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For Business Feel, Nothing Beats Desk Phone

Belkin Desktop Internet Phone for Skype ($100 at Belkin.com) If you're comfortable with the limits of Skype -- warbly voice quality and cutesy Web 2.0 social nonsense when you are trying to make a business call -- this phone is a surprisingly solid choice for bringing Web telephony to even a tiny operation. Simply plug it into an available slot in your broadband router, log into your Skype account, kick in a few bucks for some SkypeOut minutes and you have a separate voice line that costs pennies to the dollar compared with traditional voice and cell service. I must say, I found this an impressive little bit of Web telephony. Good design for the controls, buttons and features. And good voice quality by web calling standards, assuming you have a good Web connection and your system is configured properly. You will definitely want to avoid the more sophisticated Skype functions such as chat and video conferencing, since the control screen is tiny. But still, for $100 and some Skype minutes, you have your own business number. What's not to love about that? -- Written by Gregg Greenberg in New York.

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Jonathan Blum is an independent technology writer and analyst living in Westchester, N.Y. He has written for The Associated Press and Popular Science and appeared on Fox News and The WB.
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