I recently wrote about hands-free computer use and shared a demo video of me using voice software thusly.
Utilizing voice software requires a sufficient computer, and I think I found a great deal for anyone who is budget conscious (and really, who isn’t, right?).
I mentioned in my earlier writeup that many folks at KnowBrainer.com are genuine experts with voice software and also computer hardware. In their review of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13, they showed the manufacturer (Nuance) minimum requirements and recommended specifications for DNS 13, and also their KnowBrainer minimum and recommended specifications. (For details, see page 14 here.)
The deal I mentioned is currently for a refurbished HP Elitebook 8440P laptop with: Intel i5 2.53 GHz Dual Core Processor, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit, DVD-RW drive, 14 inch display, 250 GB hard drive, 90 day warranty (that’s pretty good on a refurbished product – just test it out shortly after getting it) and it is Wi-Fi ready… for just $170* and free shipping (it’s actually $200 with a $30 rebate card):
For that low of a price, that is a pretty solid machine. It roughly meets the recommended specifications from Nuance, and is pretty well on par with KnowBrainer’s minimum recommendations. Of course, more RAM is better, as is a faster processor (and/or more processor cores), but if money is ultra tight, this is a machine that should run DNS 13 Premium pretty decently (Premium is the version of DNS I recommend for budget conscious folks, or most people, especially if you also get KnowBrainer’s command/utility package – which many of my blog readers can probably get for free – see last paragraph).
Why Windows 7 you ask? Well, the touchscreen features that came along with Windows 8, those do hands-free users absolutely no good. I asked the question on the KnowBrainer message board about which operating system is best for hands-free use – Windows 7, 8, or perhaps 10 – and several people recommended Windows 7 at this point (thread details here).
Newegg.com is a reputable vendor and a “Google trusted store” which comes with $1000 of free protection (postpurchase). Some people said that the battery was dead on arrival and could not be charged (and may have left a less-than-great review accordingly) but others said they were able to get it replaced free of charge. There’s also a 30 day refund or replacement option in addition to the 90 day warranty.
If you want more RAM, better processor, etc.… they have additional refurbished machines for more money, but still a really strong value in my opinion.
I’m thinking of getting a refurbished laptop as a backup machine (my current backup is having issues). I spend a lot of time using my computer, and if something happened to my primary machine, quite frankly, I would be “lost” without the ability to operate a computer as independently as I am currently able.
Speaking of budget conscious, Lunis Orcutt is the owner of KnowBrainer, and he offers the KnowBrainer command package/utility to people with significant physical disabilities at no cost. It is a very helpful program that makes DNS more user-friendly for hands-free use, and I thank Lunis for his generosity and desire to help.
May God bless us all.
William A. Miller, BSBA, ME
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
About Bill: http://www.lookmomnohands.net/About_Bill.htm