I’ve been testing an evaluation unit of the SkyTone USB Phone (RST102) from Radian Technologies, a conventional looking telephony handset with a USB cord designed to be used with Skype. It works very well and, based on feedback from dozens of people I spoke to using it, the sound quality is somewhere between “sounds just fine” to “crystal clear”. Much of that variance is the whim of the Skype gods of course.
Installation was drop-dead simple. Pop in the included CD to load a driver, plug the phone into a USB port, and you’re ready to go. The handset displays your Skype contact list and making a SkypeOut call is just like using a “real” phone. The handset is lightweight and compact enough that tossing it into your bag is no problem. In fact, on my last trip, I was sitting in the terminal at Las Vegas’ airport using my Treo’s EVDO connection to get online and the Skytone to chat with friends while waiting for my flight home. At least half a dozen people came up to me and asked me about the Skytone and how I was able to plug a phone into my laptop.