BT2000 Air2Net Bluetooth Adapter, by AmbiCom
Posted: 23-Jan-2005

5 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: AmbiCom Type: COMMERCIAL

Reviewer: Bill Catambay Class: HARDWARE

Description
Have you started looking at all those cool Bluetooth devices, but bought your Mac before Bluetooth was an option? Or perhaps you have a new Mac but did not include Bluetooth because you thought that you'd never use it. Whether syncing to a wireless mouse or wireless keyboard, or even to your cell phone, Bluetooth is really coming into its own now. Bluetooth devices are getting smarter, more ergonomic, and battery life is improving. With all of the wireless products available, right now is a great time to go wireless. The only question left is how to get your Mac to support Bluetooth. You could purchase a Bluetooth adapter to install in your Mac, but that may be costly, more hassle than its worth, and depending upon your Mac model, it may not even be an option. There is an easier way to add Bluetooth capabilities to your USB Mac running Mac OS X. Simply buy a USB Bluetooth adapter that plugs into your Mac's USB port, and your Mac instantly has Bluetooth capabilities.

One such device is AmbiCom's Air2Net Bluetooth USB Adapter (model BT2000). This Bluetooth Wireless USB Adapter brings wireless functionality to any Mac running OS X. The adapter allows simple wireless access to the Internet, file transfer, wireless printing and a host of other applications. Designed to comply with the Bluetooth 1.1 Standards, AmbiCom Wireless USB Adapter allows any Bluetooth enabled devices with Bluetooth Wireless connectivity without the need for wires.

Pricing
The AmbiCom Bluetooth USB Adapter retails for $39.99. Adding an internal Bluetooth module to an iMac costs $50 when ordering a new iMac, so the adapter is not only easier, it's cheaper. Shop around, and you'll find even a better price. I've seen this adapter priced as low as $22 on the internet.

Requirements

    Any Mac running Mac OS X (10.2.8 or higher) with a USB port.


In Use
The AmbiCom BT2000 Air2Net adapter comes in a stylish purple translucent casing. Plugged into your USB port, this adapter extends to 2" from your port.
The BT2000 has a small nearly unnoticable red LED that blinks so fast that it appears always on from a distance. The LED is only active when it detects a Bluetooth device, and turns to a solid red when the device is active. When no device is detected at all, the light goes off completely.

Using the adapter is incredibly simple. Assuming you are running under Mac OS X, 10.2.8 or higher, all you have to do is plug this into your USB port, and you immediately have Bluetooth support on your Mac. Activate any Bluetooth device within range, go under the OS X Bluetooth menu (or the Bluetooth preferences) and you can immediately sync the device with your Mac and begin using it wirelessly. I tested this adapter with several Bluetooth mice, and they all were paired without any problems. I never lost connectivity in hours of testing, so this is a very reliable and inexpensive alternative to having a built-in Bluetooth module. The only downside versus the built-in module is that the adapter will use up one of your precious USB ports. However, USB hubs are very inexpensive these days, and given the number of USB devices available for Mac OS X, it is likely that you will need (if you don't alread have) a USB hub anyway. I tested this USB adapter in my USB hub, and it runs just as well in the hub as it did in the native USB port. In comparison tests between the internal Bluetooth adapter in my Powerbook versus the add-on Bluetooth adapter on my iMac, I could not find any difference between the two in terms of stability and reliability.


Summary
The AmbiCom BT2000 Air2Net adapter is a USB Bluetooth adapter that adds Bluetooth wireless technology to any Mac running Mac OS X. It is less expensive than the Apple Bluetooth module, and provides the exact same functionality; albeit, it does take up a USB port. If you are looking to use wireless devices with your Mac such as cell phones, mice, keyboards, and PDAs, this device is an easy and inexpensive way to get there. On the Mac, it requires no software installation at all. The BT2000 is the only adapter that didn't have a pulsating light when there were no devices in use, which is the reason this adapter is my favorite out of all the adapters I've looked at. Whether you are looking to add Bluetooth technology to your existing Mac, or are wondering whether you should purchase the Bluetooth module with your new Mac, the AmbiCom BT2000 adapter provides a stable and robust Bluetooth interface and is definitely worth considering.


Pros

  • Provides stable and continuous Bluetooth connectivity
  • Stylish translucent purple casing (no pulsating light when not in use)
  • Easy and inexpensive alternative to a built-in Bluetooth module
  • No extra software required

Cons

  • Takes up a USB port


Overall Rating

5 out of 5 Mice