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Intel prices up four wireless modules for 'Centrino 2'

Not all WiMax modules are created equal

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Intel's upcoming WiMax module for laptops, 'Echo Peak', is going to add at least $34 to the price of a new notebook, if leaked pricing information is to be believed. But watch out for cheaper offerings.

Why? Because Intel will be offering two versions of Echo Peak. It's said as much itself, but thanks to Taiwanese industry moles cited by DigiTimes, we have the prices.

The top-of-the-line Intel WiMax/Wi-Fi Link 5350 module costs $54, the cheaper one $44. That $10 premium buys you a module capable of using a 3x3 multi-antennae array. The $44 unit - aka the Intel WiMax/Wi-Fi Link 5150 - can only connect to a 1x2 array.

That's three transmit and three pick-up antennae versus one transmit and two pick-ups, so the former should get you superior wireless reception. That's not to say the 5150 won't perform well, only that the 5350 will perform better.

So make sure you check the spec of the WiMax laptop you plan to buy, and don't assume all Intel WiMax/Wi-Fi Link modules are created equal.

The Echo Peak modules are due to debut in May with the arrival of 'Montevina', the next version of Centrino - Centrino 2, as it'll apparently be branded.

So too will 'Shirley Peak' - formerly 'Dana Point' - a WLAN module without WiMax. Shirley Peak will likewise appear in two forms: the 3x3 Wi-Fi Link 5300 and the 1x2 Wi-Fi Link 5100. It's said they'll be priced at $30 and $20, respectively.

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