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February 26, 2020

Win10 2004 Certified for Bluetooth 5.1


Here’s a interesting tidbit feature-wise for Windows 10 2004 due out later this year. According to the Bluetooth Launch Studio, the full gamut of 2004 flavors (Pro, Home, Workstation, etc. — 16 in all) is certified for Bluetooth 5.1. That means the OS itself will support more advanced Bluetooth 5.1 features (PDF document). These include improved signal reception and directionality, support for low energy devices (using GATT, Generic ATTribute profile) and longer battery life, and more. MSPowerUser clued me into this in a January 22 story, though the certification came through on January 10.

But Wait, There’s More. . .

According to that same source, MS plans to add support for Bluetooth 5.2 in upcoming Windows 10 Insider Previews, too (link to PDF document). Support for 5.1 will come in 2004, but there’s more to come besides that as well. Of course, your Bluetooth devices have to support these newer, more robust and enhanced standards to get anything new and interesting out of them. Unfortunately for me, my newer Lenovo laptops (X1 Extreme and X380 Yoga, 8th generation i7 processors) suppport LMP 8.256, which means they’re Bluetooth 4.2 (see this great Windows Support note: What Bluetooth version is my PC? for instructions on how to check your gear). My latest acquisition, a 2019 X390 Yoga, shows LMP 9.256, which indicates Bluetooth version 5.0. So drat! No Bluetooth 5.1 here.

X390-BT5.0

Guess if I want to use those new Bluetooth features, I need some new hardware!
[Click image for full-sized view.]

Any excuse to buy new hardware is generally a good one, as far as I’m concerned. I’m planning on building a new desktop later this Spring. I’ll just have to make sure it’s running LMP version 10 (or higher: these things change pretty frequently). If you’re lucky enough to have some 5.1 or 5.2 capable Bluetooth gear already, you can use the former in the current Insider Preview and that latter in some Insider Preview still to come. Stay tuned.

Author: Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.

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