Hopefully, I’ll be able to write a review on my first WiFi 6E router shortly. Although many modern laptops support the WiFi 6E standard, older machines will only support WiFi 6 or WiFi 5.
I previously updated my old Dell XPS 15, but I seldom use it now, so I upgraded my huawei matebook 14 to prepare for the review. I assumed this method was fairly common knowledge (for those who are into tech/computers), but our PR asked me a few questions about it, so I decided to document it. It’s quite straightforward.
This guide will work roughly the same for most laptops. However, some laptops have difficult to access components, I was not able to easily upgrade my Huawei Matebook 13 (I think the motherboard is inverted). If you open up the back of the laptop, you should be able to tell if it is an easy upgrade.
Intel AX210 WiFi 6E M.2 Module
Currently, there are two modules available that can do WiFi 6E, the Intel AX210, and the Killer AX1650. In the past, Killer used to customize their hardware, but it has been reported that the AX1650 is identical to the Intel model. The Intel AX210 is sold on Amazon via lots of random brands. These are just importers of the official module as Intel does not sell this directly to consumers.
For the most part, this guide will work on most laptops. However, some laptops include components that are difficult to access, and I was unable to upgrade my Huawei Matebook 13 simply (I think the motherboard is inverted). You should be able to see if it is a simple upgrade if you open up the back of the laptop.
Before you install the module, you must first download the drivers
The Intel AX210 has been around for a while, and I made the rookie mistake of expecting Windows would recognize it and have drivers for it. As a result, when I rebooted my laptop, I lost network connectivity, and I had to hunt for an Ethernet adaptor to fix it. It’s recommended to start by downloading the drivers. The drivers can be downloaded straight from Intel’s website. It might be easier to do this before installing the hardware, but I didn’t do it till afterward.
Opening up the Huawei Matebook 14 laptop
The Matebook employs those vexing electrical screws. You’ll need one of those cheap precision driver sets from Amazon if it’s Torx or Pozidrive. They’re a good purchase, and I use mine frequently. Six little screws run down the front and side edges, followed by four longer ones on the back. They’re little, so put them in a jar or something to keep them from getting lost.
The most difficult part is removing the back panel. I used the small plastic pryers that came with my screwdriver set, and I found that starting from the rear, where the monitor hinge is, was the simplest technique. The existing WiFi 5 module is readily visible and accessible when the rear panel is removed. If you want to do two things at once, the NVMe SSD is a simple upgrade.