There are those stolid individuals who never took or made a call on their mobile while driving, lest their attention lapsed and they ended up causing havoc on the road. I’m not one of those stolid individuals. Girls are capable of multitasking in a way that most guys can’t even dream of and, in my opinion, they should only have banned cellphones in cars for men, and allowed us chicks to keep chatting.
The new law was a kick in the teeth until I chanced upon this rather inconspicuous-looking gadget. Parrot, you got my social life back on track again, you screechy little bird you!
There are loads of wireless hands-free solutions being touted, but I’ve witnessed several of them first hand and found them wanting. If you drive regularly or for any real distance, you need a hands-free product that connects to your phone and its address list, stays connected, and sounds good to the user and to whoever is on the other end of the conversation. Many such products fail on all counts, so my advice: choose carefully, choose Parrot.
The Parrot Minikit Slim (there are both cheaper and more expensive Parrot devices) does a fairly simple job with disarming effectiveness, and proves incredibly intuitive to use.
However, at first I did have a problem. I have a brand of cellphone that is notoriously troubled when it comes to hooking up to Bluetooth. One technical expert and an hour later, and I was all go. The technician explained that with most cellphones it’s a painless process that takes only a couple of minutes, and demonstrated how easy it was to partner the Parrot with an iPhone.
Once my Parrot was squawking, I quickly got the hang of the gadget, which eschews LCD touch-screens in favour of a simple button. Its text-to-speech ability can result in some hilarious moments (as you can imagine, there’s the occasional mispronunciation) and every now and then it has trouble understanding a voice command. Mostly, however, the text-to-voice function works brilliantly, the sound quality is amazingly clear and open (it’s called ‘vibrating panel technology’) and the daring simplicity of the Minikit Slim is what makes this very possibly the best such device on the market.
Parrot Minikit Slim Bluetooth Kit – Tech Specs
• Green button to answer, call contact, start voice recognition
• Red button to hang up, switch on/off, exit menus, cancel
• Rotary button to access menus, adjust volume, send DTMF signals
• Built-in omni-directional microphone
• NR3 noise reduction
• Multi-speaker voice recognition
• Text to speech
• Bluetooth v2.0 + EDR
• Updates via USB port
* Simple and intuitive to use
* No flashing lights or touch-screen
* Clear, open sound
* The occasional hilarious name mispronunciation
Very possibly the best such device on the market at the moment
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