No longer do you need to sit, tied to your PC and staring at the screen while making Skype internet phone calls. Many vendors are now offering cordless handsets that allow users to move freely around the house while making Skype calls. Toybox had a look at Logitech’s Cordless Internet Handset, and was impressed by its performance.
The handset pretty much looks and feels like a normal cordless phone. The biggest differences would be the colour LCD display, which shows your Skype contacts and call logs; and the Skype button, which takes you to a list of your contacts, as well as displaying who is online. You can scroll these lists using the four-way button below the display.
Only the USB base station plugs into your computer (a Mac mini in my case). The phone itself and the charging cradle do not need to be close to the computer. However, the computer needs to be on to be able to receive and make Skype calls using the phone.
The handset will work up to 150 feet (46 metres) away from the base station, according to Logitech.
Installing the software was straight forward. The phone hooked up to my Skype account and I was happily away calling family and friends in Sweden, using the fee-based SkypeOut service (Euro 0,017 per minute) for making calls to landlines anywhere in the world.
The sound quality is great — with none of the echoes or delays that I have been forced to endure when using various calling cards. Skype-to-Skype calls are free.
The phone basically performs all the functions of Skype’s desktop applications directly from the receiver. A nice feature, if you are a multitasker like me, is the speakerphone, for hands-free chatting.
Recommended retail price for the handset is $199 including GST.