Panasonic 2.4 Gig Phone
Panasonic KX-TGM 240-B 2.4 Gigahertz Cordless Telephone & Answering Machine
Word and Pictures: Marcus
Model: Dina Marie
Well I'm sitting here watching the epoxy dry on the telephone that I am reviewing. Oh no, it must get a horrible review if you have to repair it. Actually, by having to take the phone out of service while I repair it, I've noticed how indispensable it has become. I've scheduled the repair for a Saturday so that I would not have to use a regular phone very much. I have found this 2.4 gigahertz phone with headset the most useful communication tool since the first cordless phone I used. I'll tell you about the repair later.
Okay, so what's the big deal with this super phone? Well, it's not just the phone but the headset that you buy as a package deal or separately. It is just an incredible experience to be able to work with both hands on a project while still being able to talk on the telephone. Many of you will have experienced talking to someone on a speaker phone. And unless you're very understanding, you probably haven't enjoyed the poor sound quality. Besides I find it difficult to use a speaker phone in noisy environments such as the kitchen or outdoors. With a headset and microphone combination attached to your head, you are able to get great sound quality both in your ear and in the ear on the other end. Your productivity is dramatically increased because there are many mindless tasks that you can perform while communicating with someone on the phone. I have to talk to many people in other time zones. So I do most of my calling when I'm making dinner. You should just try and cut a chicken with one hand, its quite difficult. Also when receiving technical support to fix a computer, it is really nice to be able to type the instructions with both hands. A really entertaining way of making use of a headset telephone is with driving video games. Using a high speed Internet connection, and a standard telephone line, allows you to play a driving game against a friend while talking to him or her over the phone. Of course driving games require both hands on the steering wheel and shifter so it would be very difficult to play the game and have a phone resting on your shoulder. Also with all of the sound effects that the computer generates, a speaker phone would never work. I really do suggest you try this, it is almost as good as having the person in the same room, actually it's better, especially if your friend has B O.
Alright so the headset works great, what about the rest of the phone? In one word, spectacular. The sound quality is indistinguishable from a standard land line telephone even if I'm at my neighbors house. I am living in a poor neighborhood with above ground electrical wiring and telephone poles. This greatly shortens the range of any cordless device. In fact, I am only able to get to the end of my block before the phone is out of range of the base station. However in a nice neighborhood, where the electrical wiring is placed underground like it should be, the phone will work for at least six blocks before it cuts out. This extreme range might seem useless to you unless you're friends with all of your neighbors. But think of it this way, you never have to worry about the range of the phone anywhere on your property.
Now there's even more good news. The battery life of the Panasonic gigahertz phone is extremely long. I use the phone constantly all day long, so I charge it up over night. The Ni-MH battery provides about 7 hours of constant talk time. And for the last hour of talk time a red light flashes on the phone and it makes a warning beep.
Naturally, the Panasonic gigahertz phone has the ability to store frequently called numbers only 10 of them though. In addition to that it can also be used as an intercom, but then again what cordless phone can't these days.
The phone I tested also came equipped with a fully digital answering machine with 16 minutes of recording time. Nothing new their to report. Except for the phones ability to call a telephone number when a message is recorded on it. This allows the telephone to act as a digital assistant that calls you on your cellular phone or pager to inform you that a message is waiting. Yet another cool and useful feature from the super phone.
So, do you want to hear about the repair? Well in order to keep the price cheap on the Gigahertz phone, Panasonic had to cut a few corners. All cordless phones go through harsh abuse compared to other home electronics like radios and televisions. The headset jack is always a weak spot on personal electronic devices. (my MD player becomes staticy when the earphone plug is moved in the jack too.) It is inevitable that accidents will happen when you have a 6 foot cord connecting a device on your head to a device on your hip. Whether it is snagging the cord on a door knob or stepping on the cord with your foot. This will put most of the stress on the connection point between the headset and the connection jack. Over time this will wear out the connection between the jack and the circuit board As you can see in the photograph, I have covered the jack with epoxy so that it is unable to move and cause the annoying static pops that people were complaining about. I wish the MD player was as easy to repair.
Do I recommend the Panasonic Gigahertz phones? Yes, of course I do. Especially since you can buy one for under 150 bucks. (Under $100 if you buy a refurbished one.) A small price to pay for such a for such a useful timesaving tool. I'm going through withdrawal just waiting for the epoxy to dry.