Dragon NaturallySpeaking (DNS) 12 Review

by Valerie Sarnataro Reads (822)

TG Rating

Rating 1 to 10, top score 10.
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8.50

TG Ratings Breakdown

    • Performance
    • 8
    • Utility
    • 9
    • Total Score:
    • 8.50
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10
  • Pros

    • Fast and accurate speech recognition
    • Features tuned to specific kinds of uses
     
  • Cons

    • A few initial Windows 8 compatibility issues
    • Pricing is rather steep

Quick Take

There is really nothing to complain about in Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12, except its price tag.

An already impressive product, Dragon NaturallySpeaking (DNS) software turns talk into text easily on PCs. With the latest update bringing initial Windows 8 support and some other new enhancements, Nuance has made a great program even better. Though with a steep price tag, some users may be scared off.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking boxAvailable in four separate editions, DNS 12 offers functionality tuned towards a variety of users. Dragon Home 12, Dragon Premium 12, Dragon Professional 12 and Dragon Legal 12, all provide new capabilities aimed at attracting more users. Dragon Legal 12, for instance, is meant specifically for the legal community, as the program is designed to automatically format legal citations and to provide accurate out-of-the-box recognition of dictated legal terms.

Yet, users looking to get the most out of the speech recognition software will likely opt for Dragon Professional 12, which supplies a ton of specialized functionality for business professionals. Priced at $600, the program isn’t cheap, but it certainly offers a variety of impressive features, such as natural language commands for Excel and PowerPoint and support for multiple dictation sources.

Installation is simple, with users only having to insert the included DVD and register the product online. After which, a training system is offered to better recognize a user’s voice and to identify personal speech idiosyncrasies. Notebook Review found that DNS 12 was quickly able to pick up on a user’s accent and performed even more accurately after going through training.

Besides improving the dictation on DNS 12 to format numbers, dates and percentages correctly, Nuance also improved the transcription feature greatly, as Notebook Review found when DNS converted recorded information into text almost perfectly.

The program includes more than just type to text capabilities, as it is meant to simplify the use of a PC by allowing users to control a mouse or keyboard with voice commands. The wireless microphone app also works well, though users should think twice before using it in a noisy environment, as accuracy is likely to drop.

At the time of testing, there were a few initial Windows 8 compatibility issues, but Nuance has said they are in the process of fixing them. Other than this, there is really nothing to complain about in Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12, except of course, its price tag.


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