Earlier this year we introduced the Meraki MR24 access point. Clocking in with a 900 Mbit/s aggregate data rate, it’s an unbeatable AP for high-performance and high-density deployments. Each radio can reach up to 450 Mbit/s. Naturally, connecting to the AP at this rate requires a client device that is also capable of handling triple-stream 3×3 MIMO.
Even if a computer doesn’t support triple-stream 3×3 MIMO, it still benefits from the 3×3 access point, since clients that do connect at the fastest rates are served their data more quickly, and thus get off the air to leave more time for the slower clients. Additionally, the access point’s three transmit and receive antennas will improve the range and link reliability at long distances.
Which laptops support 3×3 MIMO?
There are already many devices supporting 450 Mbit/s 802.11n, mostly based on Atheros, Intel, or Broadcom chipsets. Below are some readily-available laptops with integrated triple-stream 3×3 MIMO support. Some lucky readers probably even already have some of these!
Apple refreshed the Macbook Pro line in February with two 13″ models, two 15″ models, and a 17″ inch model. The big news with the new models focused on the Intel Sandy Bridge processors and blazingly fast Thunderbolt I/O system. But they weren’t the only new, blazingly fast components. 802.11n support for triple-stream 3×3 MIMO was also introduced, though much more quietly. Anandtech and iFixit teardowns show a Broadcom BCM4331 WiFi module inside, and tests showed it does connect at up to 450 Mbit/s.
Several of Dell’s laptops include triple-stream 3×3 MIMO support, including Latitude and Precision models. For enterprise use, the Latitude E6400 XFR and Latitude E4200 both include Intel WiFi 5300 chipsets with triple-stream 3×3 MIMO. Of the Precision line, the M6500 and M4500 also support it using Intel chipsets.
HP has a broad selection of laptops for the home, small business, and large enterprise markets. Among these, there are several popular enterprise models that include triple-stream 3×3 MIMO: the EliteBook 8740w, the EliteBook 8540w, and the EliteBook 8440w. These units also have Intel 6300 series chipsets.
An obvious heavyweight in the enterprise laptop space, Lenovo has several models with triple-stream 3×3 MIMO support. Notably, their X201 and W500 models include it, both using Intel 6300 series WiFi chipsets.
When connected to a Meraki MR24, data transfer to these laptops will be blindingly fast. If you have another laptop with triple-stream 3×3 MIMO, we’d love to hear about it.