Intel Wireless Display, the technology that allows users with a capable notebook and HDTV to wirelessly stream HD content to their HDTV, has previously been limited to just a few notebooks, like the Toshiba e205 and other Blue Label PCs at Best Buy, but Intel reports that the Intel WiDi service will be in 25 notebooks for the back to school season and there will be even more features to address many of the issues I found in my hands on with the service.
Intel reports that major manufacturers like ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba make up the 25 currently available Intel WiDI systems which are equipped with Intel Core i3 or Core i5 processors. These notebooks are available at numerous retailers including, Amazon, Best Buy, Dell.com, Fry’s, Sony Style, OfficeMax, Tiger Direct.
The most recently announced Intel WiDi notebooks include the new Dell Inspiron R series and the new Samsung R580-11 which is available at Best Buy. The Samsung R580 is $850 and the Dell Inspiron R Series begin at $449, but no word on the price of adding WiDi to a Dell Inspiron R series notebook.
In order to use the Intel WiDi feature, you’ll need to purchase a Netgear Push2TV adapter which connects to your HDTV via HDMI or composite cables. These adapters cost $100 at Best Buy. Ideally, the WiDi technology will soon be built into HDTVs and projectors.
In addition to the excitement over more laptops coming with WiDi, Intel has released a new version of the Intel Wireless Display software, 1.2, which adds several new features that will make WiDi even better.
Extended Display Mode: Thanks to Extended Display Mode you’ll be able to use your Intel WiDi notebook while you are streaming something to your HDTV. previously, you couldn’t work on something using the laptop’s screen while streaming something. Now, much like having a second monitor, you’ll be able to surf the web on the laptop’s screen while streaming HD to the HDTV.
Remote Only Mode: This mode is perfect for sharing a movie or streaming a TV show to share with a group of people. When you enable Remote Only Mode, your laptops screen will go dark so that you aren’t distracted by the movement and slight delay between the notebook and the HDTV.
New Fast Cursor: One of the complaints I had with the Intel WiDi service has been addressed with new fast cursor support. This change makes it easier to use your cursor on the TV, a task that was difficult due to the slight delay in earlier versions of the WiDi software.