When you buy a new computer, depending on the model, some have no Bluetooth module… Which is a shame, because it is something that is becoming more and more common: helmets, headsets, mice, watches, smartphones, tablets, printers, etc… use more and more Bluetooth! I am thinking especially smartphones, which even the low-end now have bluetooth, and with which it is particularly interesting to send wireless files.
To overcome this problem, there are USB keys, usually called "dongle" to differentiate it from the usb storage key (a usb stick is also a dongle: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dongle), to compensate for this lack.
An example of dongle that I could test is the Avantree Bluetooth 4.0 DG40.
1. The standard
The Avantree Bluetooth 4.0 DG40 dongle, as its name suggests is latest generation: bluetooth 4.0! Which implies that it is able to connect to all devices which are bluetooth 4.0, bluetooth 3.0, bluetooth 2.1, bluetooth 2.0, bluetooth 1.1 and bluetooth 1.0! 1st not inconsiderable thing knowing that the majority of the dongles can be found generally generation 2.0! And therefore the connections between devices are not optimal! With this dongle, no worries at this level!
Especially since the bluetooth version 4.0 was designed to save battery, therefore particularly interesting for smartphones and smartwatchs!
2. The size
At the level of the dongles, you are of all sizes:
The dongle is among the smallest that I know: 2.2 cm long and 1.1 cm wide. I do not think that there are more small, although nowadays technology permits it without problem, and this is due to the fact that the dongle, need to remove it, and so that it extends outside the computer to be able to grab it for its extraction! ;-)
3. The software provided
A mini-CD is provided for the installation of the drivers. Like most of the drivers to install, it is strongly recommended to install the device before you insert your device on your computer. The mini-CD contains a Bluetooth device management software named CSR Harmony Wireless Software Pack version 126.96.36.199.
Installation is done without too many worries except a screen:
The default settings of the software are not at all be explained… Both "Discovery Mode", we can more or less understand what it is, but "SCMS-T"… Fortunately that Google is there (and that Sony has taken the trouble to explain!), but they could make the effort to explain it, everybody knows not all abbreviations! SCMS-T is actually a method of secure sending and receiving of data between 2 bluetooth devices.
The "Discovery Mode" is the mode in which the bluetooth dongle will perpetually scan the surrounding area search all bluetooth devices.
The supplied software contains a lot of options: allow the computer is discovered or not, allow to smartphones or other device to connect, destination files, integration with Skype, integration with Outlook, allow to lock or unlock remotely, etc…
4. The scope
The theoretical scope of this dongle is 50 m. I did check until there, but in any case, it well exceeds 10 metres! In short, be quiet at home.
5. The connection
The connection with a smartphone is fairly simple: choice, from your smartphone or from your computer. A code will be sent to verify that it is correct and it is good! The connection will be established! After, feel free to do what you want: sending files, hands-free kits, audio speaker, etc…
The (green) led that indicates that the bluetooth dongle is turned on is… under the usb key! What makes that we see not, unless you have your usb port mounted upside down… Moreover, the diode is not very flash, which is that if you look the dongle to the horizontal, ben it is hard to see the led flashing…
The icon you showing that the dongle is idle is grey. When it is active, it is blue. And when it is paired with a smartphone or other device, it is… Blue… What makes that it is impossible to know exactly its status! One different icon than the blue (and of course other than grey) that informs us when the dongle is paired would not have been the mess!
A good small dongle simple to use and forget it easily connected to his computer. Only worries, at the level of notifications (diode and icon)…
Product link: http://www.mobilefun.fr/39582-cl-usb-avantree-bluetooth-40.htm