brucecornelius wrote:Noticeably absent from both the specs and the discussion is Bluetooth. Is that not a shortcoming?
No Bluetooth(BT)? This is not really a negative issue in most cases. Bluetooth offers a rich set of services, with more secure connections, a shorter range and lower power. Each of these is a good thing, but in the real world, Bluetooth is an uncommon choice.
Let's reframe the BT issue. What peripherals do you currently intend to connect? Do you own them now, or do you intend to buy? In most cases BT is not well supported, but every person has a unique mix of needs and existing assets and requirements.
I have several machines, because of the nature of my work, some with Bluetooth, some without. The only things I typically connect to with BT is a GPS unit and synching my Blackberry. Everything else is either WiFi, USB or a proprietary connection. I work quite well without BT.
A Bluetooth headset can be handy, but few folks use one, and battery life can be an issue. There are Bluetooth mice, keyboards and printers. They are handy, but they typically cost more than RF and
802.11x devices that offer identical functions.
But what do you currently own and wish to connect? In my case, my printer is networked and available, and is 802.1g capable. Bluetooth adds no advantage. If I was tethering my laptop to my phone, that would be a plus, but every where I need it, I have 802.11 WiFi.
My external keyboards and mice use RF. I like the Logitech devices, especially the "unified" RF adapter which fits in a USB port and is a low profile, 1/4" plug. I leave it snugly connected when I travel.
I also have Bluetooth USB adapters, transceiver devices, to plug into other machines. From NewEgg, they cost $15-$30. They are also low-profile BT USB plugs. I can pop one on a laptop and leave it in place, so even a non-Bluetooth machines can add that capability for just a few bucks.
In summary, I don't find Bluetooth compelling in the marketplace. In the few cases I need Bluetooth, I can add it. In my decision matrix, having it is a plus, but it is way down on the priority list.
BT technology is well thought out and technically sound, but in the market, BT was costly and slow to adapt. Hence other devices IR/RF/WiFi filled that niche. Even today it is hard to find Bluetooth devices and they often cost more. In practice, BT is rarely needed, though your circumstances dictate your needs.