A Review of 2 Popular Handheld Video Magnifiers

This write up is to introduce two popular Low Vision devices that are available at TechAble. Handheld video magnifiers are handy, portable and bring benefits to people with visually impairment. Readers [...]

At TechAble, we have on loan:

  • RUBY 7 HD with PivotCam supplied by Freedom Scientific 
  • Prodigi Duo 24 inch (comes with attached 3.5-in tablet magnifier) supplied by Humanware

Introduction to devices:

1. RUBY 7 HD with PivotCam

Ruby 7 HD is a large screen 7-inch handheld video magnifier that includes the new PivotCam™— a rotating camera that gives the user more viewing options. The PivotCam on Ruby 7 HD puts 3-in-1 video magnification in the palm of the user’s hands. Hence, the user can see near, far and everything in between (middle distance).
This HD camera rotates (or pivots) so the user can:Read, Write, Use it for Quick Spotting/ snapshot, See object at far Distance and Use Self-View Mode ( Front facing camera position) to see user-magnified mirror image.
The bigger screen allows users to see more and have more magnifying power. This makes reading a whole lot easier. The bigger screen size allows up to 24x magnification (versus a 14x maximum with other Ruby magnifiers).

The RUBY 7 HD with PivotCam

In a nutshell, the benefits are: Larger Screen ♦ Higher-Definition Image ♦ Increased Magnification ♦ Enhanced Functionality
Ruby 7 HD also comes with adjustable reading lines and masks, along with 20 high-contrast color viewing modes to help the user adjust the image to his/her personal preferences for user’s optimal viewing and reading ease.

Ruby 7 HD in Adjustable reading line mode

Ruby 7 HD comes with a built-in reading stand designed for user’s ergonomic comfort while reading the newspapers, books, magazines, mail, letters, cards and more.

Ruby 7 HD with Built-in Ergonomic Reading Stand

For even more magnification, use Ruby 7 HD’s Freeze Frame feature to snap and hold an image. The user can then zoom in and pan around for further magnification.
Users with access to a full-sized HDMI port can easily connect the device to the TV to achieve the ultimate magnification on the TV screen.
There is a USB port allowing user to save and send images to the computer.
Ruby 7 HD is ultra-portable with a 3-hour continuous use battery weighing just 18 ounces ( 0.5 Kg), so it can be carried around easily.
Battery Life:
Rechargeable 3-hour Continuous use Battery

2. Prodigi Duo 24 in. electronic magnifier
Prodigi Duo is the Personal Vision Assistant that is both a desktop and handheld magnifier.

The Prodigi Duo 24 inch. electronic magnifier

Tablet magnifier docked for charging while desktop magnifier mode is activated

Tablet magnifier detached and placed below the desktop 24-in monitor

Tablet magnifier placed on Reading stand

On the Prodigi Duo 24 inch, detach the tablet and take it as a handheld magnifier. The tablet is a lightweight, portable 5” HD magnifier with touch screen functionality. It has all the same full features as that on the desktop. Features include :
• Touch and Tap™ controls: There is no X-Y table or bulky knobs to turn
• Diamond-Edge Text™ that can be magnified as much as needed without loss of image quality
• User can switch from reading documents to listening to them, with the tap of a finger
• Photos and documents can be stored on device and to take along with the user
• Available in the many common languages including Chinese

Reading Stand
Place the 5-ich tablet on top of the Reading Stand and the user can manually slide the stand to read the printed document below comfortably.

Left is Ruby 7 inch magnifier. Right is Prodigi 3.5 inch touch screen tablet detached from dock with a separate Reading Stand

Battery Life:
Battery Life: approx. 4 hours. Battery Recharge Time: Docked: 4 hours / AC Power Supply: 4 hours..Battery Type: Lithium Polymer (3000 mAh).
Prodigi Duo 24 inch electronic magnifier is a versatile 2-in1 desktop and handheld magnifier. User can choose desktop mode when working work indoor. For better portability, the user can detach the tablet from its docking stand and carry it around. The functions/features are the same for both desktop and tablet mode. Prodigi has built in text-to-speech synthetic voice which RUBY 7 HD does not have.
RUBY 7 HD with PivotCam magnifier is suitable for people with visual impairment who like to move around. The PivotCam can see far distance magnification (in addition to normal magnification on a reading stand) which is very convenient when the user is outdoors. Ruby 7 HD has the Adjustable reading lines and masks mode that may benefit users who have learning difficulties or visual challenges while focusing on a target object.
In term of pricing, Prodigi Duo 24 in.(2-in1) electronic magnifier is about 3 times more expensive than RUBY 7 HD with PivotCam. Prodigi tablet magnifier can also be purchased alone without the desktop/dock monitor (20 or 24inch). It will be cheaper but 2-in-1 versatility is sacrificed.
In term of battery life, Prodigi tablet boasts 4 hours of continuous use whilst RUBY 7 HD has only 3 hours.
Both magnifiers are worthy consideration. The important factors are the budget and the tasks and physical environment that the user are going to perform.

Reference to Ruby 7 HD Handheld Video Magnifier with PivotCam™ Rotating Camera

Reference to Prodigi Duo 24 in. electronic magnifier

Reference to Prodigi – tablet electronic video magnifier