SparkLAN WPEQ-261ACN(BT) as a 802.11ac replacement for Intel 6235

Many of the 2012-2013 notebooks like ASUS UX31A, ASUS UX32VD, Dell XPS 13 or HP Elitebook 9470m have been shipped with Intel 6235 ANHMW. It is a 802.11a/b/g/n half-size minipci wireless card with IPEX MHF4 antenna connectors. Unfortunately, the industry has switched to U.FL connectors.
I have experienced a rising number of issues with the Intel 6235 in the 2.4Ghz band. So I have started to look for alternatives – without success. The popular 802.11ac half-size minipci cards like Intel 7260 or Broadcom BCM4352 were not an upgrade option (all U.FL).

In May 2017, SparkLAN hast released a 802.11ac half-size minipci card with IPEX MHF4 antenna connectors – the WPEQ-261ACN(BT). The card is based on the Qualcomm Atheros QCA6174A-5 chipset with MU-MIMO support and integrated Bluetooth 4.1 support.

I could not resist to order a sample and tested it with a ASUS UX31A ultrabook with an TP-Link Archer C2600 router (QCA9980 4×4 with MU-MIMO). The card has been recognized by the ath10k driver on my Ubuntu 17.04 and operates very stable. With full signal strength I have been able to reach more than 50 MB/s transfer speeds in the 5GHz band. Bluetooth operates stable with a Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600 (BT 4.0).

The card is now available in the U.S.

Product page at SparkLAN
Wikidevi page

Order at Techship (EU)
Order at Embedded Works (U.S.)

 

UPDATE 17.8.2017:

  • Compex is listing a card with almost identical specs – Compex WLE-674
  • Added links to two online shops (U.S. and EU)

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