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Electronic dictionaries


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I'd recommend you a CASIO Chinese-English-Chinese dictionary


-really nice dictionaries, more than an average student needs

-handwriting input for hanzi (new models)

-HQ screen, backlight

-convenient keyboard, rather fast input methods

-AAA batteries power suply


-bigger than PDA

-you cannot expand the dictionary (the majority of students never do it)

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I would recommend Plecodict as the number one choice... its without a doubt the best there is. In class I use it all the time, out on the street I use it all the time, in my room studying I use it all the time, heck even one of my class mates who has a dedicated electronic dictionary asks me to find characters from our text books in Pleco as he cannot find them in his (not cheap) elect. dict.

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IMHO, you'd need a PDA with 640*480 (VGA) screen to view hanzi text (I had a HP 2410, 320*240 and I have Dell x51v, VGA right now)

but casio offers HQ displays for a nice price...

still, CASIO is only a dictionary... you can do more with a PDA... i.e. e-mail, skype, msn etc...

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My palm tungsten t5 has a screen resolution of 320x480, and it handles Hanzi without any problems. I don't really use it for anything except Pleco.

The great thing about Pleco is not just that it's a dictionary, but that it's a dictionary with a built-in flashcard system that makes it trivial to review items that you've looked up previously. A major failing I find with most electronic dictionaries is that words are quick to look up, and then quick to forget.

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I am using an MDA Vario III (which is a variant of the HTC TyTN II) and it has a QVGA screen at a res of 320x240 and it does the job nicely... clear and easy to read... I did worry it was going to be too small but thankfully its not. I not only use Pleco but also use it to read in Chinese... actually I should say practice reading in Chinese... :mrgreen:

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I would say the 240*320 screens are fine for dictionary type use - you're not dealing with large chunks of text, you're likely to be only using it for a minute or two here and there, not for extended periods, and when it comes to flashcards you're only going to have a few characters on screen at any one time so you can bump up the font size.

However for actually sitting down and reading ebooks or the Internet in Chinese, I find 240*320 too small, after having moved from the TX with the 480*320 screen. That said, I'm not sure how much of the difference is screen resolution and how much is screen size. Fine for reading English, after a bit of acclimatization, but I just haven't been able to get the hang of reading Chinese on it for more than a few minutes without getting irritated.

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