Bluetake has sent me their new BT007Si Bluetooth USB adapter for review. A few of the features really make this an interesting Bluetooth USB adapter for users wanting to add this wireless technology to their PC.
First this has to be the smallest Bluetooth USB adapter I have ever seen. IT is very tiny, compared with devices from other manufacturers – and even when compared to other Bluetake adapters. It measures only 47 x 19 x 10 mm, and weighs a mere 10g, making it an almost perfect fit for laptop use. It still sticks out of the body of a laptop but not as much as other devices.
Not only the BT007Si is small and light, it is also a Class 1 Bluetooth device, giving it a 100 metres range in open spaces.
The next interesting feature is that this is the second time I see a non Widcomm/Broadcom-based Bluetooth software, and the first time I have first-hand experience with the BlueSoleil stack (the previous non-Widcomm/Broadcom review was of a Xtended Systems software).
The BlueSoleil is quite an interesting software. It shows all discoverable and paired Bluetooth devices around your computer in a graphical representation that looks like a solar system. The main star in the system is your computer, and all other devices float around it.
Each “planet” will have the device name or MAC address and an icon representing its type – computer, PDA, mobile phone, etc. By double-clicking on each icon we can see the services offered by each device and easily connect. A line between any device and the “start” shows an active connection.
Interesting UI (user interface)
Bluetooth profiles supported
The BlueSoleil software offers services and client for a variety of Bluetooth Profiles we are used to see on other stacks, including OBEX File Transfer, OBEX PIM Transfer, Dial-Up Network, Headset, LAN Access over PPP, Fax, Printing, Personal Area Network and HID, which is used to connect mouse and keyboard.
After installation the software adds a toolbar to Microsoft Outlook, so you can send Contacts and Calendar items to a PDA or mobile phone directly from Outlook, without much trouble.
Integration with Microsoft Outlook
The most interesting profile though is the A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), which supports Bluetooth Stereo Headsets, like the Bluetake iPhono BT420 EX and others.
Creating a Personal Area Network or sharing an Internet Connection is very simple – easier than using the Widcomm software. There’s no need to configure ICS or bridge connections on Windows Network. Everything is managed from within the software, including a mini DHCP server if needed, what connections to share, etc.
Managing serial ports is easy as well, and Microsoft ActiveSync had no problem in connecting to a Bluetooth Serial port.
Easier network configuration
The adapter itself does not require too much power, and it seems to work well even over a USB HUB – in my case I had it plugged into a Dell USB keyboard. Some other adapters (the TDK inclusive) won’t work at all when plugged into USB HUBs.
Small USB device
Easy to use BlueSoleil software
Works with both Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X
So small it should really have a ring to attach a lanyard and keep it safe when not in use