Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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Reviews

iMainGo XP Portable Stereo Speaker & Case for iPad Review

November 29, 2011


Portable Sound Labs has a cool new product called the iMainGo XP (model: 11BWB04), which is a portable stereo speaker for the iPad but also doubles as a protective case. I wrote about them earlier this month and asked for a review unit to check out, which they promptly sent to me. Here's a photo of the iMainGo XP sitting on a stand on my desk:


As I mentioned in my previous article, "I'd be curious how this product sounds with VoIP applications, such as Skype. With the iPad's decent hardware echo cancellation and many VoIP softphone clients sporting software-based echo cancellation, it might be nice to have beefy speakers with lots of bass and HD audio support to carry the full tonal quality of the remote speaker."

Unfortunately, once you connect the headset jack into the iMainGo XP, the iPad's built-in microphone is disabled and the iMainGoXP doesn't have an embedded microphone.





Andrea SuperBeam Buds Headset review

October 11, 2011

We all have come to love our stereo headsets featuring separate audio channels for both the left and right ear, but what about dual or stereo microphones? If stereo speakers makes 'sounds' better for you, why can't stereo microphones make 'sounds' better for the remote party on Skype or a 3rd party called via your mobile phone?

Well, Andrea believe their SuperBeam Buds answers that question. Featuring a unique boom-less design, each of the two earbuds has a microphone built-in enabling true binaural surround sound recordings. These two mics (one at each ear) leverage Andrea's patented Adaptive Beam Forming to cancel unwanted background noise without the need for a clunky boom mic stretching across your cheek to your lips.

The SuperBeam buds also somes with a HD USB-based sound card, which bypasses a computer's lower-grade sound card for better fidelity and gain.



Cisco UC320W Review

October 5, 2011


Cisco isn’t known for hitting the SOHO/SMB space of 1-24 users, even with their feature-rich, but not entirely inexpensive Unified Communications Manager Express (UCME) product line.  UCME’s sweet spot is 30-100 users, while Cisco’s new UC 320W product works with 1-24 users, with a sweet spot of 4-16 users. Also, the big brother to the UC320W, the UC500 has a sweet spot of 12-80 users addressing the small to mid-sized market. The list price of a UC320W system with 10 users, including voicemail is just $995, which is under the psychological $1,000 price-point. 

Toshiba Thrive 7 Tablet Impresses

September 28, 2011



Toshiba today announced the Thrive 7, little brother to their big brother the Thrive 10. Both Thrive models are based on Android and the original Thrive 10 has had some modest success, but the 10" tablet space is a bit more crowded. So it's a smart move for Toshiba to go a bit smaller with the Thrive 7. The Thrive 7 sports Toshiba's AutoBrite™ LED Backlit Display and interestingly has the same 1280x800 screen resolution as the Thrive 10.

magicJack Plus Review

June 30, 2011

The magicJack Plus is due out very soon, perhaps as early as next month, but I was able to get an early sneak peek at it for a review. The big new feature in the MagicJack Plus is that it sports an on-board ARM CPU, which means you can make calls without the need for the MagicJack Plus to be connected to a PC. It looks almost identical to the original magicJack USB stick, but it now has an Ethernet jack for connecting to any broadband connection, enabling PC-less VoIP calling.

Top 20 VoIP Innovators of All Time

June 13, 2011


VoIP has come a long way since it was first popularized by VocalTec in the mid 1990s. Here is a slideshow of the Top 20 VoIP Innovators of all time with photo captions explaining why they merit this top 20 ranking. Most innovators are companies, but not all. Two important VoIP standards make the list, which cannot be attributed to a single individual or company.

Jabra SPEAK 410 Review

April 21, 2011


A couple months ago, Jabra sent me a Jabra SPEAK 410 to review. It got lost in the shuffle of other things I was reviewing. The Jabra SPEAK 410 is a pretty cool USB-based speakerphone device that directly integrates with Skype, Microsoft Lync/OCS, Avaya, Cisco, and IBM Sametime, enabling you to simply press the green handset icon on the device to answer a call or press the red handset icon to hang up the call. This is especially useful if you want to deploy this in a conference room setting.

TELTUB + Google Voice = $5 Unlimited Calling to U.S. & Canada

January 17, 2011

TELTUB is offering unlimited free calling to the U.S. and Canada for $5/month. Their gHome product takes a user's Google Voice account and converts it into a SIP-based VoIP service which can then be used as a cheap home phone-line using a SIP analog telephony adaptor (ATA) and your broadband connection. Users can use their own standard VoIP adaptor or order a pre-configured one from TELTUB.

Yealink VP-2009 Review

January 7, 2011


Yealink sent me their Yealink VP-2009 color touch-screen videophone to review a few months back and I finally found some time to crack open the box and check out this very cool phone. Featuring a large 7" digital TFT-LCD with 800×480 pixels resolution, the VP-2009 is pretty slick looking and supports HD voice (G.722) and popular HD codecs (H.263 & H.264).

Installation
Installing the VP-2009 was a breeze. I registered the phone with a trixbox Pro system, which is an Asterisk-based IP-PBX. After connecting it to the network and acquiring an IP address, I went to the web portal and logged with the default credentials (user = admin, password = admin).



HP G72-C55DX Review

December 21, 2010


The HP G72-C55DX is one of the best bang-for-the-buck laptops you can buy. The HP G72-C55DX sports a huge 17.3" LED (1600 x 900) backlit display and the latest Intel Pentium P6100 processor. You don't break the bank with this laptop since the HP G72-C55DX is available on sale at Best Buy for $449.99! My family and I were looking for a laptop to purchase for my mother-in-law as a gift for Christmas and this laptop certainly fit the bill.
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