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Product: Ohť
Company: Olitec
Estimated Street Price: $220.00
Review By: Julien Jay


Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Design & Features
3: More Features
4: Software
5: Conclusion

    The whole design of the kit is definitely avant-garde: it features a mix of new-edge design with geometrical dark blue shapes and bio design especially for the mobile modem unit where youíll notice roundness areas. If the design of the base is steep and can shock some of you, youíll become quickly used to it. The base is the brain of the kit: it is somewhat imposing. It features in its centre an LCD screen displaying the status of the kit (how many messages or faxes you have received, modem in use or not, etc.) and six blue soft-touch buttons for easy access to the most common answer phone features while the PC is off. The buttons contact is pleasant but the icons on them arenít always very clear so you might be confused to know what function they each perform. Near the LCD screen youíll notice the presence of three LEDs that indicate the status of the unit: the first red one says if the kit is on or not, the second indicates if the phone line is taken or not, and the third one let you know that the cordless phone battery is being recharged. If youíve received voice messages or faxes while you were out the first LED will blink letting you know you have messages to retrieve. The rear panel of the base features the connection panel where youíll have to plug the AC power cord and the phone line: Iíd add that the AC Power Adapter of the base is quite enormous, heavy and heats a lot! Next to these plugs is the on/off button that let you start or stop this real communication center.

    The mobile wireless modem design is quite basic: all in roundness with two very nice blue antennas that make it looks very friendly. It features an On/Off button on its rear panel along with the connector for the AC adapter and the serial port thatíll link the mobile unit to your PC. On top of the mobile modem are two LEDs: the red one says the modem is on, while the green one let you know if itís in use or not. Note that the mobile unit is really small and can be placed wherever you want as long as it doesnít exceed a 50 meter distance from the base (or 300 meters in open space that is to say that no obstacles can block radio waves like walls, etc.).

Olitec Mobile Wireless Modem (click to enlarge)

    The mobile cordless phone comes dressed in a navy like the rest of the kit. Its design is once again avant-garde but the way its manufactured ensures a firm grip when you hold it. Since it uses the digital DECT technology thereís no antenna. The back of the phone reveals holes to let the sound of the speaker pass when you use it in hand free mode and just under this speaker is the battery case. The phone features a small LCD screen as well as many buttons. The buttons are hard to push and their icons arenít always very clear. Overall the phone device gave us a good impression and shows a very robust shell.


    The number of features offered by this kit is simply amazing, from the phone, to the modem and the smart features the list is very long and frankly nothing has been forgotten! Letís start to see what features the mobile modem offers.

    The mobile modem is a V90 one that means you can download files at the theoretical transfer rate of 56Kbps and upload them at 33.6Kbps. The firmware of the modem is stored on a flash memory component so itís fully upgradeable however it seems that itíll be impossible to add V92 support to the modem since the onboard required electronics is too different. We successfully tested the modem under Windows 2000 and Windows Me and didnít experience any problem. The modem is correctly used and managed by most of the existing TAPI 32 compliant applications and work just great. We tested the modem to send & receive faxes, connect to the ĎNet, use BBS and it did its job great. Where things are getting more complex is when you attempt to use it with touchy communication software like Symantec WinFax Pro: indeed the modem isnít recognized properly by WinFax Pro so you have to configure it manually if you want to be able to send or receive faxes. However if you know the (painful) workaround WinFax Pro will work great with the Olitec Ohť. Other communication applications we tested like WinPhone Suite 3 from BVRP work great with the Ohť, phew!

    The main base is the heart of the system. Itís inside electronics manage everything from the modem to the phone calls. The 18 characters LCD screen of the base is very handy since it provides useful information on the status of the device. When you receive a phone call thanks to Call ID, the phone number of your correspondent will be shown on this LCD screen. If the modem is in use, itíll display ĎModemí with the actual connection speed. So youíre sure that other family members donít take the phone while youíre surfing the ĎNet. The six buttons let you change the status of the communication centre without using the software: that way you can switch on/off the answer phone/faxes mode with a single touch. Itís awesome!!! Indeed the fact you donít even need to use your PC to put the modem in smart mode or to read the messages you get is definitely an enormous advantage. You can also read the voice messages you received while you were outside using the play touch, and switch to the forward or backward message using the Ď<<í & Ď>>í touches. When you start playing stored messages, a gentle lady will let you know how many new voice messages & faxes you received. Obviously faxes can only be viewed through your computer. The blue phone button lets you call from the base the cordless phone giving you intercom possibilities: that way from the office you can easily call your wife using the intercom button (this Ďmake cordless phone ringí feature is also pretty cool to find back a cordless phone you may have lost). This phone button also lets you take a phone call in free hand mode even if the cordless phone is in another room: when the phone rings push the blue button and just speak!  The last button of the kit shows the configuration menu that lets you change various settings of the base like the ringing volume, the language of the LCD menu, the ringing options (after how many rings the modem should answer calls), and the DECT configuration. Using the DECT menu you can register with the base new DECT devices like cordless phones and mobile modems. You can attach up to 8 mobile modems and 4 cordless phones. Some of you may be concerned about the eventuality that unauthorized persons can listen to your private phone calls by pirating the radio frequency: thankfully this is totally impossible. Indeed the DECT utilizes several thousands of combinations to make sure your phone calls are secure and that no parasite can affect the quality of the transmission.


ę Introduction

More Features Ľ


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