Dell Zino HD Discussion on the upcoming Dell Inspiron Zino HD

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lauriem04 lauriem04 is offline
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Default Possible to add internal wifi card post-purchase? - 05-18-2010, 04:34 PM

I just ordered a refurbished Zino HD from Dell Outlet using the current 15% coupon. I plan to plug it into my LCD TV to stream movies from my server, which is located in another part of the house along with my router. Since the Zino will be too far from the router to use a wired connection, I will have to stream the movies via wifi.

When I was reviewing the Outlet stock, I didn't see any units listed with a built-in wireless card, so I selected the one that had everything else I wanted and figured I would just use a USB dongle for wifi (at least initially). However, I'm curious to know if anyone has successfully added an internal wifi card post-purchase. Since I haven't seen one of these in person, I guess I'm really wondering how difficult it will be to mod.

Any information/advice would be appreciated. If it is possible to add an internal card, I'll also be looking for recommendations as to which wifi card I should purchase. I'd prefer wireless-N, but I could live with G.

Thanks in advance!
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sirebral sirebral is offline
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Default 05-27-2010, 05:58 PM

Is internal wireless an option? If it is, pop open the case and see what kind of card it takes. DELL has to have a middle layer of hardware to keep costs down, and when you customize it with those added features you basically buy the component to fill a slot they can't remove because it's part of the 'middle ware'.

I popped open my Studio Hybrid and found it uses the same card as the Mini 9 for Wifi. So I bought a card for 8.99.
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reflex reflex is offline
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Default 05-27-2010, 06:38 PM

The service manual for the Zino describes the procedure for removing and adding a WiFi card. The words and pictures suggest that it takes a standard half-height Mini PCIe card, like many new laptops.

But it's possible your Zino is missing the slot and/or antenna wires. It's easy to add antenna wires, but if the slot is missing, that's harder to fix. I'd pop the case open to see what's there before you go buying a card.


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lauriem04 lauriem04 is offline
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Default 05-27-2010, 07:01 PM

Thanks for the replies. Internal wireless is an option on the Zino, as it is on the Studio Hybrid. I read the part in the service manual on how to replace the wifi card, but I hadn't even considered that my unit might not have the slot since it wasn't configured with wifi originally. Knowing Dell, it's entirely possible that it's missing. I figured the antenna wires would be missing, but that's not so hard to fix.

The Zino is working perfectly with the USB dongle, so I'm not in a huge rush to take it apart and see what's in there. It may become one of my summer projects, though. It would be nice to regain the use of that USB port at some point since I only have 2 free right now (the 4th is taken up by the dongle for the wireless keyboard and mouse).
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Default 05-28-2010, 09:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lauriem04 View Post
Knowing Dell, it's entirely possible that it's missing. I figured the antenna wires would be missing, but that's not so hard to fix.
I am going to disagree on this part, but we wont know until you open the case. In my first post I am referring to 'middle ware', and I think they would leave certain small components like this in because it reduces their costs over all.

As for WWAN, that would not be placed in as 'middle ware' because they save money when the subscription is added. So I would think WWAN is not 'middle ware', but bluetooth, WLAN, and it even looks like my Wireless Keyboard and Mouse receiver are on the board, are all part of 'middle ware'.
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JohnCL JohnCL is offline
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Default 06-12-2010, 02:01 AM

I have a Zino that did not come with the wireless option, but the slot is there. There are no antenna wires inside the case without the option. There are two separate pieces (silver brackets in picture) that need to be added for the antenna. It is a half-height card slot and it is on the bottom of the case under the hard drive. The top piece needs to come off as well as the hard drive to get to the slot.
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lauriem04 lauriem04 is offline
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Default 06-12-2010, 05:28 PM

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Originally Posted by JohnCL View Post
I have a Zino that did not come with the wireless option, but the slot is there. There are no antenna wires inside the case without the option. There are two separate pieces (silver brackets in picture) that need to be added for the antenna. It is a half-height card slot and it is on the bottom of the case under the hard drive. The top piece needs to come off as well as the hard drive to get to the slot.
Thanks! This is really helpful. Where did you find the silver brackets? Did they come with the antenna?
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WolfKeeper WolfKeeper is offline
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Default 06-12-2010, 06:00 PM

Those "brackets" are the antennas.


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JohnCL JohnCL is offline
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Default 06-13-2010, 03:49 AM

As WolfKeeper stated, those are the antennas. I have 2 Zino's, one with wi-fi and one without. I have not purchased anything for the one without. If you need a part number let me know and I will see if there is anything on the antenna pieces.


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lauriem04 lauriem04 is offline
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Default 06-13-2010, 04:18 AM

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Originally Posted by JohnCL View Post
As WolfKeeper stated, those are the antennas. I have 2 Zino's, one with wi-fi and one without. I have not purchased anything for the one without. If you need a part number let me know and I will see if there is anything on the antenna pieces.
Yes, if you can find the part number, that would be great. Thanks!
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