Help wm8850 netbook wifi issues


Hi, I have a netbook with the folllowing configuration:
wm8850-mid, Android version 4.0.3 Kernel 3.0.8 build number 4.0.3 ICS Ver1.3.0-20120911.105941. Netbook works find apart from wifi, it connects for a short time than disconnects from wifi and will not connect with out of range message, if I reboot it connects again for a short time. There is also a white symbol that appears on the wifi icon before it disconnects. Tried turning off and on wifi in system settings but this does not reconnect and sometimes locks the device. I have installed a wifi keep alive app and it could be midly better but still unusable really. This problems still happens whether I am sat next to the router or not. We also have an android phone on v4.0.3 and this connects fine via wifi with no problems. Is this device faulty ie is it hardware or is it an operating system bug ? if I rooted the device could I upgrade to jelly bean 4.1/firmware and cure the problem ? has ayone else experienced this problem ? Any advice would be greatly received. Just wondering if I should send the device back as it was an xmas gift for my son and he can't surf the internet which is what he wanted it for ?