Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 Preferred
Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 Preferred is the latest voice
recognition software from ScanSoft and once again sets the benchmark for
voice recognition software in the computer industry. With an affordable
cost of $399, Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 Preferred (DNS) is ready to
work straight from the box that comes with an Emkay headset with inbuilt
microphone to help get you started.
Works With All Of
Your Favourite Programs!
Dictate, edit and
control applications all by voice with programs like Microsoft®
Word, Microsoft® Outlook® Express, Microsoft® Excel®, Microsoft®
Internet Explorer®, America Online®, and Corel® WordPerfect®.
Faster Than Typing!
Most people speak
faster than 160 words per minute, but type less than 40 words a
minute. That means you can create letters and e-mails about three
times faster using Dragon NaturallySpeaking!
More Accurate Than
With a 25% increase
in accuracy, Dragon NaturallySpeaking® 8 is up to 99% accurate and
frequently more accurate than typing. Dragon NaturallySpeaking never
makes a spelling mistake, and it actually gets smarter the more you
Easy To Use!
Simply install the
Dragon NaturallySpeaking CD, and in just a few minutes, you'll be
dictating letters, e-mails and surfing the web by voice! We even
include a free noise-cancelling microphone.
on-the-go! Import recordings from any ScanSoft-certified handheld
device for automatic transcription.
The installation process of DNS was a breeze and it simply
auto-installed when the installation CD was detected by the computer and
once the software was successfully loaded, we were greeted to an online
activation process (similar to the Symantec range of products) that
although a little time consuming, it does help in preventing piracy and
gives you access to online support. After the software was successfully
activated, the program was then ready to be trained.
Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 Preferred features an extremely
user-friendly interface that is aimed at the novice computer user that
allows you to perform a variety of functions and also change various
settings, depending on your computer configuration.
Although DNS was
originally designed as dictation software, the developers have
successfully integrated the software package into Windows XP that allows
the user to control the interface from voice alone which is truly a
surreal experience. Although the headset that comes with DNS is just a
standard computer headset with microphone, the software also supports a
plethora of different microphones, headsets, Pocket PCs and even digital
recorders, so you can be guaranteed compatibility and quality.
The voice recognition aspect of DNS was great and not only does it
support all the slangs and twangs of the Australian English language but
it also supports US, UK, Indian and Asian English accents. It should
also be noted that DNS no longer takes an hour or so to train the
software but in under 10 minutes, we had the program up and running with
very high levels of accuracy.
Although with that said, the more time you spend in training the
software package, the more accurate the software will respond to your
voice commands. However, after around 30 minutes or so, DNS was working
almost as good as a secretary and we did find the occasional word glitch
that was nothing too worrying and could probably be solved with more
training. The software package also has an interesting training method
that basically searches through emails and documents to find new words
to improve accuracy which is ideal for academics with large
You may now be thinking how was this review written? Well... it was
written using Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 Preferred and although I'm
quite the adept typer, it was probably one of the strangest and highly
rewarding things that I have done on the computer in a long time. The
only downside to DNS is that it requires a fairly powerful PC to
translate your voice into text, so owners of slower computers be wary.
The software ran perfectly on my LG LS50a laptop (1.6Ghz Centrino
Processor and 512MB RAM) but when tested on our desktop machine (Intel
2.4Ghz, 1GB RAM), the program ran even better.
In conclusion, Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 Preferred is a brilliant
software package that I would recommend to anyone who needs or wants a
break from typing. After being on the computer all day at work, the last
thing you want to do when you go home is start typing again. Grab a
laptop, jump into bed and let Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 Preferred
write your precious memoires.