When a tech company known for its gaming motherboards goes out and introduces its first router, the news is sure to turn heads. That's exactly what happened at Computex when the board-maker, ASRock, introduced its new MU-MIMO powered G10 Gaming Router.
Designed with gaming in mind, the sleek-looking G10 is getting released at a time when MU-MIMO devices are really hitting the market. CES 2015 in Las Vegas showed us several upcoming product releases from the usual suspects that are using the Wireless AC Wave 2 tech, but now we're getting a little surprise from ASRock, a company that we weren't expecting to see networking products from in the first place.
MU-MIMO is the latest Wi-Fi technology that provides simultaneous access for mobile, computing or networked appliances to a router or access point, whereas previous routing technologies only allowed devices to access the network one device at a time. Older wireless products can still work with MU-MIMO, but to experience the full benefits, MU-MIMO needs to be on both the router-end and the client-end of the wireless network. As the spec matures and grows in the market, we'll definitely be seeing the MU-MIMO tech on more consumer and enterprise hardware.
The ASRock G10 Gaming Router is a 4x4 dual band 802.11ac Gigabit router powered by a Qualcomm's dual-core 1.4 GHz processor. Speeds on the new router are 800 Mbps for the 2.4 GHz band and 1733 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. Running on 512 MB of DRAM, the G10 supports several contemporary router features, including an application prioritization control for those who want to manage the amount of network bandwidth that's used for gaming or other apps. The G10 also has an offloading network engine that helps take some of the work off of the router's CPU.
By far, the most interesting part of the G10 Gaming Router is the black HDMI dongle seated at the top of the router's case. The dongle can be detached from the router, plugged into a display's HDMI port and used for Miracast and Airplay. And since the dongle is a 2x2 Wireless N device, it can also be used as a travel router powered by its 5V power source. This travel router function lets you convert a broadband connection into Wi-Fi for out-of-home and out-of-office wireless networking.
Additional features in the ASRock G10 Gaming Router include:
- Five Gigabit Ethernet ports (one WAN, four LAN);
- Two USB 3.0 ports for additional USB devices like storage or video;
- Eight internal omnidirectional antennas;
- Beamforming that helps to accurately hone in signal transmission to wireless devices;
- Adjustable power output;
- Built-in IR tech can learn codes from other IR devices giving centralized control of home appliances;
- Cloud and app controlled management for remote administration.
Interestingly enough, ASRock touts the G10 Gaming Router as a device designed for Windows 10, however, no specific details were given to support how or what about the router is Windows 10 specific.
Details on pricing and availability were not given, but with all the new MU-MIMO gear being released, it's a fair guess to say that pricing should be over $200 and availability should coincide with all the other MU-MIMO products being released this year.