I'm experiencing disconnects from my wireless network which my administrator claims is due to a poor wireless card in my laptop (currently a Qualcomm Atheros AR9485WB-EG if relevant). My laptop is approaching 3 years old, so I'm getting a new one, but the main purpose of this new purchase is to improve connectivity.
The problem is that I don't know how to choose a wireless card. There are oddly no guides for this - for example a guide to buying a computer might say "get this, or that if you can afford it" but there's nothing for wireless cards. I don't know how to tell which wireless card is better given two cards - e.g. if "Intel AC 7265 dual-band adapter" is better than the one I have. The wireless card also doesn't seem to be something that's always given in tech specs, and I even saw one manufacturer respond to a customer query about the wireless card with "It will be either a Qualcomm Atheros 802.11b/802.11g/802.11n/802.11ac, or Intel 7265.NGWG.W 802.11ac, 802.11n, 802.11w, StPA, StPS, WMM, WFD, Wi-Fi direct. This is subject to change depending on availability at the time of manufacture." -- what?? (the part I'm most incredulous about italicized)
What guidelines are there to picking a wireless card? How do I tell if one card is superior to another? I'm definitely willing to pay more for a good card here, but I still need to know how to identify them.
Details: budget - no budget (I'm under the impression wifi cards are cheap, too). I haven't bought a laptop yet so I can't give any more details. For recommendations, since I can't tell if one card is better than another, I can only look at other models that satisfy my requirements, which is currently:
- Gaming laptop that will be able to play new games for 3+ years, even if not necessarily at highest settings
- Prefer 15" screen size, 17" is also OK
- No requirements on weight and battery life (as long as it's longer than 2 hours, anyway)
- Budgeting about $1250 USD, possibly higher if the specs are right
But all these are secondary to wifi connectivity. Since I can't identify what's a good wifi card yet, I can only look at the other requirements, which I can find guides for. Currently looking at this laptop and this one (Amazon doesn't list the wifi card for this computer, but this is the one for which Acer provided the quote above about wifi cards changing depending on availability).