In addition to using two wireless VOIP phones, we tested the ShoreTel platform with several ShoreTel IP phones, including a pair of IP 560 phones and two new entry-level IP 110 devices.
The ShoreTel IP 560 is a large, attractive phone designed for executives or busy receptionists, among others. The IP 560 features a six-line LCD screen, eight preprogrammed feature buttons and six customizable buttons, IEEE 802.3af-compliant POE (power over Ethernet) support, and a headset jack. The IP 560, which started shipping last year, costs $429.
The IP 110, priced at $149, started shipping last month. Its compact form factor makes it ideal for public areas or temporary work spaces. The IP 110 features a single-line LCD screen and six function keys for easy access to voice mail, hold, redial, intercom, transfer and conference call features. The IP 110, also powered via POE, offers an embedded Ethernet port for connecting a PC.
Overall, we found both phones ergonomically well-designed and easy to use. Our one complaint is that we found the earpiece on each phones handset to be slightly small and uncomfortable, particularly during long calls. Users constantly on the phone or those with larger ears should definitely take advantage of the headset support built into the IP 560.
ShoreTels $349 BB24 button box, which also shipped last month, is for IP 560 users who need more than six programmable buttons for fast access to frequently used actions. Multiple BB24 devices can be cascaded to support an even larger number of commands.