18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Wildly great and awful all at the same time,
This review is from: Polycom Communicator C100S Blue (Electronics)
Everyone who gives the Polycom Communicator C100S a great rating is absolutely correct. Under Windows XP this device is awesome. The sound quality is great on both ends. It doesn't take you long to realize that you are carrying on a conversation in a much more natural manner without a headset on.
When you want to use this device on any operating system other than Windows XP, you'll find that the device is nothing more than a cheap speaker and desktop microphone. Of course it works with Skype on Linux, MacOS and Windows Vista, just like any other speaker and desktop microphone do. Crappily.
The magic of this device is in the software. The echo cancellation and sound quality are all products of the drivers that lie between Skype and the device. Wihout those drivers, the device is just an expensive USB speaker/microphone. Those who say that the device works with MacOS and Vista are only partially right. The Skype integration buttons do not work on anything but XP and I could live with that. But the audio processing in the driver is what makes this device usable with Skype. Without it, there is terrible echo from your side that makes the device unusable. You may as well use a cheap pair of speakers and a cheap desktop microphone. You'll get the same performance and it'll cost you a lot less.
Windows Vista has been available to the software developers at Polycom for over a year now and there is apparently no Vista driver in the works. This means that the Polycom Communicator C100S is useless for almost all new computer purchasers. (I did recently read that Dell is now offering Windows XP on some new PC purchases. I belive for enterprise level buyers only though.)
There is apparently now no plan to release a Mac driver, as if there was ever one in development. Which I highly doubt. So, according to my spidey senses, unless you use Windows XP exclusively, and don't have any plans for a new computer, purchasing this device now is a waste of money.
This is a terrible shame as the Polycom Communicator C100S is an awesome device and I was really looking forward to using it when I purchased it. So far I haven't been able to use it more than once, as they haven't released any Vista drivers. I did use it once with a VMWare virtual machine running Windows XP, just to make sure that my device wasn't broken, and it does work as advertised on Windows XP.
Vista drivers were supposed to be released mid 2007, but it's almost mid 2008 now and there are no hints that they have ever assigned a software guy the task of writing them. My advice is to wait until Polycom shows some interest in supporting this device with current operating systems before shelling out any money for it. :o(