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Phone Labs Dock-N-Talk review: Phone Labs Dock-N-Talk

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Setup for the Dock-N-Talk was easy. After plugging in the module via the AC adapter, you can connect your home or office phone using the included phone cord. Then, after pressing the ringer setup button on the console to establish a connection, you're free to plug in your mobile. We used both the cell phone cable and the Bluetooth module to connect our Sony Ericsson S710a and had no problems using either method. Phone Labs says it supports more than 800 cell phones from the major manufacturers, but some very recent models, such as the newer Sony Ericsson Walkman handsets, have yet to be accommodated. You can see a complete list of compatible cell phones on the company's Web site. On the upside, however, the unit will charge your mobile when it's connected.

One of the Dock-N-Talk's better features is that if connected to a wall jack, it can function with up to five other landline phones in your home. It's especially great for families that have multiple phones in the house, as they need to buy only one device. This feature works regardless of whether you have active landline service, but keep in mind that it won't work with wall jacks assigned to different phone numbers. Also, you can connect only one cell phone at a time to Dock-N-Talk. Other features include call waiting, speed dialing, and live call transfers between a cell and landline phone. And good news for Nextel customers: You can even make push-to-talk calls on the landline handset.

Using the Dock-N-Talk is simple as well. To place a call using your cell phone's service, just pick up the landline phone and dial as normal; to receive a call, you just answer your home or office phone as you normally would. When we tested the Dock-N-Talk, we placed and received calls on our office phone using the S710a on Cingular's service. Call quality was satisfactory, but remember that reception will depend on what kind of signal you get on your cell phone. More important, remember that as long as you're using your mobile service to make calls, you will be burning your cell phone minutes.

Overall, the Dock-N-Talk is a quality product for combining your cell and landline phones, but its high price doesn't warrant the convenience just yet.

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