Hawking HWC54D adapter review: Hawking HWC54D adapter

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.9
  • Design and ease of use: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0
  • Service and support: 6.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good High-gain antenna that swivels; excellent interface; good throughput and range; inexpensive.

The Bad Flimsy construction; card juts out of notebook; high battery drain; Windows only.

The Bottom Line Hawking's HWC54D grabs onto a weak network signal and squeezes as much data out of it as possible.

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Hawking HWC54D network adapter

By combining an adjustable high-gain antenna design with a standard Wi-Fi adapter, Hawking Technology's HWC54D network adapter latches onto a weak Wi-Fi signal to boost throughput and extend range. The adapter is easy to install. Just unfold the card's unique adjustable antenna and aim it directly at the access point for the best signal strength. If only its power management and ruggedness matched its antenna, this card would be a winner.

Hawking's HWC54D is the first 802.11g PC Card adapter to incorporate a 6dBi antenna, which offers about twice the sensitivity of the antennas in most wireless notebook adapters and can be pointed at the wireless router or access point to make the most of a weak signal. The self-contained unit is more convenient to travel with and use than Compex's iWavePort WL54G PC Card and external antenna , but the HWC54D is heavier than other Wi-Fi cards and extends out of the side of the notebook a lengthy 1.6 inches, making it far more susceptible to breakage than standard PC Card adapters.

Hawking's HWC54D PC Card adapter comes with a basic printed installation booklet and a CD that contains setup software and a detailed 25-page user manual. The card works with every Windows release since Windows 98 SE and installs in a matter of minutes, but there are no Macintosh or Linux drivers; Hawking says it will have a Mac version by the fall.

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Where to Buy

Hawking HWC54D adapter

Part Number: HWC54D Released: Jan 1, 2005

MSRP: $99.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jan 1, 2005
  • Data Transfer Rate 54 Mbps
  • Connectivity Technology wireless
  • Interface (Bus) Type CardBus