With a new Windows 8 ultrabook from Dell, a superfast alternative to Wi-Fi has arrived.
Gigabit-speed wireless networking—also known as WiGig—is more than 20 times faster than what’s on the market right now.
But it has a crucial drawback: It operates at shorter ranges, which means that it’s better suited for being used in a single room, not for covering your home or workplace.
That means that its will really be used to replace wires for things like accessing a home server full of videos and letting two computers communicate together.
Today’s fastest Wi-Fi operates at speeds of between 200 to 300Mbits. WiGig operates at up to 4.6 gigabits.
Dell’s Windows 8 Latitude 6430u,an ultrabook laptop which launched today alongside Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system, is the first device to use the new technology, says Tal Tamir, CEO of Wilocity, the company that makes WiGig chips.
For now Dell is the only company with a product using WiGig. The 6430u uses it to connect with its docking station. That kind of use, replacing cables or other short-range connectors, will probably be where we most often see WiGig.
But in the next few weeks, we’ll start to hear more announcements about new products using the new standard, including home routers, storage devices, game devices, and more laptops.
Interestingly, one name you don’t see on the WiGig Alliance members page is Apple. So, the new crop of MacBooks and iMacs don’t support it WiGig yet.
But sources tell us that Apple is watching the technology and could eventually include WiGig, too.