Recently, we began offering WiMAX as an option on three two laptops that we sell to consumers in the United States:
Correction: The correct details are that we are offering WiMAX as an option on two laptops, not three like I originally had stated. I should not have included the Studio 15. My apologies for any inconvenience.
WiMAX is a wireless technology that’s built to deliver wireless broadband for notebooks and mobile devices. The biggest benefit compared to Wi-Fi is range. WiMAX can provide access over much further distances comparatively. We’re working with Clearwire to provide WiMAX service to customers in the United States. Currently, WiMAX is supported in areas within two states: Portand or Atlanta (Update from Lionel: Doh! Neither Portland or Atlanta's a state) and areas within the city Baltimore. Click on those links to check if WiMAX is supported there. Clearwire also has plans to expand to several more cities throughout 2009 and beyond.
Once it’s available in more cities, you won’t have to spend time looking for hotspots. Compared to mobile broadband, WiMAX offers flexible service offerings. You can get a day pass or go month-to-month with no long-term contracts required. WiMAX is fast too—it offers peak download rates of about 13Mbps and up to 3Mbps upload speeds. Beyond that, our internal WiMAX options all support 802.11n. For more background on how WiMAX technology works, take a look at this Intel demo video.
US customers who order a Studio 15, 17 or Studio XPS 16 will see a WiMAX/ Wireless-N combo card option for a $60 upgrade price from the 802.11g default wireless option. Click on the screenshot below to see a larger version.
WiMAX is not the only option for future connectivity. We're also looking at a technology called Long Term Evolution (or LTE). Expect to read more about these technologies in the future. Either way, we're going to have more wireless options for customers moving forward.
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“I work for Intel Corporation and help launch the Wi-Max service in the Portland Metro area. I was blown away with the technology, the service and capabilities. I am an active Wi-Fi hot spot user and rely on the technology when traveling or working remotely to stay connected to the office. In order to understand he difference between Wi-Max and Wi-Fi I will steal a Clearwire analogy, “if Wi-Fi is a beard then Wi-Max is like a full body beard, with all over coverage.” In Portland Oregon Metro, the coverage extends approximately 20 (actual coverage depends on numerous variables, terrain, people, buildings) miles out from the down town core area. I see incredible opportunities for individuals who require extensive coverage capabilities like a real estate agent, general contractor, executives, mobile professionals and students, to name a few. What is really exciting is the ability to have the technology embedded into the laptop, making the connection process truly simple. The benefit I see from having both a Wi-Max and Wi-Fi combo card is the investment protection the consumer is purchasing when selecting a Dell Laptop. This enables the end user’s ability to connect just about anywhere they want; at least once the Wi-Max network gets built out. The Dell Studio XPS 16 received an outstanding review back in Jan 2009 from Notebook Review site, combine that with the new Wi-Max/Wi-Fi module and it would seem to have improved on an established and well received platform, check out the review for yourself at: http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4764
Way to go Dell!