IPEVO free-1 skype handset

The Skype handset market is starting to get crowded. Now IPEVO has entered this burgeoning frontier with their new FREE.1 USB (read: tethered) handset. That large opening at the receiver area supposedly "significantly eliminates echoing effects" which if true, would be a welcome feature indeed. The "phone", which is really just a displayless Skype controller, boasts three function buttons: a Skype button which launches Skype on the PC; a SkypeOut button with pre-dial country codes; and an IM button (on a handset!?). In addition, it features a toggle-scroll for fast contact list searches and 3 user-programmable shortcut buttons for changing online status or setting the ring tone. Launched in Taiwan earlier this week, expect to see it Stateside around October. Oh, and regardless of the name, it's not free — it currently sells for about $27.