Lunar Winds RNIB Battle of the Magnifiers - Hands Down
During last month's CSUN conference in California, two accessibility experts from the RNIB in the UK took on the daunting challenge of comparing seven screen magnification software products, live and in front of a large and experienced CSUN audience. The seven included the three market leaders: Dolphin's Lunar v7, Zoomtext v9 and Magic v10, as well as four lesser known magnifiers.
Simon Lakin and Steve Plumpton identified their top ten essential screen magnification features, as well as 35 other features and unique selling points that were chosen for their ability to make a real practical difference to a low vision user’s magnification experience.
The Liverpool based two both enjoy many years experience advising, and supporting people with low vision on behalf of the independent charity the RNIB. Marks out of four were impartially awarded for excellence in each of the compared features, for all seven screen magnifiers.
Lakin and Plumpton commended Lunar's unique magnification at login and focus highlighting. Demonstration evidence also proved Lunar's Line View Mode to be a winning feature, as well as the margin release feature that enables a user with central vision to keep even the farthest corner of the real screen image in the centre of their vision. They also applauded the invaluable supporting DAISY documentation played by the complimentary copy of Dolphin's software DAISY player, EasyReader. They explained that is further backed up by context sensitive help and availability in 22 languages.
Additional advantages to Lunar were the option for a Pen version or Lunar on a USB thumb drive for people looking to take their favourite magnification software and settings wherever they travel. The familiarity rewards of being able to trade up to the LunarPlus Enhanced Magnifier and Supernova Reader Magnifier were also highlighted.
The 45 minute presentation concluded with Dolphin’s Lunar Screen Magnifier being announced as the clear winner, with a significant lead of 10 points over the nearest competitor.
The final scores based on all 45 essential and other features were:
1st place: Lunar (73 points)
2nd place: Zoomtext (63 points)
3rd place: Magic (51 points)
The RNIB top ten comparison features were:
- automatic start-up
- multiple magnification levels
- full screen mode
- keyboard launching of software
- keyboard shortcuts
- colour enhancements
- text smoothing
- keyboard navigation shortcuts
- value for money
- performance and response
The additional 35 features and USP’s compared were:
- Magnification at Login
- Fractional Magnification
- Variety of Magnification modes
- Flexibility and adjustment of Magnification modes
- Multiple user settings
- Web access
- Cursor enhancement
- Ability to change mouse pointer size
- Ability to change mouse pointer colour
- Mouse Pointer enhancements
- Hooked areas
- Pass through keystrokes
- Font enhancements
- Focus Highlighting
- Margin release
- Line View
- Line Wrap
- Document reader
- Mouse Locator Keys
- View Locator
- Screen capture
- Save View
- Application/Situation Settings
- Speech extensions
- Integration with screen readers
- DAISY Readers
- Demo version
- Network Access including terminal services access
- USB Stick/Pen version
- Running from System Tray
- Internet Updates
- and finally, Language Versions!