The Playaway is a digital, portable, all-in-one audio book reading device, for all ages. You can’t buy it yourself but you can request to have your local school or library add it to their collection. We don’t have any here in Halifax yet but I found them at the Toronto Public Library. We tested the redesigned Playaway Light out this weekend on our family road trip.
The Playaway comes pre-loaded with a novel or a series of stories (up to 60 minutes). The one we tested had four Clifford books on it. My youngest daughter, who is 9, and I both tested it out.
The unit comes almost ready to go. All you have to do is put the battery in the end and plug in a pair of headphones. (The battery comes with it but headphones don’t) You can use any normal headphones with the Playaway or buy an adaptor to plug it into your car audio system. The last time I listened to an audio book it was on a cd so everyone in the car had to listen to it. This time my daughter and I could listen to the books without bothering anyone else in the car.
The Playaway is smaller than a deck of cards and easy to carry around with you. The buttons on it are touch sensitive so you can tell what button to play (the one with the play triangle) if your eyesight isn’t very good. There is also a lcd screen so you can see what chapter you are on and how much time is left in that chapter or book. There are also book packs you can buy for younger children, which come with the actual books so they can follow along and enhance their reading skills. The Playaway also features automatic bookmarking, High Definition audio, 5 narration speed and you don’t need the internet to use it!
The Playaway is really fantastic for an on the go lifestyle. I know if I had a couple more of these with us this weekend, my daughter’s would have both listened to them during the whole road trip. There are more than 13,000 titles available on Playaway devices. Can you believe that more than 4 million Playaways are currently circulated in over 30 thousand schools, libraries, and military installations across the United States and abroad?
We really enjoyed using the Playaway. I hope many libraries in Canada start stocking them. I think they would be really useful to seniors and people with vision difficulties.
If you are a librarian or school representative you can go to the Librarian Playaway website to order.
I was given a Playaway to test for this review. My opinions are my own. I will be donating the device to a local school or library.