TRENDnet's CES suite had plenty of networking equipment ranging from outdoor long-range access points to industrial switches. It made clear that TRENDnet is focusing more on SMB, particularly in the emerging markets. However, the two announcements at CES were both related to their consumer efforts - one was the TEW-827DRU, a AC2600 MU-MIMO 4x4 802.11ac MU-MIMO router and the other was the TEW-809UB, a AC1900 USB 3.0 WLAN adapter.

The TEW-827DRU is a 4x4 802.11ac Wave2 router with MU-MIMO capabilities using the Qualcomm Atheros IPQ8064 (1.4 GHz dual-core Krait 300 CPUs) + QCA9980 platform. It supports 256-QAM on the 2.4GHz band to deliver 800 Mbps of throughput, while the 5GHz band delivers 1733 Mbps. TRENDnet has licensed Qualcomm's StreamBoost QoS engine for this product in order to bring down latencies for gaming applications. The unit features four Gigabit LAN ports and two USB 3.0 ports. Even though the press release went out at CES, the unit has been available on Amazon for a couple of months now. The press release suggests a retail price of $275, but Amazon already has it on sale at $238.

Note that this is not the latest QCA platform. The IPQ8065 + QCA9984 with 160 MHz channel support is the leading edge offering from QCA now, but routers based on that platform (example) will launch at a higher price point.

The other interesting announcement was the TEW-809UB, a AC1900 USB 3.0 WLAN adapter. It is a 3x3 solution (1300 Mbps in the 5GHz band and 600 Mbps in the 2.4GHz band). The specifications looked suspiciously similar to the D-Link DWA-192 which uses the Realtek RTL8814AU 802.11ac wireless chipset with a USB 3.0 interface. I confirmed with TRENDnet that the TEW-809UB also uses the same chipset.

The DWA-192 goes for compactness and internal antennae. The TEW-809UB could potentially provide a better user experience due to the presence of external antennae. The unit comes with a 3.3ft USB 3.0 cable that should make it easy to optimally orient the device for both desktops and notebooks. Despite the marketing pamphlet indicating magnetic mounting options in the above picture, TRENDnet indicated that wall-mounting and desktop placement are the only available options. The MSRP will be $110 when it launches in early Q2.

Source: TRENDnet

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  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    It's almost like companies that manufacture WiFi devices have decided to compete with one another at being the company that makes a product look most like an upside down spider with all those silly looking antennae. TRENDnet isn't the only company that goes into the realm of the absurdly antenna-endowed, but is it really necessary to play follow the leader on that particularly goofy feature?
  • DanNeely - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    Has anyone actually gotten 2.4GHz 256 QAM extension (the 200Mbps/channel mode vs 150 in standard compliant mode) to work in the real world? IIRC the reason why QAM was only bumped at 5ghz in 802.11ac was that outside of lab conditions the noise floor at 2.4GHz was almost always too high to take advantage of the higher density encoding.
  • extide - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    Well with multiple 4x4 radios, you actually need 8 antennas to make it work optimally.
  • limitedaccess - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    Well prior to the previous generation (circa 2011-2013 routers) it seemed like internal antennae designs were in vogue. But there were complaints about this and it looks like things have now have changed to much more prominent external antennae designs.
  • DanNeely - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    Standard dipole antennas for wifi are sticks a few inches long (the ones in your phone are a smaller but more complex/expensive design). Since they radiate to their sides but not the top or bottom they need to be vertically oriented. If you have 1 or 2 antennas (common until a few years ago), you can put them internal to the router; but it needs to be stood on edge. If you put it down flat instead you'll have reception problems because the antenna patterns nulls will be oriented on the plane of the floor. External antennas can be pointed correctly with the router in either orientation; and even if they don't know why most people know the antennas should be pointed up and down.
  • limitedaccess - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    I was really just referring to design aesthetics. For example I think these are all 3 antennae dual band designs -

    Linksys went from -

    Netgear -


    and etc.

    I'm not sure if the antennae shape is actually designed from a functional stand point or not in those but purely in terms of aesthetics notice how they aren't just the old fashioned cylinder poles but really stand out visually as part of "curb appeal." Much like how antennae less designs were likely also visually designed to sell on how they looked (just in a different way).
  • Concillian - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    The thing I don't get is who is buying all these insane routers. I have an AC1700 and it streams HD video on 5GHz fine, and 2.4GHz I mainly only use for devices that don't have 5GHz radios. I can't think of a case where a home user would really get any benefit for a crazy fast single router vs. an AC1200 or AC1700 router + a range extender to cover weak spots. I mean how many home users can actually saturate the 1733 Mbps this router can provide? You need to be coming from an SSD or a RAID to produce that kind of bandwidth or you need to be servicing like 10+ pretty heavy wifi users from multiple servers.

    I keep seeing more and more of these AC2000+ routers coming out. People must be buying them, but who? They can't all be businesses.
  • estarkey7 - Friday, January 15, 2016 - link

    Me, because I stream 4K from Netflix and Amazon all the time!
  • Concillian - Saturday, January 16, 2016 - link

    netflix 4k is max 25 Mbit... AC 1700 is 1300 Mbit on 3x3 5GHz, multiple times your need... Your 4k streaming does not require this class of router at all.
  • jasonelmore - Sunday, January 17, 2016 - link

    netflix 4k is watered down man. What about streaming .mkv's or .mp5's rips

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