By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Panasonic announced its entry, at International CES earlier this month, into the increasingly popular DECT cordless phone market.
The company will not position the product as its premium cordless offering, continuing to rely instead on its 5.8GHz digital frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) line at the top price point, said William Taylor, who was named the company's communications and home networking product group VP at the show.
The DECT line will be comprised of three models, all offering the same feature sets but distinguished by the number of included handsets. Common features include 17 hours of talktime and 7.5 days of standby power, three-way conferencing, handset-intercom and speakerphone and phonebook sharing.
All the DECT phones will also feature an integrated telephone answering device (ITAD) with an English/Spanish voice menu and the handsets will display a clock on the LCD and offer an alarm function. The phones will be available in two-, three- and four-handset configurations — the KX-TG1032S, 1033S and 1034S — for a suggested $79.95, $99.95 and $129.95, respectively.
All three systems are expandable to a total of six handsets and work with the $39.95-suggested KX-TGA101S accessory handset.
The company also unveiled new models in its 5.8GHz digital FHSS and 2.4GHz FHSS lines. The phones will all be expandable up to a total of four handsets and will feature handset speakerphone, LCD alarm clock, digital voice enhancement, four-way conferencing, handset intercom, new keypads and new industrial designs.
Select models will feature Panasonic's new "Slow-Talk" circuitry, which slows incoming voice calls by up to 30 percent to ensure an intelligible conversation; talking caller ID, phonebook sharing between handsets, and the ability to program call alert lights to flash different colors according to who's calling.
The top of the line in the company's GigaRange 5.8GHz digital FHSS offering will be the KX-TG6074B for a suggested $159. Shipping in March, it will bundle four handsets and feature Slow Talk, talking caller ID, an ITAD, keypad and base speakerphone and a three-color light-up handset indicator.
Also due in March is the $129 suggested KX-TG6073S. It offers the same features as the TG6074B but will ship with three handsets instead of four. The KX-TG6072B, for $99.95, also offers the same feature set but will ship with two handsets.
The KX-TG6052B, due in February for a suggested $89.95, loses the base keypad and speakerphone and ships with two handsets.
Finally, a single handset SKU, the $69.95 suggested KX-TH6071M, will ship in February.
The KX-TG6022B, also shipping in February for $69.95, features two handsets, caller ID, LCD alarm and three-color light-up indicator.
The KX-TG6051M, for $59.95, will ship in February and features a single handset, Slow Talk, talking caller ID, ITAD, LCD alarm clock and a three color light-up indicator. The single handset KX-TG6021M loses Slow Talk and the ITAD and will ship in February for a suggested $39.95.
All the models will work with the KX-TGA600 accessory handset, available in February for a suggested $39.95.
The KX-TG3021S loses the ITAD and will ship with a single handset for a suggested $29.95.
The system works with the KX-TGA300B accessory handset, which will retail for a suggested $29.95.
For more information on the company's 2.4GHz introductions, see www.TWICE.com.
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