The WiFi 6 has already begun to be available during this year 2019 with the first WiFi 6 routers, in addition to the S10 as the first mobile compatible with this new wireless standard. However, there are many devices that are not compatible, but that changes with the new network card that Intel has released to the market.
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200: the first WiFi 6 network card for laptops
This Intel card was leaked last January 28, when Intel asked the FCC for approval to put it up for sale. This model is the Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200, which is basically a modified version of the Wi-Fi 6 AX201. These units were previously known as Cyclone Peak and are already on sale in the market.
This card is very similar to the existing Wireless-AC 9260 but with the advantage of adding support for WiFi 6, also known as 802.11ax, hence the AX of the card’s name. At the speed level, the card offers speeds of up to 574 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz network, while it will offer up to 2,402 Mbps in the 5 GHz network.
Other confirmed features are the size of the card, with factor M.2 2230 as expected, in addition to two antennas for 2 × 2 MIMO. Among the supported 5 GHz, bands are those of 160 MHz.
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In addition to all the advantages of WiFi, the network card includes support for Bluetooth 5, being able to update the connectivity of your laptop to the latest also in this standard that allows you to connect two Bluetooth devices at once such as two headphones or speakers to listen to music at the same time (being able to create a stereo system with two independent speakers), in addition to having more speed and reach.
The card, unfortunately, can only be used in laptops since it uses the form factor M.2 Key E, which is used by the network cards for laptops. The M.2 that uses the SSD both in laptops and on desktop motherboards is the Key M, so we will have to wait to find a WiFi adapter for both external and internal desktop computers.
Thus, from now on, it will be possible to test WiFi 6 on any laptop, and throughout the year, we should see the first adapters and network cards compatible with this standard. In fact, we may see the first models that incorporate WiFi 6 in the next AMD X570 motherboards.
The card has technically been launched already, but it will take a few days to appear for sale. The price of each card varies between $10 and $17 for manufacturers who will include it in their laptops and compact computers..