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Focus on Screen Magnification, Zoomtext 9 and Lunarplus 6.5 Reviewed

27 April, 2006 by Peter Verhoeven

In the March edition of AccessWorld you can read a review of the two leading screen magnifiers on the market Zoomtext and Lunarplus.
Conclusion of the review is, that Zoomtext better meet the needs of the low vision, but is that true?

AccessWorld is a free online magazine containing information about adaptive technology for the visually impaired.
It is published by the American Foundation for The Blind (AFB).

The review concludes that Zoomtext will better meet the needs of most computer users with low vision.

I think the reviewer meant Zoomtext better needs his needs, because his review is more a description of available features, than a review based on an objective test.
The conclusions in the review are far from objective!

The review is interesting for those of you who want to know what features are included in these screen magnifiers, but you can skip the conclusions.

I think there is not much difference between these two screen magnifiers. The most important difference, not mentioned in the review, is that Lunarplus offers you much more flexibility and freedom.

Zoomtext is based on an old fashion technology to activate the product. You need access to the Internet to run it on a computer.
I think Dolphin, makers of Lunarplus, better understand the needs of visually impaired world wide.

The speech in Zoomtext is not superior for all applications. I think speech in Lunarplus is more stable than in zoomtext and has more verbosity options.

AccessWorld conclude that Zoomtext is better, because it has more features. Is more realy better? Lunarplus has more than enough features.

Products from Dolphin like Lunarplus support Citrix Terminal services, which maybe very important for a lot of visually impaired employees. Zoomtext does not support this. Dolphin products can be installed in a network environment, Zoomtext not.

On the other site Zoomtext has good support for Java applications, Lunarplus has not.

Another conclusion is that the control panel of Zoomtext is more user-friendly. That is a personal opinion of the reviewer. Most people I speak about screen magnifiers tell me, that the products are too complex.

I think that most elderly people want a much simpler user-interface, with less features. Now they need a training to use the product. That is one of the reasons the free or cheap iZoom screen magnifier is so popular. It has less features and it is much simpler to use.

So, a suggestion to both screen magnifier companies from me should be, make the control panel easier for elderly people and those who only need the basic features.
Do more research on this topic together with scientific researchers.

Read Zoomtext 9, Lunarplus 6.5 Review

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