Kensington VoIP handset

Kensington Vo200I signed up with Skype a few months ago to give me another VoIP telephony option. Skype to Skype calls are free, so it seemed worth setting up.

I originally got myself a Bluetooth headset. Initially, I had problems connecting the headset to the Bluetooth on my laptop. I upgraded the Bluetooth stack to the latest Toshiba stack and then was able to successfully connect the headset to my laptop and configure Skype to use it. However, shortly afterwards, the headset locked up completely and I was unable to use it.

Kensington Vo200 openWhile looking around for an alternate handset, I came across the Kensington Vo200 Bluetooth Internet phone. This is a PCMCIA sized telephone handset. It plugs into a laptop’s PCMCIA card slot to charge and then connects to the laptop using Bluetooth.

You have to install the software that comes with it for the charging to work. Once I installed the software, it told me that it only worked with the Widcomm Bluetooth stack. Great that the instructions don’t mention that. After googling the problem, I came across a user comment on the Expansys-usa website, commenting that the Kensington Vo200 works with the Toshiba Bluetooth stack. It mentioned that the charging light didn’t come on for about 2.5 hours, and I found this to be accurate. After the handset was charged, I was able to create a new connection to it using the Toshiba Bluetooth Settings.

It was then possible to change the Skype audio settings to use the Bluetooth wave audio device. The handset gave clear audio when used as a handset. In testing, I found the handsfree operation to be noisy. When charging, the handset sticks out of the PCMCIA socket about 1/4 inch. All in all, for just over £10 on Ebay for a new handset, I think it was a good buy.

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