advantages of bluetooth?

allisonv7

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 20, 2004
421
1
Hey everyone, I'm going to be ordering a G5 Imac in the next coupld weeks and am debating on whether or not to get bluetooth. I dont really know too much about it though. Is this the only way to have a wireless keyboard/mouse with a mac? Also, what are the other advantages? I currently do not have a bluetooth phone or pda, but I there is that possibility in the future. If I didn't get the bluetooth now is it difficult to install myself down the road?

Thanks,

allison.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,819
41
Andover, MA
I'd recommend getting BT installed in a notebook because you might need it in the future, and the BT dongle is a pain on an iBook/PB.

However, for iMacs and PowerMacs, you can buy the $35 D-Link DBT-120 USB dongle, plug it into a USB port on the back, and you're good to go. Works fine, no need to buy it until/unless you need it.
 

cmvsm

macrumors 6502a
Nov 12, 2004
784
0
Bluetooth

If want the bluetooth internally, you have to get it when you are having the system built. There is no hardware for an internal installation later. As it has already been said, you can get the external dongle that you can place on the back of the monitor or G5 and it will work fine, but you are not going to get the great deal that Apple offers on the entire package.

In terms of the internal package, for $99 bucks from Apple, you get the internal bluetooth module, wireless keyboard, and wireless mouse. If you bought the dongle, mouse and keyboard seperately later, you'll pay close to twice that amount. Plus, its nice to have it internally so that you don't have to worry about losing small expensive pieces. The Apple pro keyboard is excellent. The mouse has good weight to it and is responsive as well. As long as you don't mind the one button operation. Takes a little to get used to if you are a switcher but works great... :D

Just my 2 cents.
 

combatcolin

macrumors 68020
Oct 24, 2004
2,284
0
Northants, UK
BT joypads should be making their way round by next year.

And BT is sooo cool with a BT mobile.

(thats mobile phone as apposed to a cell phone for you lot across the pond)
 

lasuther

macrumors 6502a
Feb 13, 2004
670
0
Grand Haven, Michigan
It is relatively inexpensive to get internal Bluetooth. You should get it now because you won't be able to add internal Bluetooth later. For $99, having the bluetooth mouse and keyboard is worth it. Get it.

lasuther
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,819
41
Andover, MA
I'd forgotten about the BT/KB/mouse deal. For $99, it's a no brainer. The iMac with no wires except for power going into it would be quite cool.
 

OneTrueBob

macrumors newbie
Nov 20, 2004
18
0
Atlanta, GA
My Opinion

I bought a 20" G5 iMac last week during Black Friday sale at the Apple Store.

Anyway, I opted for the internal Bluetooth mostly because I have a Palm T5 that I wanted to sync wirelessly. When you buy the internal Bluetooth to get the wireless keyboard and mouse as well.

So far, I'm pretty happy with them. Everything just worked right out of the box. Buy I do have a few observations.

First, after a reboot, it takes a few seconds for the keyboard and mouse to pair with the computer. It can be a little frustrating trying to log on and have both the keyboard and mouse be unresponsive. They do, however, catch up. This also means that you can't use the keyboard to set any of the boot up modes such a setting it up as a firewire drive, or booting from a CD.

Second, they are keyboard and mouse are powered by AA batteries. This isn't so much a problem in the keyboard because 4 AA batteries should last a good long while in a keyboard. But they mouse, being a constantly active optical device, uses only 2 AA batteries which the literature suggests should only last about a month or less under heavy use. (I own a Logitech keyboard and mouse that I used on my PC. One of the reasons I selected the version that I have is that the mouse has a base station that recharges it.)

Finally, I've grown accustomed to some of the niceties of my PC mice. A scroll wheel is a wonderful thing. And, of course, I am a confirmed right clicker.

I hope that gives you some more food for thought when making your decision. All in all, I'd have to say I'm really enjoying my iMac as it seems to be a wonderfully capable machine.
 

OneTrueBob

macrumors newbie
Nov 20, 2004
18
0
Atlanta, GA
Oh Yeah...

I forgot to mention that the iMac with no wires concept is a bit overrated. Realistically, even with the Airport Extreme and Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, your still probably going to have wires connected to it. If you have an iPod, there's another wire. If you have a printer that isn't connect to an Airport Express, then there's another. Digital cameras, scanners, UPSes, all these things are going to add wires anyway. If your going for an uber clean look, what you can do is get a firewire/usb hub. Then you would only have three wires going into the iMac. (1 power, 1 usb, 1 firewire)

Just a thought.

