Maybe you remember my Acer Modem 56 Surf Bluetooth review from last December? I bought that modem to wire free the household of my girlfriend and there were two disappointments with this modem (a third came later):
The Acer Bluetooth modem hadn't Bluetooth PIN protection included, which means that you was able to pair with this device without any restrictions (good for you but even better for everybody else who found that modem) and it was supporting a range of 10 meters only.
Well, the third disappointment came later when using it: Bluetooth "gave up" and I wasn't able to use the modem for more than 1 - 2 minutes; after it lost the connection to the PCs and therefore the PC lost the Internet connection.
Since I still had warranty on the modem, I returned it to the dealer who sent it back to Acer. Now we got a new one and for my surprise the new one was called "Acer Modem 56 Surf Bluetooth 100m" and had a slightly modified package artwork.
100 meters? Hmmm... Sounds good I thought since the advertised 20 meters never worked and the 10 meters were pretty curt. But when I've opened the box I got another surprise: there was no warning anymore, that the device isn't supporting and PIN security for Bluetooth but the manual explained how to figure out the Bluetooth PIN for the modem! PIN protection, 100 meter range? Sounds like Acer seriously improved the modem! :-)
So I've connected it with the landline and fired up my girlfriend's Notebook, plugged in the Anycom Bluetooth PC card and searched for available devices. It found the modem and when I pressed connect, the Bluetooth wizard asked me to enter the device PIN! I've entered and the Notebook bonded with the modem, so far so good! My first disappointment were solved.
Than I dialed my ISP and it connected immediately and staid connected for more than 2 minutes. When I walked thought the apartment with the Notebook in my hands, it staid connected, where ever I was - even outside on the balcony. Not sure it is is supporting exactly 100 meters but at least it covers the complete 60 square meter flat which is all I've asked for! :-)
I've just checked the Acer homepages and while still no other Acer site except the German has it as available product, the German Acer page still mentions the old modem with 20 meters and without Bluetooth protection only. No word about the 100 meter version.
By the way - the new modem also solved another problem I recently ran into. Since I've upgraded my Sony Notebook to the Microsoft Service Pack 2 for XP and I replaced the Sony Bluetooth integration with the Microsoft stack, I wasn't able to connect with the old modem anymore because for any reason Microsoft's Bluetooth implementation wasn't able to connect with a device which isn't supporting Bluetooth PIN requests. Since the new modem has Bluetooth security in place, I'm sure I can again use my Sony Notebook with the modem.
Well done Acer, good that you have revised your previous Bluetooth modem. Now I wonder why it is still not announced and even more important - how can previous buyers upgrade to the 100 meter version?
Cheers ~ Arne