TRENDnet has shrunk a high-throughput 802.11n Wi-Fi router into a form that travellers can carry around with them, the first company to offer such a product.
Announced at last week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the pocket TEW-654TR is 6.4cm wide, by 8.2cm long, and 1.9cm high, not counting its power supply, and will cost a modest $90 (approx £60) when it becomes available around the world in March.
In addition to carrying the router, users will have to factor in a broadband modem if they don't have access to an Ethernet connection. The router comes with a single 10/100 port for this connectivity, though a USB cable is supplied that allows it to be powered through the laptop, meaning the adaptor can be left at home.
The TEW-654TR integrates features internal antennas, using MIMO (multiple in multiple out) technology to limit radio dead spots and improve the robustness of the link. Maximum throughput is claimed to be 300Mbits/s, though real-world performance on such draft n connections will be lower.
Security will include various forms of WPA encryption and, presumably, support for authentication, though this was not apparent from the CES release.
“This high speed wireless n travel router is great for people on the go. The product's lightweight and ultra-compact design can fit into even the most over-stuffed luggage,” said Trendnet's Brian Chu. “The router also provides multiple users with high speed access to a single Internet connection.”
The TRENDnet router would represent a worthwhile step up from the current generation of aging 802.11g travel routers, such as the Linksys WRT54GS, for much the same money. Whether it's worth upgrading from that class of product would depend on the range needed in such a router – if it is being shared, then the extra range would be worth it.