Talk to the Hand – Software Review – Evaluation
L&H Voice Xpress Mobile Professional
READING TO your kids is a joy, but who wants to read to a speech recognition program for 40 minutes’ initial training? There’s still no substitute for time and practice, but Version 4 of L&H Voice Xpress Professional ($150; 800-380-1234, www.lhs.com) delivers surprising accuracy after only one or two 5-minute warm-ups.
For another thing, it does so on any moderately fast (64MB Pentium II/300 or so) system instead of requiring a Pentium III. For a third, it offers cool natural-language command syntax for the Microsoft Office 95/97/2000 suite including Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, where the competition stops at Word.
We tested the $230 Mobile Professional package, which adds bragging rights of its own by bundling an Olympus DS-150 digital recorder that’s lighter and has longer recording time than rival Dragon Naturally-Mobile. Its control buttons and the job of transferring dictation files to your PC are a bit fussy, but L&H’s software can handily transcribe multiple files in the background (though trying to multitask transcription and Voice Xpress will choke even a Pentium III).
We like the Mobile kit, but we’re even more impressed with Voice Xpress 4 on the desktop.
PROS Best PC command and dictation yet
CONS Pocket recorder can’t match the provided desktop headset for accuracy
V = Value
P = PerformanceVirtual Stamp of Approval
E = Ease of Use E-Stamp
S = Suitability for Home Office Use
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