New Dell Wireless Card Supports 802.11n Draft

The company's new card handles higher speeds and longer ranges than its current 802.11g cards, but may need to be replaced if the 802.11n standard changes.

Dell Computer is now shipping a new wireless card that handles higher speeds and longer ranges than the 802.11g cards currently shipped by the company.

The new card, which meets the current draft of the proposed 802.11n Wi-Fi standard, works with the companys XPS mobile systems and some Inspiron laptops.

The Dell Wireless 1500 Draft 802.11n wireless card is available by itself, or bundled with a Netgear wireless access point and router. A Bluetooth card is also included in the bundle.

The card by itself sells for $59.00 and the bundle sells for $209.00. Both draft 802.11n devices use "Intensi-fi" technology that provides the new 802.11n capabilities and is also backward-compatible to 802.11 a/b/g.

Both devices also support MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) antenna technology to support multiple simultaneous data streams.

/zimages/2/28571.gifDell releases its first EvDO (Evolution Data Optimized) card. Read more here.

Because the new wireless card is based on a draft standard, a Dell spokesperson admitted that there was no certainty that the same card could be updated to meet changes as the standard is finalized.

"Theres no guarantee that the product can be upgraded," said Clay Rayborn, marketing manager for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for Dell, based in Round Rock, Texas. "This is one reason why were not offering this on enterprise products," he said.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read more about why products based on early versions of 802.11n can be a touchy subject.

Rayborn said the new Dell Wi-Fi card is based on a Broadcom chip set. He added that its easily installed by laptop users, and that its also easy to remove.

Because of this, Rayborn said, even if the card cant be upgraded, it can be easily replaced.

Dell also announced that the company is now shipping the Dell Network Assistant from SingleClick Systems.

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Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...