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1/31/2013
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Logitech Keyboard and Camera for Cisco Jabber

Enterprises implementing UC (Unified Communications) using Cisco Jabber will get some value out of the Logitech UC Solution for Cisco 725-C, but not it's not a complete client-end solution. The package bundles a slick keyboard designed for Jabber, a high-end webcam and, oddly, a mouse. Adding speakers and a headset would have made it more valuable. (This story has been updated to include Logitech's reaction.)

Logitech just launched the "Logitech UC Solution for Cisco 725-C" ($269.99 MSRP), an enterprise software-based voice and video communications solution designed for Cisco Jabber, an enterprise collaboration tool.

The Logitech package bundles a keyboard, mouse, and the Logitech C920-C webcam ($109.99 if purchased separately). The camera uses the same image sensor as the Logitech ConferenceCam BCC950, which tested very favorably in my review and my tests of the C920 reveal a similarly competent webcam.

The keyboard has the same buttons and LED display found on Cisco's VoIP phones and even matches the color. It has a voicemail button, video mute, microphone mute, call hold, call answer, and volume controls.

You can see how these buttons work in Logitech's video.

So far I'm impressed by the camera and keyboard, but I'm perplexed by the inclusion of a mouse rather than speakers and headset, both of which Logitech makes. For a $270 hardware solution that is supposed to enable software unified communications, I want a comprehensive solution that lets me use those nifty buttons and features shown in Logitech's video. The C920 already has a decent microphone so that's covered. But for a drop-in solution, the mouse is optional but speakers and a headset is a must.

For now, Logitech's Unified Communications bundle seems to be incomplete and bundling the wrong hardware. It may still be a viable product if customers are willing to buy the headphone and speakers separately, but it would have a better shot at adoption if it came bundled with the right hardware.

Update:Logitech responded with the following statement in reaction to this story:

Logitech strongly believes that customers don't want a bundled audio solution but would rather select a USB headset or USB speakerphone that best meets the needs of each individual user. From Logitech's understanding of its customers and the market, "one size fits all" does not apply to headsets, which are a personal choice.

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