By Don Lindich
Week 12, 2022
Q. I have a job where I am on the phone frequently and need to take notes, so I need my hands free for this purpose. I work in a medical field where privacy is required, so I can’t use a speakerphone because I never know if confidential information will be announced by the other party. I have earbuds that work for phone calls, as well as headphones, but I don’t think they are ideal. Do you know of anything that might be more suitable for what I am doing?
-T.E., McMurray, PA
A. You can get a Bluetooth telephone headset for this, just like the ones you see at call centers with land lines. I personally use the Tribit CallElite 81 for phone calls and Zoom presentations where I must take notes, and I have been very happy with it. It has a 35 hour battery life and comes with a Bluetooth dongle so you can use it with computers without built-in Bluetooth. The CallElite 81 is only $69.99, which is very reasonable for a professional product such as this one. tribit.com
Q. Thanks for writing about the Panasonic S700 DVD player. It sounded perfect for my needs (playing music CDs) and the reviews were excellent. I ordered the S700 from Amazon and they sent me the S700P-K. I contacted them and they said they screwed up, and would send the S700. Two days later I received the same model, the S700P-K. Amazon apologized and said the error was their fault because their system must have incorrect information. So, I ordered it from Walmart and today I get, you guessed it, the S700P-K. All of these places charged me the same price of $42 for the S700, and the S700 and S700P-K both have the analog hookups I need to connect it to my stereo. Will the S700P-K work for playing my CDs?
A. Yes, the Panasonic S700P-K player you received will play your CDs. The designation S700P-K is a longer for of the model number for the S700. Panasonic markets the player on their website as the S700, as does Amazon. The UPC of 885170140134 on both the Panasonic and Amazon website pulls up both the S700 and the S700P-K, as well as on other websites. I am not sure what the P stands for, but the suffix -K stands for black finish and this is standard nomenclature across electronics manufacturers. If the suffix is -S it is the silver finish, if available. Sometimes you will still see a -K or -S in the model number even when there is only one color available from the manufacturer, or in a certain marketing region.
Further complicating matters is unique model numbers given to products sold at Walmart and some warehouse clubs, which isolates them from price matching. For example, the standard model number for a Blu-ray player might be S300 but in some stores it would be the S301. It is the same exact Blu-ray player but if someone has the S300 on sale, it won’t have to be price matched because the store sells “the S301.”
I am sorry you had to go through all that, but you have the player you wanted and it is sure to bring you lots of enjoyment! If in the future you are confused by electronics model numbers, check the UPC number and do a search. There is a good chance you will discover you are looking at the product you were searching for to begin with.