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Walkin' and Talkin'

Walkin' and Talkin'
by Gary Woods

Voice over IP (VoIP) or using your broadband internet connection to phone around the planet for free or cheap has become very popular. VoIP is offered by companies such as Google, MSN, Skype and Yahoo.

By using your computer's sound card attached to a microphone and either a headset or your speakers is definitely a cool way to make calls. But sometimes sitting there in front of your computer just isn't cool. What you really want to do is wander around and talk not chained down to some desk.

Well if that's what you're looking for Kensington is offering up the $90 Vo200 Bluetooth Internet Phone. The flat credit-card sized handset fits in a laptop's Type I or II PC Card slot for storage and recharging. When it's all charged up, you pull it out of the computer and then connect wirelessly to your computer using Bluetooth. This technology allows you to be up to about 30 feet away.

The only thing I found a little weird about the Vo200 is that it has no keypad for dialing. You have to make the call from your PC before walking away from it. There are just 3 buttons on the device, one for power, one for Bluetooth connectivity and one for toggling the speaker phone.

Kensington says you get about 30 hours of standby battery time and about 3 hours of talk time on a charge. If walkin' and talkin' around your house is your thing check out the Vo200.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. You can hear Gary on the Radio at 1290 AM Monday 9-10 AM and he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc