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Asustek Computer, a leading maker of computer components, unveiled Wednesday its first phone compatible with Skype voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) service. The new phone can enable talk via Skype and also music listening, according to Asus. However, the device still needs to have a personal computer turned on nearby.

Asustek’s AiGuru S1 connects to a personal computer using 802.11b/g Wi-Fi network and allows to use Skype for calling and built-in software to manage and listen to music tracks located on the computer. The device, which design resembles that of Nokia 6230, comes equipped with 0.5W speaker, which, according to its developers, should provide high quality sound output. Additionally, the part has a typical mini-jack output for headphones.

“The goal of digital home technologies is to share computer resource with other electronic devices around the house and provide greater convenience. The AiGuru S1 packed several practical features for easy and wireless access of PC functions. Skype, listen to music or even manage music library with this new product,” said Joe Hsieh, director of Asus digital home business.

Asus AiGuru S1 offers dual-audio channel, allowing it to operate without interfering with other computer audio functions, which means that users can watch DVDs or play games on the PC while making a free long distance call, Asustek explained.

The main drawback of the device is its inability to call using Skype service without a PC, something so massive, that even a leading maker of DECT phones Panasonic, which is a pretty conservative company, is about to create. While having a player that can playback music from a PC located within 30 – 100 meters away may seem to be an advanced and convenient technology, many people would still prefer a typical digital media player, such as Apple iPod, not tied to any computer with a wireless connection.

Pricing and availability information is unknown.


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