From netbooks to laptops, there are plenty of WiMAX-ready devices on the market, today. Dell, Toshiba, Samsung, Sony, Asus, Lenovo and other manufacturers are offering PCs that are set-up to provide WiMAX 4G wireless broadband access. For those who spend most of their time Web surfing and downloading the occasional songs from iTunes, WiMAX is a viable alternative to current internet packages.
What is WiMAX 4G Technology?
WiMAX is the technology that allows you to get serious work done while on the run. It taps into your city’s 4G coverage area so that you’re online anywhere at anytime. If you want the luxury speeds of 4G with the added mobility to access the Web wherever you are, you should consider these WiMAX-enabled laptops.
This fourth generation of wireless Internet service uses radio waves from WiMAX towers to allow for reliable, lightning fast download rates. By lightning fast, we’re talking about download speeds of 4 to 6 megabits per second. It’s similar to the speeds you’ve only been able to get through cable wires or DSL at home. For contrast, consider the average download speed of 3G from cell phone companies – about 1 megabit per second.
This new high-speed WiMAX 4G technology translates to mega-mobility. Your laptop can operate online in a moving train or bus or in a taxi cab. You can video conference with peers anywhere in the coverage area, which extends for miles. While 3G is effective for smaller tasks, 4G through WiMAX is effective for video streaming, watching movies and TV shows through Netflix or Hulu, or downloading iTunes albums. Kids (and adults who are children-at-heart) enjoy online Xbox and Playstation gaming.
The good news is that many laptops are shipping with WiMAX built-in. All it takes is a single embedded wireless chip—the Intel Centrino 6250 WiMax—since Intel is a huge proponent of WiMAX and practically giving these chips away to laptop manufacturers. That means that you can have a WiMAX-equipped laptop for not much more than what you would pay for a laptop without WiMAX.
Dell, for instance, is selling the WiMAX upgrade in its Studio and XPS lines for $60 when you configure to order, while Lenovo offers it on its ThinkPads for $55. Toshiba has already put into many of its laptop configurations. And the retailer Best Buy is including WiMAX in laptops that are currently available in its stores. Let us present top 5 WiMAX 4G enabled laptops that are available in the market today:
Dell Inspiron 17R-2950MRB
Pros: Great processing speeds. 6GB of RAM. Cavernous 640GB hard drive. WiMax-ready. Intel Wireless Display included.
Cons: Lacks graphics power. Bigger battery needed.
Price: $949.99 list
Bottom Line: The Dell 17R-2950MRB laptop provides plenty of processing power and storage for avid videographers and photographers, but gamers should look somewhere else.
Toshiba Portege R705-P35
Pros: Good speed from standard volt Core i3 processor. Very lightweight. Metal chassis. Intel WiDi built in. Intel WiMax built in. Reasonably priced. Comfortable keyboard. Improved battery life.
Cons: Poorly built speakers. You’ll need to buy the Netgear receiver ($100) to use Intel?s WiDi.
Price: $899.99 list
Bottom Line: The Toshiba Portege R705-P35 is a more practical alternative to the Sony VAIO Z, bundling a 13-inch widescreen, optical drive, and a standard volt processor.
Sony VAIO VPC-EA36FMW
Pros: Great-looking design. Comfortable keyboard. Useful entertainment features include Intel WiDi and a Blu-ray player. WiMax on board for those who want city-wide mobile broadband.
Cons: Woeful audio output. Merely average battery life. Integrated graphics puts the kibosh on 3D gaming. Flimsy display hinges result in some wobble.
Price: $799.99 list
Bottom Line: The Sony VAIO VPC-EA36FMW laptop serves up a generous helping of entertainment features, including Blu-ray and Intel WiDi, along with WiMax connectivity, for a fair price. Its fit and finish are wonderful, but users will be less enthused about its battery life and tinny speakers.
Lenovo ThinkPad T410s
Pros: Lightest in its class. Exquisitely thin. Modular optical drive included. High screen resolution. Tough as nails. Phenomenal typing experience. Endowed with every wireless technology
Cons: FireWire and extra card slot were concessions that had to be made. Larger battery options not available.
Price: $1,504 direct
Bottom Line: You won’t find a lighter 14-inch business laptop than the Lenovo ThinkPad T410s.
Pros: Decent performance. Ample 500 GB hard drive. Latest wireless technology built-in.
Cons: Less-than-great battery life. Touchpad response problems right out of the box.
Price: $679.99 list
Bottom Line: The Asus K52F-A1 has all the components you’d need to facilitate your everyday computing needs, and comes with the latest in wireless technology to help you keep up with the Joneses.