The market for MU-MIMO devices exploded at the start of this year during CES, and now we're finally seeing these devices come to market. The release of MU-MIMO products has been almost limited to AC2600 routers, but vendors seem to be scheduling product releases in a trickling-down fashion. Linksys has followed this trend with the release of the EA7500 Max-Stream AC1900 MU-MIMO Gigabit Wi-Fi Router.
The Linksys EA7500 has a pretty standard feature set as AC1900 routers go. It's equipped with a dual core Qualcomm IPQ processor at 1.4GHz and supports speeds on up to 1300Mbps on 5GHz and up to 600Mbps on 2.4GHz. On the IO, there are five Gigabit ports, four for LAN and one for WAN, one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port and one power jack.
Traditional Wi-Fi routers can only service one device at a time in a round-robin fashion. Typically, the speeds provided are more than adequate for the router's connected devices. However, the wireless applications we use nowadays consume more data, and when several devices are streaming heavy content, the round-robin approach loses its potency.
With the EA7500, Linksys hopes to bypass the aforementioned limits with 802.11ac Wave 2 technology and specifically, MU-MIMO. What MU-MIMO does is send data to more than one device simultaneously. MU-MIMO technology effectively multitasks, allowing data-intensive applications such as 4K streaming and multiplayer gaming to be performed on multiple devices without interruption.
The Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream AC1900 MU-MIMO Gigabit Wi-Fi Router is currently available at select online and brick-and-mortar retailers at an MSRP of $199.99