A friend bought a Laptop from Dell, Inspiron N7110, and asked me to set up her wireless router. I was getting very poor speeds, and random disconnects. I did my own troubleshooting and found various posts where people found workarounds; disabling Bluetooth and N mode. Also installed the latest driver from Intel. The connection was still poor. I could get a decent connection if I was very close to the router, less than 15 ft. I called Dell, as she also bought Premium Support. After troubleshooting the connection and letting the Dell tech connect remotely to the laptop, I was told this specific adapter 1030 was a just a single band adapter and the working range was 10 to 15 feet!!!
I happened to have my Acer netbook with me and my connection was good and stable at 30 ft.( and probably further)
I couldn't believe what he told and asked to speak to a supervisor. He basically repeated the same thing and told me it wasn't Dell's fault, it was Intel's.
Hard to believe that my $250 netbook's wireless outperforms her $1300 laptop.
I realize it's difficult to give an exact range because of uncontrollable factors such as physical obstacles and interference from other routers, microwaves, cordless phones... but is possible to find an estimated range within Intel documentation? I looked and couldn't find anything.
Please note that the statement provided by Dell* support is not completely true, the Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 1030 it is indeed an only 2.4GHz band adapter, but it is as capable as any other Intel wireless adapter.
It complies with all standards and specifications, it is likely that the problems experimented in the Dell* Inspiron N7110 are an integration problem, that happens when the computer manufacture integrates an adapter of a different revision than the one that was originally tested with the system, or it could be a problem within the antennas or even the hardware connections of the card.
You may try updating the BIOS of the computer and if this doesn’t work then request a replacement of the adapter; if the problem persists then replace the whole computer for a one that works as it should.
The normal working range for an Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 1030 is of about 150 feet, but normally with all the interference it might be it is about 90 feet, so much larger than the one you have seen.