Apr 07 2021

Review: Jabra PanaCast and HP Elite Slice G2 Audio Ready Bundle Delivers

Pairing one of the best conference room cameras with a high-performance audio system makes for meeting magic.

The Jabra PanaCast is easily one of the most impressive conference room cameras that I’ve reviewed over the past few years. It’s actually a tiny matrix of three 13-megapixel cameras mounted in a half circle, so that together they have full visibility of a 180-degree arc in front of the unit. Once in place, everything the PanaCast does is automatic and completely hands-free.

In fact, the only issue I found with the PanaCast when I reviewed it last year was the fact that there is no audio component. It’s compatible with a variety of audioconferencing tools, but they must be stitched together to create a true videoconferencing solution. Jabra has fixed that problem with its new Jabra PanaCast and HP Elite Slice G2 Audio Ready Bundle, creating an all-in-one system that is both precise and easy to use.

Surround Sound and a Table Ensures Inclusion of the Entire Room

The HP Elite Slice G2 Audio Ready adds two valuable components to the bundle: a surround sound speaker and a tablet for controlling meetings. The tablet has a 12.3-inch touch screen and comes pre-loaded with conferencing software like Zoom. It makes it very easy to perform meeting-related tasks like adding attendees, calling numbers from the address book and sharing information with participants. Much of what the PanaCast camera does is automatic, but it also can be manually controlled from the tablet.

Combining audio and control functionality with a strong conference room camera can transform almost any space into a professional meeting area. The PanaCast automatically scans for people in the room, activating its three cameras as needed and zooming in on whoever is speaking. Meanwhile, the audio is able to pick up sound from all directions.

Virtual Meetings Provide Colleagues with the Whole Picture

Behind the scenes, Jabra PanaCast stitches all of its captured feeds together and presents it as a solid image, so there is never a fisheye or wide-angle effect, even in very large rooms. Video can be captured in 4K too, making virtual meetings almost as good as seeing colleagues in person.

Merging the Jabra PanaCast camera with the sound and management capabilities of the HP Elite Slice G2 makes for a formidable videoconferencing solution. It’s every bit as good as much more expensive systems, and works well in both huge conference rooms and smaller huddle areas.

Jabra PanaCast and HP Elite Slice G2 Audio Ready

Connect to Jabra PanaCast However Requirements Demand

Given that a core strength of both the Jabra PanaCast camera and the HP Elite Slice G2 is their ease of use, it makes sense that combining the two would result in an easy-to-use product as well. Together they can offer more features than either could alone.

The Jabra PanaCast camera is certified to work with Microsoft Teams, so connecting the bundle to that platform was extremely easy. From the control tablet, I simply selected our Teams room and began inviting people to participate in my test meeting. The camera worked great with it, while the audio was provided from the Elite Slice.

The control tablet comes preloaded with Zoom software, so connecting to that platform was just about effortless. It could be done with a single click. Here again the PanaCast camera followed along, performing its recording tasks while I managed meeting participants from the tablet.

It was smooth sailing with Skype as well. Although neither component in the bundle is specifically certified to work with the platform, using it turned out to be easy. There were a couple of extra steps needed to get a meeting started, but everything was mostly automatic after that.

Audio Bundle Attaches to Platforms Smoothly

I even tried out several of the generic, free conferencing platforms available for use these days. Connecting with them was almost never a problem, and even though many of them did not have a lot of advanced features, they weren’t necessary since the bundle provided for most of them. For example, I was able to manage my meetings on the control tablet while the audio component captured whoever was speaking. The PanaCast device kept its three HD cameras trained on everyone in the room and made sure the feed looked good for anyone watching on the other end.

Bundling the Jabra PanaCast and HP Elite Slice G2 Audio Ready devices together into a single package is a winning move. Together, the bundle provides everything needed to produce and manage conference calls, videoconferences and meetings at a highly professional level that is completely platform agnostic.

Jabra PanaCast and HP Elite Slice G2 Audio Ready

Camera Type: Three 13MP cameras
Max Recording Resolution: 3840x2160
Control Pad Display: 12.3-inch LCD touch screen
Dimensions (Camera): 2.6x4x0.8 inches
Weight (Camera): 3.53 ounces

Jabra