Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 Preferred
The definitive voice recognition program on the PC is the Dragon
Naturally Speaking series and Impulse Gamer was given the chance of
reviewing the latest version, Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 Preferred.
Although there are some other voice recognition programs available for
PC, Dragon Naturally Speaking is easily the best product available and
considering that they have been in the business for a considerable
number of years, it is quite understandable that this is the best
The recommended retail price is $350AUD and
although there are different versions of this product available, the
Preferred version boasts some additional features that the standard
version does not have. With that said, Dragon Naturally Speaking 10
Preferred has the following features;
Accurately Turn Your Voice Into Text:
Dictate continuously and naturally at up to 160 words per minute.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition products have won over
140 major awards worldwide1 for accuracy and ease of use.
Fully Integrated with Microsoft Word,
Excel, Internet Explorer and Corel WordPerfect:
Use with virtually any Windows-based application.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred comes with a vocabulary of over
250,000 standard and business terms. It's easy to add new words.
Insert Text and Graphics with a Spoken
Word or Phrase:
Create "Text and Graphics" commands (macros) that enable you to
insert blocks of texts or bitmaps-such as your name, title and
signature-into documents by voice.
Dictate When You are Away from the
Dictate into any ScanSoft-approved handheld recorder while you are
on the road and you-or a transcriptionist-can use Dragon
NaturallySpeaking Preferred to transcribe your documents later.
Listen to Your E-Mail and Other
Documents Read Aloud:
The award-winning ScanSoft RealSpeak is text-to-speech technology
that reads your documents and e-mail back to you in a human-sounding
Work on the Web by Voice:
Search the Web, access information, and navigate Web pages by simply
speaking URLs and links.
The Preferred Edition also comes with a
microphone, although there are better microphones on the market but
needless to say, it does get the job done but if you want to be one step
ahead, I would recommend getting a quality noise reduction microphone.
After a relatively pain free installation,
we were ready to test the software on both Windows XP and Vista.
The only issue with the installation process is the activation which is
a little annoying and dare I say, a little condescending.
However, before you can start talking and let the program do all the
work, you need the train the program which for some can be a time
consuming process. As you train the program by saying certain words,
phrases and sentences, the software starts to recognise how you say
certain words which assists in the voice recognition process. If you're
in a rush, there is a relatively quick training module, however for
better accuracy, I would recommend doing the longer training module.
We tested the program with Microsoft Office
first and I must say that I was quite impressed at the accuracy of the
software. Although certain words like slang or surnames may cause it
confusion, you can train the software for certain words which does
assist in the process.
Apart from office programs, it supports a
variety of other windows applications such as mail and our favourite,
surfing the net. It's great to sit back and even do something else and
then say, search for movie times and "presto", it will start looking for
results in Google. We configured it to open our emails which was a fun
experience and you tell it whom to email and what you want to say. Even
popular websites such as eBay is supported such as search eBay for
Doctor Who DVD's.
So how many words can it translate?
Although it was difficult to monitor, the developers boast around 160
words per minute which is thoroughly impressive and faster than I can
type and yes, I did write this review with Dragon Dictate, although some
manual editing was required.
The only issue that I found with the
program is that certain words may cause some issues and need to be
programmed into the software package but apart from that, it is quite an
accurate program that is definitely a time saver and a life saver. If
only they could turn this into an iPhone app!
P.S. Setting up shortcuts for programs was
also another benefit that I have recently started using and abusing!