Is there a combined bluetooth/wifi miniPCI card?
December 12, 2005 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Is there a combined bluetooth/802.11g miniPCI card that will work as a replacement for the Intel PRO 2100 in my Centrino laptop? It would need to support WPA as well, I suppose. Googling seems to show that such things exist, but I couldn't find any at Amazon or my normal online hardware shops.

Is this the sort of situation where such a device wouldn't do either task well? What's the best way to get bluetooth onto a laptop that didn't come with it? I'd rather not have a PCMCIA card sticking out.
posted by tirade to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
I'd rather not have a PCMCIA card sticking out.
There are also USB bluetooth adapters, although those would also 'stick out.'
posted by kickingtheground at 2:49 PM on December 12, 2005

I've been searching for one for years. Try Froogle, look for OEM as well as wifi, bluetooth and minipci.

However, I've never seen one that had a documented chipset, that I knew would run under both XP and Linux.
posted by jkaczor at 3:08 PM on December 12, 2005

Well, here is one, I dunno about the vendor/manufacturer though....
posted by jkaczor at 3:13 PM on December 12, 2005

msi makes one, but (a) it's only meant for use within two particular laptop models of theirs and (2) even then they still can't get it to work right (invariably the net portion works but the bluetooth doesn't.)
by which I mean to agree with what you say: such a device wouldn't do either task well -- since msi's single-purpose 802.11g and single-purpose bluetooth adapters work quite well.
posted by dorian at 3:13 PM on December 12, 2005

(and I personally have an 802.11b/g-only minipci card from msi, and it's rock solid. also, it works in non-msi computers.)
posted by dorian at 3:15 PM on December 12, 2005

Is there no other way to put bluetooth in the thing? My Dell D500 has both, I never concerned myself with how but I presumed there was a nonstandard socket of some sort the bluetooth was in. I didn't think it had 2 miniPCIs...
posted by phearlez at 3:15 PM on December 12, 2005

phearlez -- yes, most likely one or the other (probably the bluetooth) is hardwired directly onto the logic board or in a proprietary socket.

what surprises me is that intel has not done such a device for their centrino package, it would only make sense considering that such integration is the whole point of the centrino concept.
posted by dorian at 3:19 PM on December 12, 2005

The Bluetooth on the Dell (assuming it's the same as my Dell D800) is a seperate little card (and by little I mean tiny - thumbnail sized) that fits in on the left side if you remove the sound card sockets. I guess this is proprietary to Dell though.
posted by benzo8 at 3:34 PM on December 12, 2005

on post-post-post preview: jkaczor, the one you linked is the same one I mentioned. the 802.11 chipset on it is a ralink rt2500, which works on linux, mac and windows (ralink released their code under gpl, and it's now in the hands of the r2x00 project). the bluetooth, however, I couldn't say since I have never used any -- is bluetooth fairly open like usb (which only requires either the ohci or uhci driver, and ehci for 2.0) or is there a lot of differing chipsets some open and some closed?
posted by dorian at 3:38 PM on December 12, 2005

er, s/r2x00/rt2x00/ sorry.
posted by dorian at 3:41 PM on December 12, 2005

There are a couple of photosets linked here for a DIY solution (installing a USB device internally).
posted by exogenous at 4:41 PM on December 12, 2005

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