IPEVO TR-10 Makes Phone Conferencing Portable

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


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The TR-10 offers big features in a diminutive package for workers on the go who need to host conference calls from most anywhere and makes a great add-on product to notebook computers.

Organizing conference calls usually means gathering up individuals and placing them in a conference room with expensive conferencing equipment.

Sounds pretty simple, right?

The cold hard reality is that task is turning out to be anything but simple. Today’s businesses are always on the go, with workers out in the field, small satellite offices and more chores being performed at customers sites, and that can make something as simple as a conference call a challenge.

IP telephony pioneer IPEVO solves that problem with its TR-10 Portable Conference Phone, which can be thought of as an instant conferencing telephony solution. Some may make the mistake of confusing the TR-10 with a speaker phone. Trust us, it much more than that.

The TR-IO is designed with versatility in mind. The device offers excellent speaker phone sound quality, and it proves to be a cost-effective Skype conference phone solution. Users can readily switch between handset and hands-free mode with the touch of a single button. The device has a very small footprint, which makes it ideal for travelers.

The TR-10 is designed to be connected to a PC’s USB port and is used with VOIP services from Skype. The unit incorporates 16-bit DSP (digital signal processing) technology to improve call quality and features auto gain control along with noise canceling. It also features a 2-watt speaker and an internal omnidirectional microphone, which works very well, even in noisy environments.

The TR-10 is fully integrated with the Skype service. Users will find dedicated buttons on the device to launch Skype from a connected PC or Mac. The unit works with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac operating systems. Of course, users will need to have Skype installed on their PCs and have an active account. The good news, at least for Skype-to-Skype calls, is that Skype is completely free and supports conferencing calls directly from the Skype interface. For a few dollars a year, Skype can be used to call landlines and receive calls from external users. Most users will want a full-fledged Skype account before using the TR10.

If privacy is needed, the unit can also be used as a traditional handset. Plus, the unit features a mute button and easy-to-use volume controls.

A nifty feature of the TR-10 is its ability to work as a voice/call recorder. Users can "tape" meetings or conference calls for future reference, and the quality of the recording proves to be far superior to the integrated microphone found on most notebook computers.

Call recording is handled by included software, FreeRec, which is automatically installed along with the product’s driver.

During a call, all a user has to do is press the red circle recording button on the phone to save the conversation. FreeRec automatically adjusts the microphone volume level. Recording time is only limited by the host machine’s available memory. Installation of the unit is plug-and-play simple, which make the device a good candidate to be shared across multiple PCs.

Solution providers selling notebook computers or supporting Skype should seriously consider offering the TR-10. At just $79.95, the unit could be bundled with every notebook computer sold or at the very least be offered as an option for small businesses looking to conduct conference calls without investing in high-end, dedicated conference room equipment.


Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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