Top critical review
64 people found this helpful
Not for the elderly, people with poor vision, or those with reduced dexterity
on May 21, 2013
My mother had already owned the CapTel 840i caption phone which she uses daily. And when she needed a second phone for a different room, I decided to try this new Plantronics model. I love gadgets - my family has owned every iphone model made, as well as several iPads, multiple Amazon kindles, and my media centers use Logitech Harmony touch-screen remotes. But.....this Plantronics has taught me that touch-screen isn't the right interface for everybody. The good news about the Plantronics - it looks nice, its new, its high-tech looking, and it has a touch-screen. The bad-news, its a terrible choice for the elderly. (1) The default text size of this phone is much too small, although you can adjust the font size, it must be done with every single phone call. (2) the text re-size button is difficult to grab and adjust (3) The button which enables captions changes locations depending on the screen. When the phone is ringing, its in the middle, when you pick up the phone it moves to the bottom. (4) the touch-screen lacks any physical feedback and its visual feedback is sluggish. When you push the caption-on button there is a delay before the button highlights (as well as other buttons) (5) The speed-dial buttons are buried menus. (6) touch-screens are just harder to use at night. imagine waking up in the dark and trying to focus and use buttons on a bright touch-screen. The phone works, and it does everything its supposed to do, but the interface is just not intuitive or easy to use.
Old-school buttons, and old-school color LCD displays wins this round. Low-tech is better. The older CapTel model is much easier to use day or night, the buttons provide real-world tactile feedback. Its screen is easier to read, plus it remembers your font settings. In addition, the caption button is in the exact same location 100% of the time - and having a physical button that glows red when its enabled just further enhances its ease-of-use... nice. And the 3 physical speed-dial buttons are always in the same place 100% of the time without digging through menus -- so easy to use.