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Reviews

Short Take: Motorola’s PC850 Bluetooth PC Adapter

By Legacy April 28, 2006, 12:00 am

** SIMPLE TO USE** The Motorola PC850 Bluetooth PC adapter, reminiscent of a Star Trek Starship torpedo, ships with a mini CD containing the WIDCOMM Bluetooth software version 4.0.1.2500.

In order not to conflict with the Windows XP integrated Bluetooth stack, the WIDCOMM drivers must be installed first before inserting the dongle into a USB port. The USB plug revealed.

The WIDCOMM drivers provide a full featured set of Bluetooth services which include:

  • Bluetooth Imaging

  • Audio Gateway

  • Headset

  • PIM Synchronization

  • Fax

  • File Transfer

  • PIM Item Transfer

  • Dial-up Networking

  • Network Access

  • Bluetooth Serial Port

** STREAMING AUDIO** The pairing of Bluetooth stereo headphones such as the Motorola HT820 we reviewed here was simple. By placing the Motorola HT820 in pairing mode and a "find device" command from the PC, discovers and pairs the two together.

POCKETNOW VIDEO OF THE DAY

Once the devices are paired, a connection is initiated. A message box is displayed to remind the user that the PC audio stream has been redirected to the Bluetooth device

The Motorola PC850 successfully paired and connected with the Motorola DC800 Bluetooth Home Stereo Adapter we reviewed here. However the DC800 never streamed any audio to a stereo. Motorola support came to the conclusion that the output of the DC800 may be possibly faulty. pocketnow.com will endeavor to have Motorola provide a replacement DC800 to validate it's complete functionality.

** ACTIVESYNC BLUES** The problem with the Microsoft and WIDCOMM Bluetooth stack is that they do not play well together. Pocket PC vendors who choose to include the WIDCOMM Bluetooth drivers with Windows Mobile force their users to use WIDCOMM Bluetooth drivers on Windows XP and vice versa with the Microsoft Bluetooth stack. Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PCs such as the T-Mobile MDA and Dell X51v which include the Microsoft Bluetooth stack are unable to successfully pair with ActiveSync using the Motorola PC850.

PURCHASING

The Motorola PC850 Bluetooth PC adapter can be purchased from Motorola for $49.99 here. The street price is about $30. Motorola also offers kits with the PC850 which include the H500 headset or the HT820 stereo headphones.

Pros

  • Full featured WIDCOMM drivers
  • Simple to use

Cons

  • Unable to successfully stream audio to the Motorola DC800
  • Unable to pair with Microsoft Bluetooth stack
  • Pricey

OVERALL IMPRESSION

The major advantage of purchasing a Motorola PC850 Bluetooth PC adapter is the support you will receive for connecting to any Motorola Bluetooth product. Even though I was unable to successfully stream audio from the PC850 to the DC800, from my extensive conversation with support I am surmising that I have a faulty unit. The inclusion of the WIDCOMM Bluetooth drivers is also a plus since it offers many more services than the Microsoft Bluetooth stack. The down side is the use of ActiveSync Bluetooth synchronization with a version of Windows Mobile that include the Microsoft Bluetooth stack.

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