Acer introduces 'world's first' laptop with 802.11ad WiFi

Hopefully the first of many laptops to support the standard.

Acer isn't bringing a load of Windows laptops to CES this year, but it is refreshing some existing lines with new features and tech. One such device is the company's TravelMate P648, a business-oriented laptop with one stand-out feature: support for 802.11ad wireless. Also known as WiGig, it's a short-distance WiFi standard that supports speeds of up to 4.6Gbps. The TravelMate P648 features one of Qualcomm's tri-band Atheros chips, which uses 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 60GHz radios to support a range of networks.

Unfortunately, there's not a lot you can do with 802.11ad right now. The downside of using the 60GHz spectrum for WiFi is its very low range. It's pretty much only useful for communicating with devices in the same room as you, and as such is intended to augment rather than replace existing standards. One potential use is for wireless displays, as 802.11ad can reduce casting lag down to 30ms vs. 802.11ac's 200ms. This is all a little theoretical right now, though, as we'll need to see lots of other companies bringing compatible devices to see the benefits.