Tuesday, October 16, 2007

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Product Number: 204
Where can I buy one: JML Direct.com

Ever feel like there’s something not right with the packaging you find in shops? Or simply feel like it’s trying to deceive? Well those who take a very close look at the Magnicard box will no doubt come away feeling like the box is trying to make the product look better than it is. The card itself is designed to magnify text by up to 2.5 times, and this is clearly illustrated as you can see the card at the front of the packet magnifying some text.

The twist in the tale comes when you view the packaging from the side, and it’s then you realise the card isn’t magnifying the text, and in fact that the text itself is printed in a far bigger font that anything alongside it. Taking one look at this has put me off buying the card for months, and left me with a pretty poor opinion of the product. Which really was a bit of a shame, because as soon as you take the card out and align it against something you start to realise that it’s quite a handy bit of kit to have around.

As for why the marketers felt to print far bigger text on the packaging, there really is no deception as the magnified text you see on the front is more of an artists impression to show how it will work when freed from its packaging. When you first try the card out you will see that it is every bit as effective as the text indicates. I found the card worked best by holding it right by the text and then pulling it towards yourself until just before it loses focus. This brings the text closer to yourself and ensures the maximum level of magnification.

I tried this out on various packaging with typically small text and it did the job superbly. As you scan up and down the text the focus remains and so long as you don’t dart the card across the page at a rapid rate you’ll find it more than keeps up with your eyeline. Naturally it works best on printed text which can easily be magnified, although if you’re trying to decipher someone’s bad handwriting it will help a little by making the bizzare twists and scribble bigger.

On top of that there’s a small light which helps brighten things up a bit, it won’t really help you read the text but is a nice addition if you are in a darkened place, especially as it slips snugly in to the credit card slot of any wallet. If you fancy reading a book at night without waking your partner up by turning on a light this seems like the way to do it.

All in all it seems the Magnicard more than stands up to the visual claims of its packaging. Perhaps in future the marketing team might want to slap an “artists impression” disclaimer on so as not to deter perspective buyers. Either way don’t be put off by what looks like a trick, there’s no magic here just an effective magnifying glass Sherlock Homes would be proud of, and best of all it fits snugly in a wallet so it's ready for when you need it.

Read more on Magnicard:

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