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.

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.

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • 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!
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.