Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent voice to text conversion and a superb wireless Plantronics mono headset - Best suited for use by commited adults, 31 Mar 2012
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium Go Wireless 11.5 (PC) (DVD-ROM)
This review was also written using Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred 11.5 Premium, hence it's slightly formal clipped style. There are no errors because I have corrected them all, such as quiet instead of quite. I did get this Dragon 11.5 Premium software for my 15 year old dyslexic son to use at home, as it's strongly recommended by dyslexia charities, but my son really couldn't be bothered with it at all and he now gets on far better with a Toshiba netbook and its keyboard at school instead. Likewise his visually impaired 17 year old girl mate rejected it, preferring to struggle with her face up close against a traditional keyboard & mouse with very large hi-contrast text. So although well worth trying for youngsters, Dragon NS seems better suited to committed adults who have the patience and time to get to grips with the software, or to older children who have real problems physically using a standard computer keyboard and mouse - probably as it's all not quite as straighforward as Dragon make out. As I get occasional RSI and neck pain using PCs, I ended up using Dragon 11.5. You probably need a copy of Microsoft Office Word as well, although this voice recognition software can write text into pretty much anything that has a text box.

I found Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 speech recognition software easy to install and use, and I got a free upgrade to version 11.5, that adds in iPhone digital recorder support (although Dragon Natrually Speaking 12 is now the latest version). I have a fast desktop computer with a Creative XFi sound card and had no problems. You load the software, register it and run through the voice training exercises where you read out loud example text and Dragon listens and calibrates the software to work specifically for you (this takes about ten minutes). And Naturally Speaking Premium 11.5 works very well, with around ninety nine percent accuracy, provided you make an effort to 'speak slowly and clearly and pre-cisely' - it doesn't like you talking fast when words can start to slur, and I find I tend to chose words I know it will find easy to recognise, so it does affect your written style. Dragon 11.5 can also control Windows as well if you want, and do things like open a new Window, send an email or search the internet. It works with Windows XP (32-bit only), Vista and Windows 7 with pretty minimal PC specification requirements, and it runs perfectly on our two old MESH gaming computers. The supplied Plantronics blue-tooth USB2 dongle and over-ear mono microphone plus headphone headset is superb, and can fit either ear (with glasses), although it's limited battery life does require frequent overnight recharges if used all day (the headset can't be used when charging). It's easy enough to correct any typos Dragon makes using voice control, however if you are able to use the mouse (i.e. your writing problem is dyslexia rather than physical impairment) it is far quicker correcting text normally with the mouse. Full stops, commas and brackets and so on are easily added by saying them and you can say things like 'go back three words', and 'move up two lines'.

And Dragon really does type as quickly as you can talk, so even those with no physical problems with typing can benefit from using dragon, once you get used to thinking out loud. Really the only problem with Dragon, other than price, is that you need a quiet office or home environment to talk away to yourself with no distractions. But the software is still quite impressive and I use it instead of typing when I want to add short bits of text from printed books or dictate my thoughts. I would say it is quicker using Dragon than typing even for able bodied people, provided you don't need to do a mass of corrections and editing under voice control. So four stars for reasonable value and good performance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars (6 customer reviews)
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Location: West Berkshire, England

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