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TP-Link shows off new line of routers and more at CeBIT

Routers may not be the most exciting piece of hardware around, but TP-Link has come up with some new designs that look a lot more attractive than its current range of products. Besides improved looks, the company has also added much improved performance to some of its upcoming models.

TP-Link has a bit of an odd mix of new products and starting at the bottom of sorts we have the TL-MR3040 which is a new portable router that has a built in battery which can be used to either power a USB 3G modem, or charge USB devices. It only sports 150Mbps Wi-Fi, but there’s at least a WAN port as well as a USB port, so it can be used to share a wired hotel connection as well as operate as a 3G router.

Next up we have the very odd looking TD-W8968 which is an all-in-one ADSL2+ modem, router and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi access point with a USB 2.0 port for printer or storage/media sharing. We’re not sold on the looks, but the TP-Link representative we spoke to said that it had been popular with its customers.

The next device is a new venture for TP-Link in some ways, as the TD-VG3631 offers all the functionality of the TD-W8968, but adds a second USB 2.0 port and more importantly, it’s a VoIP gateway with two FXS ports and one FXO port which allows for regular phones to be attached to it so they can be used with VoIP services. The TD-VG3631 features a more business like design, although we’re once again not sure we think it’s an improvement.

Moving on we got three new routers in the same series that all sports the same design and this time around TP-Link has done a much better job, albeit our pictures aren’t the best thanks to a lot of reflections in the Perspex that was shielding the routers from the visitors at the show. The new models are called the TL-WDR3600, TL-WDR4300 and TL-WDR4900 and all three models sport simultaneous dual-band 802.11n support, two USB 2.0 ports and a full set of Gigabit Ethernet ports on both the LAN and WAN side.

The difference between the models are fairly minor, as the TL-WDR3600 is a 300/300Mbps router, whereas the TL-WDR4300 adds 450Mbps support on the 5GHz band and finally the TL-WDR4900 offers speeds of up to 450Mbps on both bands. The company is also offering similar models with built in ADSL2+ modems, but we didn’t catch the model names on those.

The final new product on display was the TL-NS210, TP-Link’s first NAS which features a 1.2GHz Marvell processor, space for two hard drives, three USB 2.0 ports with the front port offering direct copying of files via a button and a Gigabit Ethernet port. On the software side the TL-NS210 offers a built in web server as well as the regular media and file sharing features you’d expect from a NAS.

When we quizzed TP-Link about 802.11ac products the company said it will be offering them in due time, but it’s early days yet and they feel that it’s more important to focus on its current range of products. We have a feeling it might not be that long to wait before we see the first 802.11ac devices in the market, but it’s likely that the cost will be fairly high at the start and as such people will stick with 802.11n for quite a while still.

VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews and commentaries.

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