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Mossberg: Centrino May Be Inferior to Other WiFi Radios Already In Use

In last week's Personal Technology column in The Wall Street Journal, Walter Mossberg reviewed three Pentium M-based laptops. One of the most interesting aspects of the article is Mossberg's analysis of the Centrino WiFi chipset. He says:

You might conclude that Centrino laptops do Wi-Fi better than other laptops, or that the Pentium M or Centrino chips are needed for wireless networking. But none of this is true.

The Pentium M has no special capability for wireless networking. And the Intel-produced Wi-Fi radio chip included in the Centrino bundle is actually regarded by some computer makers as inferior to other brands of radios they were already using. Not only that, but the Intel radio used in Centrino machines doesn't support the new, faster type of Wi-Fi networks called G or A.

Mossberg goes on to explain that some Pentium M-based laptops will be labeled Centrino laptops, while others with similar WiFi capabilities will not. The Centrino designation is solely based on the presence or absence of the Intel WiFi chipset.

Imagine the confusion that could occur if Intel really spends money on making consumers aware of the Centrino brand, and Intel tries to make Centrino synonymous with WiFi.

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