Central Desktop Review

Central Desktop ReviewReview Summary – Central Desktop is a complete online collaboration suite, that does a lot of things well, but online meetings isn’t one of them.

Pros – If you’re looking for an alternative to Microsoft Sharepoint, Central Desktop may be an affordable option.

Cons – Where do we start? The Central Desktop product team hasn’t invested the time or resources to compete with premier online meeting providers like GoToMeeting.

Central Desktop Ratings

Editors’ Ratings

Category Score Why
Overall Rating: Central Desktop's Overall Rating - 2 stars Central Desktop’s meeting application feels like old and tired. Rather than build a web conferencing application from the ground up, they decided to integrate RHUB’s web conferencing appliance into their service.
Usability: Central Desktop's Usability Rating - 4 out of 5 stars The user interface isn’t pretty, but it’s functional.
Audio quality: Central Desktop's Audio Quality Rating - 3 out of 5 stars The audio quality is decent, but we recommend you use a teleconference line for the best quality.
Video quality: Central Desktop's Video Quality Rating - 3 out of 5 stars Doesn’t compare to GoToMeeting’s HD Faces or Fuze Meeting’s HD Video.
Collaboration features: Central Desktop's Collaboration Features - 3 out of 5 stars Collaboration is built into the core of Central Desktop. The web conferencing add-on is integrated into the Central Desktop suite, giving you access to the collaboration tools.
Presentation features: Central Desktop's Presentation Features - 3 out of 5 stars The presentation features are basic, but they work.
Mobile features: Central Desktop's Mobile Conferencing Features - 1 out of 5 Stars No native mobile applications.

What We Like About Central Desktop (as an online meeting provider)

Integrates with Central Desktop’s suite of tools.

What We Don’t Like About Central Desktop (as an online meeting provider)

Can only host 1:1 meetings out of the box. You must pay extra for more attendees. Being limited to one-on-one meetings is limiting.

Recording format is proprietary – Central Desktop’s recording features are limited. The default recording file must be converted to a universal format before it can be played back. This process is cumbersome, and takes a lot of time.

Installation process is buggy –  We had a difficult time getting Central Desktop’s meeting software installed on our machines. The meeting application runs inside of a Java applet. We had to grant special permission to get it up and running. When we tried to install the software on our Windows 7 machine, it crashed.

Web meetings are an after thought in Central Desktop – The web meeting application is provided by a third party online meeting service (RHUB). The integration feels disconnected from the Central Desktop suite.

Central Desktop Web Conference Features

Pricing $99/mo
Free Trial Yes, for 15 Days
Capacity 1:1 Meetings
Desktop Sharing Yes
Desktop Recording No
VOIP No
Control Granting No
Video Conferencing Yes, but grainy and low resolution
Private Chat Yes
Annotation Yes

Conclusion

If you need an online meeting provider, we don’t recommend Central Desktop. It’s one of many features offered in their collaboration suite, but it doesn’t work as well as dedicated online meeting software. If you need a fully functional web conferencing application, check out our top picks. If you need a basic online meeting app that can be used alongside Central Desktop, try Skype.

Additional Resources

Before committing to an online meeting service, make sure you read the reviews for our top picks. You can also compare our top picks side by side. It’s worth noting, that most of the vendors we review on this site offer free trials.

Go to top picks Editor’s Top Picks
Go to comparison Compare Top Picks

Central Desktop Website

Central Desktop Review Details

Reviewed by: Jeremy Palmer
Reviewed on: November 2011

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