In terms of performance we were really quite impressed with this little device. Firstly, its size is truly remarkable, and we love that they have had to make the device thicker on one side to incorporate a standard sized ethernet socket. This device and cables can easily be fitted in your back pocket and so you really can take it where you want, and with a car charger included this is a perfect device for sharing a 3G connection in the car, at school or any other place without a wired infrastructure.
As the router has many other modes, it can be used in the more everyday situations that you would of expect of a router, and not only does it do this well it is unbelievably easy to set-up and configure. On top of this, it has a few extra quirks like the repeater mode which is brilliant for those student houses that are spread over 2 or more floors and who require a good wireless connection all over the house and as it makes itself effectively invisible you just connect to the original wireless router and benefit immediately from improved signal strength and even in places, improved speeds.
In terms of data transfer rates, we were not expecting this router to be that impressive, after all it is the size of a credit card, and can be powered by a USB port. That said, it is still a N150 router, and credit where credit is due, the data connection speeds were pleasantly close to the 150 mbps mark, in fact it managed to provide adequate coverage over several rooms of my house, and although it is no where near as good as our Buffalo High Powered Dual Band Router it was certainly a lot better than we expected. The quoted coverage is 300m² and quite frankly this is a lot, although of course in a normal house environment this dramatically decrease with walls and other obstacles in the way, but if you were to use this in a conference environment for instance you would find it easily provides coverage for a fairly large room and the speeds at the extremities will be still fairly decent – for instance, we found that speeds were still well over 20 mpbs at a distance of 15m going through 2 fairly substantial walls, and while 20 mbps is a lot less than 150 mbps this is still an impressive result.
We did unfortunately find that during Repeater mode, it did seem to slow down the connection speed was reduced when it was turned on and the wireless device was nearer to the original source. However, when in the area near to the repeater we found that the speeds were improved, so if you have a few wireless dead spots this is the perfect device to extend the signal into these areas.
Turning to the software, we can’t really fault its simplicity, especially when it has enough advanced options so that you can set everything up just right, but at the same time can easily re-configure the device for a new network and set-up if you want to take it with you on holiday for instance. There could, of course, be more options on the set-up pages, but we feel that networks can become overwhelmingly complicated and a device that can be set-up in a matter of a minutes is certainly more favourable.
ASUS have also though to include a carry bag and even a car charger, as well as 2 other means of powering the device and so we really can’t fault them in this area as this just about covers everything you’d ever want for the device, other than the all important 3G dongle.