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The One Smart Piano

If you or your kid wants to learn how to play the piano, then consider this bad boy: the One Smart Piano. Available in this $300 keyboard and a $1,500 full-size upright, the One connects with your phone or tablet to smarten up the piano-playing experience.

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

All about the app

The One is actually a pretty basic keyboard, but its secret weapon is the free app, which you can download to your Android or iOS device.

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

LED keys

The other trick up its sleeve? LED keys that light up to show you which notes to play.

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Full-size version

If you want to go big, you can get this full-size version with all 88 keys -- but be prepared to spend.

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Home screen

Let's take a look at the app. Here's the home screen, with three modes to choose from.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

Virtual lessons

The first mode offers virtual piano lessons -- basically just videos where an instructor guides you through the fundamentals of playing piano, with synchronized assistance from those LED keys.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

Song tutorials

There's also a library of song tutorials, where an instructor shows you how to play a specific song, section by section.

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You follow me?

And again, everything syncs up with those LED keys to help you follow along.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

Practice mode

There's also a library of interactive sheet music that you can practice from.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

Sight-reading

The sheet music will highlight each note as you play to help you follow along. You can also isolate the right- and left-hand parts to make things simpler.

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Limitations

Some of the more advanced songs require the full 88 keys -- that means you won't be able to play them on the smaller-size keyboard.

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In-app purchases

There's also a library of more contemporary music you can download, but it isn't free.

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Game mode

There's also a Rock Band-esque game mode where you'll be scored on how accurately you can follow along with a song.

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Song options

There's a good quantity of songs to choose from in game mode, but almost all of them are either folk songs or holiday songs.

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Training modes

You'll also find games for eye and ear training hidden in the settings menu. They're helpful, but kind of hard to find.

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Keyboard settings

The same goes for the keyboard settings, most of which don't exist in physical form like they do with most keyboards. Instead, they're relocated to the app. They're comprehensive, but again, kind of hard to find at first.

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Worth playing?

At $300 for the keyboard model and $1,500 for the full-size upright (roughly £205/£1,025 or AU$390/AU$1,965), the One Smart Piano won't come cheap. Read our full review for our full, hands-on impressions.

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