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Dell laptops and built in MIMO Antennas

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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September 13, 2006 8:07:45 PM

I'm about to buy a Dell Inspiron 1405 and I'm trying to decide if I should spend $50 to upgrade to the Pre-N standard network card. I know that the pre-N card will most likely not be compatible with future N gear. What I'm concerned with is having the multiple antennas built into the laptop that I assume go with pre-N gear, so that I can later upgrade to an actual N standard card using multiple antennas

The laptop probably comes with one of the following configurations
1. There is only 1 antenna with the G card and you have to upgrade to a Pre-N card to get 3 antennas
2. There are 3 antennas in all 1405s. 2 are left unplugged when configured with a G card.
3. No matter what, there is only 1 antenna.

If anyone has a 1405 and knows the answer to this it would be greatly appreciated. I will spend the extra $50 if option 1 is the case, otherwise I'd prefer to save it. I would love to have the extra range that MIMO is supposed to give you.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

This is a duplicate of a post I made in the wireless networking forum. I deleted that one and posted this one, because this forum seems to be more active.
September 14, 2006 10:22:22 PM

Save your money Do NOT waste your money on the 11n. It's not near ready for prime time.

Tests show the 11n do not increase the range. Does conflict with all other networks.

MIMO hardware does not play with other since it use 2 chanels. And if they ever get it to work, it will not go into mimo mode if it sees other networks, so it will be just another 11g.

I use a large packet router and it works fine. 125mbps far execeds my ISP speed.
September 15, 2006 2:29:15 AM

Thanks for the reply. I was not planning on getting it for 11n. I would have turned that off anyhow. I was hoping that maybe it would have the 3 antennas. I'm under the impression that newer access points and cards can use 3 antennas to get a better signal. If MIMO is using multiple channels, then I used that term incorrectly. Basically I was willing to pay $50 more for a laptop that had the 3 antennas that would work with an actual 11n standard in 2008 when it maybe gets released.

I was also hoping that the 3 antenna system would boost my range. I am under the impression that cards and routers utilizing 3 antennas can get 3x to 4x the range, or at least hold their speeds for a longer range. I live in an apartment, and it's questionable whether I'll be able to use my laptop in the courtyard without anything to boost the range (I do realize there are other options).

Also, I am not getting it for broadband, but to transfer large files to my server. I understand that 11b would more then suit my needs for internet speed. I'm actually considering not getting the dell just for the lack of gigabit.

Also, for those wondering, I just got an answer from dell on this and they only have 1 antenna no matter which configuration. Therefore, I’m going with the 11g card.
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September 15, 2006 2:47:31 AM

Read some of the article here on THG, test shows the range is not there. I have also read other article on other sites confirming the same. In fact the drivers are so buggy the the actual through put was less. Would not stay connected. There are some large packets routers the do good, sometine listed as 108mbps, 125mbps. They work in todays existing technology with tying up 2 chanels.
September 15, 2006 6:49:19 AM

Ya, there's no way I could tie up 2 channels here. I have channel 1 to myself in my building, but there are like 6 people using channel 6 and a few at channel 11. I'm not so worried about bandwidth today, but if I could have great bandwidth in the future, I'd be very happy about that.

I will probably have this laptop for atleast 5 years if not longer. I might be quiting my job soon to be a full time student and don't see myself being able to buy a laptop again in the near future. Where as now if I spend the money, it's less money I spend on beer for a few months. Thats why I'm spending extra to get a Core 2 Duo, that proabably won't be much better then a Core Duo for a few years.
September 15, 2006 7:12:36 PM

Dell may pre wire all that have the 11n option with 3 antenna leads. It actually cheaper for them to have everyhting pre-asembled since the antenna are in the lcd lid. Then only connect the proper leads.

My LT has 2 antennas in it. A lot of the newer cards only have 1.
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