Bob
 

machinehien

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2003
119
0
houston
I would not bother

I got the iMac 20" with BT and WiFi and am underwhelmed with the real life performance. BT is noticeably slower than USB, login is longer, OS doesn't always detect the device, and it eats up batteries, and skips occasionally. Also worse is that when you order BT it delays your order by a month. Meanwhile most retail places that carries iMacs are well stocked with the 17's and 20's. Plus you are stuck with the wireless mouse and keyboard cause Apple switches them for the wired. Also there is a good chance that since WiFi and BT communicate on the same 2.4 GHz bandwidth you get interference. My Airport Extreme (802.11.g) is definitely slower than normal Airport (802.11.b).

So unless your desk is the epitome of zen minilmalism skip the BT, you are going to accumulate some wire clutter regardless.

I wrote an epinions regarding my iMac purchase. I am pretty happy with the new RAM. Microcenter has Corsair 512 MB PC3200 memory on sale for $78

http://www.epinions.com/content_162853719684
 

allisonv7

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 20, 2004
421
1
Thanks for the opinions guys :) I'm thinking I'll probably skip the bluetooth for now. I'm probably going to get the $1499 model with the 512mb ram upgrade and airport card installed. How long do you guys think that will take to build? I dont want to wait too long to get it :)


allison.
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
With a laptop, no brainer. I hotsync my Tungsten T every day via Bluetooth and it is sooo freakin cool. But with a desktop... you can wait until you "need" it.
 

cmvsm

macrumors 6502a
Nov 12, 2004
784
0
Bluetooth

One other thing is that you should focus upon things that you cannot add later such as the internal bluetooth or larger processor and buy those. Everything else, for the most part, you can add as you need it, but you won't be able to go back for the other things as they are BTO.
 

lasuther

macrumors 6502a
Feb 13, 2004
670
0
Grand Haven, Michigan
allisonv7 said:
Thanks for the opinions guys :) I'm thinking I'll probably skip the bluetooth for now. I'm probably going to get the $1499 model with the 512mb ram upgrade and airport card installed. How long do you guys think that will take to build? I dont want to wait too long to get it :)


allison.

You can always get the Bluetooth module for $50 and turn it off. You will never be able to add it internally later. With moble phones, PDA's, and many other components getting Bluetooth I think its safer to get it now.

You can always turn it off, but you'll never get another chance to add it in. For only $50 its worth it.

lasuther
 

johnnyjibbs

macrumors 68030
Sep 18, 2003
2,958
119
London, UK
machinehien said:
I got the iMac 20" with BT and WiFi and am underwhelmed with the real life performance. BT is noticeably slower than USB, login is longer, OS doesn't always detect the device, and it eats up batteries, and skips occasionally. Also worse is that when you order BT it delays your order by a month. Meanwhile most retail places that carries iMacs are well stocked with the 17's and 20's. Plus you are stuck with the wireless mouse and keyboard cause Apple switches them for the wired. Also there is a good chance that since WiFi and BT communicate on the same 2.4 GHz bandwidth you get interference. My Airport Extreme (802.11.g) is definitely slower than normal Airport (802.11.b).

So unless your desk is the epitome of zen minilmalism skip the BT, you are going to accumulate some wire clutter regardless.
I've never had interference with the Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme on my PowerBook. I use the Apple wireless mouse and it does eat up batteries (need to change them every 5-6 weeks) but it is great for just popping into the bag and I'm used to not needing a scroll wheel

Are you sure that an iMac G5 with BT keyboard/mouse doesn't come with a wired version? I thought you always needed the wired ones for the initial setup and for input in case the BT module failed on the machine.

