When Skype first hit the scene, manufacturers jumped on board with handsets that resembled regular phones. They were tethered to your computer by a wire, so not very friendly, other than making the user feel more at home by holding something up to their ear. Then came the advent of cordless handsets, followed by wifi enabled units, then dual purpose models that could make regular calls, as well as Skype based calls. Somewhere in between they slipped some totally useless Windows Live handsets in, thanks Philips.
Miglia have produced something a little different, with their Dialog+ handset, by making something that will appeal to both the Mac and PC markets. The Dialog+ offers the ability to make wireless Skype calls, compatible with both the Mac and PC. For Mac users they have also built in iChat AV capability. So with the press of a button, you can use this for your iChat contacts too.
In the box you get the handset itself, which is supplied with three AAA batteries. These charge by attaching the handset with the supplied USB cable. To get the Dialog+ to communicate with your Mac or PC you need to install some drivers and attach a USB dongle, which offers a range of up to 25 metres. It is a shame this does not use Bluetooth to connect. I personally hate USB dongles, but I suppose I can forgive Miglia for this. Once the drivers are installed, you need to adjust a few sound settings, connect the handset wirelessly to the dongle, and you are good to go.
You can control Skype and iChat in the normal way using your computer screen, then just use the Dialog+ to have the conversation. The main strength of this product is the ability to sit away from your computer and use it as a normal phone. You have buttons to access your Skype or iChat contacts, plus another one for call history. As long as you are signed into the relevant account on your computer, you can sit back and make calls from the comfort of your sofa.
In my tests, I found that the range was pretty good, I could get about 22 metres before things got a little choppy. The voice quality was pretty darn good, I could hear who I was talking to very clearly, and my guinea pig callers commented on how clear my voice sounded at their end.
The user interface is pretty good and the blue backlit screen is nice too, nothing fancy, but very functional.
In summary, I can recommend the Dialog+ to anyone who uses Skype and iChat a lot. It makes them more accessible and you will find that you use the services a lot more. The handset is well made and the low price makes the Dialog+ fantastic value for money.
Supplied by: Miglia
Contact: +44 (0)1442 827222