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ManiacBart
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎01-16-2018
Location: GB
Views: 1,705
Message 1 of 7

Ideapad 720s i7-8550u Swap Wifi Card from Atheros QCA9377 to Intel 8265

Yesterday I received my 720s i7-8550u MX150 laptop and on first impressions I am impressed with the laptop (Although I have only used for a couple hours).

 

However the wifi performance of the QCA9377 wifi card is very poor and I would like to swap out for an Intel 8265.

 

I have however read about whitelisting - The fact that Lenovo lock down the bios so the machine only boots with certain hardware installed.  Coming from using Dell laptops this seems madness to me!

 

I can get a 'Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265, 2230, 2x2 AC + BT, Vpro' wifi card from Amazon UK for £17.95 delivered but I wanted to check:

 

1) That I will be ok to swap the cards over and have the warranty maintained.  I'll keep the old card so I can replace if I need to send back for warranty reasons.

2) That if I swap the wifi card over it will work ok with my laptop

 

My part number is 81BD0044UK and I have looked at the manual at https://download.lenovo.com/consumer/mobiles_pub/ideapad720s-14ikb_hmm_201705.pdf which lists the following card in the parts list:

 

Wirelesslan_WIFI, Intel 8265 2x2AC+BT PCIE M.2 WLAN NV, WIFI 2X2 AC+BT4.1 SW10K97453

 

Can anyone please help confirm that I am ok to swap the card over please?

 

Any help would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

Matt

Sr Support Specialist
Posts: 7,951
Registered: ‎11-30-2015
Location: PH
Views: 1,652
Message 2 of 7

Re: Ideapad 720s i7-8550u Swap Wifi Card from Atheros QCA9377 to Intel 8265

Hi ManiacBart,

 

Greetings.

 

Policy regarding upgrade may vary per region and since WLAN cards are not customer replaceable part, it would be best to check it with technical support regarding warranty policy for changing the part. Do keep the original parts since they would look for it if you need to have it serviced.

 

Intel 8265 are not listed as possible subsitute for MTM 81BD0044UK but checking on model type 81BD here shows part number 01AX704 FRU Intel Windstorm Peak 8265 2*2ac+BT4.x Non-Vpro M.2 Module.

 

Fellow member Tassi from this discussion successfully replaced my intel 3165 1x1 card for intel 8265 2x2 :

Spoiler
"Hello i just recently successfully replaced my intel 3165 1x1 card for intel 8265 2x2 (~20€) FRU 01AX704 and it works great so far on ideapad 720s 14IKB but check the service manual for your country specific model and the recommended replacement cards because of different Wlan frequency restrictions. Also the antennas maybe doesnt fit if you change from atheros to intel."

I hope this helps you decide how to proceed but do always check the return options just in case.

 

Regards



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ManiacBart
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Message 3 of 7

Re: Ideapad 720s i7-8550u Swap Wifi Card from Atheros QCA9377 to Intel 8265

Spoke to Lenovo support UK who advised I am ok to swap the WIFI card for the warranty as long as I keep the old part and put it back if I have to send in for warranty reasons.

 

Bought the 8265 from Amazon UK and installed fine last night.  Laptop booted ok etc. but my internet is down at the moment so I can't check increase in speeds.

 

As an aside interesting to see the physical size of the 8265 card is larger (Wider) but obviously fits in the wifi slot fine.

Sr Support Specialist
Posts: 7,951
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Location: PH
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Message 4 of 7

Re: Ideapad 720s i7-8550u Swap Wifi Card from Atheros QCA9377 to Intel 8265

Hi ManiacBart,

 

Greetings.

 

Thanks for getting back to us and confirming UK tech support supports upgrades against the warranty similar to the US / Canada team. It would also be a good reference for others having the same inquiry specially with the functionality of swapping for model type 81BD  part number 01AX704 FRU Intel Windstorm Peak 8265 2*2ac+BT4.x Non-Vpro M.2 Module as previously mentioned.

 

Please don't hesitate to share the speed difference and experience soon as your network is ok.

 

Regards



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AnybodyM
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Message 5 of 7

Re: Ideapad 720s i7-8550u Swap Wifi Card from Atheros QCA9377 to Intel 8265

I also had to replace the WiFi card on the Lenovo 720s! Bought the 01AX704 and it worked well.

 

I find it disturbing though that I needed to do this - I had ordered two Lenovo 720s, from the same vendor just a week apart.

I explicitly checked the exact model number on the Lenovo Germany webpage which claimed they come with a 2x2 WiFi Chipset (the exact model number was also on the package that arrived, I so I got exactly the model what I had ordered and exactly the model where the lenovo page promised a 2x2 WiFi chipset).

 

Contrary to the lies on the Lenovo Germany webpage, both Laptops came with a 1x1 WiFi card. And even though those were the same laptops from the same vendor, both came with DIFFERENT WiFi cards! One came with an Intel 1x1 WiFi Card and one came with an Qualcom 1x1 Wifi Card if I remember correctly.

 

It is really a shame that Lenovo puts these CRAPPY 1x1 WiFi cards into the Lenovo 720s. This is not a cheap 350$ Laptop.

No reason to save 3$ on the WiFi card by crippling the entire laptop. It's not like these Laptops will ever be connected to an LAN cable!

 

At least swapping the WiFi card was not that hard...

FoolishThought
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Registered: ‎05-24-2018
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Message 6 of 7

Re: Ideapad 720s i7-8550u Swap Wifi Card from Atheros QCA9377 to Intel 8265

I only registered to say that inspired by the authors of this thread, I did exactly same thing for my Lenovo E31-80.

 

Atheros QCA9377 WiFi card was causing me some really unpleasant issues, like intermittent losses of the connection, etc. Now, with Intel 8265 (bought for ~28$) I am more than happy with the stability and speed.

 

Thanks a lot!

Manco1
What's DOS?
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎07-28-2018
Location: GB
Views: 763
Message 7 of 7

Re: Ideapad 720s i7-8550u Swap Wifi Card from Atheros QCA9377 to Intel 8265

So, can you confirm that even though the laptop comes with a 1x1 WiFi card Lenovo have fitted 2 antennas, or is there just 1 antenna?

 

I am considering buying this laptop or the HP Envy 13. Both have the same base specs but the slightly better screen (as far as I can make out from reviews) on the 720s is swaying my decision if I can sort out the WiFi and fan noise. 

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