Smartphones are versatile. They can do most of the things desktop computers do, although perhaps not always as well. And on top of that you can use them to make voice or video calls.
Most phones have a loudspeaker mode, so you can sit them on the desk to speak while you work or allow colleagues in on the conversation. It works, just about.
For people who expect to do this more than once in a while there’s the Logitech P710e. The company calls it a Mobile Speakerphone and it expects people to use it for impromptu phone or video conferences.
It’s a small box with a decent speaker, good audio characteristics and a slot to hold your mobile phone. There’s echo cancellation and noise cancelling built-in, so the sounds are high quality. I tested the phone on a call using Vodafone’s HD Voice and the results were crystal clear and loud enough to fill a small room. You’d certainly be able to use it from a small boardroom or a hotel suite.
The P710e is optimised for Lync and designed to work out of the box with Skype. There’s also Cisco certification.
It uses Bluetooth to connect and can pair with eight devices, so you don’t need to constantly reset it.
There are Bluetooth phone loudspeaker devices on the market designed to play back music. This isn’t one of them, it’s been designed and optimised specifically for voice. It’s definitely a tool and not a toy.
It would be fair to say the Logitech P710e is a niche product for a niche audience. However, for people who need the device it’s likely to be something of a life saver. At around $170 it could quickly pay for itself if you need to make lengthy calls while on the road.