It's taken long enough, but they're here: the first computers that can make USB connections sans cables.
Dell's Inspiron 1720 notebook and Lenovo's ThinkPad T61 and T61p models are the first PCs to receive certification for the standard, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) is expected to announce Monday. Texas-based WiQuest Communications makes the Wireless USB chipset in both notebooks.
The Thinkpad can be ordered now for $1,814. The Inspiron notebook will not ship until late summer or early fall and pricing is not yet available, according to Dell spokeswoman Anne Camden. She said Dell does expect more of its notebook models to be Wireless USB-capable in the future.
Wireless USB will enable peripherals like printers, cameras, mice and hard drives to connect to a PC without a USB cable from distances of up to 16 to 25 feet. As Wireless USB is just beginning to be rolled out for consumers, Wireless USB hubs will be required to connect PCs and peripherals at first. Last week, Belkin announced the first such products. Expect more adapters and hubs to be announced in the coming weeks.