updated 03:50 pm EST, Tue December 19, 2006
VTech i8300 InfoPhone
VTech late Tuesday provided an early glance at its i8300 InfoPhone. The company is bucking the trend of VoIP cordless phones by offering a conventional handset with access to more popular Internet text functions. Owners will have access to their instant messaging contact list, e-mail, news, and other live updates through a Wi-Fi connection to a base station. The system is completely independent of a host computer and can plug directly into a modem or router through Ethernet. Voice calling itself has been improved, VTech claims: using DECT frequency-hopping, the phone can maintain a strong signal even when it has to compete with other wireless devices. The i8300 should be ready by March at a price of $130.