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This Tesco Internet Phone is a USB-wired little phone which was created to be used with Tesco internet phone service. I couldn't care less of that service but I was very interested in buying a a cheap PC phone to use on skype and I read this would work ok. The price was an absolute deal... 1p! You don't belive me? I didn't believe my eyes either but that was the price tag on it. They were practically giving them away, why not try it then? I bought two or three (I can't remember exactly), just in case one broke or for a particularly cheap gift. Total price 3p.
How does it work then? Well it's literally a plug-and-play device. You don't need to install anything if you only want to use it for skype. It is automatically recognized by Windows XP or Vista as a usb microphone and set of speakers (it will show up as USB AUDIO DEVICE). Once it's plugged in, the little monitor will show the message "CHECK PC". You don't need to worry about that, the tesco phone is expecting you to install its drivers to be used with Tesco Internet Phone Service but here I'm simply explaining how to use it on skype, the phone keyboard will be therefore useless and totally unresponsive, the phone will only act as a simple headset (mic+speaker).
Once it's plugged in, open Skype, set the usb phone as microphone device and speaker device and you're ready to use it as a skype phone. The advantage is that you don't need to wear headphones or hold a mic at your mouth when talking to skype (something that I've always hated!). There is no risk of annoying feedbacks or echoes either. The only let down is the lenght of the wire, it's only 2 meters long (or thereabouts). If your computer case has USB plugs only on the back then the length of the wire won't be enough. However it's handy if you use a laptop or if your computer case with usb ports on the front is not far from where you sit in conversation.
Another advantage is that it doesn't need batteries, it's powered through USB, no risk of cutting conversations for dead batteries and no need of a charger to be plugged. The only wire will be the USB wire going from the phone to the computer.
The sound is loud enough and clear, the mic is also good quality. I never heard complaints from the other end of the line. The phone is also very light, that gives slim chances of damaging it after a fall. It actually fell from my hands plenty of times (butter fingers I know) but it was never damaged. Simple design but functional. Comfortable to hold in hand for long period (=long conversations).
In the packet you will find also the manual, a CD (if you want to use it for Tesco Internet Phone service) and a nice plastic base on which you can leave your phone when not using it (very nice and very useful).
In conclusion, if you, like me, hate the whole headphone/microphone-thing when using skype I really suggest this product, it makes it much easier to talk with your friends on skype (with the only condition that you have USB ports nearby and not far in the back of the PC case).
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