Sure, Wikipedia is a cesspool of misinformation. It does beat having to wade through the rest of the misinformation from Google, though. More importantly, it’s a heck more convenient than having to actually do research in the library (it’s that arcane place where they keep books that you can borrow…sssh).
Remember when some dude put Wikipedia in a physical book? Yep, that was a disaster. The WikiReader, a new single-purpose device, takes that same information offline and fits it into a more portable alternative.
Sure, it’s no Kindle, but the Wikipedia-in-a-tiny-box lets you put a huge slab of the website’s database – specifically, 3 million articles from it – into a compact gadget that you can easily slip into your pocket. They basically did what the Encyclopedia publishers should have done all along, transferring the wealth of information they’ve accumulated into an always-available, tap-to-access offline format.
The WikiReader is a small handheld device, sporting a durable plastic case and a tempered glass touchscreen. Underneath the glass is a monochrome (yes, two-tone, at this day and age) display that shows the articles in text-only format (no pictures). It sports three physical buttons, an SD card slot (where the articles are stored) and uses two AAA batteries (good for an entire year, according to the official website).
Following the example of uni-purpose devices before it, the gadget does only one thing – display Wikipedia articles. You can search for specific subjects (it comes with an onscreen QWERTY keyboard), view your browsing history and find a random article. The on-page navigation remains intact, so you can tap on links to other articles that are also on the database.
The WikiReader is available for $99 and comes with an SD card containing the 3 million articles. For keeping your information up-to-date, you can either download the periodic updates from their website (and save it to your SD card) or subscribe to get a new SD card sent to you by mail annually for an extra $29.