17 February, 2008

Use Skype with Creative's Cordless Handset

I first mentioned Skype in May of 2006, and wrote about it a year later when I switched to Skype as my primary home phone. Though Skype has been great, I've gotten a little frustrated by being stuck to my computer to use the service (thanks to no T-Mobile signal for my cell phone in my new apartment). Thanks to my new Creative Internet DECT Phone I can now use Skype anywhere in and around my apartment.

My new Skype phone was very easy to setup and start using. The first thing I liked was that the handset recharger (using the included rechargeable AAA batteries) is separate from the base station that connects to my PC (via USB). The handset is supposed to work for 10 hours of talk time or 120 total hours between charges, but I have yet to have a reason test that out.

The handset feels good when you hold it -- it doesn't feel cheap, and the buttons seem to respond well. The handset also includes a speaker and a headset jack. I have used both for meetings, and they each worked great. The handset also has Caller ID, my list of Skype contacts, plus lets me add numbers to the phone itself.

The PC requirements in today's standards is pretty lean too:
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP or Windows 2000
  • Intel® Pentium® II 400 MHz or equivalent
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 15 MB available hard disk space
  • CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive (to load the software)
  • Available USB port
  • Skype version 1.3 or higher
  • Internet Broadband connection
In searching Google, I could only find 2 reviews, both at CNET -- one rating was very unfavorable. There is also a single review at Amazon (3 of 5 stars). The best price I found was $65. I got mine at Fry's for a mere $30 (now just $18 on Frys.com). If you are a Skype user running XP and can get this phone for $30, don't let it pass you by; for $50, I'd still be happy; at $75, I might want a little better interface, but it's still acceptable.

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