I think Bluetooth is a good thing to have, although, as many have said, it is much better on the laptops where you'd don't always want inconvenient dongles hanging out the side. And once you get used to life without wires, there really is no turning back.
 

vtprinz

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2004
395
0
machinehien said:
I got the iMac 20" with BT and WiFi and am underwhelmed with the real life performance. BT is noticeably slower than USB, login is longer, OS doesn't always detect the device, and it eats up batteries, and skips occasionally. Also worse is that when you order BT it delays your order by a month. Meanwhile most retail places that carries iMacs are well stocked with the 17's and 20's. Plus you are stuck with the wireless mouse and keyboard cause Apple switches them for the wired. Also there is a good chance that since WiFi and BT communicate on the same 2.4 GHz bandwidth you get interference. My Airport Extreme (802.11.g) is definitely slower than normal Airport (802.11.b).
Has anyone else experienced a delay in getting their computer because of bluetooth? I don't see myself using BT for anything other than the wireless keyboard, but it's a pretty cheap deal to get BT and the keyboard (and the mouse, but I'd use a 3rd party mouse anyway, which would most likely be USB, not BT) But I don't want to have to wait forever just to add something I'd barely use, not to mention I won't want to buy an extra wired keyboard for any kind of login or boot disc changes....
 

OneTrueBob

macrumors newbie
Nov 20, 2004
18
0
Atlanta, GA
johnnyjibbs said:
Are you sure that an iMac G5 with BT keyboard/mouse doesn't come with a wired version? I thought you always needed the wired ones for the initial setup and for input in case the BT module failed on the machine.
As I said above, I bought one from the Apple Store on Friday. There were only the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse in the box. (And some batteries.)

Also, there was no problem initially setting up the iMac. I figure either:
1) With the built in Bluetooth, the pairing is done for you after the module is installed.

or

2) Apple added some features to the their Bluetooth devices and OS X such that pairing happens automagically.

On another note: I have both the wireless keyboard and mouse combo as well as airport extreme and I haven't really noticed any latency issues with the keyboard or mouse after the initial detection. (Which seems to happen shortly after the log on screen appears.) Also, I've never had to wait more than about 10 seconds after the log on screen appears for the devices to be detected. Although my hunch is that you may have to be using one or the other device to help the detection (pairing) happen. I'm usually moving my mouse around during boot, so when the pointer starts moving, both devices work just fine from that point on.
 

machinehien

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2003
119
0
houston
johnnyjibbs said:
Are you sure that an iMac G5 with BT keyboard/mouse doesn't come with a wired version? I thought you always needed the wired ones for the initial setup and for input in case the BT module failed on the machine.

I think Bluetooth is a good thing to have, although, as many have said, it is much better on the laptops where you'd don't always want inconvenient dongles hanging out the side. And once you get used to life without wires, there really is no turning back.

Yep, no wired keyboard and mouse. If I didn't have old G4 keyboards lying around I might be screwed if my system conked out. Considering the retail price of wired Apple keyboard and any third party optical mouse, you do not save too much with the BT bundle.

I have to admit I am new to the wireless life, but until they come out with wireless USB and Firewire for cameras, scanners, iPods you are going to have wires on your desk sooner or later, might as well hang onto wired keyboard and mouse.

Also based on my experience thus far, I have reason to believe BT is not the end all of wireless standards.
 

vtprinz

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2004
395
0
Ok so we have...

Advantages:
-Only time to get BT built in (avoid annoying external dongles)
-Cheap way to get both BT and the wireless keyboard/mouse

Disadvantages:
-Can't use wireless keyboard for certain bootup or login processes
-Have to buy wired keyboard separately

Anything else?

I'm not sure which way the scale tips...
 

vtprinz

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2004
395
0
One other thing

A POSSIBLE intereference with Airport. Some say it slows it down, others say there's no difference.
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
StarbucksSam said:
I have an iMac G4. How could I get Bluetooth?
External. The internal Bluetooth doohicky is hardwired to the USB bus. No way to add/remove it. So, external is how you would need to go. With an iMac, depending on how many USB ports you have filled, you might need to go with a USB Bluetooth adaptor and a hub. The BT adaptor might not work if connected to the hub-- too little bus power.
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
StarbucksSam said:
Okay, so like... what kind of adaptor would I get?
D-Link makes one. You can buy it at the Apple Store. On-line or the physical ones. There are a few out there, but D-Link seems to be, right now, the best one for the Mac.
 

timnosenzo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2004
889
0
ct, us
Mechcozmo said:
D-Link makes one. You can buy it at the Apple Store. On-line or the physical ones. There are a few out there, but D-Link seems to be, right now, the best one for the Mac.
I have a D-Link USB adapter with an Apple keyboard & mouse. Works great! :D
 

cmvsm

macrumors 6502a
Nov 12, 2004
784
0
Bluetooth Boot

I booted from the OS X disk the other day and had full access to my bluetooth keyboard and mouse. The firmware update does wonders for the system.