Gigaset Pro Introduces Maxwell 10 Android Tablet & Phone

Gigaset Pro MaxwellEarlier this week Gigaset extended their Gigaset Pro line by adding a new 10” Android tablet they call Maxwell. I must say that at first glance the device looks VERY nice.

As just an Android tablet Maxwell is a little unremarkable. The display is 1280 x 800 pixels. It runs Android 4.2.2, aka Jelly Bean, which is a little old on the eve of widespread Lollipop rollout.

What makes Maxwell stand out from the crowded tablet marketplace are the customizations intended to make it a communication centerpiece. These include;

  • Ethernet interface with POE support
  • Ethernet pass-through
  • Wired handset (RJ9)
  • EHS & DHSG connectivity
  • Bluetooth & wired headset connectivity (RJ9)
  • Audio augmented by a large speaker in its back
  • Built-in DECT base radio
  • Optional DECT handset
  • Desk stand
  • Wall mount capability
  • Gigaset Pro telephone app
  • Micro-HDMI output for a larger monitor
  • 2x USB host ports (supports external camera, keyboard, mouse, etc)

Color me curious about this tablet. I’d simply love to lay hands on one. I suspect that won’t happen since their Gigaset Pro line has not been offered in North America. The only thing that made it to these shores was the Gigaset DX800A. Lacking for a well-developed retail channel I don’t think that it did very well.

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Deal Alert: Frontgate Offering Gigaset C610H Handsets for $9.50

Just before the holidays someone noted in a thread at DSL Reports that Frontgate was offering the C610H DECT handset for $30 each including shipping. This is the the handset that comes with the C610A IP starter system that was first offered in the US in June 2011.

This morning it seems that they’ve dropped the price to just $9.50 each! There’s some conjecture as to whether these are new or refurbished, but at that price it simply may not matter.

The handsets offered are expansion handsets. They will work with any Gigaset DECT base that has been sold in North America, including the older A580-IP and C675-IP  models. The current models offered are the A510-IP and C610A-IP models which sell for $90 and $100 respectively for a DECT base and one handset.

To add further bit of conjecture, I expect that these handsets are now end-of-life. Gigaset turns over the product offering every 2 years-ish. That means that there are newer models offered or about to be offered. After all…CES is just a few days away.

I believe that Skinit still offers a library of colorful skins for several Gigaset models. This is what you see on the handset pictured here. They cite the C59H as the model that their skins cover, but it has exactly the same dimensions as the C610H.

All of the Gigaset models that I’ve mentioned are SIP-capable. There are a few additional models that do not have “IP” in the model name for the base system. These include DECT bases that are not SIP-capable, so for use on analog phone lines. These bargain handset will work with those systems as well, but that’s hardly interesting.

New TIA Standards For HDVoice Over Analog Jacks

HDVoice News RJ-11 Wall PlateDoug Mohney of HDVoice News recently noted that The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has issued a series of new standards documents in reference to wideband audio over analog connections. These new standards specify how HDVoice may be implemented with regard to analog telephone, speakerphones, headsets and related terminal equipment.

Yes, that is exactly what it sounds like…formal specifications for delivering wideband voice over traditional FXO/FXS connections.

This is more than just a curiosity, and could be very valuable to the widespread adoption of HDVoice outside of the mobile space.

Let’s consider the case of the Cable Companies. It’s been noted that their “Digital Voice” customers are well positioned to benefit from HDVoice. Cable companies have gained many residential and SMB voice lines in recent years, enough to cast Comcast as the third largest Telco in the US.

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Tip For Adding An Expansion Handset To A Gigaset C610A IP SIP/DECT System

In recent weeks there has been a long running thread over at the DSL Reports VoIP forum. It revolves around differences in the menus on the handsets the ship as part of a Gigaset C610A IP SIP/DECT phone system vs C610H expansion handset.

The menus on the handset show or hide certain options depending upon how the handset was intended to be delivered. It might deliver as part of a C610A IP system, in which case the menu option to “Select Services” is shown. The handset may be configured to deliver as part of a Gigaset C610A-L410 combination. Since that system is not IP-capable the “Select Services” menu is not shown on the handset.

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First Look: Gigaset C610A & L410

Gigaset C610AL410_TR_whi_300 Some weeks ago Gigaset sent me a a couple of their newer US offerings to try. The first of these that I’ve unboxed is the new C610A Cordless DECT phone with the L410 Hands-free Clip.

Unlike the various Gigaset systems I’ve considered in the past, the C610A is not an IP-capable system. It sports just one old school analog line interface. Normally I wouldn’t even trouble myself to take such a phone out of the box.

The C610A itself is a pretty basic phone. The DECT base includes voicemail capability, with a small speaker on the base so that you can listen to voice messages at the base even if the handset is elsewhere. The VM system can also be used to record a call in progress.

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Affordable Cordless Mobility In The Home Office

Obi-Hai-S12-KX-TSC11-trio-300sqEarlier this week Bill left a comment asking for a recommendation about a phone and cordless headset combination. His requirements seem quite sensible and he expresses some frustration with his existing gear. His situation seems one that could be very common, so I thought it worth highlighting before trying to make some recommendations.

Here’s his comment in full:

Sorry for bringing back an old thread – but am hoping you might have some advice. I am a home office worker & spend a lot of time on the phone with colleagues & customers. I’m not using a speakerphone – but I am currently using a Plantronics S12 headset & Panasonic KX-TSC11 phone connected to an OBi110 for both POTS and VOIP capability. The audio quality is just “ok”, and the S12 creates an annoying hum when I raise the microphone volume.

I would like to upgrade to a better (binaural, over the head, no little buds sticking into my ear) headset, preferably DECT to enable me to stand and move about a bit while on calls (is DECT a safe bet for call quality & consistency?). Also it would be convenient to have a built-in answering machine if the quality is very good.

The *paramount* concern is that my voice quality sound loud & clear to callers. I would also like the devices to be wideband-capable (realizing this only affects VOIP).

Do you have any suggestions for a phone/headset combination for this scenario? Thanks very much in advance!

Bill’s existing gear bears examination. With just a few minutes of Googling I found that the Panasonic KX-TSC11 is a very basic analog phone. They’re available for around $45 and have only one analog POTS connection. Panasonic refers to it as an “Integrated Telephone System” which seems a bit puzzling to me. It’s a bit like calling a pen a “fully manual correspondence creation system.” It’s an entry-level analog phone.

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