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The BT Converse 1300 is my office desk phone and it’s one I got by subterfuge. I stayed late after an old colleague left and then crept around under the desk in order to ‘relocate’ it from his desk to mine. I had long had the BT Converse 2100 and I was losing patience with its lack of volume and its lack of features. When nobody was looking I swapped them phones and I’ve been much happier ever since.
Both the 2100 and the 1300 take an RJ11 jack which means they can be used with a headset. Many other modern desk phones lack the necessary hole so your choices can be quite limited. The main reason I wanted to swap phones was that the 1300 has a volume button that works. The 2100 has a volume button but it seems to be for purely decorative purposes. I still have a 2100 at home and no matter how many times I push that button, nothing happens.
The other features of the 1300 that I wanted include a handsfree button. The 2100 does a headset but can’t be used handsfree and whilst I rarely use that feature in an open plan office, it’s good to have it for after hours calls. It also has a phone book in which you can store a lot of numbers. I don’t know how many - but certainly more than I need and possibly up to 100.
There is a display at the top of the phone which helpfully shows you the number you’re dialling and if you have caller identification, would show incoming numbers. Beside that screen there’s a menu button that takes you through a variety of options and allows you to change both the ringer tone and volume - on most phones you have to fiddle about with switches on the bottom of the phone - to set the time and date, add an access code (handy if people try to make calls on your phone and you don’t want them to) and to change the contrast on the display. You will also find buttons for ‘secrecy’ and ‘recall’ and to adjust the all important volume. There’s a button to redial the last number and one marked ‘calls’ which should bring up a list of the numbers you’ve dialled recently but doesn’t.
The handset is entirely standard but I rarely use it since I have this set up with a handset. I have no problems with call clarity - just problems with noisy colleagues who make it hard to hear what callers are saying. The adjustable volume helps with that but if you work in a noisy office, I recommend to by a binaural headset not a monoaural one as it helps shut out background noise.
When I was setting up an office to work from home, cost saving was fairly high on my agenda. So anywhere I could skimp a little on cost I did. That was certainly the case when I purchased this phone a little over two years ago. I am glad to report that despite the cheap cost, it certainly punches above it's weight in performance.
A corded phone available in white, black and slate grey it has an LCD display which features the time and date. It can of course provide caller details but this must be arranged with your service provider. The Converse 1300 has memory for 100 phonebook entries. It has speaker function and a socket for headsets meaning hands free funtionality and a rather handy secrecy button. It is 19cm x 24cm x 8cm and weighs little at a little over 1kg. There is a ringer volume control, 5 number redial facility and it stores the last 30 numbers.
In short it is a simple phone that does exactly what you need it to. It's reliable as well, in over two years I have never once had a technical issue. Perhaps the sound quality is not pitch perfect but it does come down to that price. Better quality will cost you more, again the same can be said for it's looks. But I would imagine that the vast amount of buyers will be using this for business purposes and in that role it does well.