful but prone to errors. Both models come bundled with the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia (Eng<->Chn) which is worth around S$100. CD628pro comes bundled with Dr.Eye, for PC use only, as well. Previously, during IT Show 2007, IKnow were promoting CD618, a higher end than CD616, at S$499. However, I missed the deal and I am not sure if it came with the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia.

In the end, I bought the CD616 and was given a free screen protector. The CD-616 use Li-ion battery which is chargeable via the supplied adapter. Synchonising with a PC is possible with the supplied USB cable. CD616 also have 2 SD/MMC card slots for add-on features or memory expansion (support up to 512MB only). I have used one slot for the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, leaving the other slot free. The CD616 should not be regarded as just a pocket dictionary. It is basically a PDA or a portable computer. Apart from language translations (English<->Chinese). basic common Japanese and Korean can be learned as well. It allows animated learning and speech to make learning a fun and easy one. It can be used as an MP3 player as well. Owners can also download software packages from Besta website to be used with the CD616. I would definitely recommend this device to anyone who wish to learn English or Chinese.


Hope you like this present, from Vic and myself.

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