10 great Bluetooth gadgets

Go ahead, cut the cord. These cool and useful Bluetooth devices help you phone, print, present and more -- all without wires.
  • (Computerworld)
  • — 21 November, 2008 08:18

The Logitech diNovo Mini is a great go-anywhere keyboard, but where it really shines is in the living room, controlling your Media Center PC.

The Logitech diNovo Mini is a great go-anywhere keyboard, but where it really shines is in the living room, controlling your Media Center PC.

  • 
The Logitech diNovo Mini is a great go-anywhere keyboard, but where it really shines is in the living room, controlling your Media Center PC.
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The Polaroid PoGo Instant Mobile Printer painlessly (and wirelessly) gets snapshots from your cell phone on to 2-by-3-inch prints with adhesive backing.
  • The Mindstorms NXT kit from Lego lets you create various robots that respond to programs you create and transmit via Bluetooth.
  • BlueAnt's Supertooth 3 hands-free speakerphone, which mounts on a car's sun visor, lets you use voice commands to dial and answer mobile calls.
  • The Aliph New Jawbone is a better class of Bluetooth earphone: stylish and comfortable to wear for hours at a stretch.
  • The Kensington Vo200 Bluetooth Internet Phone saves you money by routing your calls over VoIP. The handset stores and charges right in your notebook's PC Card slot.
  • The Baracoda D-Fly scans bar codes and uploads them to your notebook, handheld or smart phone, where you can comparison-shop for similar products online.
  • Logitech diNovo Mini Bluetooth keyboard
  • Yamaha's NX-B02 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker packs two speakers in a single box and sounds like a much larger speaker system.
  • The Sony Ericsson MBW-150 Classic Edition watch connects to your phone to show you who is calling or that a new text message has arrived.
  • The VP6600 ExpressCard Media Remote from Interlink Electronics is a tiny yet surprisingly powerful remote control for making presentations. It charges and travels in your notebook's ExpressCard slot.

Talk and drive: BlueAnt Supertooth 3 hands-free speakerphone

More and more US states are passing laws that forbid drivers to use handheld mobile phones, but fiddling around with the buttons on a headset can be equally distracting. If you must talk and drive, BlueAnt has a better way: the voice-controlled Supertooth 3 speakerphone (US$130).

The 3.8-ounce hands-free device is perfect for those of us who hate to read directions because it actually tells you how to use it in your choice of six languages.

The package includes not only the black speakerphone, but adapters for AC and car power. It took about a minute to connect with my phone, and I quickly figured out how to dial and answer calls by voice command. Its audio is clear and static-free, but a little hollow at times.

Supertooth 3 has a range of 40 feet and its battery lasted for four hours of use. The device easily clips to any car's visor, which means it's always there waiting for your next call.

Control the show: Interlink Electronics VP6600 ExpressCard Media Remote for Bluetooth

Interlink's US$50 VP6600 media remote weighs an ounce and is smaller than a business card, yet can control a PowerPoint show so well that every mobile presenter should pack it -- especially because it charges and travels right in your notebook's ExpressCard slot.

Setting up the tiny remote control with my notebook took a minute, but there's neither an on-off switch nor a light, so you have to trust that the VP6600 is working. On top of buttons that move your slides forward and back, and change the volume up and down, there's a handy mute button. The device, which requires Windows XP or Vista, can also play and move among tracks of a CD or DVD.

The VP660's 50-foot range can come in handy when presenting in a big room. The remote control card ran for more than three hours on a charge; after 30 minutes of idle time it puts itself to sleep. Let's hope that your next audience doesn't suffer a similar fate.

All audio, no wires: Yamaha NX-B02 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

Yamaha's US$200 NX-B02 Bluetooth speaker set puts an end to the presenter's nightmare of fumbling with wires to connect speakers or -- worse yet -- not finding the right audio cable. A single box, which contains two speakers, connects in a flash, runs on batteries and sounds like a much larger speaker system.

At 1.5 pounds and about the size of a small clock radio, it's hard to believe that the NX-B02 contains a 10-watt amplifier. The unit's 1.75-in. Titanium cone speakers are augmented by two passive radiators (diaphragms that move in response to the main diaphragm's vibration, strengthening the bass). It comes with an AC adapter but not the four AA batteries that can power it for six and a half hours.

Connecting it to my phone and handheld was straightforward and took all of a minute each. The NX-B02's audio is surprisingly rich, on a par with a good boombox. It has a 20-foot range and can easily fill a room with wireless sound.

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Brian Nadel

Computerworld
Topics: bluetooth
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