We get many inquiries about the amazing iTravl translator and travel assistant. One of the most common questions is "How does the iTravl compare to other translation devices?"
Generally speaking, comparing the iTravl to another translation device is like comparing an F-22 Fighter Jet to a paper airplane. That's not true in all cases, but it's true more often than not.
When shopping for any translator, consider these attributes:
Dictionary size. How many words does it translate? It's frustrating if you come up blank word after word. You don't have that problem with the iTravl.
Phrasebook size. The iTravl specs out quite well here, too. Most competing devices offer far less.
Other features besides translation. You'll notice the many features the iTravl has. It has these because customers have asked for them. So, this is the device people really want. While the iTravl holds its own with just its translation power, those extra features really make it stand out.
Fit and finish. The iTravl has a professional look to it, rather than a cheap plastic look.
Expandability. Can you add languages with SD cards? With the iTravl, you can essentially get another unit for barely more than the price of one.
Accessories. The iTravl has a wide range of accessories, many of which are extremely useful. The manufacturer invested in developing these accessories, and that says something about how much they believe in this product. A unit with no accessories available is a unit the manufacturer wants to sell as a commodity. This may or may not be a good situation, but in all cases you're not getting a highly functional unit. You may not want a highly functional unit, and that's fine. But if you do, the presence or absence of accessories is instructive.
Keyboards. Don't get fooled by the presence of a keyboard. It has a limited character set. Do you really want to memorize 18 variations of keyboard entry for the other person to use Chinese characters while you try to coach them? The plain fact of the matter is when you go outside of English you also go outside of the QWERTY character set. You can type "manana" all day long, and you won't get a translation from Spanish to English because it's not a word! The third character is an "enne" not an "n" and that's why. The iTravl's virtual keyboards solve this problem and you aren't lugging around a physical keyboard.
Price. A lower price isn't necessarily the best use of your money. The iTravl is priced where it is for a reason, and that isn't so everyone behind it can rip you off (we don't rip you off, and we don't want to either). So, how can you judge price? Well, you could calculate the price per dictionary word and in that case the iTravl usually wins. But an even better way to get a handle on its pricing is to consider its product space. It's a highly functional mobile device. Compare its price to the prices of other highly functional mobile devices like a Pocket PC, mid-range digital camera, or mid-range GPS. It's quite competitively priced.
Size and weight. The iTravl weighs only 7.05 ounces, and can fit in a shirt pocket (6.0 x 3.15x 0.63 in). Many competing devices weigh more than a brick and are about that size. And some competing products are best used as doorstops. Maybe that's why they weigh so much to begin with.
Return rate. This isn't information you are going to find very easily. So, we'll provide it here. We have been selling translators since 1998. The iTravl has the lowest return rate, by far, of any model we've ever carried in all that time. We've tried some popular models and found that the return rate was about 50%. The iTravl return rate is about 3%.
How much translator you need. We alluded to this earlier. Not everyone needs an iTravl. For many people, a tourist-level device is sufficient. For people who want the best value in a tourist-level device (2,000 phrases and 20,000 words per language rather than 14,000 phrases and up to a million words per language), we offer the
Lingo line made by 123 Language. Lingo makes a nice unit with a very low return rate. It's not highly-functional in the sense the iTravl is, but it's a good use of your purchase dollar if you have tourist-level translation needs only.
These are just a few pointers. Maybe not even the most important ones to you. But we hope they help you decide whether this product is right for you.
There are certain brands we do not carry because we have dealt with those manufacturers before and found their service wasn't up to our standards or their devices were making too many customers unhappy.
Finally, consider the store you're buying from:
- Does the Website make wild claims, such as "voice to voice translation?"
- Does the Website offer complete, accurate information in an organized way?
- Is the information clear? Presented neatly?
- Does the Website offer additional information you don't see anywhere else (Mindconnection does), or does it look like the Webmaster just slapped up some boilerplate ad copy?
- Do the offerings include junk, or just quality merchandise?
- Do you get the feeling the store's staff knows the products?
- If you e-mail a question, do you get an accurate answer within a reasonable time?