I have a newer laptop, purchased within the last year (acer aspire 7740). This laptop does not have any problem connecting to wireless networks and indicates that the signal strength is excellent on most of the wireless networks I connect to. When the laptop is within 10 feet of my wireless router it gets 30 down 10 up. When it is farther away than 10 feet it will be lucky to get 3 down and 1 up. I also have an older laptop, purchased in 2005, that has no problems at all at the same range. None of my phones, gaming consoles or tablets have this problem.
I am beginning to think that the problem must be some hardware defect with the wireless card.
I can provide additional information if needed. Just thought I'd check to see what others thought because I've been working on computers my whole life and have never heard of this happening. I have also tried to change the channels on my wireless router and have had no success with this idea.