Hardware

New Dell Latitude 7490 antenna will boost Wi-Fi performance by 155%

The firm also announced it would be making motherboards from gold e-waste and using a low-power display to improve battery life.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Dell's new Latitude 7490 will include an Active Steering Antenna that reportedly improves Wi-Fi performance in low signal, high-interference areas by 155%.
  • The 7490 also comes with a low-energy LED screen that Dell says increases battery life to over 20 hours.

A trio of announcements from Dell at CES 2018 are bringing consumers a 155% improvement in Wi-Fi performance, a reported 20-hour battery life in laptops, and recycled e-waste in laptop motherboards.

The reported improvements in Wi-Fi performance are due to a new Dell-exclusive Active Steering Antenna (ASA) product that "results in a major performance jump in range, speed and connection reliability."

In a move clearly targeting business users, Dell is premiering its ASA in the newest model of its business-designed Latitude 7490 laptop. The company has also stated that ASA is designed to optimize Wi-Fi connections in work environments where users may not be in close proximity to a wireless access point.

SEE: New equipment budget policy (Tech Pro Research)

The Active Steering Antenna was developed in partnership with Ethertronics, the company that designed several other Dell Wi-Fi antenna solutions. It utilizes a single antenna designed to create multiple radiation patterns, allowing it to serve as four different Wi-Fi antennas simultaneously.

The four-in-one antenna design "operates as a system to optimize radio link performance in real-time on a per-antenna / per-client basis" and adjusts itself on a per-millisecond real-time basis. By creating four different signal fields, the antenna can cycle through the one with the best reception, which keeps its connection stronger at longer distances and through greater interference.

Not only Wi-Fi improvements

Along with the Active Steering Antenna, the Latitude 7490 will also come with a new super low power (SLP) screen that reportedly only consumes 50% of the power of previous screens of the same HD resolution. Dell achieved the improvement by using low-energy LEDs that only use 1.84-1.99W, as opposed to the nearly 4W of conventional screen LEDs, and said the screen gives the 7490 over 20 hours of battery life.

Dell also announced plans to expand its closed-loop materials process from plastics to add precious metals, starting with reclaiming the gold used in motherboards. The company is beginning by including recycled gold in its new Latitude 5285 2-in-1 laptops, with plans to add to its closed-loop gold to "select PC models" later on.

SEE: Hardware decommissioning policy (Tech Pro Research)

The gold reclamation process that Dell is using in partnership with Wistron GreenTech has a reportedly 99% lower environmental impact over traditional mining. Dell is also partnering with actress Nikki Reed to create gold jewelry from reclaimed gold.

Businesses interested in participating in the Dell closed-loop process can find out more at Dell's Asset Resale and Recycling page, and individuals can turn in old electronics to Goodwill locations participating in Dell Reconnect.

latitude-7490.jpg
Image: Dell

Also see

About Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox