Like many consumers, Dell is getting a little sick of waiting around for the IEEE's Task Group N to pull it together and roll out a final version of the next-gen WiFi standard, so the company has decided to start offering its own draft-802.11n card in all XPS and select Inspiron laptops. As you're probably already aware, 802.11n will be a wireless networking protocol that uses MIMO technology to offer greater range and speed than traditional 802.11a/b/g networks, but has been famously bogged down by delays and questions of interoperability. Dell's implementation comes in the form of its redundantly-named Wireless 1500 Draft 802.11n dual-band wireless card, which utilizes Broadcom's Intensi-fi flavor of draft-N -- available in such products as Netgear's RangeMax Next lineup -- to provide those desirable performance boosts. Usually we'd recommend that you wait to take the plunge until the dust settles and a final standard is announced, but since that may not happen in our lifetimes and Dell's backwards-compatible card is only $59 (or less, plus the cost of a router), it doesn't sound too risky to give this option a try.
[Via Notebook Review]
Dell offering draft-802.11n card for notebooks
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.