I have had this question on my mind for a while, and asked tech people at all kinds of computer shops. And had nothing with sales pitches that are irrelavent to my questions.
Is it better to get a wireless card for a laptop that goes into one of the PCMCIA slots or one that hooks up like a USB key??
I'm wondering if the USB keys are better on power consumption, or if that would be the same as the PCMCIA adapter.
I am also wondering if the range on the USB key would be better than that of a PCMCIA wireless network card. Because I have seen the USB key wireless network adapters with these little docking stations (D-link has them) and I am wondering if has anything to do with maximizing range.
If anyone can provide valueable input. please post.
Both standards will be able to handle the throughput of the Wireless connection. I can't answer on the power consumption (check on the actual devices themselves; probably pretty close.) The reception is also going to be dependent on individual devices too. I would say find a model of each that catches your eye, then compare power consumption and reception range and make the choice that's best for you...
I say it doesn't make a difference. It's basically the same thing in two different packages. So the power consumption will be very close if not identical. So it depends on your taste, USB will occupy a port which you could need, instead PCMCIA are pretty free. But USB adapters are usually a bit cheaper.
One other point that is hard to determine is that the PCMCIA could possibly have a slightly better reception because there is more area to put antennas, so there's a possibility of better antenna diversity. But this is a very slim details.
Conclusion: choose the adapter that suits your needs better.