AximCom MR-102N review: AximCom MR-102N

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Typical Price: $199.00

AximCom MR-102N

(Part #: CNETAximCom MR-102N)
3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Has configurations for multiple Australian broadband providers. Supports smartphone tethering. 802.11n capable.

The Bad Significantly larger than competing mobile routers. Gets warm after extended use.

The Bottom Line AximCom's unlocked mobile Wi-Fi router has a mix of good points and frustrating issues. If you're after a decent performer it's worth a look, but it's stretching the definition of portable pretty badly.

7.9 Overall

Design

Most portable 3G routers — we're thinking here of models such as NetComm's MyZone, Virgin Mobile's WiFi Modem or Internode's MiFi — have tended to the smaller side, as befits their portable nature. AximCom's MR-102N is larger. Not huge, but where the other competitors are around the size of half a pack of playing cards, the AximCom is more like two thirds of a Nintendo DS. It's still portable, but at 10x7.5x2cm, it also won't easily fit into a shirt pocket the way most other portable routers will. Add in the fact that if you're using it in a totally wireless fashion with a 3G USB modem or connected smartphone and you're adding another few centimetres to its overall size, making it entirely impractical for carrying about your person unless you're the wearer of very large pants indeed.

Features

The MR-102N is a portable 802.11n-capable router with connections for 3G USB modems or tethering-ready smartphones and 10/100 Ethernet. It's not full-strength 300Mbps 802.11n, however, as it's only rated for up to 150Mbps performance.

The in-built battery is rated for 2.5 hours of battery life, which isn't enough to get you through an entire working day but should be enough for sporadic access if you leave the power pack at home. It's rated as HSPA+ 42Mbps capable, which means in practical terms any given USB modem on sale in Australia right now should work up to its full speed capability, and most future modems should do likewise.

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