Dell is offering WiMax, a longer-range wireless broadband service for notebooks and mobile devices, on two of its consumer laptop models: the Dell Studio 17 laptop and the Studio XPS 16 notebook.
Dell also suggested in a corporate blog that it was working closely with Clearwire to expand the range of WiMax service from its current supported areas around Portland, Ore., Atlanta and Baltimore. Clearwire plans on initiating the service in several cities throughout 2009, including Las Vegas, Chicago and Philadelphia, followed by 2010 rollouts in New York, Washington and San Francisco.
"Once it's available in more cities, you won't have to spend time looking for hot spots. Compared to mobile broadband, WiMax offers flexible service offerings," Lionel Menchaca, a spokesperson for Dell, wrote in the May 6 Dell corporate blog posting. "WiMax is fast too-it offers peak download rates of about 13M bps and up to 3M-bps upload speeds. Beyond that, our internal WiMax options all support 802.11n."
The Studio 17 and Studio XPS 16 now offer a WiMax/Wireless-N combo card option for a $60 upgrade. The Studio 17 is a 17-inch, widescreen laptop customizable for Intel Core 2 Duo processors; the Studio XPS 16 is a 16-inch "ultrawide" laptop with 1080p high-definition support and a Centrino 2 platform.
Dell has caused a swell of news lately in other areas as well. A May 6 news release by software solutions provider Bsquare involved a Dell netbook running Android, Google's operating system for cell phones that is poised to leap onto the laptop scene. Bsquare announced that it will port "Adobe's Flash Lite 3.17 technology onto Dell netbooks running Google's Android platform." However, Dell later said the release was an error and Bsquare quickly moved to remove the announcement, but not before it had made its way around the Web.
In April, Dell made its Studio One 19 all-in-one desktop available in the United States and Europe. The system included a 19-inch touch-screen and gave customers the option of choosing between Intel processors and Nvidia graphics cards.
Dell has been fighting economic headwinds, even announcing layoffs in March, as it attempts to regain hardware market share.