Chances are, your desktop is not yet Bluetooth enabled. While we are seeing certain motherboards incorporating the wireless technology into their design, those are few and far between. The easiest way to add Bluetooth capabilities to your rig is with a dongle.
The BT007 from Bluetake is simply a USB powered Bluetooth radio transmitter. It’s quite small, a bit larger than a keyless entry remote for your car and is attached to your rig by a 40cm USB cable.
You all know by now that I’m big on aesthetics and I have a small but nevertheless strange and confusing complaint about how the dongle looks. Why on earth is the LED GREEN!? I can’t even begin to comprehend why it’s green. I mean, the natural choice of LED color would be BLUE for a BLUEtooth dongle, wouldn’t it? Well, granted that blue LEDs are much more expensive than the oh-so-common green ones but it simply doesn’t make much sense to me to have green LEDs in a Bluetooth product.
Here are the BT007’s specs in detail.
Bluetooth v1.1 available Supporting 2.4GHz ~ 2.483GHz FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) Providing Data Access Via USB Interface 100 meter coverage area (at free space) Optimum solution for Desktop and Notebook Supporting File Transfer, Dial-Up and LAN Access profile OS supporting in WIN98/ME/2000 Sensitivity < -85 dBM Data rate 1Mbit/s
Impressions - POKE 2 (BT009S)
The POKE 2 (BT009S) is another story. Once you get past the hilariously strange name, you’ll see that this tiny device is designed rather well with the notebook user in mind. At a miniscule 61x23x10 mm and weighing in at 16g, it can easily be carried around in your laptop case. In fact, it’s so tiny that if you’re not a very organized person like me, you might be at risk of losing it. And this time, the LED is BLUE. BLUE.
Installation, as with most plug and play USB devices is a breeze. It’s hardly worth mentioning. It only took me a few minutes to install both…
Performance and Experiences
…but it took me almost a whole day to get the damn thing to work communicate to each other and do internet sharing.
However, let’s get one thing straight first. Bluetooth in its current incarnation is not primarily for wireless networking. Wi-Fi is a much better solution when it comes to internet connection sharing as it is much faster, has a longer range and is much more secure if you use the security features. Bluetooth is simply a cable replacement technology.
Once I got it up and running though, I’ve got no complaints. The internet was loading at a good rate, averaging 52KBps sitting three feet away from the dongle on my notebook, which is more than enough for everyday web-surfing but leaves something to be desired when downloading large files or streaming video. The theoretical limit of the Bluetooth v1.1 standard is 1Mbps (125KBps) so I was getting less than half of maximum even though I was sitting so close.
As I walked further away, the speed dropped as well. All the numbers below are with no obstructions between my notebook and my desktop.
After that, the reception was very weak and could seldom open web pages, let alone do the test download. The maximum theoretical range of the BT009S unit on my notebook is 10 meters.
The dongles have a few other uses as well, including allowing me to sync my Sony- Ericsson T39mc to my notebook without the use of sync cables or even lining up the IrDA ports. Those of you with extensive contact lists and scheduled tasks on your phone will love this feature if you don’t have an IrDA port (since most desktops don’t have them). It’s much easier to enter information on your keyboard than it is on your miniscule phone keypad.