Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro Review: Online Meeting
|Sign up for Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro|
|Fluid functionality with nice collaborative tools; great for sales professionals and companies of all sizes|
Once upon a time, Adobe Acrobat was just a program for reading the ubiquitous PDF file. Now, Adobe has made it the foundation for its online collaborative tools, including its online meeting service Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro.
At $55.00 per month for up to 25 participants, Acrobat Connect Pro may seem expensive but it offers many extra features that other online meeting services don't (though an annual plan saves you $120.00, if you can pay the $540.00 up front). You get what you pay for because Acrobat Connect Pro is as full-featured as they come. It gives you two options for audio conferencing: VoIP and a bridge number for teleconferencing. The bridge number is probably going to be your best bet; the audio wasn't nearly as clear as WebEx or GoToMeeting.
Acrobat Connect Pro works as a total collaborative environment by offering seamless white boarding and document editing to all participants (at the presenter's discretion). This functionality is not particular to Adobe's product, but the feel is. Multiple participants can mark up a whiteboard, and the same tools can also be used to annotate any shared content. Of all the online meeting solutions we tried, Adobe's whiteboard and markup tools worked the smoothest, owing to the company's ownership of Flash and its experience with Photoshop. Other tools include chat, shared notes, and file sharing (with a max file size of 10mb).
Acrobat's most novel feature is its custom url capability. When you sign up, you decide on a simplified, easy-to-remember Adobe Connect url for your virtual meeting room (based, for instance, on your name). It's a useful tool for sales professionals. You still decide who can enter your meeting room at the time of your meeting, so you don't have to worry about unwelcome guests. Still, we would have preferred to have password control.
We did run into a few hiccups along the way. Running a meeting between a Mac and a Vista-based PC, we had no problem taking control of the PC with the Mac, but could not take control of the Mac with the PC (something that may owe to the Mac's more stringent firewall). Using the annotation tools on the Mac, we lost our meeting controls when those controls were on a second screen.
For basic meeting functionality no download is required. As with most services we reviewed, a download is necessary for advanced functions like screen sharing. Acrobat Connect runs on any computer or mobile device that uses Flash.
Overall, we think Adobe Acrobat Connect is a fun, fluid, and intuitive meeting program. Adobe will even let you try it out free for 30 days. We would love to have meeting scheduling and password control, but those aren't big marks against the product given its enormous collaborative features. Provided that you're not looking for a VoIP meeting solution, Acrobat Connect Pro gets our recommendation.
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Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro Forum Posts
- Acrobat Connect Review
Here is NextAdvisor's review of Acrobat Connect: http://www.nextadvisor.com/online_meeting/acrobat_review.php