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Making calls on the 101 is a simple affair too. To make a landline call, you can dial a number as normal and press call, or use the handset's 50-number phonebook. Skype calls are just one or two button clicks further away. Enter the menu system, select the Skype icon from the six options and, after a short delay, up pops your Skype contact list, complete with Skype-style icons indicating contacts' status and availability. Select one, click call, and away you go.
For Skypeout calls it's just as clear-cut. Dial the number you want (though it's a bit of a pain having to add the international code on the front) and as you do so a context-sensitive button pops up at the bottom of the screen. Click this instead of the standard call button and, hey presto, you're connected using Skypeout. If your Skype contact list is long, navigating it isn't particularly swift, so the phone lets you jump to your contact's initial letter by tapping it in on the keypad - as if you were writing a text. And the phone behaves exactly as you'd expect it to when calls are received. In fact if you didn't know you were using Skype you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
It's not perfect though. Corners inevitably have to be cut to hit such a low price and the first casualty is call quality. This is acceptable, but it isn't wonderful, and in comparison to a Panasonic DECT phone that I use day-to-day, voices on the 101 sound thin and reedy. Build quality isn't fantastic either: the buttons are light and cheap and the plastic casing on the handset feels as if one or two drops is all it'll take before cracks begin to appear. There's no answer phone facility either.
Range is okay - about 30m or so with a wall in the way, but I've seen better. Again my Panasonic phone will give you a good 20m more distance before giving up the ghost. But the 101 does at least give you good warning before the signal dies - it bleeps loudly if you begin to stray out of range, well before the signal begins to break up.
The Ubiquio 101, won't meet everyone's needs. The lack of answer phone, slightly inferior call quality, and the fact that you have to have your computer powered on to make and receive Skype calls means it won't be everyone's cup of tea.
But for making simple Internet calls the 101 is spot on. It's extremely easy to use - I'd wager if I set it up in my parent's house even my mum could use it - and it's fantastically good value for money. It's an excellent choice if you want to make Skype calls and don't want to be stuck in front of your computer.
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