A conference call device and Bluetooth adapter in one
If you’ve added Skype or any form of VoIP to your office setup, this kit will complement it, being a conference call device and a Bluetooth adapter. While not intended to be a portable product, it can be used in conjunction with your laptop.
It looks like a standard conference call set and comes with a control pad, display screen, speaker and three hands-free microphones. It connects to your laptop using Bluetooth. If you haven’t got Bluetooth built in, the supplied adapter installs easily and works efficiently.
The drivers and Bluetooth software are supplied on disc and, while the documentation is clear, actually setting up the device didn’t prove as smooth as we’d like, as the software is a little basic. If you’re new to Bluetooth, don’t expect it to work first time.
Once we got it up and running, the conference kit automatically switched on as soon as the host laptop was turned on, or came into range. To start a conference call, you press the Sync button and your contacts list will appear on the LCD screen, along with status details. You can also make SkypeOut calls to individual contacts and even add other callers in by selecting the ConCall button.
The box claims it will work up to 100 metres away, but this is a theoretical maximum and reality doesn’t come close. We used it in a large meeting room with the laptop a good 20 metres away from the base station and it worked more than adequately.
We found you could add four different Skype users at any one time. The resulting conversation was louder and clearer than we were expecting. Currently, this device doesn’t support Vista, so will only work with Windows XP, but check the website for relevant updates.
We were impressed by how effective it was in practice. True, setting it up initially isn’t as smooth as we’d like, but once over the teething troubles, this is as good a use of Skype as any other.