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Hardware Reviews
15,609 Reviews

IrisPen Translator Executive

£154 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Computers Unlimited

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The IrisPen is, on the face of it, a nifty tool. Rather then laboriously type or scrawl notes from the printed page, you simply swipe the handheld scanner across the text and it's imported to the app of your choice. You can scan words in seven languages and they'll magically transform into English before you can say allez vite! In theory, anyway.

The IrisPen is, on the face of it, a nifty tool. Rather then laboriously type or scrawl notes from the printed page, you simply swipe the handheld scanner across the text and it's imported to the app of your choice. You can scan words in seven languages and they'll magically transform into English before you can say allez vite! In theory, anyway.

There's little wrong with the way the IrisPen is put together. The scanner's small, light and well built, while installation is straightforward - with one caveat. A wizard helps install the software, and hooking up the pen is as simple as attaching its lengthy cable to a USB 2.0 port.

But at this point you can select only two languages, one of which must be English. If you wish to translate, say, French and German into English, you'll have to reinstall everything - a bit of an oversight.

Using the IrisPen is a cinch. Mostly. Fire up your favoured application, grab the scanner and off you go. It can even be set up for left-handers or to scan bar codes, and there's a text-to-voice facility. But there are practical difficulties.

If you're taking succinct notes from a clear, single-sheet source, you're laughing. But try to grab long paragraphs from the pages of a thick book - or on any uneven surface - and be prepared to do some serious onscreen editing. It's the same with translation. Short sentences are scanned, imported and translated in seconds, while longer passages are garbled - sometimes beyond comprehension.

IrisPen Translator Executive Expert Verdict »
Greyscale pen scanner
USB 2.0 connector
ReadIris OCR software
English, French, German, Dutch, Italian and Spanish dictionaries
100g
127x36x24mm
1-year warranty
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

If you regularly input data from a printed source to a spreadsheet, or need to jot down notes to a PDA, the IrisPen will save time and finger-strain, especially if two languages are involved. Just don't expect to be able to grab swathes of copy because, unless you're an extremely slow typist, the editing required means you'd be better off bashing it out yourself.

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