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Reviews

Short Take: Motorola’s PC850 Bluetooth PC Adapter

By Legacy April 28, 2006, 12:00 am


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SIMPLE TO USE
The Motorola PC850 Bluetooth PC adapter (figure 1),
reminiscent of a Star Trek Starship torpedo, ships
with a mini CD containing the WIDCOMM Bluetooth
software version 4.0.1.2500.

(all images link to higher resolution)

Figure 1: Motorola PC850 Bluetooth
PC adapter.

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 (Figure 2).


Figure 2: The Motorola PC850’s
USB plug.

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 (figure 3), discovers and pairs the two
together.


Figure 3: The WIDCOMM Bluetooth driver provide a simple
way to find and pair with new devices.

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 (Figure 4).


Figure 4: WIDCOMM’s notice of a successful high
quality audio connection.

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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