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Wireless Features

Belkin N1 Wireless Notebook Card (F5D8011 V3000)

In the days when Airgo was trying to differentiate its "True MIMO" technology, the company suggested that its cards would improve performance even when used with regular 802.11g routers. Although Airgo was swallowed by Qualcomm, never to be seen again, I decided to see if some of the current crop of draft 802.11n cards would provide improved performance.

Figure 4 shows the N1 Wireless Notebook Card (F5D8011 V3000) board. The Version 3000 card shown below and used in our N1 Vision review uses Ralink's RT2800-series draft 802.11n chipset that includes an RT2860 Baseband / MAC and RT2820 2.4 GHz transceiver. The chipset supports both 2T2R (2 Transmit, 2 Receive) and 2T3R modes, not that that matters for use with 802.11g APs.

N1 Wireless Notebook Card board
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Figure 4: N1 Wireless Notebook Card board

Linksys WPC600N Ultra RangePlus Dual-Band Wireless-N PC Card

Figure 5 shows the second draft 11n card, the WPC600N Notebook Adapter. This dual-band card uses the Broadcom Intensi-fi draft 802.11n chipset. I used it instead of its single-band sibling, the WPC300N because Linksys still has not released the drivers that bring it up to Wi-Fi 802.11n Draft 2.0 certification.

Linksys WPC600N Notebook card board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 5: Linksys WPC600N Notebook card board

Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Network Connection

Last, but not least is the only internal mini-PCI card that I tested. Figure 6 shows the Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG, which is used in many, many notebooks. It uses Intel's own dual-band 802.11a/b/g chipset.

Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG board

Figure 6: Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG board

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