Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Plantronics Voyager PRO: truly flawless!

Was skeptical when I read the raves about this new Plantronics Voyager PRO Bluetooth Headsetwhen it was first announced. Am a heavy cell phone user, and spend quite a bit of time on the road and in environments where I need a good and reliable hands-free solution for communication. There have been a number of Bluetooth headsets released in many different price ranges over the past few years, and I've bought many of them, some of which now sit uselessly in the bottom of my electronics drawer.

Plantronics Voyager PRO

But this time the raves were right, as in my opinion, it's tuned out to be the best one on the market to date. Read on and you'll see why I came to this conclusion.

First Impressions:

Upon arrival, opened it immediately, as I had a good test scenario in which to use it the following day: walking around a noisy outdoor flea market. The packaging was excellent, and found immediately that the instruction manual was written in a very clear and concise fashion, with easy-to-follow text and good illustrations. Followed the directions and charged the unit for the suggested 30 minutes before first use.

As it was charging, looked carefully at the new Bluetooth headset and immediately thought that it might be uncomfortable, as the battery pack portion which rests behind the ear appeared larger than many on the market. I also wear glasses, and didn't think that it would be at all comfortable. Found later that I was quite wrong in both cases.

After its initial charge, tried to see how easy it might pair with my often-stubborn cell phone, and exercise that has sometimes required a few tries. The Plantronics Voyager PRO paired up on the very first try, which was a first for this user. Found that the standard medium ear tips were a perfect fit, and then tried each of the additional ones that came with the unit, settling back to the original. I wear my Bluetooth headsets on the left side, and found it easy to change in seconds by rotating the boom mike. After all of this was done, finished charging the headset for the suggest 1.5 hours to full charge.

Trial Run:

The following day was a Saturday when I was going to be visiting a busy outdoor flea market with a friend, and it seemed to be the perfect time to test the unit. The noise levels were as expected, so I tried making a few calls using free weekend minutes. The first thing that people with whom I was talking noticed was that the sound was so clear, better than they had ever heard from my previous calls, and this was even with a moderate wind blowing at times. Most thought that I was still home.

Wore the headset into the early afternoon, a little over eight hours straight, and found it to be the most comfortable Bluetooth headset that I've yet to encounter... for the most part didn't even realize that it was there. Also found that it didn't interfere with wearing glasses at all, which is a strong plus for this user.


  • Great ergonomics, fits easily right out of the box.
  • Superb sound quality, even in windy conditions.
  • First-rate controls for power, volume and call control.
  • Automatic voice prompts alert battery & mute status.
  • Excellent and clearly written instructions.
  • Non-proprietary charger port (micro USB).
  • Up to six hours of continuous talk time, confirmed.
  • Single charge standby of five days, also confirmed.


  • None. Can't find a single one so far... another first.

Regular Use:

The Plantronics Voyager PRO has become an item that I use daily, which I couldn't say about my old Bluetooth headsets, including my old basic Motorola H505 Bluetooth Headset, which had actually served me quite well for a couple of years. The Voyager PRO is far more comfortable and ergonomic than the photos might indicate, something that one can only find by actual extended use. Have worn mine for 12+ hours a day at a time, and it's been quite easy to adapt to over extended periods of time, with no discomfort whatsoever. I ride a mountain bike some distances over suburban streets and wooded trails on a regular basis each week, and the first thing that callers notice is that the sound quality is excellent, with no wind noise reported by anyone.

Have had this unit for some months now and have subjected it to far more use than the average product that I might review here. Looked carefully to see if there were any flaws or omissions in the product or its performance and for once just couldn't find a single one.

Kudos to Plantronics for bringing such a product to market, for it satisfies the Bluetooth headset needs of the demanding user such as me. It’s a true 5-star offering, without a doubt.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Neat, compact, efficient and handy

NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner and Digital Filing System

First became aware of the NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner and Digital Filing System a number of months ago when a colleague showed me his newNeatReceipts Neat Business Cards Mobile Full Color Card Reader/Scanner. He was intrigued with his new gadget and how well it scanned and organized business cards into Outlook and ACT!, and did so without any third party application needed.

Was impressed, but felt that a business card scanner, though handy, was too limiting for my personal needs, NeatWorksso I took a further look that the products from The Neat Company, and the NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner is one of the models that I found. Like my colleague's new tech gadget, I can scan business cards, but with this model I can scan receipts and documents. Have found that this mobile scanner does a good job scanning even wrinkled receipts that can be exported into Excel and Quicken, and scanning documents that can be exported into searchable PDF files is easy with the supplied NeatWorks 4.0 software.


  • Lightweight and compact, weighs less than a pound.
  • Fits easily into a notebook or laptop computer case.
  • Scans and exports documents into searchable PDF files.
  • No external power needed, powered by USB cable (included).
  • Performs its scans quickly.


  • No cons found so far.

As an added bonus, found that images can be saved in JPG format, which is a handy plus point for this reviewer, especially when going through old family photos. It also does a good job scanning old magazine advertisements into PDF and JPG formats.

Also available for as an option for this scanner is a well-made Travel Case for NeatCo Mobile Scanners in black. It's worth considering if you want to keep your scanner and USB cable in a convenient place in about any notebook computer case.

Have barely scratched the surface regarding the capabilities of this very handy mobile scanner, and am impressed so far by the capabilities of the NeatWorks 4.0 software, which is available for both the PC and the Mac. This product isn't one that might appeal to all, but if you're looking for a functional and highly versatile computer accessory that's a time-saving device when it comes to dealing with getting loose receipts scanned into Excel, TurboTax, Quicken or QuickBooks, then this is well worth considering.

Highly recommended.