TRENDnet's CES suite had plenty of networking equipment ranging from outdoor long-range access points to industrial switches. It made clear that TRENDnet is focusing more on SMB, particularly in the emerging markets. However, the two announcements at CES were both related to their consumer efforts - one was the TEW-827DRU, a AC2600 MU-MIMO 4x4 802.11ac MU-MIMO router and the other was the TEW-809UB, a AC1900 USB 3.0 WLAN adapter.

The TEW-827DRU is a 4x4 802.11ac Wave2 router with MU-MIMO capabilities using the Qualcomm Atheros IPQ8064 (1.4 GHz dual-core Krait 300 CPUs) + QCA9980 platform. It supports 256-QAM on the 2.4GHz band to deliver 800 Mbps of throughput, while the 5GHz band delivers 1733 Mbps. TRENDnet has licensed Qualcomm's StreamBoost QoS engine for this product in order to bring down latencies for gaming applications. The unit features four Gigabit LAN ports and two USB 3.0 ports. Even though the press release went out at CES, the unit has been available on Amazon for a couple of months now. The press release suggests a retail price of $275, but Amazon already has it on sale at $238.

Note that this is not the latest QCA platform. The IPQ8065 + QCA9984 with 160 MHz channel support is the leading edge offering from QCA now, but routers based on that platform (example) will launch at a higher price point.

The other interesting announcement was the TEW-809UB, a AC1900 USB 3.0 WLAN adapter. It is a 3x3 solution (1300 Mbps in the 5GHz band and 600 Mbps in the 2.4GHz band). The specifications looked suspiciously similar to the D-Link DWA-192 which uses the Realtek RTL8814AU 802.11ac wireless chipset with a USB 3.0 interface. I confirmed with TRENDnet that the TEW-809UB also uses the same chipset.

The DWA-192 goes for compactness and internal antennae. The TEW-809UB could potentially provide a better user experience due to the presence of external antennae. The unit comes with a 3.3ft USB 3.0 cable that should make it easy to optimally orient the device for both desktops and notebooks. Despite the marketing pamphlet indicating magnetic mounting options in the above picture, TRENDnet indicated that wall-mounting and desktop placement are the only available options. The MSRP will be $110 when it launches in early Q2.

Source: TRENDnet

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  • Concillian - Sunday, January 17, 2016 - link

    4k BDs are something like 125 Mbps. Still easily covered by AC1700. For something like this, more important than a REALLY fast router is to have a strong wifi signal where you need it, which is why I said that most home users are better covered by an AC1700 plus a range extender to make sure you have good signal where you need it.
  • Dug - Monday, January 18, 2016 - link

    Only if what is showing netflix has a 3x3 connection, which I'm fairly positive it doesn't.
  • DanNeely - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    On the consumer side, people upgrading from G/N going for the current state of the art to delay the next upgrade as long as possible, and people who have to own the newest and shiniest everything.

    MU-MIMO offers potentially much higher network throughput if you have a lot of devices connected at once. Having the router being able to talk to their phone, their kids tablet, and their spouses laptop concurrently instead of round robin is probably driving a fair amount of buying among techies. People operating wifi in commercial venues could benefit a lot more than all but the most geeked out households. (You probably don't have to worry about 100 users connecting to your network in a single room - they do). However since it needs client support as well, even with a new router it'll be a mostly aspirational feature for the next few years.

    If I was buying a new router today, I'd be tempted since I'd be hoping for a 4-5 year useful lifespan, and would probably benefit before the end of that period. However I have a year old AC1700(?) router; and unless it breaks have no plans to replace it anytime soon.
  • Valantar - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    I have an ages old D-Link dual band N300 router, which - for now - does the job with my 30mbps connection (considering that the current use case has all heavy usage clients (game consoles, HTPC) on ethernet, and WiFi is relegated to lighter duties like Web browsing). Still, it's getting mighty long in the tooth, and I've held off upgrading for a couple of years due mainly to two things: waiting for the arrival of MU-MIMO, and pricing. While my router was high end when I bought it (from what I can remember, just as the N spec was being finalized, so it was pretty cutting edge), it cost less than half of what even 1st wave AC1900 routers cost today - not to mention the ludicrously overpriced spiderhulks in the classes above that.

    I get that this is new tech, and that these routers pack far more power and hardware (even relative to when they are launched) compared to anything made five years ago. Still, router makers have seen an opportunity to cash in, and all of a sudden we have routers designed as attention-grabbing design pieces priced like low end laptops. I'll be waiting a good while still, I think, for an affordable priced (sub-$200) MU-MIMO AC1900 (or more) router that I can keep for at least another five years.
  • limitedaccess - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    I'm actually more aggressive then you even in terms of the price point. I'm waiting for something in the <$100 range. Archer C7 was released more than 2.5 years ago now but doesn't seem like anything yet to make another leap in this price category.

    Obviously I don't have any data to support this but I'm wondering if the majority of router consumers are falling into two categories. The as long as it works group which either uses what their ISP provides (likely a modem combo) or whatever is cheapest (<$50). Or those that buy the highest end.
  • Dug - Monday, January 18, 2016 - link

    It isn't all about speed.
    For some people, new routers definitely aren't needed.

    For a lot of other people the upgrade in the cpu, memory, and features are very helpful.
    For instance, speed of VPN, QOS, monitoring, external storage, etc.

    These sometimes, but not always, seem to get a little better with each model released.

    To answer your question on who can saturate a router? It's not that hard if you are heavy into multi-media being streamed to many devices. You can't look at the AC number as an actual number to saturate. It has a lot to do with number and type of devices that can cause problems. If you look at what happens to bandwidth when more devices are added, you will realize that each device can easily have interruptions.

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