PSP-3000: A Cheap Skype Phone and Portable Web Browser

Not too long ago, I was using one of my son’s old PlayStation Portables (PSP) to view videos, since it has a larger screen than the iPod touch. Last Friday, I took the plunge and traded both boy’s (I have twin sons) PSP 1000s – as well a bunch of games they didn’t want – for a brand new PSP 3000. The retail store was also offering a $30 rebate on trade-ins to purchase a new system.

Why recycle the old to buy the new?

A Cheap Skype Phone

The PSP 3000 has Skype built-in, and by the time all the trade-ins were tallied up, the store owned me money. So for no money, I got a Skype phone with a PSP thrown in.

There are Skype phones available for less than $100 dollars, but the problem is that they don’t have a Web browser built in like the PSP.

PSP vs. iPhoneWhy does that matter? There are many WiFi hotspots that require you to check off a user agreement on a web page before allowing you to use their wireless network. No browser, no network.

When I’m out on the road, I want to be able to use whatever open network is available. So for my Skype phone, I have to have a Internet browser. For a long time, my iPod touch (first generation) allowed me to use Skype, since it supported the iVoice III microphone (see How to Use a 1G iPod touch as a WiFi Phone). But a recent software update eliminated support for this microphone.

Shame on you, Apple.

I could go out and buy a newer iPod touch, but let’s remember that I have two kids in college and work in public education. The PSP gives me a Skype phone and a video player. The sound on Skype sounds much better than it did on my iPod, and the PSP’s built-in microphone and speakers allow me to use Skype without having to put on headphones or use an external mic.

I hear that the PSP also plays video games.

One Request from Sony

On the topic of video games, Sony makes a Universal Media Disc that is used for both games and movies on the PSP. Sony has never, ever opened up this format for licensing or private use. This is all I need from Sony: a UMD deck to record my DVDs for use on the PSP. Sure, I know this is selfish, but think of how it would keep me from making snide comments about Sony. Currently, I have to rip digital files from the DVD on my Mac using Handbrake (it takes forever) and then transfer them to the PSP using Missing Sync (again, it takes forever).

If Sony would just do this little (okay, not so little) thing for me….

Meanwhile, I am just jazzed about having a Skype phone. I hate cell phones, because they cost me money. My PSP Skype phone costs me $3 a month, and the quality is awesome. My house has a wireless network, and there is a wireless network at work. My goal is to only use my cellphone in emergency situations.

Wish me luck. I’ll be the guy looking for an open network so I can make a call.

Purchase Link

  • currently sells the PSP-3000 for $99 with free ground shipping.

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