If you’ve done any traveling in foreign countries, language is one of the biggest barriers to overcome. Sure, you can learn some basic words and sentences before you go (which I try to do) and you can carry small phrasebooks with you as well (again, something I’ve done). Things like Google Translate can help with on-the-fly translations of text, but what about the spoken word? And if you don’t have a WiFi (or data) connection? That’s where the Vasco Translator Mini 2 is looking to shine.
Now, with that name (Vasco Translator Mini 2) you know there are other models – and they do have other devices – with 4”, 5”, and 7” screens. While those are interesting, I think more and more folks are dealing with cell plans that allow them to travel without issue, so you’re not necessarily wanting to carry a different (or second) phone on your trip. The Vasco Translator Mini 2 can still receive calls, interestingly, but it’s primary focus is on being a translator.
To look at it, it’s very reminiscent of a compact voice recorder – and in some ways, that’s precisely what the Vasco Translator Mini 2 is. It’s listening, and can translate what it’s hearing for almost 50 languages. It’s not storing things locally – rather, it’s relying on an international SIM card (which is provided, and has rather inexpensive rates) or a WiFi connection to do the translation for you. So, that, that is clever.
I think where something like the Vasco Translator Mini 2 could shine, for a business traveler or a writer, is the fact that it can record what it’s translating for later reference (no more scribbling hasty notes if you don’t want to). Oh, and speaking of translation? Rather than relying on a single translation engine, it can leverage five different ones, upping the quality of what you’re actually getting out.
If you fancy this sort of device, and are at CES, go check them out. For everyone else, well, you can head to their site and check out the products. The Vasco Translator Mini 2 normally would run $311, but it looks like it’s on a discount right now that drops things down to $233 – not bad peace of mind for the international traveller. vasco-electronics.com
Tech Specs from Vasco Electronics
- Touchscreen: TFT 240×320 pxls, 2.0 inch
- Processor: MT6735
- RAM: 1 GB
- ROM: 8 GB
- Lithium-ion battery: 1200 mAh
- Headphone input: Mini Jack (3.5 mm)
- USB: Micro USB
- Dimensions: 1.73 x 4.44 x 0.47 in
- Weight: 0.15 lb