|ASUS EA-N66U Wireless-N450 Ethernet Adapter|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst|
|Saturday, 24 March 2012|
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Ethernet Adapter Final Thoughts
When it comes to networking products looks tend to be somewhat of an afterthought, with the ASUS EA-N66 this simply isn't the case. I'm sure many of you will agree that first and foremost on your list of priorities when buying hardware is the price, next would be performance and then looks come last. After all you can easily hide it out of sight, so looks need not be so important.
If you haven't see the press releases then you might look at the ASUS EA-N66 and think "what is that?", since it doesn't fit the normal design brief. I myself am a sucker for good looking gear and I find the need to have things that fit into a certain scheme, whether it be a color scheme or purely a design scheme, I don't like things that don't fit in very well. The main quality I look for is performance, I always find myself looking for the best performance for the money I have available. When I can find looks and performance in one package then I don't hesitate, that's where reviews like this are handy.
ASUS EA-N66 Conclusion
Important: In this section I am going to write a brief five point summary on the following categories; Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality and Value. These views are my own and help me to give the ASUS EA-N66 Dual Band Wireless-N 3-in-1 Ethernet Adapter a rating out of 10. A high or low score does not necessarily mean that it is better or worse than a similar adapter that has been reviewed by another writer here at Benchmark Reviews, which may have got a higher or lower score. It is however a good indicator of whether the ASUS EA-N66 is good or not. I would strongly urge you to read the entire review, if you have not already, so that you can make an educated decision for yourself.
The performance of the ASUS EA-N66 Ethernet Adapter is very respectable indeed, coupled with the RT-N66U Wireless N900 router, wireless barriers need not be an issue any more. The TCP speeds were nowhere near as fast as the UDP speeds but since most of the functions that the EA-N66 will be serving (Gaming, Streaming Media, File transfer) rely on UDP this isn't such an issue. Even at a distance from the router the EA-N66 still managed to get 95.1Mb/s TCP and 232.9Mb/s UDP throughput in Ethernet Adapter mode, this is a real testament to the R&D that is going on over at ASUS HQ.
The ASUS EA-N66 appearance will score very highly. I have made my feelings about the EA-N66's looks patently obvious throughout this review, even the web based utility looks awesome, as I'm sure you will agree. It is certainly a one of a kind work of art and will set a new 'bar' for competing manufacturers to aim for.
The construction of the ASUS EA-N66 is very good indeed. The unit is much smaller and lighter than one would guess from the pictures, and the internal antenna means there is less things that can be broken off. It has been built very well with no obvious screws holding it together, and the materials used feel very durable. I felt a little bit let down that the supplied Ethernet cable wasn't compatible with Gigabit speeds as advertised, but I was lucky enough to have a few Ethernet cables spare. This won't be the case for everyone and your network speeds can and will suffer because of it.
Functionality of the ASUS EA-N66 will get top marks. There are many different scenarios in which the ASUS EA-N66 can be used. The obvious ones are to make your wired home entertainment devices wireless (Consoles, TiVo, Smart HDTV etc.) in the default Ethernet adapter mode, or you could buy an inexpensive Gigabit switch and use the EA-N66 as an Access Point and save a lot of money over buying a high end router. Maybe you have a good wireless router already but the range isn't that great, simply set the EA-N66 to Repeater mode and enjoy the extended range. If only it could be powered by USB, then we would have a killer wireless solution for Laptops and Notebooks.
The ASUS EA-N66 is not yet available and pricing has not yet been decided. I estimate ASUS will price the EA-N66 Dual Band Wireless N450 3-in-1 Ethernet Adapter around the $60 mark, that would represent a nice price/performance sweet spot. At that price I could see these selling very well indeed.
If you are looking for a stylish, feature packed and great performing home networking solution, then you should definitely consider the ASUS EA-N66 as one to put on the shortlist, when it becomes avaiable.
+ Excellent performance
- TCP speeds much slower than UDP
Final Score: 9.25 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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