Pace - IT Adaptive Tech Reviews
Monday, July 09, 2007
  Handheld Magnifier Comparison
Magnifying glasses have gone high tech. Digital handheld magnifiers do far more than a regular magnifying glass and their portability make them useful anywhere. The biggest advantage they have is the ability to change the magnification level to meet the need. Most can change the contrast and reverse or change the colors. For many, white print on a black background is very hard to read. These portable magnifiers can reverse that or show yellow print on blue or many other combinations. They also can make reading something in the dark possible since they light up the object you are looking at.

First the EnhancedVision Amigo. It is a nice unit with a tilting screen that makes it easy to read something that is lying flat on a table. There is also a writing stand that holds it up off the table so that you can get a closeup of where you need to write and makes room for your hand and pen. It is less than 2" thick and has larger screen, 6.5" diagonally. It also can connect to a TV to give greater magnification. The rechargeable batteries are a standard camcorder battery and can be replaced easily.

The GW Micro Portable SenseView is a very nice product and is cheaper than the Amigo and has a longer lasting battery, up to five hours continuous use. It is smaller but also costs half as much as the Amigo. It doesn't have the tilt-function or the ability to connect to a TV. Even though it doesn't have TV output it does have a video input. Both units have the snapshot feature so you can capture an image, like a number from the phone book, and then move the unit without losing the image. Both can view in color, B&W, or various other color modes. Since the SenseView can't have another battery plopped in when it goes dead they had the foresight to provide a battery meter so you can be prepared to recharge the batteries.

Head-to-Head Comparison:
Amigo vs. SenseView
6.5" screen vs. 4.3" screen
1.3lbs vs. 7.8 oz
3.5x - 14x magnification vs. 4x - 22.5x magnification
Tilt screen vs. No tilt
Video output vs. Video input
Battery replacement vs. Battery Meter
$1,695 vs. $795

In summary, I think the SenseView is a more cost effective and useful product but some features of the Amigo, like the Video Out or the tilt function, might make it worth the extra money for some uses. Neither is very good for reading something like a novel or textbook but for looking up a phone number or reading a medicine bottle they are incredibly versatile.
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