Linksys CIT200 cordless Skype handset
Talk while you walk
Review Skype may have given all the microphones built into desktop and notebook computers over the years a role in life, but making calls still feels more comfortable with a phone in your hand. Yes, if you don't fancy shouting at your computer, you can use a headset, but only if you don't mind feeling like you work in a call centre...
Linksys' offering is more like a cordless phone than a mobile, and indeed, it ties into the host computer using ye olde digital cordless system, DECT. Like most DECT phones, the CIT200 has borrowed some innovations from the mobile phone world, but remains locked in some pre-Nokia past where handsets are large, gently curved, clad in silvery plastic and sport a decidedly old-style user interface. In short, ladies and gentlemen, this does not feel like a modern phone.
The handset needs a base-station, this time a unit that hooks up to a PC's USB port - there's no Mac or Linux support here - and routes calls back and forth. To Windows, the base-station looks like any USB audio device, and software hooks it straight into the running Skype application.
The DECT support means you should be able to connect the CIT200 to a separate base-station, but I was unable to get it to see mine. My Panasonic may not support the General Access Protocol (GAP), which is required by the CIT200.
Setting it all up is easy enough - the hardest part is waiting the 14 hours for the pair of AAA-sized Nickel Hydride rechargeable batteries require to receive their initial charge. After that, run Skype, install the software, hook up the hardware and you're done.