Dell Announces Built-In 802.11n Wireless Card for Notebooks

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Dell today announced the availability of the Dell Wireless 1500 draft-802.11n dual-band wireless mini card that can be configured for all XPS and Inspiron notebooks.  This built-in 802.11n card will offer data transfer rates of up to 270 Mbps and twice the range when paired with an 802.11n wireless network router.

When connected to a wireless draft-802.11n network router featuring Intensi-fi technology, the Dell Wireless 1500 Draft 802.11n wireless card supports data rates up to 270 megabits per second (Mbps), versus the maximum 54 Mbps with 802.11g wireless technology. The Dell card is Wi-Fi certified to ensure backward compatibility with 802.11g, 802.11b and 802.11a wireless standards.  The cost of this card when configured with a notebook or purchased seperately is $59.

A screenshot of available wireless cards for the Dell e1705 that includes the 802.11n options

What is 802.11n?

Netgear draft-802.11n wireless router with Intensi-fi compliance (view large image)

802.11n is a new wireless range that is an improvement on current 802.11 technologies (such as 802.11b and 802.11g), but that does not have precise specs ratified by the IEEE body.   The faster speeds and increased range of 802.11n are enabled by a sophisticated antenna system that manages the transmission and receipt of multiple simultaneous data streams (Multi-Input, Multi-Output or MIMO).  The IEEE has taken an exceedingly long amount of time to set the 802.11n standards in stone, so manufacturers such as Dell are moving ahead with integrating this technology anyway and assuring compliance with certain implementations of 802.11n.  In this case, Dell is using the Broadcom Intensi-fi implementation of 802.11n as their guaranteed compliance implementation.  Wireless routers, such as the Netgear WNR834B RangeMax router, are already available that support the Intensi-Fi 802.11n implementation.

Benefits of 802.11n include:

  • Increased wireless data throughput, up to 270Mbps (four times faster than the current fastest 802.11g 54Mbps wireless throughput)
  • Approximately twice the range of 802.11b
  • Same level of security and encryption as existing 802.11 technologies


Dell Network Assistant Also Announced

Screenshot of new Dell Network Assistant software application (view large image)

Dell has also announced a new software application called “Dell Network Assistant” to help better manage multiple networks.  Dell Network Assistant is an all-in-one utility that helps users set up, maintain and even troubleshoot networks and networked devices.  Every Dell notebook sold will include this application starting today.  For those that are existing Dell customers you can see a demo and download the application from here:  The download includes a 90-day trial and it will cost $39 for the full version..  



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