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PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) – The Page Brite is an ultra-thin, lighted magnifier designed to make reading fine print a breeze. But before you throw out your reading glasses, you'll want to know if it works as promised.
We call on Lee Toler for some help with our test. She admits she has trouble reading fine print without some help from her glasses.
"I have to use my glasses and sometimes that's not good enough," explains Lee.
The Page Brite is designed to help magnify words and images in any lighting, up to three times the sizes as indicated on the packaging. Lee hopes she can use the Page Brite in lieu of her glasses, especially to read at night. The construction is very basic. It's a large plastic magnifier with a thin white plastic edge. On the base of the Page Brite, there's a switch controlling four led lights designed to make reading in the dark a possibility. There's also a plastic stand that slides out and attached to the right side.
Beginning with a magazine Lee says, "You have to place it perfectly to make it work. It doesn't work if you don't place it flat on the page. So a magazine or something would be really hard to do."
We find that any bound reading material like a magazine or a book would limit the effectiveness of the Page Brite. We turn on the LED lights to shed some additional light to the page. To Lee, all she gets is more glare and more trouble trying to read the words.
Now, with the room lights off, the provided lights should illuminate the page. What does Lee see? She sees a giant glaring ‘X' pattern. Lee is referring to the lights forming an "X' in the center of the magnifying area, making the text troublesome to read.
So far, the normal prescribed use of the Page Brite has come up short of our expectations. Even with words printed on flat, plain, white paper. The underlying factor is clear.
"The glare," Lee continues, "There's too much glare and you have to move it too much. So it's not a convenience, it's an inconvenience because you'll have to constantly be moving it to get rid of the glare part."
The only success we have is found when we use both hands. One hand holds the paper at a distance and the other holds the Page Brite somewhere in between.
"There isn't any glare and I can see everything, but I wouldn't want to read a book like this," says Lee.
We run into trouble with our tests to find a practical use for the Page Brite. Lee suggests a book light and some reading glasses. Now that sounds like a bright idea. The Page Brite magnifies a NO for this week's "Does it Work?" test.
The Page Brite cost us $9.99 at a local retail store.