tl; dr: With Bookii, the Tessloff publishing house establishes its own reading pen system in competition with Ravensburger Tiptoi. Hardware and content are already convincing to older users, but software problems in particular are still very annoying when used in the test.
Learning and playing pens for children continue to enjoy great popularity. The biggest name is Tiptoi by Ravensburger. In retailing, the products from the extremely comprehensive portfolio are omnipresent. However, that does not mean that there are no interesting alternatives to explore beyond the known paths. Tessloff, for example, tries to break new ground with its own Bookii system, and indeed brings many fresh ideas into the highly competitive segment.
Design and workmanship
For a long time Tessloff and other publishers such as Cornelsen, Coppenrath or Langenscheidt resorted to the Ting system, which at least in this country despite all attempts was granted only moderate success. Now Tessloff is trying with Bookii to establish its own system, which should be at least backward compatible to its own Ting titles. Unlike Ravensburger Tessloff wants to open the new system but also for third-party publishers. With success: The first titles have already been published by Langenscheidt. Over time, other publishers should publish their own content for the Bookii system.
Nondescript narrative pen
Unlike the strikingly orange Tiptoi by Ravensburger, the reading pen of the Bookii system comes in a very inconspicuous white. With its much slimmer form, it quickly becomes clear that not only younger, but older children are also considered to be the target group. Therefore, Tessloff also relies on a filigree design of the entire pen and the controls, but at the same time requires a finer motor skills of the hands and fingers. In general, the pen with its thickness of 2.5 cm, but good in the hand, does not slip despite the smooth plastic and also has no sharp edges or corners.
Position of the keys well chosen
The controls in the upper area seem a bit out of place at the first moment, especially when it comes to digital pens for tablets and smartphones. But even after the first use, it becomes clear that operating elements at the level of the index finger would only disturb the system and that there would also be a risk of unwanted key presses.
The buttons on the front panel and the rear power button sit firmly and provide good pressure points. Above this are the microphone and the speaker, which is smaller than the Tiptoi pen, but due to the higher quality audio material offers better sound quality. This will be discussed in more detail later in this review.
At the top end of the pen is the 3.5mm jack that allows you to connect headphones or external speakers. However, if the offspring uses the stylus over a headset, parents should look out for a child-friendly copy with volume reduction because the stylus has a much too high output level for children that may well be too loud with good headphones even for adults.
Battery, interfaces and internal memory
In contrast to Ravensburger's competitors, Tessloff relies on the Buchii pen for a power supply via a permanently installed battery. From the point of view of security comprehensible, because the pen remains a self-contained system. However, should the energy storage be empty, it can not easily be replaced by a full one. According to Tessloff, the battery, with its 350 mAh, should be sufficient for around six hours. The subsequent charging process should be completed after one hour.
To load the required content, the pen has a non protected by a cover USB-C port, with which the adapter via the included not only normal USB plug with the home PC, but by micro-USB and USB-C Connection can also be connected to mobile devices. Furthermore, the system has a Bluetooth module for connecting to smartphones or tablets, to be able to access further information such as video clips or websites. In contrast to the direct competitor, which provides just over 3 GB for its own content, the Bookii pen can be filled with more than 7 GB.
The two systems also go their separate ways when it comes to accessories: while Ravensburger supplies a stand on his Tiptoi, in which the pen can be put down when not in use, Bookii buyers receive a green case for pen and cable.
On the next page: Features, Data Transfer and Compatibility