Wireless device manufacturer TRENDnet, a 20-year-old US company, met with ThinkComputers at CES to show a few of its new products. The company isn’t terribly well-known in the US, but is a very strong brand in Europe (primarily France), Russia, and several South American countries. TRENDnet is setting its sights on the US market, though, aggressively marketing itself and focusing on being first-to-market with its technologies.
TRENDnet currently has the most popular gaming adapter on the market in the US. Gaming adapters are used for console systems and other devices which lack wireless NICs or the ability to add one via USB or PCI.
TRENDnet made a flurry of announcements at CES.
TRENDnet announced at 450 Mbps simultaneous dual band (SDB; 2.4 GHZ 802.11b/g/n and 5 GHz 802.11a) wireless router. Competitor D-Link followed with a 450 Mbps router of its own, but D-Link’s version was non-concurrent. Other than that, no other company has released a SDB 450 Mbps product (although some have announced one). TRENDnet’s product will be available in April with an MSRP of $250. TRENDnet also showed a compatible 450 Mbps gaming adapter, available in late January for $150.
Two years ago, TRENDnet announced its GreenNet technology that reduces power consumption in switches by intelligently powering down ports not in use. This year, the company announced that all of its unmanaged switches are now using this technology, and with no price premium. Also, a few of its wireless routers will use a similar Green Wireless technology. This technology turns off the radio when not associated and puts it into a low power mode when not in use. The power savings is approximately 36% in real life testing, with a theoretical savings of up to 50%. While not a major money saver — only $5 per year — the savings could pay for a router during its lifetime. Look for this technology to find its way into more TRENDnet wireless devices in the future.
The company also announced a line of 500 Mbps Powerline adapters. These use a home’s existing power grid as a network medium. The basic adapters with a bonus outlet (an outlet on the front so the adapter really only uses one outlet on a pair) will be available in March, one for $100 or a pair kit for $180. In May, a variation will be released which adds an 802.11n wireless access point. That unit will be $180 and will be handy for that remote room in a house where wireless signal is needed but just not quite strong enough to be useful.
Two 200 Mbps Powerline devices were also announced: a multipart adapter and a wireless access point similar to the 500 Mbps one.
Lastly, TRENDnet launched its second-generation 3G wireless router for celluar modems. The device will be available in April for $70, and may see the 3G become 4G once more certification testing is completed and the certification awarded.
If you’re a LAN partier like we here at ThinkComputers are, be sure to check out your local LAN party scene for TRENDnet sponsorship. TRENDnet believes in the LAN party community and frequently sponsors events in order to raise brand awareness and introduce its products to gamers, who TRENDnet finds frequently recommend products to peers and family members.
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.
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