Latitude E5400 wireless options?

Hello!

I just bought a used Latitude E5400 and I'm stuck on an issue.

The machine currently has WiFi connectivity but not Bluetooth.  My research online indicates this machine can either have Bluetooth connectivity via a wireless 370 card or WiFi connectivity via various cards, but not both at the same time.  Is this correct?

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3 Replies
dell-robert p
6 Gallium

RE: Latitude E5400 wireless options?

Hi law-divtecs.com

Thanks for posting.

It depends on if the BT was included in the original build specifications.  You may be able to add it to your machine, contact Dell Spare Parts to see if 
Dell Part Number/SKU: RM948 is available.  If not, then you may be able to find it from here: http://dell.to/2wIXvXr

There's some videos showing installation on their site as well.

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jphughan
5 Rhenium

RE: Latitude E5400 wireless options?

No, that isn't correct.  I don't think any laptop was ever sold that had Bluetooth but no WiFi, certainly not since well before the E5400 was released.  However, some WiFi cards only offer WiFi, while other cards offer both WiFi and Bluetooth on a single card, and it's possible that you have a WiFi-only card.  In that case, you can buy a WiFi+BT card on eBay for about $30 if desired, and you may even be able to get better/newer WiFi than what you have now.  The card you buy would just have to use the same motherboard connector as your existing one, and ideally should use exactly the number of antennas that the E5400 has installed, because you want to use all of the available antennas but not add a card that expects more antennas than the system has available.

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jphughan
5 Rhenium

RE: Latitude E5400 wireless options?

Expanding on the answer above, I looked at the Service Manual for the E5400, available on support.dell.com.  There is only a single WLAN slot, no dedicated Bluetooth, so systems that have Bluetooth would have it courtesy of a combo WiFi+BT card, since WiFi and Bluetooth can use the same antennas.  There's also a WWAN slot, but that has nothing to do with either WiFi or Bluetooth.

The E5400 uses mPCIe (aka HMC) for its WLAN card and has 3 antennas available.  So I'll amend my previous statement about antennas to this: If you have 3 antennas, ideally you'd want a card that uses them all.  However, only 802.11n cards use 3 antennas, whereas 802.11ac cards use at most 2 -- and you'd be far better served overall with an 802.11ac card.  The newest (and in my opinion best) 802.11ac card available in mPCIe form is the Intel 7260, which also includes Bluetooth.  I've provided a link to Amazon where you can buy it for $24 if you're in the US, and if you're not, just make sure you buy the mPCIe/HMC version of the Intel 7260, since it's also available in M.2/NGFF card form, which will NOT work in your system. To install it, connect 2 of your 3 antennas (it doesn't matter which 2 since they're all the same) and wrap the connector of the unused antenna in tape or something in order to prevent problematic electrical contacts.  Dell has little plastic sleeves that slip around unused antennas, but those would obviously be harder to get.  Then just download and install the latest drivers from Intel (the WiFi and Bluetooth drivers are separate downloads even though it's all on one card), and you're good to go.

Intel 7260 HMC on Amazon: www.amazon.com/.../