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Antenna subset selection can greatly reduce the implementation complexity of multiple input multiple output (MIMO) systems while retaining most of their benefits. This paper investigates the diversity gain and capacity of such systems in wireless personal area networks. Considered scenarios include both the communication between access point to a laptop, and between two handheld devices. We analyse the performance of different antenna selection algorithms and signal combining methods in measured dual-polarised narrowband and wideband propagation channels. We find that line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight situations have fairly similar behaviour. Different polarisations result in similar signal-to-noise ratio gains when the multiple antennas are used for diversity, but result in noticeably different capacities in spatial-multiplexing systems. We also find that radiofrequency (RF) preprocessing of the signals is less effective for handheld handsets with non-uniform antenna arrangements than for uniform linear arrays. For communications between handheld devices, simple selection (of one out of four antennas) shows extremely high performance gains compared to no-selection. Finally, we compare bulk selection (same antenna subset is used for all frequency sub-channels) to per-tone selection (different antenna subsets can be used for each frequency sub-channel) for wideband channels. Bulk selection together with RF preprocessing performs almost as well as per-tone selection for some scenarios.