January 8, 2021

Teams Devices are Amazing!

I attend a LOT of meetings. It's actually the only thing I do as a Principal Program Manager. Well, okay, sometimes I have to make TPS reports.

TPS Reports

In truth, my meetings are almost always pretty fun and efficient. I also run on a decent screen setup:

Sorry for the lame screen scraping :)

Comically enough though, my SAWEEET MacBook Pro really struggles with all those monitors AND a big meeting where everyone is doing video and sharing, and commenting, and etc.

Enter my new friend - the Lenovo ThinkSmart Teams Device

This little guy saves the day for me by not melting my computer, hooks up to my glorious Bluetooth noise cancelling (active) headphones (so as not to hear the happy screams from the entire family in month 9 of quarantine just outside my door).

So, how does this work with a desktop? Like this:

My meeting setup

If my meeting is going to be audio/video only - I only join it from my Teams device. Also, random one off calls route to that exclusively. IF my meeting has screen sharing taking place, I have a web version of Teams open and join it there with no audio/video enabled and JUST the screen share.

This setup keeps my Macbook Pro from melting, allows me to always see people (except those poor saps that still refuse to turn on their video), allows me to see any shared content (if required) and is just an all around handy display showing my calendar (not pictured above) when I'm not in a meeting - I have reminders turned completely off in Outlook. Oh, by the way, I ONLY use OWA. The Outlook fat client on Mac is... something. Yes, I know about project Monarch.

Things that are missing from my setup - I'd like a more easy way to NOT have to run a web Teams to see content. I envision the ability to pinch and zoom on my dedicated Teams device to see what people are sharing. It would also be cool to have an "Add Device" to joining meetings (currently it just has Add Room, which is a whole different thing). Also, while I can raise my hand in my Teams device, I can't do some of the new neat reaction things or type chats (yet).

In all, it's a handy dedicated tool that always has my calendar visible, does one thing only (and pretty well), and does improve my meeting efficiency pretty well - without melting my computer...damn Electron.

And now...cuteness:

Baby 5