Dell Inspiron Duo Forum for discussion on the netbook/tablet hybrid by Dell, the Inspiron Duo.

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lousiefer lousiefer is offline
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Default Just installed new Wireless card. - 02-27-2011, 08:23 PM

I just installed this:
Amazon.com: Intel 6200 IEEE 802.11n (draft) Wi-Fi Adapter - Mini PCI Express - 300Mbps: Electronics

I know there is a faster model but it has 3 antenna wires and the Duo only has 2.

I can already detect far superior performance to the card that came with the Duo. I connect to the WiFi routers faster. I stay connected without interuption. The speed of transfers to my desktop is screaming. Transfers over the internet are more stable (no weird, long stalls requiring refresh).

So, this does mean that I lost built-in bluetooth (the card that came with the Duo was a Bluetooth/WiFi combo). The multi-channel-ness of the new card more than makes up for it.

I also bought a super small USB (Targus) adapter. I really don't use Bluetooth for anything regularly. I just threw the adapter in my bag just in case.

If you're in the same boat as me, the WiFi card is the best $25 you'll spend on upgrades for the Duo. If you need Bluetooth, then these adapters are also really cheap ($29 and I didn't comparison shop). They still don't quite fit under the rubber USB port cover. They do come close though (maybe a little file work on 2 corners would help). I don't use USB headphones or anything so I don't need to use Bluetooth in tablet mode and it is not an issue to plug the adapter into the USB port when I'm in laptop mode.

Lou
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reflex reflex is offline
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Default 02-27-2011, 10:41 PM

I'm glad it's working well for you. I use Intel Wifi cards in my laptops with good results.

To anyone considering the upgrade, here's what looks like a good deal on the Intel 6200 ($21 shipped). I think this'll work in any Mini, except the Mini 9... ...actually it will "work" in the 9, you just won't be able to secure it normally, since it'll be too short

To anyone reading this, be aware that some manufacturers don't allow WiFi upgrades or make it difficult.


Mini 9 | Intel 5100 Wifi | Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook
Mini 1012 | SSD | Intel 6200 Wifi | Ubuntu 11.10 64bit
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strider_mt2k strider_mt2k is offline
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Default 02-28-2011, 11:07 AM

I have noticed some slowness in my wireless connection also.
Bummer to think the hardware is to blame.
BT eats power, but it's still handy for me to use a Dell BT mouse.

That Wifi adapter is very inexpensive though. Hmm....

Food for thought.


Inspiron Duo: Win7 Pro 32-Bit, Intel 6200 Wifi Upgrade
Former Inspiron Mini 9 Owner, Modder, Enthusiast
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strider_mt2k strider_mt2k is offline
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Default 03-08-2011, 09:57 AM

Does changing out the wireless card affect how the wireless select switch works?
It was done in software on the Mini 9, but on the Duo it's right down into the BIOS.

Of course with no BT I would expect that part to simply not work anymore, but does the Wifi still turn on and off?
EDIT

I suppose I'll find out. I went ahead and ordered one.
I only use BT when it's docked, so I'll experiment with leaving a BT dongle plugged into one of the USB ports and see if it handles docking/undocking any more gracefully than the Dell hardware does.

-Now I have an excuse to open mine up and do a little scouting around!

EDIT

I plugged in a "MoGo"-branded USB BT dongle to one of the rear ports and it installed with no problems.
Within moments I paired my Dell BT Travel Mouse, which seems to be lag free and working fine despite being connected through the Audio Dock.

I've docked and un-docked a few times, and while it takes a minute for the BT dongle and BT mouse to re-establish themselves it does work.
I'll try this arrangement for a while and see how it goes.


Inspiron Duo: Win7 Pro 32-Bit, Intel 6200 Wifi Upgrade
Former Inspiron Mini 9 Owner, Modder, Enthusiast

Last edited by strider_mt2k; 03-09-2011 at 01:58 AM.
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strider_mt2k strider_mt2k is offline
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Thumbs up 03-12-2011, 12:12 PM

My 6200 card arrived yesterday, and I just finished up.

THE INSTALL:

Opening up the Duo is pretty easy using these instructions:
How to remove keyboard on dell inspiron duo | Laptop Disassembled
How To Remove The Palmrest Assembly On Dell Inspiron Duo (Inspiron 1090) | Laptop Disassembled

The actual swapping out of the cards themselves is very straightforward:
Carefully pluck the antenna connectors off of the installed Atheros card, remove the screw and the old card swings up and out easily. Insert and swing down the new 6200 card, tighten the screw, and carefully push each of the antenna connectors back on.

Upon startup I immediately hit F2 and went into the BIOS, where I went to wireless settings and disabled internal BT. (Probably not absolutely necessary, but I did it.) I then set Wireless Select Switch Function to Wlan by itself.

When Windows 7 booted, it did not find drivers for the 6200 card, so I used the drivers that came on the included CD-ROM.
I didn't use the install, I simply copied the drivers folder from Win7\S32\Drivers onto my Duo's desktop, and then used Device Manager to update the drivers from that folder.

Windows 7 Drivers from Intel's website:
Wireless Networking — Drivers and software
Purchase link: Newegg.com - Intel 622AN.HMWWB Mini PCI Express 6200 Centrino Advanced-N Wireless Adapter Up to 300Mbps Wireless Data Rates 64/128-Bit WEP, WPA, WPA2

The new 6200 card connected to my wireless network right away after the drivers finished installing; however, I had to re-enter my wireless network settings after a subsequent restart.

THE RESULTS:

Wireless Select Switch works just like it did before. (Only no more BT, of course.)

Transfers over the network are now visibly faster! (Nice, and moreover the point of this upgrade!)

When docked into the Audio Station, my Duo now connects up with the Ethernet every time instead of some of the time. This means no more re-docking and less wear on connectors and my patience.

CONCLUSION:

Not only has replacing the wireless card improved wireless performance, but my Duo is now also better behaved when using the Audio Station.

I agree that this is an inexpensive and effective upgrade as long as you can deal with the loss of internal BT.

Speaking of BT, the Mogo BT dongle plugged into the Audio Station connects and my BT mouse works right away when docking.
If I need to take BT with me it shouldn't be a problem either.


Inspiron Duo: Win7 Pro 32-Bit, Intel 6200 Wifi Upgrade
Former Inspiron Mini 9 Owner, Modder, Enthusiast

Last edited by strider_mt2k; 03-12-2011 at 03:38 PM. Reason: always more stuff
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