By Claire Reilly
Following on from the launch of the original T-Hub in 2010, Telstra has boosted its connected home range with the updated T-Hub 2. The home phone and tablet package is being billed as an evolution of the traditional home phone that “will keep the family connected, organised and entertained”.
Unveiled in Sydney yesterday, the T-Hub 2 includes a landline handset and base as well as a 7-inch tablet (1024×600 resolution) with its own dedicated speaker dock. Users can make calls from the cordless handset or from the tablet (with the option of hands-free use), as well as using the tablet for internet browsing or calendar planning.
Speaking about the new device at launch was John Chambers, director, Fixed Consumer Broadband and Devices at Telstra.
“Globally we are probably the strongest player in the integrated home phone and tablet space,” he said.
“In designing the T-Hub 2, we’ve really tried to keep the features that our customers love about the first T-Hub, but evolve it further to make it what we call the smartphone for your home. We really wanted to create a great home phone experience."
That experience includes an easy to use touch-screen interface with a visual voicemail display, touch-to-call contacts and easy access to Yellow and White Pages, as well as a built-in calendar and the option to import contacts from BigPond and other email clients.
As an improvement on its predecessor, the new T-Hub also utilises the Android operating system (version 2.3 at launch) which allows users to download apps through the Google Play store, in addition to the pre-loaded applications, which include internet radio, Facebook and the TelstraOne service for unmetered news, weather and sports.
It also features a “T-Share” function that allows consumers to connect the tablet with other devices in the home via DLNA.
“Another thing we think is quite distinctive about the T-Hub 2 is its new look and feel, and the design,” added Chambers. “We've used Technicolour, the vendor that we use for all our home devices, so this integrated black and white look and feel is now through all our devices, so they all look really nice beside eachother in the home. The 7-inch screen is a much higher definition than the previous one, but it’s quite a nice form factor to hold in your hand.”
The T-Hub 2 is future-compatible with the National Broadband Network and the home phone and tablet set can be scaled up for larger families with the addition of three more handset or tablet devices (available separately).
The T-Hub 2 requires a BigPond broadband connection and a Telstra full service home phone, and will be available from today for $360 outright (customers who own the original T-Hub will also have the option to buy the new device for half price). Alternatively, it can be purchased with a Telstra T-Bundle and paid off for $15 a month over 24 months.
The new Telstra T-Hub 2 home phone and tablet set.