* Prices may differ from that shown
This phone system is clearly aimed at the home office market, offering a fairly businesslike base station with answering machine for the office bit, plus a cordless handset for use around the rest of the home (you can add more handsets if you like).
Both parts work well. Their LCD displays are easy to view, with big characters and bright backlights, and the keyboards (illuminated on the cordless set) are clearly labelled with a soft action. Setting up all the options requires care, but you get a good printed manual plus a quick-start sheet, which tell you everything you need to know.
The handsets use a `soft key' system which means that the three buttons under the LCD can sometimes change function depending on the screen symbols above them. It's mostly consistent (e.g. the middle button opens a menu), although some functions on the cordless handset (particularly the answering machine) are buried one or two menus deep and not immediately obvious, and you have to remember what a couple of icons mean. This might not be the best choice for someone who really doesn't get on with gadgets, but then no phone with this many features is likely to be.
The answering machine does what it says on the tin - it's easy to record your own greeting (although the built-in one is fine), skip back and forward between messages etc, and it can all be done from the base or cordless phones (although, strangely, you can only record your own greeting from the cordless unit). If you have caller ID on your line it can also dial the message-leaver back for you. You can screen calls, and also access the answering system remotely using a PIN (this can be switched off for security). You can't record two-way conversations, but that's not surprising at this price.
Integration between the base and cordless handsets is excellent. You can copy all your phone book entries between handsets in one operation (so only have to maintain them on one), and if you clear a `missed call' indicator on one, it disappears from the other. You can also make intercom calls, transfer calls, have conference calls etc. The cordless handset is comfortable to hold and its battery life seems very good (an easy 3 days off the charger), despite only using two AAA batteries. The base station will work as a basic phone in a power cut, a big advantage over cordless-only systems.
There were a couple of disappointments. The maximum number of rings before the answering machine cuts in is seven, the same as BT 1571 (I'd have preferred more). Sound quality through the handsets is a bit thin, although I'm getting used to it (speakerphone performance is very good, with plenty of volume available). You have to use Panasonic's cable to connect the base station to the phone socket (my old, longer cable didn't work, as warned in the manual). The units are stylish, but the plastic on the base station looks and feels just a bit cheap, not full-strength office quality, although for the price it's fine. My cordless handset fell onto a wooden floor and survived completely unscathed, so it seems solid enough.
Overall I'm really pleased with this set - it works very well and offers a very good range of features for an amazingly cheap price.
The KX TG6461 is a single corded and single cordless phone pack from Panasonic boasting digitally enhanced Cordless Technology (DECT) and Telephone Answer Machine (TAM). The corded phone will continue to work in the event of power failure. Other features on this model include the dual phonebook of 100 name and numbers a wall mountable base unit speakerphone on the handset and base ringer LED incoming call barring & 16 polyphonic ringtones. This phone also has Caller ID (subject to your line subscription) with caller ID memory.