Last week someone started calling me the Gadget Guy. Actually, to be more accurate, they told me that I was the New “Q” from the James Bond franchise. I wasn’t entirely sure why, but I was showcasing a bunch of new laptops and other mobile devices running Microsoft Windows 7 (and even Windows 8 on one or two of them), so I guess it kinda fit.
I was invited by Microsoft Canada to man the OEM Hardware Wall, and had a great time doing it. The surprise that waited for me in Building 33 in Redmond was that not only would we be sharing the OEM wall space with Jabra, we would also be showcasing their products. Okay, not a problem… I would just have to… learn all about them really quickly so that is sounds like I have been using them my entire life. Ben Sept – the Territory Sales Manager for Jabra – gave me a crash course, and did a really good job of two things: first, he prepared me to present the products to the attendees. More importantly, he got me interested in the products.
Let me explain… I started using Bluetooth earpieces seven years ago or more, and was always ‘plugged in.’ I wore my Jawbone everywhere and always, and put up with the plethora of smart-alec comments from people saying I looked like I was plugged into the Borg. When I got my first car that was Bluetooth-capable I paired my phone with it, and decided that when I wasn’t driving I didn’t really need hands-free. I haven’t worn the earpiece since I married Theresa and besides, I am so seldom in my office so why would I need a desktop unit for the local phone?
Oh wait… sometimes I need to record audio into an on-line system, such as was the case prior to the launch of Windows 7, when I recorded something like fifteen hours of on-line training into a Live Meeting session. I went out and bought a Plantronics headset which worked pretty well, as long as I was on an analog phone. I used it for a little while, but spend very little time on analog calls (especially not for extended periods). that device is somewhere in my ‘Device Graveyard’ which is replete with devices that are good… just not quite good enough.
So when Ben showed me the Jabra GO 6470, I figured it was just another one of those… ‘not quite good enough devices.’ Boy was a I surprised. However before I gave it my real ‘seal of approval’ I was going to have to test it out… see how the reality compares to the marketing fluff.
The GO 6470 has a lot of features that are great, but not entirely useful for ME. However it has a number of HUGE benefits for me, which really proved its use:
- Its range is far greater than the normal Bluetooth standard of 30’. The specs claim a maximum distance of 300’, but I am reasonably sure that when I walked from my station in Building 33 to the staff room I was farther than that. Either way, it did not disappoint. I remember several occasions leaving my cell phone in the car as I walked away, and lost my call mid-sentence. I could now easily park the car in the parking lot at Microsoft Canada and go right into the DPE corner on the 3rd floor without losing my call!
- One earpiece connects to multiple systems… as in, all of them. My base is connected at my home office to the analog phone, as well as to the USB port of my main laptop’s docking station… so I can be anywhere in the house (or out in the yard or out front in the circle playing with my son) and take calls from Lync, the analog (POTS) phone, or (of course) my cell phone – even if I left it on my desk.
- Six (6) hours talk time… I am not sure that I spend six hours talking on the phone on any given week, so having more than I need is reassuring… I hated when my earpiece would die and I would have to switch to the handset.
- Did I mention that all of Jabra’s devices (at least the ones we were showcasing) are optimized for Microsoft Office Lync? Cool!
- I love both of my cars, but let’s face it, if you have ever spoken with me while I was driving you will agree that the sound quality sucks. I am sure they have gotten better in the new models, but my 2009 and 2010 cars have lousy speakerphones. The Jabra earpiece quality is as good as if I was speaking with you in person!
There are more benefits, but these are the ones that mean the most to me. If I worked in a multi-tenant environment I would appreciate that you can connect multiple earpieces to the same base for shift workers, and several others. For this road warrior I appreciate that I can wear the earpiece for hours and not realize that I am wearing it… I love the comfort, the responsiveness of the touch controls (which I can also control from the base unit’s high quality touch screen), and the fact that I can press a button on the earpiece while driving and issue any voice command that my smartphone (a Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7.5) accepts – from a simple ‘Redial’ to ‘Call Theresa Garvis Home’ and it just works.
If you want to check out some of the great products that Jabra had me showcasing at the Canadian Leadership Summit, come to one of my upcoming user group sessions in Mississauga, Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, and elsewhere… I have a few left over that Jabra has agreed to let me give away as door prizes! Thanks Jabra, you guys (and your products) really do rock!