Acer unveiled on Wednesday its first WiMax-enabled notebooks in support of the first WiMax wireless network in the United States - Baltimore’s XOHM network. The Intel Centrino 2-based Aspire 4930-6862 and Aspire 6930-6771 notebooks are the first to use Intel’s new WiMax/Wi-Fi module, previously codenamed Echo Peak.
The Acer Aspire 4930-6862 and Aspire 6930-6771 both seem to be well rounded notebooks and share similar system specifications. The only apparent difference between the two is that the Aspire 4930-6862 features a 14.1-inch WXGA (1280 x 800) LCD display, while the Aspire 6930-6771 features a larger 16-inch WXGA (1366 x 768) LCD display.
Both notebooks come with an Intel Core 2 Duo T7350 processor, running at 2.0 GHz, with 3 MB of L2 cache, a 1066 MHz FSB and a TDP of 35 W. Graphics are powered by the Intel GMA 4500HMHD, which should be enough for most users, although gamers will want to look elsewhere. Also included is 3GB of memory, a 320 GB 5400 RPM hard drive, a DVD drive, a 5-in-1 media card reader, a webcam and Windows Vista Premium. Last but not least, both notebooks feature an Intel WiMax/Wi-Fi Link 5050 module, offering WAN/802.11a/b/g/n connectivity. There is no word on battery life or weight, which is usually not a good sign.
The Aspire 4930-6862 and Aspire 6930-6771 will be available through Newegg.com and Tigerdirect.com for a price of $899.99, although it seems they will be limited to the residents of Baltimore. WiMax is a wireless broadband technology, offering average downlink speeds of about 3 Mbps and uplink speeds of about 2 Mbps.
Unlike with Wi-Fi, WiMax has a greater range, making it possible to turn an entire city into essentially one giant wireless Hot Spot. WiMax connectivity is currently available in many countries, although in the United States WiMax has only recently been introduced. XOHM currently supports a WiMax wireless network in parts of Baltimore, charging around $30 a month for access, with service in more cities soon to come.