Building A Whitebox Notebook: Part 1Mon, May 24, 2004 - 9:00 AM
The Wireless Card:
Intel Pro2200 M-PCI Wireless Card, Model # WM3B2200BGMWWB (PRICING)
You can’t have a Centrino notebook with out the wireless card so we picked up the fastest wireless card that is currently on the market, the Intel Pro 2200BG. This is the little devAugust 17, 2004g this one little card you can connect to wireless LAN networks in your home, in the office, and in wireless LAN hotspots in airports, hotels and coffee shops (or even the Giants Stadium). The Intel Pro 2200BG is Wi-Fi Certified for single band 2.4 GHz band and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA).
As for ranges you can expect a typical indoor range of:
- 100 ft (30 m) @ 54 Mbps for 802.11g
- 300 ft (91 m) @ 1 Mbps for 802.11g
- 100 ft (30 m) @ 11 Mbps for 802.11b
- 300 ft (90 m) @ 1 Mbps for 802.11b
Please keep in mind that these ranges will vary due to your surroundings (ie: walls, cement, other electrical devices) that have an impact on signal strength.
- 2.4GHz ISM: Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) for 802.11b
- 2.4Ghz Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) for 802.11g
The wireless card is pretty simple to pick out because it is currently the only 802.11g card of its type on the market! The card does come with a one year warranty from Intel for those who are interested in warranty lengths. We also found out that Intel PROSet software supports Cisco, Check Point Software Technologies, Microsoft and Intel VPN connections.
The Optical Drive: Toshiba 24x24x24x8 Slim CDRW/ DVD
Since a CDRW/DVD Combo drive is basically essential to any gamer/traveler we went with the Toshiba slim internal combo drive. When you order the ASUS whitebook from a retailer this is the optional CDRW/DVD combo drive that should come with it. The specifications are pretty much standard and is perfect for what we need it for. The rated speeds on this drive are the following:
- 24X Record CD-R
- 24X Rewrite CD-RW
- 24X CD-ROM Read
- 8X DVD-ROM Read
They also have DVD burners available, but for the uses of our notebook it was simply not needed. The warranty on this drive is a 30 days dealer warranty, and a 1 year warranty from Toshiba.
Whitebox Notebook Part 1 Conclusions:
Nathan Kirsch’s Thoughts:
Finding the parts needed for our custom whitebox nootbook was much easier than we ever thought possible! We were able to get all the features that we wanted and also use the brands that we wanted to use. The days of buying a pre-configured notebook without choice in brand name components is soon to be a thing of the past. With the big companies like Intel, ASUS, and Kingston pushing for the development of the whitebox notebook market this is certainly going to take off!
Many of our readers like to “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) when it comes to working on their computers and later this week we will post an article on how to build the notebook and another on the performance numbers and some tweaks we have found along the way after building up our ASUS M6N notebook. For those of you who don’t have the time to build their own notebook you can still contact your favorite computer shop and ask for a specific notebook by name and have it custom built for you by them. We found that ASUS have a very large whitebox notebook line that contains 10 different series!
That is it for Part 1 of our whitebox notebook journey. Later this week we will show you how to put the pieces together and get a fully running notebook!