Oregon Scientific Smart Globe
- Fun to use, comprehensive coverage, built-in challenges, news function
- Smart Pen inaccuracy
The Smart Globe does have some minor problems, but the price is very reasonable, and it also offers live update via the Internet, making it an ideal tool to help children learn about the world.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Recently at GoodGearGuide we seem to have encountered an increasingly large number of toys that have the ability to speak. While devices such as the RS Media, with its eerie comments about watching when we sleep, are just downright spooky, the Oregon Scientific Smart Globe is a slightly less menacing product.
More of a learning tool than an actual toy, the Smart Globe looks like a regular globe, except it has touch sensitive pads built into its surface. By simply tapping different areas of the globe with the included Smart Pen, a variety of pieces of information are read out about the location in question; quite cool. It does have some minor accuracy problems, but the price is very reasonable, and it also offers live update via an Internet connection, making it an ideal tool to help children learn about the world.
While the globe itself looks quite normal, resting underneath, attached to the stand, is a menu system. It operates in the same touch sensitive way the globe does, responding to the Smart Pen, but not to a finger. The number of options on offer is huge. The Smart Globe tells all kinds of things about each country, ranging from currency, population, highest point, land mass and language. It also offers comparisons, for example, how big China is compared to Russia.
The fun doesn't stop there however; there are also a number of built in challenges, where rather than merely moving around the world and touching different places, users actually have to put their knowledge to the test. Again there are a series of options, our favourite being the "ultimate challenge". With such a name, and this being a children's toy, we felt obligated to defend our pride and boost our self-esteem a little, but this wound up proving more difficult than we'd anticipated. The challenge asks all kinds of questions, ranging from finding the capitals of specific and sometimes obscure countries, through to locating certain landmarks like seas and rivers. It quickly made us realise that knowing where New York is does not mean we are geographical wizards.
There are also a variety of fun options, including the rather enjoyable "Amazing Facts". Did you know that Cairo is home to what is thought of as the world's first university? Neither did we! A lot of the facts are completely useless from a practical sense, but they provide quite a lot of amusement between testing your geographical metal. There is also a news option, where you can find out current events from a specific location. Unfortunately there is only one of these stored for each country at a time, but using the auto update feature can get new updates daily.
We were impressed with how comprehensive the Smart Globe's coverage was. Every country was represented, even tiny islands in the middle of nowhere. That said however, we did struggle with the Smart Pen's accuracy a little bit. Hitting tiny countries like Belgium is certainly a task and we'd like to see the sensor made a little more precise in future versions.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Take a ride on Positron’s Voyager, a full-motion chair for VR cinema
- Intel showed how 5G networking will power VR and self-driving cars
- Sony's Android-powered Xperia projector turns any flat surface into a touch screen
- IBM's hub for wearables could have you out of the hospital faster
- HoloLens Spectator View makes it easier to show off AR creations
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCLead SAP SRM DeveloperACT
- FTTechnical Solutions ArchitectWA
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- FTProgram Learning Capability Manager, Financial ServicesNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTGIS Software DeveloperQLD
- CCBusiness Analyst - General InsuranceNSW
- CCOracle Middleware Production SupportACT
- TPDevOps ManagerVIC
- FTApplication Team Lead - ERP & Microsoft TechnologiesNSW
- FTIT Business Process Analyst x 3 - (government background)NSW
- CCPega TesterVIC
- CCApplication Architect - CloudVIC
- TPGIS Officer | Map InfoQLD
- FTSenior Android DeveloperNSW
- FTChief Architect - Principal ArchitectVIC
- FTSenior Front End Developer x 2NSW
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - Microsoft / VMWareVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Financial MarketsVIC
- CCOrganisational Change Manager - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- FTSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTHadoop Service AdministratorSA
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- FTL&D ConsultantVIC