When it comes to holiday gift giving my wife has to ask me for a list. Otherwise she knows that she has no hope of getting me anything techy that I’ll actually appreciate. In some ways, for those of us steeped in technology, buying a gadget is a deeply personal thing.
I’m an unabashed VOIP fan. Add to the mix the fact that I travel quite frequently. The conjunction of these two facts brings to light one of the best purchases I’ve made in the last couple of years; the Polycom C100 Communicator. A great holiday gift idea.
This little USB speakerphone device is really very good. I’ve tried several and it’s by far the best of the bunch. At around $120 USD it’s not the cheapest, but it’s not the most expensive either.
I tend to use it with X-Lite, Gizmo and (gasp!) Skype. It’s really just a USB audio device so it should work happily with all soft phone clients, even TringMe and the like.
The USB cord is attached, which is a bit of a drag, but it winds into a storage area located under the device when the pop-out stand is opened. The design is very nice. The device is physically robust and should suffer many accidental indignities without breaking.
The audio quality is excellent, just as you would expect from Polycom. Supporting their HD Voice technology this is about the cheapest way to try the new G.722 codec for wideband audio with 22 kHz sampling.
For the person giving the gift it’s merits are many. It only comes in one size, although several colors. It’s small enough to be inexpensive to ship (or fit in a computer bag) and of course, being from Polycom, it’s an indication of your good sense of taste, and concern for quality.
I’d post a link to an online e-tailer, but these are generally available and I don’t feel the need to drive traffic to any one particular source. I bought mine at a brick and mortar retailer, The Micro Centre, simply because it was on the shelf and I was standing right there. Just Google it.
Of course, you can always add it to your own list. You can’t go wrong with this device.