Tom's Holiday Buyer's Guide 2008, Part 1

Syspine Digital Operator System
By: Ed Tittel

Okay, we admit we’re climbing a long way out on a technological limb by including this product in our Holiday Buyer’s Guide. The Syspine DOS A50-4XFO is a four-port Voice-over-IP (VoIP) phone system that can handle 4 IP or conventional telephone handsets and hook them up to an Internet broadband link to provide telephone access. It’s sufficiently expandable to accommodate up to 50 handsets in all, with the purchase of additional IP phones, at no additional licensing costs for the base station. This device is essentially an industrial-grade, passively cooled IP-based Private Branch Exchange (PBX) server appliance that is compact enough to fit in just about any room or office space.

Great for the budding entrepreneur with small business needs

Better yet, the DOS A50 is built around the Microsoft Response Point (MRP) architecture. In addition to its basic PBX capabilities to set up telephone lines, provide handset-to-handset inside calling ability, use outside lines for external calls, and park and forward incoming calls; the DOS A50 adds a whole new world of affordable functionality to small telephone systems. A Microsoft wizard guides you through setup in minutes (much faster than conventional IP PBX systems) and requires no specialized IP telephony knowledge. Ordinary mortals can set this system up by themselves and start using it quickly and easily.

Other snazzy features of the DOS A50 include voice recognition. Thanks to MRP, this phone system can recognize most spoken works accurately and consistently. This changes the way users place calls—they need only pick up a handset, press the Response Point button (a compelling reason to look into acquiring some of the Syspine SYS-310M IP handsets for about $130 a pop), and speak the call recipient’s name. The system will retrieve the related phone number from a company directory or your Microsoft Outlook address book and call the recipient for you. For those who use the phone a lot, this can be a tremendous productivity boost—no more memorizing or digging up phone numbers with automatic access to all numbers in your online directory or address book. PC screen pop-ups provide incoming call information with audible alerts for users, and a “click-to-call” feature enables placing calls from your PC using Assistant software included with this phone system.

The DOS A50 also features a remote, network-based management console that targets unsophisticated users. Its simple and user-friendly interface enables you to setup a new phone in minutes, to change preferences for voice mail or call handling quickly and easily, or create call distribution lists. A small LCD on the face of the DOS A50 enclosure always provides up-to-date status information and helps diagnose and solve problems when they occur.

A price of $1,500 is a lot to spend for a phone system, but it is not so much for a small office or a big, busy household. For those seeking to move phone technology into the 21st century, playing Santa with the DOS-A50 could pay all kinds of unexpected dividends.

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  • ravenware
    Dell 3008WFP Ultrasharp 30"

    , we can’t think of any computer user who wouldn’t be thrilled to get one.

    Gamers. The 8ms response time is a little on the slow side.
  • Portall
    Nope. You won't see difference between 8 and 4ms :)
  • V3NOM
    well you can... CRT vs LCD is quite clear.
  • cangelini
    I play on the prior year's model (3007) all the time without any problems. Don't pass up gaming on a 30" display without at least trying it for yourself!
  • Anonymous
    Dual-link DVI does NOT need two seperate cables. HDMI's video component IS DVI. I'm amazed this slipped through and into the article:
  • radnor
    Well, you will actually. If you ever seen them side by side you will notice the difference. 5ms seems to be the sweet spot.
  • LazyGarfield
    Interesting article! I´m still looking for the two beautiful women but cant find them :P
  • Anonymous
    Just a word of warning to anyone purchasing this monitor and wanting to watch Blu-Ray titles on it. If you use DVI as your input it can not display Blu-Ray titles above 1920 x 1080. Now I know this is the native res on the monitor. But HDCP will fail if the monitor's resolution is set any higher than this. This is due to a design flaw in the monitor's chipset. This wouldn't be a problem if all it meant was you had to reset the resolution when you want to watch a movie, but the problem is, 1920 x 1080 is not the same aspect ratio as 2560 x 1600. So your picture is vertically stretched. I know this because I bought one and spent hours in forums and on the phone with Dell before finding this out. I returned the monitor, because at $2000, there's no excuse for buggy HDCP support over DVI.
  • Anonymous
    what happened to the really cute girl you guys had last year ?
  • xsamitt
    I think I'd take the 30 inch dell if it was free......Guess I won't be having one now for
    8 mills is just to slow.And Leigon thanks for the heads up.

    I do hope the new items to come are more interesting than this first round.
  • Anonymous
    What happened to the great girl from last year? The blond on here looks strung out and or too gothy for a Christmas ad.
  • Anonymous
    Ugly girls...
  • zak_mckraken
    Ugly girls...

    Oh really? Come on pal, let's see some pictures of your wife/girlfriend so we can compare. Well, assuming you have one of course.
  • jameshan2k
    I usually don't go for blondes, but the blonde is quite nice....
  • zak_mckraken
    About the response time, 8ms does seem a tad high but we have to be careful here. Most manufacturers will advertise their monitors as having a 2ms or 5ms response time. However, when you look at the charts, most of the time this response time is the maximum the monitor can reach during a dark scene or a low action gaming sequence. This is often not representative of an average use and the so-called 5ms monitor will most likely be around 6ms-7ms in everyday situations. Same thing applies for contrast since every manufacturer uses their own chart for measuring it. The best way to know how your monitor will perform in real life is to look at comparative charts made by neutral parties, like Tom's, who uses the same methods to compare response time, contrast and color fidelity with all monitors.

    As for this particular Dell 3008WFP Ultrasharp 30", I have really no idea if it's suitable for movies and gaming or not. However, is Chris says it is, it's usually enough for me! Unfortunately, I just bought a Samsung T220 and it pleases me enough. Anyway, I do not have 2 grand to put on a monitor... yet.
  • crockdaddy
    Both ladies are quite lovely. If I recall correctly wasn't it Tamara whom graced the last two years as the xmas model?
  • xsamitt
    How do you find The Samsung T220 picture wise and lag?
  • zak_mckraken
    How do you find The Samsung T220 picture wise and lag?

    While not the "perfect" monitor, it's definitely one of the best (if not the best) 22 inches monitor around. The colors are rich and true, the contrast is sharp and I haven't notice any lag at all, although I only play World of Warcraft and watch some Divx. Still, the difference was amazing when I switched my old Philips 19" with it! I'm pretty sure the same quality would apply on a fast-paced FPS or a Blu-Ray HD movie. However, I would recommend the T240 if you intend to use your monitor to watch full HD content. Samsung also offer the same models with HD at the end (T220HD) which has a integrated tuner, if you're into that stuff.
  • cruiseoveride

    Santa Baby, a 30" Samsung TFT too, dark grey with a blond elf. I've been an awfully good girl.
  • KITH
    I recently purchased the samsung t260hd it along with the t240hd are a couple of the only ways to get an hdtv with that small of a screen still with 1080p support.