Just as Wi-Fi cards have become a thing of the past with integrated wireless-G these days, it was only a matter of time before laptops took the next step and started imbedding connectivity for other wireless standards. Sony has GPRS/EDGE-enabled units, and Lenovo has a HSDPA-equipped offering, but Acer is claiming to be the first to do all of the above.
The company plans on integrating 3G wireless capabilities–tri-band GPRS/EDGE (900/1800/1900 MHz) and 2100 MHz 3G WCDMA into a number of its TravelMate and Aspire models. The first line to feature this change will be the TravelMate 4260 and Aspire 5650 series. Of course, this still doesn’t mean that you can latch onto a network for free; you’ll still have to sign up for service with some provider.
Look for the Intel Centrino Mobile Technology Duo platforms to upgrade to HSDPA as the standard becomes, well, more standard. HSDPA is said to be up to five times faster than the UMTS wireless standard offered by current wireless operators. Acer President Gianfranco Lanci said, “The introduction of UMTS communications capability in mobile devices signals a shift from simple communication-centric applications to multimedia-oriented applications like voice, data, fax and entertainment services.”