15R N5010 Wireless Card


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15R N5010 Wireless Card

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I just bought a new 15R with the standard Dell 1501 half-mini b/g/n wireless card. After I finally figured out how to check connection speed on Win 7, I discovered I was getting 52-72 mbps connected to a 300 N router. That kinda sucks for a N card, but apparently 72 is the max for this card, my research indicates. So I started researching better cards, like the Intel Ultimate N 6300, which delivers a theoretical max of 450 mbps. Maybe I could just swap the old one out? In theory, yes, but apparently you have to tear the entire laptop apart to replace the wireless card. Anybody know why you'd have to remove all the bottom side components and then remove keyboard to swap out the card? This makes little sense to me. And why would Dell make it so hard to change cards when other brands just require you to open a panel and swap out the original? And if I go to all this trouble, are there 3 antenna wires inside to connect to ensure top speed? Or just 1 or 2?

I'm tempted to take my chances with a USB N adapter instead.

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  • Although I have not tested it in theory you should be able to swap out the card for another.  Here is a link to the service manual.


    There are two attena cables an not three.  Unfortunatly you will need to replace the palmrest, keyboard, optical drive, memory and base cover to get to the wireles card slot. A USB adapter will be easier indeed, but I couldnt tell you if you would get faster connection speed.


  • Does anyone know if the 72 mbps speed is indeed the max on the DW 1501 card that comes standard in the N5010? I get a solid signal, but that's the max I can get no matter  how close I get to my Trendnet TEW 639GR Wireless N 300 gigabit router. Dell suggested I update the BIOS and change the router channel, but that had no effect.

  • Here is a link to the users manual for the card.



  • Yes, the DW 1501 has a max of 72 mbps connnection rate according to Dell's newly updated spec. It is not a router or softeware issue. I contacted Dell service, they sent me a refurbished Intel wireless-N 6300 card, that fixed this problem on my new Dell N5010.


  • I also contacted Dell support but unfortunately I was not so lucky as other owners of the N5010. They did not offer a solution for my problem so far.

    I told them about these forums that express clearly the limitation of this card, but they said that they cannot rely on forums, and that they are the ones who test these cards and know everything about them. I think they do not know even their own products, because now they´ve added the "Max 72 Mbps" limit to this card specs, but it was not like that when I purchased this computer.

    I hope they offer me a solution to this, becasue I bought this computer together with a Linksys WRT160Nv3 router specially to make heavy use of wireless N connections.


  • same problem here. installed an intell 5100 half card from ebay. connectingb at 300 now :) 

    you have to remove all the screws from the bottom of the case including the ones under the 4 rubber plugs.

    removing the key board is tricky, you have to push it towards the mouse pad while pushing in/down on the four clips with a knife or small screw driver, at the top of the keyboard.  

    the palm rest has some addtional screws under the keyboard but comes out fairly easily. dont forget to unhook all the ribbon cables first.


    not sure that an intel 6300 would work unless theres versions with only 2 antennas.


  • Why not buy a USB wireless?