Laser USB VoIP Phone
- Ease of use, Selectable ring styles, Caller ID function for Skype calls, Price
- Slim features list, Aesthetics and design, No volume controls
If you are after a very basic USB phone for Skype calling, then the Laser should do the job. And this price, its pretty good value.
Price$ 59.00 (AUD)
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Looking just like an ordinary corded telephone, Lasers USB VoIP phone is a largely uninspiring product. Its features list is slim, but what it does offer is a large monochrome LCD which displays caller ID information and selectable ring tones.
Finished in a bright red plastic, the USB VoIP phone isn't the most attractive device on the market. In fact it's rather ugly in our opinion. Its red decor isn't going to match many PC's or laptops either, unless you are a fan of ridiculously bright and obnoxious colours. The USB VoIP phone connects to your PC via a standard USB connection and the cord is long enough to ensure you can sit at least a metre or two back. It's pretty compact as well, so it can easily be thrown into your laptop bag if you have access to mobile broadband.
Setup is simple and Laser requires you to install the included SkypeMate software and of course the Skype client itself. Laser also has other drivers available for programmes including Skype for MAC, VOIPBuster and X-10. Once you restart your PC after installing the software, you plug in the VoIP phone and away you go. The unit is as easy to use as a normal telephone, with four menu keys (which can be used to scroll through Skype tabs and contacts), Answer and End Call buttons, a Clear button and a regular telephone keypad. The buttons themselves are raised and have a rubberised feel, making them easy to press and comfortable to use.
The USB VoIP phone does not posses any volume controls, so if you are in the middle of a call and find that the volume levels aren't generous enough, then you'll need to adjust the volume using your PC. During calls we found the audio quality to be satisfactory, but the volume at its highest setting wasn't as loud as we would have liked.
The generously sized monochrome display provides date, time and year information as well as allowing you to cycle through the various ring tones and other settings. Although the USB VoIP phone offers different ring styles, we would have preferred a bit of variety from Laser in this regard; there are only about six different tones and the volume isn't adjustable. Instead you select one of two preset volume levels.
This is where the USB VoIP phones features list ends. There are no special answering or divert modes, nor is there a speed dial function; the latter's absence was pretty disappointing from our point of view. Commanding an RRP of just $59 though, if you're after a very basic corded USB phone then the Laser should fit your needs.
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