What is a Bluetooth&Reg; Laptop?

Bluetooth connectivity may be added to a laptop with a Universal Serial Bus (USB) device.
With a Bluetooth connection, laptops can be easily connected to printers.
With a Bluetooth connection, laptops can be easily connected to digital cameras.
A Bluetooth laptop can connect to the internet via a user's Bluetooth cell phone.
Article Details
  • Originally Written By: Margo Upson
  • Revised By: C. Mitchell
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2015
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A Bluetooth® laptop is any sort of laptop computer that is equipped with Bluetooth® technology, usually in the form of a wireless card. The card allows the machine to synch with other enabled devices within a close proximity. Many different sorts of laptops across most major brands come with this sort of capability, and in most cases it comes standard — which is to say, the computers are built this way from the start and connectivity isn’t something that consumers have to ask for specially. Bluetooth® technology usually runs in the background, and isn’t something that users may even realize they have if they aren’t using it. A number of computer accessories today are designed to be compatible, though, and in most cases simply turning the Bluetooth® “on” in the laptop’s settings can make it “discoverable,” which allows nearly instantaneous connection to things like printers, wireless keyboards, mice, and even other computers. This, in turn, allows for faster data exchange and greater efficiency.

Understanding the Technology Generally

Bluetooth® is a type of wireless technology that uses short-wave encryptions to send date between devices. Some of the most common applications are found in phone handsets; in these settings they allow people to use their cell phones hands-free, which is often useful when doing something like driving. The idea is the same in the laptop. Wireless cards or ports allow for the exchange of data between a laptop and some other device around the home or office.


Signal Strength

Bluetooth® uses short radio wave frequencies to send and receive information. This is similar to how garage door openers and baby monitors work. To avoid interfering with other devices that use radio waves, Bluetooth® signals are usually very weak. Although this stops any interference, it also limits how far a signal can travel. In general, products have to be within about 32 feet (approximately 10 meters) in order to pick up a signal.

Under ideal conditions, Bluetooth® can connect up to eight products simultaneously, usually without interference between them. In part this is because the technology makes use of a practice known as “frequency hopping”: namely, the frequency used between the items changes constantly and quickly, cycling through seventy-nine possible frequencies.

Benefits of a Laptop Connection

With a Bluetooth® connection, laptops can be easily connected to printers, digital cameras, cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), headsets, and gaming controls, among other things. Information can also be easily sent from one enabled laptop to another without wires or a network connection. Laptops can also be linked to medical equipment, allowing doctors to monitor a patient’s condition remotely — or at least from another room.

Being able to wirelessly sync a laptop to other wireless devices is one of the big selling points of a Bluetooth® laptop. Transferring data from one gadget to the other, quickly and using very little energy, makes Bluetooth® great for setting up a small network, either at home or at the office.

Internet Access

Another benefit to this sort of connectivity involves the Internet. Typically Bluetooth® doesn’t need the Internet to function, but it can still harness it. A laptop that is so enabled can sometimes connect to the web through a Bluetooth®-enabled smart phone. Because the smart phones can access the web through its cellular data connection, the laptop can in turn connect and access the web the same way.

Some wireless hotspots, particularly those in closed locations like hospitals or schools, are also using Bluetooth® connections for their networks. A broadband connection can also be used, but can be more costly and more vulnerable to crashes and hacks.

Other Common Features

In most cases a Bluetooth® laptop will come with the full range of features found in non-Bluetooth® laptops. They range in price, available features, and processor speeds. The only difference is that they have a Bluetooth® adapter, either built in or added on. Laptops can be bought with Bluetooth® connectivity already installed or it can be added on later, usually with a Universal Serial Bus (USB) device.


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Discuss this Article

Post 3

Thanks Wisegeek. I often refer to your articles and am slowly becoming 'tech-literate'.

Post 2

@ Aplenty- Bluetooth technology is also spilling into the sports, health, and fitness world. There are devices that record health or training information like heart rates, speed and acceleration, and then send this information wirelessly to a nearby computer.

Video game consoles also use Bluetooth technology. The Wii fit games that have become so popular transfer all of their information to the console through a Bluetooth connection. other consoles also use Bluetooth technology to connect game controllers to consoles. Virtually any device that has a USB outlet can become a Bluetooth device by plugging in a Bluetooth USB adapter and loading the software.

Post 1

Bluetooth technology is spilling over into almost every electronic device. There are televisions, cameras, phones, printers, and home audio systems that are Bluetooth enabled. Imagine the possibilities. You can take pictures and video on your phone, send them to your television and Bluetooth wireless laptop to view and archive, listen to your computers song library, and print the pictures you like, all without wires.

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