802.11b/g/n WLAN or Intel Wireless-N?

Discussion in 'HP TouchSmart TM2 (Wacom)' started by minhaz, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. minhaz

    minhaz Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm confused while choosing between them while ordering. In either case I'll take /w bluetooth.

    What I understand so far is that "802.11b/g/n WLAN" means a generic wireless NIC will be provided whereas "Intel Wireless-N" means Intel branded wireless NIC will be provided. In both cases, it will support upto wireless N aka 802.11n. The Intel NIC is 'perceived' to be of better quality.

    It would be very helpful if someone could confirm whether the above understanding is correct. Also,

    1) which one would you recommend (given Intel one costs $25 and I'm low on cash)?
    2) Any idea which brand of NIC I will get if I choose the generic one?
    3) What are the 'observed' practical differences between these two options?
     
  2. SDreamer

    SDreamer Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I don't have mine yet, will have it on Tuesday, but the generic I believe is of Broadcom variant. I think the difference might lie in signal range and battery life, but I doubt it will be a huge difference.
     
  3. Agent 9

    Agent 9 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    From what I remember about reading of other people's Generation 1 & 2 Tm2's is that if you go the cheepo route then your wi-fi will perform very poorly (it'll drop connection, not see connections it should be able to see, be interrupted very easily by things [hands, microwaves, that sort of thing])

    Just buy the Intel (more expensive) one, it'll save you a lot of headaches and annoyances. And remember this is a nearly $1000 Tablet (at least it probably was before coupons and such) so $25 is not that much (it'd be nice to save that, but the price of the other parts keep falling. so I think it offsets well)
     
  4. darthhen

    darthhen Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I bought my TM2 with the low-end wireless option, Intel 1000 BGN or something like that. I don't like it. I recently bought the Broadcom wireless adapter to replace it, now it is much faster. So I recommend not going cheap on the wireless card as well.
     
  5. Agent 9

    Agent 9 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I'm pretty sure the Intel one (which is the one I got) was the "better" one; and the Broadcom one is the cheap one. I got my Tm2 back in July. Maybe you just had a bad wireless card?
     
  6. GiOakJoe

    GiOakJoe Pen Pal - Newbie

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    the intel one is the more advanced one, it based of the Intel centrino design and allows for better reception and battery life then the broadcom one supposedly.

    I have the broadcom one so far no complaints detects every thing and hasn't dropped a signal at all. only draw back is that the WiFi and Bluetooth is on the same adapter and cant be disabled with out disabling both cards but you know I like wasting battery life :p
     
  7. phuongt

    phuongt Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I bought my TM2 about 2 weeks ago with the low-end wireless and bluetooth option. It comes with a combo card: ralink RT3090 ; Motorola Bluetooth 3.0 ( you cannot turn one of them off individually). So if you want bluetooth 3.0 , go for the low-end wireless and bluetooth option. I think even if you choose the Intel wireless card, it'll only be the cheapo-intel 1000 wireless card because tm2 only has 2 wireless antenna).
     
  8. SDreamer

    SDreamer Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I think that thread with people having wifi troubles were mostly using the Intel 1000, but that was mostly first gen tm2s I think. Was a bit scary, but it doesn't seem to be a problem since then.
     
  9. darthhen

    darthhen Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Maybe I did get a bad wireless card, you never know. The Intel Wireless-N 1000 card's product brief is here from Intel's site: http://download.intel.com/network/connectivity/products/wireless/adapters/1000/323015.pdf. Only supports up to 2.4 GHz, Wi-Fi's org's certification: http://certifications.wi-fi.org/pdf_certificate.php?cid=WFA10446.

    The Broadcom card I got is the BCM943224 one. the Wi-Fi org's certification is here: http://certifications.wi-fi.org/pdf_certificate.php?cid=WFA7313. This one supports up to 5.0 GHz.

    I took a pictures of the two cards side-by-side, front and back before I installed it. See pictures.
     

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  10. minhaz

    minhaz Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for all the replies!

    But now I'm more confused and have more questions!

    1) It seems if I take the bluetooth option for either generic or Intel, I won't be able to shutoff bluetooth without shutting down wifi. This leads to battery drain. Does anyone have any idea on the extent of the battery drain due to only bluetooth? (ie. lets say it says alive for 6hrs with wifi+bluetooth whereas 6hr 30mins with a tablet that has only wifi). If the battery drain is high then I would prefer buying only wifi NIC and a separate bluetooth dongle in case I ever need it.
    (#1 Solved. Thanks wakeupneo)

    2) Lots of debate about whether the Intel card is better or not. Where HP is charging $25 "premium" over the generic card for the Intel one, the Intel Wifi Link 1000 PCI Express Half Mini card is available for about $15~20 (source: Google Products). So, I was thinking that I could go for the generic card and if it's performance is not acceptable, I can just buy the Intel card afterwards and swap it. Any idea about how difficult it will be to switch the wifi NIC? Will that void my warranty for the tablet? Do you think it is a good idea?

    3) Even if my NIC supports 5.0Ghz, will I be able to use it? (due to 2 wireless antenna)
    (#3 Solved at http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/hp-touchsmart-tm2-wacom/32316-5ghz-wirelesss-n-capability-2.html)
     
  11. wakeupneo

    wakeupneo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Bluetooth does not drain any extra battery. At all. They are on the very same chip, that's why you can only disable then both.
     
  12. darthhen

    darthhen Scribbler - Standard Member

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    You have to buy the upgraded Intel Wi-Fi card direct from HP's site. It is ~$50. Then you need to pay for shipping. Just as a point of reference here, I got the Broadcom card, ~$32. But after tax and shipping, I paid ~$52. Get this, HP charges $11 for shipping from TN to CA. So it'll cost you $50+tax+shipping if you decide to upgrade later.
     
  13. darksine

    darksine Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I got my tm2 in nov with the cheaper card with bluetooth 3.0. The speeds seem fine to me (though my connection is only 3mbps down). Every now and then if they computer goes to sleep and I wake it up later the wireless connection is dead. Simply disable and enable the card again via control panel (the buttons don't help in this matter) and it works again.

    The main issue I have is lack of wifi in Ubuntu 10.10. I haven't been able to figure out how to make the card work and the lights for wifi go on/off rapidly. I would assume the intel card would work easily in linux.

    If I had to go back and spend the 25 extra for the intel card, I would.
     
Similar Threads: 80211b/g/n WLAN
Forum Title Date
HP TouchSmart TM2 (Wacom) difference between intel wireless card and 802.11 WLAN Oct 29, 2010

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