Dell has launched a wireless card that promises to boost network speeds to 270Mbps.
The card will be available as an optional expansion on XPS and select Inspiron notebooks for $59.
The Dell Wireless 1500 Draft 802.11n dual-band wireless card offers backwards compatibility with the existing 802.11a, b and g wireless standards. The card is made by Broadcom.
The computer maker claimed that the high speed wireless technology would enable new applications such as online gaming and high definition video streaming.
The 802.11n technology is considered the next generation Wi-Fi. It aims to increase network transmission rates from the current 54Mbps to 600Mbps while increasing the technology's range.
The standard, however, is still under review by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the final standard is not expected until 2007.
Lacking ratification by the standards body, Dell is unable to guarantee interoperability of its 802.11n technology with 'draft-compliant' access points and client devices.
"Plan to stay with Wi-Fi certified products under the 802.11a/b/g banner. Expect these technology investments to be good for at least four more years," Gartner analysts recommended last January, adding that 802.11n should not be considered until 2007.
The analyst firm at the time dismissed compatibility claims by 802.11n vendors as "misleading" and "premature".
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