Yealink W52P DECT cordless phone

Yealink W52P DECT cordless phone


Thanks to our partners at 3CX and Alloy, we were given the opportunity to test a Yealink W52P DECT cordless phone for the past few weeks and document our findings.

As this is our first on hands product review I will try and be impartial and truthful about our experience with the product.

Normally when you get to review a product you start off with its intended use, but I want to start off with Yealink W52P’s aesthetics, it is after all the first thing you are greeted with when receiving the device.

The Yealink W52P we received was a glossy black with silver accents to add a dual tone contemporary look, the kind of look which seems to be in with phones as of 2013/2014.
It’s not a very pretty or overly sleek phone, but it surely goes out of its way to not be ugly.
Some phones light up too many colours and have features that do not blend. This phone is discreet and looks just like a modern handset should look like.
The back of the phone comes in a nonglossy black plastic which adds some much needed grip compared to the front and sides.

The screen is bright and comes with a colour display. It does have a custom GUI that is sometimes not too straight forward, but being into technology navigating the menus wasn’t too difficult for me or others in the office.
However I have to say some of the menus seemed to be named incorrectly as I had to go back out of a few menus and reselect what I originally intended… But that could be just me.

The buttons are all way too small and I have small fingers for an adult.
I found myself having to use the tip of my finger nails to navigate and press the buttons on too many occasions. They are also too small in their height from the face of the phone.
Maybe bevelling the edges a little and if they were created in a little softer rubber it would improve the feel of the keys tremendously.

The phones sound quality is quite good compared to my current smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S3).
I tried turning the phone away from me and I could still clearly hear the other person and they could hear me.
We did have one day when the phone played up and customers were complaining of sound quality but it was done to our VoIP playing up.

One feature that the phone comes with is a handle. It does make the phone slightly more difficult and uncomfortable o handle but I can see the benefit if you want to hang the phone on a stand or a belt. Personally I didn’t use this feature but I commend Yealink for including it with the phones.
The clip does come off, but I left it on during our testing time.

Battery life on the Yealink W52P is very good compared to what we’ve been accustomed to accept for wireless handsets and smartphones, of course this is down to the comparatively small screen and that its main use is voice calls only.
I did use the phone extensively and it never went below 2 out of 3 lines on the battery.
The charger is very good in terms of quickly and efficiently charging the phone.
The charger forces the phone to stand up vertically but does not provide enough support as I found the phone being knocked over even by movements and bumps in a table.
I also had to be accurate and extra gentle in placing the phone upright on its charger otherwise it would fall straight to the ground.
Maybe adding a deeper groove for the charger would improve this.

Overall the experience with the Yealink W52P was positive.
It is light, the receiver distance is fantastic, it charges quickly and stays charged for days on end even with moderate usage.
A good product but does fall short in its overall aesthetics and general day to day usability.

Laptops … a personal reflection and perspective

One of the first laptops that I ever used was small, blocky in design, had a rubber pointer, had small TFT screen and would get hot enough to quite literally warm up my room in winter.
We have come far in mobile computing.

I have noticed a trend over the past 2-3 years. Many of our customer and some of my friends who ask for a new personal computer, they all enquire about laptops exclusively.
Me being around PC components all the time, I always lean towards the custom built mid tower PC.
So I ask many of them why the choose the laptop over a PC and most of them answer;
“Because it’s mobile”. Or something to that effect.
People seem to enjoy the freedom to be able to take their virtual world with them, not just in their hand as a smartphone or tablet, but also as a powerful computer.

Just yesterday we purchased a laptop for a customer who wanted a laptop for watching movies.
So knowing this I tried to find something cheap, powerful enough to run movies smoothly but also cheap.
They were not entirely sure of the first few I showed them so I asked them why?
“The specs aren’t good enough”, upon hearing this I had dreadful flashbacks of my first hand me down laptop from my uncle who probably paid $2000 for an Intel Pentium 2 powered laptop.
Upon checking the specs of laptops, I eventually found what the customer was looking for.
It was an ultrabook.

Even though I work with computers every day and try to keep up to date with all things related to PC’s, I must admit I haven’t looked at the strides that laptops have made in the past few years.
This thin, sculpted aluminium device was a sight to behold and at first glance the specs were hard to believe… I kept wondering how hot and loud it would actually get.
That was ofcourse until I dug more deeply into what all the little “m” insignias mean behind the clever marketing terms on the specs of the hardware components.
Turns out it won’t get very hot or very hot at all.

Sure it was sleek, sure it looked nice and the technology packed into the butcher knife thin aluminium shell was noteworthy, I still wondered why someone would need such a device if they are not working on it? So my real question is this, with PC’s, consoles, smartphones, tablets and media centres, where does the laptop fit in nowadays?

Having said all that, I understand the mobility factor and I am astonished how far laptops have come since my uncles IBM laptop (which had such a cool looking CD-ROM drive in 1997).
I am also really interested what AMD’s new Kavari APU will also do to shake up the mobile computing market.

We at A&STech can research, find, fix and restore all your mobile computing needs.

Dell Wyse thin clients

In the world of IT the continuing trend is to go smaller, lighter, virtualised and to the cloud.
The Dell Wyse Thin Clients are a piece of kit that will continue to give this directional trend a lot of incentive and life in the years to come.

Wyse is a developer and manufacturer of “Cloud Client Computing” products.
These products include thin client software, thin client hardware and the desktop virtualisation software which is done in collaboration with big named brands such as Citrix, IBM, Microsoft and VMware.

