There are a lot of exciting and interesting gadgets out there. Unfortunately, this is not one of them, but it does the job and if you’re running a small business or do a lot of calling from your desk, this could be the way to go. To differentiate itself from the masses the KX-TG9471 from Panasonic has an interesting hook which is…..the ability to link to Microsoft Outlook for originating calls and displaying detailed information on incoming callers from the Outlook address book.
- DECT 6.0 Technology
- 1.9GHz Corded / Cordless Phone Combo
- 2-Line Operation
- Voicemail Compatibility
- Expandable Up To 6 Handsets
- Night Mode eg: Program Individual Handsets To Ring Or Remain Silent For Specified Time Periods
- Handset Speakerphone
- Dual LCD Display (Base & Handset)
- Backlit Keypad
- 50 Station Name / Number Caller ID Memory
- 100 Station Phone Directory / Dialer
- 3-Way Conferencing
- 4-Step Handset Volume Control
- Ringer ID
- Customize Ringer ID for Incoming Calls
- Handset to Base / Handset Intercom
- Call Transfer
- Easy Operation (Menu Driven)
- Handset Locator
- Chain Dial
- Auto Answer
- Copy Phonebook Between Base & Handsets
- 10 Station Redial Memory
- Clock & Alarm
- 7 Hour Charge Time
- Headset Jack
On the back of the unit are two phone jacks, and they are different. One is 2 pin and the other is 4 pin. Color-coded phone cables are provided. When connecting 2 lines the first uses the 2 pin cable and the second uses the 4 pin cable.
There’s nothing remarkable about the wireless handset except that it can access 2 independent phone lines. One of the features I did appreciate is the headphone jack, so I can connect a headset. Many of the newer phones I’ve seen have eliminated this feature.
Over time somehow I’ve accumulated 8 different phone numbers and 3 independent lines. All of these are active and it gets confusing when a phone rings at our house, because I have 3 different phone systems with multiple handsets. The Panasonic unit allowed me to consolidate my Obi lines and magicJack line in one telephone device, cutting down on the confusion and clutter.
After charging up the batteries in the handset, I installed the phone. This consists of using the supplied color-coded telephone cords to connect the Obi and magicJack to the desktop unit and of course, plugging the desktop into AC power. At this point I was able to make and receive calls on both handsets. I also went through the setup menu on the desktop unit and set parameters to my liking. Although the device has an answering system, I chose not to turn it on, because I prefer the voice mail provided by my connected phone lines and the unit is voice mail aware. It does check for the stutter tone and indicates that there is a voice mail message on its display.
To get the maximum benefit of the KX-TG9471, you’ll want to install the Outlook plugin. This software is provided in the package and is easy to install. Do the install before plugging in the USB cable.
Here I’m all connected and ready to make some calls. Click on the photo above and you will see a green indicator next to the USB label. This says we’re all set to use the plugin.
In order for the plugin to work, Outlook must be running. It can be minimized to the task bar. Upon receiving a call on either line, and if there is caller id information, a screen like above will pop up. If the caller is not in the outlook address book, an underpopulated form with only the phone number will be displayed allowing you to add additional information and save the caller to your address book.
To initiate a call there are several options. The plugin adds a new toolbar to Outlook. To begin you select either the call from line 1 or line 2 button. This will bold the dial number box. From here you can type in a phone number and press enter and the number will be dialed, or you can click the drop down arrow on the call number box and your recently called numbers will show up. Select one and hit enter and the number will be dialed. Also, after selecting the call from line box, you can drop down the call list and select a number to dial. These numbers are the last ones received.
The most convenient way to dial a number is to use the contacts list in Outlook. Here I searched for a certain person and after double clicking the results, I can use the drop-down in the phone numbers box to select and initiate the call. However, if I knew the number, I found it faster and more convenient to just punch it in on the phone keypad.
Where the Panasonic shines is on incoming calls. I wish I had this when I was still in the Corporate world. I would have had all my clients personal information detailed in Outlook, so that when they called and before I even picked up the handset, I could refresh my memory about their accounts and personal details. Little things can make the difference between having an excellent customer relationship or not.
This device has a rich feature set which is shared by most telephone sets available today. What sets it apart is the linkage to a PC running Microsoft Outlook. It’s not a device for the home user, but is appropriate for Corporate or small business operations, especially those in the sales or customer service fields. Lastly, I was very impressed with the voice quality of the corded unit, but then again it’s something Panasonic is known for. My only nit with the device is that the handset cord is too short. If I leaned back in my chair, I kept pulling the unit off the desk. Panasonic does sell a longer cord as an accessory.
This 2 line system is hooked to the Ooma and Obi100. It’s been working like a champ.