Dell and Lenovo have announced the first notebooks with embedded Certified Wireless USB chips, which allow cable-free connections to USB peripherals.

To work, the peripherals must connect through certified wireless USB hubs that D-Link and IOGear have announced. Additionally, the two companies have also launched Certified Wireless USB adapters that you can plug into USB ports to add the functionality to notebooks and PCs that don't have it built in.

The notebooks (the Dell Inspiron 1720 and Lenovo ThinkPad T61 and T62p), wireless hubs, and wireless USB adapters from D-Link and IOGear are the first products to receive Wireless USB Certification from the USB Implementers Forum. They're expected to ship in time for back-to-school and holiday-season purchases.

Eventually, these notebooks and other PCs equipped with wireless USB chips will be able to connect to a new generation of peripherals that will also carry embedded wireless USB. But for now, the most likely use will be with legacy USB peripherals connected to wireless USB hubs. You could, for example, use one of the notebooks to print documents on a conventional USB printer plugged into a wireless USB hub.

Wireless USB uses ultra-wideband technology, which enables short-range connections (15 to 30 feet) at much faster speeds (up to 480 megabits per second at 10 feet and 110 mbps at 30 feet) than Bluetooth while consuming much less power than Wi-Fi.

The USB Implementers Forum's certification program is meant to do for Certified Wireless USB what the Wi-Fi Alliance's certification programs have done for various flavours of Wi-Fi: Assure consumers that products from different vendors are compatible. The products will carry a Certified Wireless USB logo.

Based on reporting by Yardena Arar, PC World.