Wyse Technology as it was formerly known was founded in early 1981 as a manufacturer of character terminals (A computer that communicates with one block of information at a time).
The company quickly moved into the Personal Computing marketplace and had moderate success by selling their units much cheaper than the competitors at the time.

This all lead to where we are today, the Acquisition of Wyse by Dell and they now are a leading manufacturer of thin clients.

Thin clients are a computer system that depends heavily on other computers (a server) to function in the traditional PC way.
They are usually bare bones and therefore can come in very small packages compared to the traditional PC’s

The benefits of thin clients include their overall size, which means they can be stored away or hidden from the user.
They provide a single point of failure and greater security.
This means that the network cannot be compromised easily or infected by viruses as the thin client themselves are getting their information form the server. This means that if the server is protected well, it doesn’t really matter what happens to the thin client (software or hardware) it wot really affect or compromise the network.

Another huge benefit is the overall unit price. Because they have so few internal hardware components and little or no moving parts, they can be produced at a much cheaper price than traditional PC’s.
This means a lower operating cost, lower cost of ownership as they run with less power, cheaper to replace and can therefore be easier to upgrade if need be.

At A&STech we offer thin clients as a cheaper, safer more secure way of computing to our customers, especially if all they need is a PC that does spreadsheets, word processing and data entry as its main functions.


One of our Security and Anti-Virus solutions available to our customers is a much lauded and awarded product called Bitdefender.

We at A&STech take customer security and discretion very seriously and therefore offer many different solutions to Viruses, Hackers, Firewall, Cracks, Malware, Spyware and other security threats.
Bitdefender is one of our solutions that we have chosen after many years of tests and real world usage of Anti-Virus products.

Bitdefender was firstly developed in Bucharest, Romania by the now CEO of the Bitdefender company and subsidiaries, Mr Florin Talpes.
It was publically offered as an AV product in 2001 and is now in its 17th build version.
Since its relatively short life as a AV product, Bitdefender has grown substantially and now has headquarters in Germany, Spain, UK, USA and off course in Romania.

A&STech use a cloud based version of Bitdefender which grants our staff with intricate controls over all the security aspects of customers’ machines and help our stuff manage all the networks that use Bitdefender from one intuitive web based console.

Bitdefender cloud edition provides real time scanning for our customers.
This real time scanning includes antispam scanning using Bitdefender’s Antispam NeuNet technology, the now patented B-HAVE technology which reduces its dependency on the usual virus signatures by proactively scanning and detecting unknown threats based on behavioural analysis.
Another technology is Active Virus Control, it scans each program as it runs its code for malware like activity and each one of those action is scored, compared and reported if the process executes harmful processes.

Bitdefender has won many awards and accolades over its short existence and this just goes to highlight the amount of calculated trust is put onto the security software to give peace of mind, actual security and threat elimination to networks in this seemingly volatile digital world.

Bitdefender is used by many of the world’s big name enterprises and we at A&STech are proud to offer it as part of our relentless pursuit of network security.

“Unlicensed Product” problem using Office 365 Subscription

At some point, Office 2013 will report that the Microsoft Office 2013 Suite installed is unlicensed even though your subscription is still valid. It will display a red “Unlicensed Product” message at the top of the Microsoft Office 2013 application. Reactivating it is not very straightforward.

Provided you still have a valid Office 365 subscription, do the following to easily reactivate:

  1. Close all opened Microsoft Office 2013 Application.
  2. Run Microsoft Word 2013 as Administrator.
  3. Create a new Blank Document.
  4. Go to File -> Account and then Sign out.
  5. Close Microsoft Word 2013.
  6. Run Microsoft Word 2013 as Administrator again.
  7. Go to File -> Account and then Sign In.
  8. Close all opened Microsoft Office 2013 Application.
  9. Normally open any Microsoft Office 2013 application and the red “Unlicensed Product” should disappear.

Worst case scenario if the above procedure will not work is to Uninstall Microsoft Office 2013, Sign in to Microsoft Online Portal to reinstall Office 2013.

Synology Diskstation DS1813 NAS

A few months back we did a brief overview of NAS devices, but today we will look at a particular model that we use extensively both in house and for our customers, the Synology DiskStation DS1813 NAS.

Synology is a Taiwanese organization that specialises in all types of NAS devices for home, business and enterprise use.
Their products are divided by two categories; DiskStation for home and business applications and RackStation for rack mounted enterprises devices.

Today we will be looking at the matte black Synology Diskstation DS1813+ NAS.
It was only just recently pipped from being the flagship model for home and business solutions from Synology by the DS2413+.

The DS1813+ is an 8-bay NAS which can grow and expand on the fly. The total compatible capacity can be as large as 72TB when paired with another DS1813+ via eSATA connections.
The max capacity of a single device is 32TB (8x 4TB HDD).
The HDD’s are also hot swappable.

The DS1813+comes with Synology’s DSM 4.0 management console software which has really grown and developed into a easy to use GUI system.
Backups, HDD management, Data replication, network surveillance, printer sharing and data storage can all be easily performed and managed by the DSM software.

The biggest and best feature is the raw speed of the device when configured in RAID 5 under a windows or VM environment. The Synology DS1813+ NAS can deliver up to an average 352.39 MB/sec reading and 211.88 MB/sec writing speed* According to Synology, and we can attest that yes, it is blindly fast when backing up!

Overall the Synology Diskstation DS1813+ NAS is a very quiet, low power, backup solution that we at A&STech not only recommend and implement to our customers, but also are so pleased with its performance that we use it ourselves.