Published on September 18th, 2009 | by Greg0
Portable Routers: Tiny N From TrendNet, Gaming Made Easy With G-Fi Vs
We love our internet. Whether it’s monitoring grandma or VoIP, our high-speed connection is often more important than water, sewer, gas, or TV. We could live without other utilities sooner than we could live without internet. But you need a router- preferably a wireless one- to give your iPhone and laptop decent access.
Our first product today, though, isn’t really a router in the most common sense. Instead, the PosiMotion G-Fi VS is a truly portable, battery powered, wireless gaming 802.11 b/g hub. If that sounds confusing, that’s because it is- this is definitely a niche product, aimed at areas where gamers want to connect to one another on their devices but can’t or don’t want general internet access. There isn’t an ethernet port to be seen, nor a traditional power port- instead, you use mini-USB. At only about 3 ounces, it’s quite lightweight, but feels pretty sturdy as well. The battery will hold out for about 6 hours of use, and offers about the usual 100 feet of wireless range.
We liked the easy setup, and the fact that any device we tried connected without an issue. Speeds were good, and they say it supports up to 200 simultaneous devices (though we didn’t even try a fraction of that). And we tried out a few iPhone games that seem to be the real basis for the product, allowing multiple iPhones to play against one another in Texas Hold ‘Em, Scrabble, or Chess. Of course, you could use a regular router and get the same effect, but few routers are as portable, and pretty much none are usable from internal battery packs. They suggest using it in an airplane on their site, which seems like a good example of a unique use, and for longer trips in a car or train with groups we can definitely see it being useful. At $100 though it does feel a bit pricey.
The TrendNet TEW-654TR 300Mbps Wireless N Travel Router Kit doesn’t offer batteries, but is lighter and smaller than the G-Fi. They claim that it’s the world’s smallest and most portable 802.11n router. Of course, at that size, you’re giving up some usual router perks- there aren’t any wired connections for instance. You’re not giving up much speed though- we found it to be as fast as just about any stock router in mixed mode, but did find it lacking range compared to some other, larger models. The Travel Router is also sturdy, we whacked it around and dropped it to no ill effect.
It does offer two antennas though, and the one-touch Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) option, and a nice three-year limited warranty. And we liked the addition of the travel case, with space for the power supply and needed cables. Another cool thing was that you can power the router from a USB cable- just connect it to any laptop or netbook and you are good to go! At $60, it’s on par with many other regular routers, and though it might not offer the range of some that we’ve seen, it’s a pretty good router that travels easily. Here’s to more from TrendNet!