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new laptops WITHOUT pcmcia

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  • Laptops
  • PCMCIA
Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
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November 21, 2006 1:58:02 AM

Anyone have an opinion on the purchase of a new laptop that does not have pcmcia slots? Any anticipated future use for the slots that I am not thinking of?

Thanks for your time.

gitter

More about : laptops pcmcia

November 25, 2006 1:41:23 PM

All the new laptops will have ExpressCard slots which have more capabilities because they can tie directly into the PCI Express bus. The use for them? About the same for PCMCIa, a lot of promisses, but the guys in charge of developing anything for them are too scared and know too little about the industry to come up with anything.

Look at wirelesscards for like Sprint and Verizon... how long have people been waiting for ExpressCard versions of those, and they have been available at the manufacturing level since last June!
November 28, 2006 4:49:33 PM

But I found this Compaq Presario C302NR.

The wording on the package is [verbatim]:
"PMCIA/ExpressCard slots: Not Provided"

That sounds like the laptop is a dead end if I need any kind of upgrade like a different WIFI [say 802.11n gets settled and available]. Am I right in this, or can I expect to be able to work off of USB [C302NR has two 2.0 ports].

I can look up specs for most of the Presarios with Model V5xxx, but I haven't been able to find any details on the C3xxx series. I heard the 5000s were being discontinued and 3000s are still current. I still can't find the specs.

I don't mind an entry level laptop, but I'd like to be able to adapt to future changes...

Your thoughts? Do you have any details on this model?

Thanks, j-d
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November 28, 2006 5:20:56 PM

Well first it is confusing to actually find this product on Compaq's site which forwards you to HP's site, which then if you click the SPEC's link, it says, "Not Available" but judging by what I see here in the manual IRQ11 is set up to handle the TI PCI1410 CardBus controller and DMA5 is Available for PC Card. At first I thought this HAD a cardbus adapter, but read on...

:arrow: This model is a stripped down "Black Friday" sale system being sold for like $275 or something at all the BestBuy's, Circuit City's etc. so it probably does not have a cardbus on it for that reason.
:arrow: In the manual neither variant of PCMcia/ExpressCard is listed.
:arrow: In the manual, the picture of the system shows a slot for the card bus cards, but does not actually state that the slot is anything in the legend.

I think overwhelming evidence would lead me to say with 95% accuracy that this system does not have a CardBus adapter in it.

This is funny, the manual states:
Quote:
120-, 100-, 80-, or 60-GB high-capacity hard drive, varying by computer model
They don't mention that all variants of hard drive in this model are 4,200 rpm.

This is also strange:
Quote:
256-MB DDR1 synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) at 667 MHz and 533 MHz, expandable to 2.0 GB
There is no DDR1 RAM above 333 Mhz in a SoDIMM slot, so the RAM is probably DDR2 judging by the CPU they have in there.

Here's a link to the manual. (It's a 3MB pdf file so be patient)

You can upgrade the WiFi in the future with an internal card. They actually have 240 Mbps cards out there, but I recommend the 108 Mbps ones with Atheros chipsets.

November 28, 2006 5:26:06 PM

I'll check the manual but I'm sure you're reading it right. Being within the 14-day return window, I think it's time to bail out of this one.
THANKS!
November 28, 2006 5:30:15 PM

It depends on what you bought it for. Check your PM, I have a person looking for a notebook in the 400-600 range.
November 28, 2006 5:47:26 PM

Just read the PM.

$349 for Laptop, HP Inkjet and $10 VISTA upgrade coupon. This is completely reasonable for what I want right now, a "portable web- and- Email checker". I'm not a gamer and don't want to edit video.

I just don't want a PC I can't adapt to a new WIFI or such.

It's starting to look like the answer is in the manual you linked me to. If it has a "mini-card cover and socket" and what's in there now is the 802 feature depending on country, I should be able to pull that in the future and install an 802.11n module or such.

I think what I need is an education on that part of the PC. It'll do what I want it to do now, and if I can at least "stay connected" as WIFI changes, I think the unit stays.

You were about on target about BF. Office Depot the Sunday before BF.

If you would, tell me more about mini-cards...

Thanks again, j-d
November 28, 2006 6:10:58 PM

O, the mini cards don't have anything to do with what i was thinking you wanted to know about. The PCMCIA & ExpressCard slots are axternal expansion slots for like eSATA, Wireless Networks cards like for Sprint and Nextel and stuff, LAN, 802.11 wirelss etc. Thos are cardbus adapters. That would look like this"


You would open your system and replace the actual wireless card inside. There are two main players in the wireless arena.
:arrow: Atheros
:arrow: Airgo
Now here's the real suck thing they do. Let's say you have a 108 Mbps Atheros chipset card. If you get a 240 Mbps wirless router or 300 Mbps wireless router, say from D-Link or something, it will see just about EVERYTHING as 54g that is NOT from that vendor.

I have a D-Link DI-624, I love this router, it works great, it is a Atheros chipset. as long as the card you put in your notebook is a 108 Mbps Atheros NO PROBLEM, use a 240 Mbps card, guess what, won't connect ar 108, connects at54 g.

I got the D-Link Extreme "this and that" with the freaking 25 foot whip antennae and the satellite dishes on the top and this little gnome that runs around with a 3 antennae hat to different parts of the room -
$150 router, I got it to test from BestBuy, couldn't connect to 2 different 108 Mbps Atheros cards faster than 54g, couldn't connect to the 240 Mbps Airgo card faster than 54g, in fact the only thing it was able to connect with at lightning speed was the receipt and the shelf back at BestBuy.

November 28, 2006 8:11:30 PM

You're way ahead of me, but am I right when I say the vendors are compatible at 54 but not above that rate...?

What I wanted to know is all tied together. My concern is that the WIFI on the laptop I currently have, that C302NR, could not be upgraded in any way because there was neither a PMCIA nor an Express slot. I also don't think it'll matter to me if I run at 54 or 108, even 240. But I do want to be able to move to a new standard if the old one goes away leaving me disconnected. IF the WLAN card [page 110 in the manual you linked me to] is generic, it'd seem I could replace the 802.11a/b/g card that's in there with a new 802.11n card once "n" is in place and I could take advantage of it.

Would that work?

I don't have to be able to swap cards in and out like with PMCIA and Express, just be able to adapt...
!