PROS / The software offers 425 typing exercises and plenty of good advice for proper posture and finger positioning.
CONS / The manufacturer does not provide phone support for answers to technical or general questions.
VERDICT / The Mavis Beacon typing method provides a systematic approach, helpful instructional videos and a generous amount of practice exercises.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Typing Software here.
Broderbund is a leading supplier of computer software, and its suite of Mavis Beacon typing software is among its most popular offerings. The Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Family Edition is the latest and most advanced typing program of this group and easily ranks among the best typing software products on the market. It delivers a comprehensive and effective training module with a step-by-step approach to its instruction that guides you through each phase of the curriculum.
Broderbund has collaborated with UltraKey to provide a variety of instructional videos that greatly enhance the value of the Mavis Beacon typing instruction. There is a strong emphasis on ergonomics to ensure correct posture and finger positioning so you can avoid repetitive strain injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, backaches and a host of other ailments. This typing test software reminds you to sit correctly before starting any typing, and it even includes directions to take a stretch break at certain times.
The Family Edition of this typing software offers dozens of typing lessons and 425 practice sessions to help you hone your skills in a systematic way as you learn each new concept. There is an emphasis on both speed and accuracy, and you get solid reporting tools to track your progress. You begin at your current typing level and complete progressively difficult lessons on your way to becoming an expert typist. There is also a generous number of practice sessions to get you warmed up before starting on the lessons.
You can set goals of your own and do such things as tinker with the 12 interface themes to personalize the lessons and practice exercises, keeping things interesting. This edition of Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing offers three licenses when you purchase it, so you can install it on three computers. Your whole family can learn to type, since this software is adaptable to different age groups.
You get useful in-application help from a user guide. You also can seek answers on the manufacturer's website and, if you need more help, email the company. However, one drawback to this otherwise fine software is that you cannot call the manufacturer for help with general or technical questions.
The Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Family Edition is exceptional typing software. Its emphasis on ergonomics helps you learn to type the right way, which minimizes the strain on your body. It has a methodical approach, teaching you each concept in a sensible and straightforward way, with a generous number of keyboarding practice sessions. Its lessons and videos are adaptable to all age groups and will help you and your family learn at your own pace. True to its name, the versatility of this software makes it excellent typing software for families.