Oregon Scientific’s Smart Globe Deluxe Review

globewithpen.jpgEvery school, grandparent, parent, and child in the world should own a Smart Globe Deluxe. It is a fascinating educational toy to have. Smart Globe Deluxe  is a learn by touch toy that is filled with current information downloaded from the Internet weekly. It is easy to use, and even is able to vary its capabilities according to different age groups- 5-8, 9-14, and 15+. Learning with such an animated 3-D object is not only fun and entertaining, but it definitely provides advantages over textbook teaching.

The globe is ten inches in diameter. It spins horizontally and vertically allowing for easy dexterity during the games. The base of the globe contains a speaker that connects to the Smart Pen wirelessly or by a cord if you wish to amplify the sound into the base speaker. The cord is a bit short, but it is worth it for the higher volume the speakers provide over the muffled noise of just the pen. We found that it was necessary to pull the cord out just a tiny bit in order to get the speakers to work. For some reason it does not work when fully pushed in. The pen itself is, at its’ largest part, about an inch and a half wide and six inches long. This might take some getting used to for little hands. The pen has a flat end with a sensor that requires the pen to be very accurately placed on its’ target for it to recognize it. This becomes very noticeable when playing games, but is easy to adjust to.

closeupofpanel.jpgglobe1.jpgThe base of the globe is nine by nine inches and about three inches tall. 4 AA batteries are included so you can operate the base without plugging it in. 2AAA batteries are included to operate the pen independently. The front contains the menu of activities. It comes with a total of 36 activities. 30 in English and 6 in Spanish. The six activities that are in Spanish, are also in English, allowing for educational visual/audio comparison. The series of buttons are divided into 5 sections: Touch, Compare, Find, Espanol, and Knowledge. Activating the activities simply requires using the Smart Pen and touching the desired buttons.

With the “Touch” category you can learn the name, capital, leader, history, population, currency, weather, national anthem, and more about any place you touch. Wow! The “Compare” section allows you to compare the population, area, currency, time, distance, and flying time between any two countries. The “Knowledge” section tells you earth facts, amazing facts, and world news. We found the “Find” section particularly fun. It gives you an allotted time to find places and moves you onto higher levels. At the bottom of the base is a pull out map of the enlarged United States. This map is also touch enabled to respond to the buttons.

Updating the globe weekly is a fairly simple process; with one complaint- It is not Mac compatible. We hope this will be coming soon. After inserting the CD, just follow the prompts. Then, connect the Smart Pen with the provided USB cable. The user manual gives a very easy step by step on it, that is sure to hand hold even the most rudimentary of users. You will even be sent reminder emails when new updates are available.globebox.jpg

Oregon Scientific’s Smart Globe Deluxe comes with a poster of all the flags in the world and a smaller sheet of all the flags in the U.S. An AC adaptor, installation CD, and user manual are included. On the company’s website, these go for $149.95, although I have seen them for about $90 all over the web. I also counted about 8 awards that it has won including TIA’s Educational Toy of the Year Award for 2007. This is makes a great gift, whether it’s for a teacher, parent, kid, or useless fact guru.


The Good: It’s smart, and some of its bound to rub off on you or you child. Plus how else will you get your child to want to play with geography?

The Bad: It’s smart, possibly smarter then you.

And Here Are Some Sample Facts We Got from the Smart Globe:
– In China there are over 1 billion people but only about 200 family names in use.

– Texas is about 3 times the size of the United Kingdom.

– Venezuela has the world’s tallest waterfall- Angel Falls.

– There are about 60 companies that make chewing gum in Turkey.

– The United States on average consumes about 800,000 sqft of pizza every day!