So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Sony Ericsson HBV-100
- Wireless convenience, doubles as regular Bluetooth headset, good battery life, drivers automatically stored on dongle
- Pairing is a little fiddly, will only get value if it's used for both VoIP and regular mobile phone calls
If you regularly need a Bluetooth headset for your phone, and you also make use of VoIP on your PC, then the HBV-100 should be right up your alley.
Price$ 128.00 (AUD)
The Sony Ericsson HBV-100 is a VoIP accessory consisting of two parts; a USB dongle, and a Bluetooth headset. It allows you to use VoIP programs on your PC using a Bluetooth headset, so it's ideal for those who spent a lot of time using VoIP and would appreciate the convenience of a wireless headset.
The dongle is compatible with any PC running Windows XP, and best of all, the USB audio drivers are automatically installed when you connect it, so there is no need for any downloads or installation off a disk. The HBV-100 package works with any voice program, including the likes of Skype, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger and other VoIP software.
We tested the unit using Skype and its performance was reasonable, if not outstanding. The convenience of using a wireless headset is notable, especially as the Bluetooth headset can be used separately with your mobile phone, so you essentially kill two birds with one stone.
Our main issue with the HBV-100 is pairing. It's a little bit of a hassle and certainly takes more time than we're used to with Bluetooth headsets. It involves holding down a small button on the dongle until a blue light flashes slowly, then putting the headset into pairing mode by holding down both volume keys. From there, the headset should automatically connect to the dongle, although this wasn't always the case for us during testing. It took three attempts to finally get the device paired - although once it was paired, it stores that pairing and connects automatically each time you plug the dongle into your PC.
The headset included in the package is Sony Ericsson's HBH-PV705. It's finished in a metallic blue colour, has an adjustable removable ear hook (so it can be worn on either ear) and provides an excellent 12 hours of talk time and up to 300 hours of standby time.
Overall, the HBV-100 is a decent package, but it will appeal most to those who will use the headset for both mobile phone calls, and VoIP, rather than just the latter.
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