We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Audio Reviews
15,670 Reviews

US Robotics USR809600

£19 inc VAT

Manufacturer: US Robotics

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

Only on the internet is it feasible to get something for nothing. VoIP is the latest craze, promising free phone calls over the web.

This review appears in the July issue of PC Advisor, available now in all good newsagents.

Only on the internet is it feasible to get something for nothing. VoIP (voice over IP) is the latest craze, promising free phone calls over the web. Now USR (US Robotics) has put the full weight of its experience into harnessing Skype's VoIP potential.

You simply go to Skype's website, download the software and register. If any of your contacts are already registered with Skype, you can add them to your contacts list by searching for their email addresses or account names.

By attaching this compatible handset – or a suitable microphone – to your PC, you can then phone any of the people on your contacts list free of charge, provided they have their PCs switched on and connected.

You can chat to people on certain land lines, too. You'll be charged, but the costs amount to just 1.2p to 1.4p a minute. There isn't much point phoning anyone in Britain via the service – although Skype claims that you'll still make significant savings over a normal phone call.

But for calling abroad it's an excellent option. The list of supported countries includes much of Europe and North America, Australia, China and Hong Kong. However, even in supported countries some phone numbers simply don't work. You can check this on the website.

While you can piece together a complete Skype system for less than the USR's £19 asking price, nothing compares to the simplicity of this package.

The handset is quite cute, although the short USB cable means you're permanently tethered to your PC. And if you plug the phone in during a session, general Windows sound can be redirected from your main speaker system to the phone. We're not totally convinced by the sound quality as we heard crackling and hissing sounds.

US Robotics USR809600 Expert Verdict »

Us Robotics Usr809600 reviews verified by Reevoo

Us Robotics Usr809600Scores 5.0 out of 10 based on 2 reviews
Skype handset
USB 1.1/2.0
echo canceller
LCD screen
minimum system requirements: 400MHz Intel Pentium II, Windows 2000/XP and CD-ROM drive
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The cost savings are enough to make using Skype beneficial – and if you're looking for a quick introduction, you won't find a simpler package.

  • US Robotics 9620

    US Robotics 9620

    Skype is the best-known use of VoIP technology, and US Robotics has waded in with what amounts to the first proper range of Skype products.

  • Logitech Cordless Internet Handset

    Logitech Cordless Internet Handset

    This is the first truly affordable Skype phone we've seen. If you want to make and receive calls away from your PC, the Logitech is a decent choice.

  • Skype for Android review

    Skype for Android

    Skype for Android lets you make free VoIP calls and text-chat with your Skype contacts using Wi-Fi or 3G.

  • US Robotics Wireless Ndx Router USR805464

    US Robotics Wireless Ndx Router USR805464

    The USUSRobotics Wireless Ndx Router USR805464 is the latest draft-n wireless router to emerge from USRobotics. This particular range is ‘draft 1.0-compliant’ but with draft 2.0 up for approval right now and final ratification due no earlier than September 2008, the value of this badge is moot.

  • Skype for iPhone review

    Skype for iPhone

    At long last, Skype has made it to the iPhone. And based on our tests of the popular voice-over-IP app, we're happy to say Skype for iPhone was worth the wait.

IDG UK Sites

Windows 10 release date, price, features UK: Staggered release with PCs coming first this summer -...

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

MacBook Pro 15in preview: better battery life, faster storage and a new discrete graphics chip may...