Normally when deciding on a product, I choose performance over looks, but then sometimes brands do a funky collaboration and create something very unusual. In this case we are going to be looking at two routers from Asus where they have teamed up with Sunrise and made a limited edition Gundam-themed gear. Let’s check out what all the hype is about.
For those of you who are not familiar with Gundam culture, let me give you a brief. The Gundam Series is a metaseries of anime that features giant robots called “Mobile Suits”. Gundams are large humanoid combat vehicles initially developed for use in outer space conflict. The terminology can be used to refer to any of the derivatives of the Gundam in the UC universe, or any copies in alternate universes.
To give you a couple of examples, Gundams look something like this: they have their signature V-Antenna, two eyes, and a somewhat blocky antropomorfic design.
According to Asus the design of the collaboration was inspired by the original RX-78-2 Gundam and the infamous MS-06S Char’s Zaku II and the collection includes a wide variety of items, such as motherboards, graphics cards, PC cases, coolers, peripherals, routers and more.
We are going to focus on two fresh versions of existing gaming routers.
Starting with the RT-AX86U. Originally it looked like this and we actually already reviewed it a while ago. With this collaboration it has gone through a complete revamp and is looking mean as ever. The makeover is based on Zaku II Edition and it’s worth mentioning that apart from the external Gundam aesthetics, the internals are all the same. It supports dual-band Wi-Fi 6, delivering speeds of up to 5700 Mbps, it’s packed with technologies like Mobile Game mode, Mesh Wi-Fi, Adaptive QoS, and Port Forwarding. We do go in much more detail in our full review, do check it out.
As for the RT-AX82U, it is a flashy boy that also features WiFi 6, 2.5Gigabit LAN port and ability to aggregate two gigabit ports for double the bandwidth. Important to note that while both routers have features that seem to be mobile gaming focused, this does not mean that wired gaming is lacking.
They both have features like gaming LAN port which automatically prioritises a device that is connected to it. There are other features, like Open NAT which helps making port forwarding hassle free, adaptive quality of service which helps prioritise traffic and so on.
As far as looks go these routers are definitely very stylised on the outside, and ASUS has gone a step further to include a custom skin within the router UI. It's something you won’t necessarily use all the time but still nice to see a full package.
One notable difference between these two routers is that RT-AX86U stands in upright position, thus reducing its footprint, while RT-AX82U is lying horizontally, so depending on location where you are going to put it - this may be an important factor.
Upon closer inspection I realised there is a big gripe I have with both of them - there is no way to wall or ceiling mount them - the routers can only be placed on top of a shelf or a cupboard. I personally would have liked the flexibility to have them mounted on a wall as routers work best when they are mounted a bit higher.
Talking about aesthetics, these are obviously very particular looking routers, on one side they are cool and futuristic - on the other side if you have a more minimalist or rustic home - I am not sure they will fit in. So before rushing to buy them, think about the space it will be placed in and if it will compliment the design, or maybe it’s best to go with the original version all together.
And the last thing to consider is price - naturally, as limited edition items, both of the routers are priced higher than the original. Here in Singapore the RT-AX82U is about 90 dollars more expensive. As to RT-AX86U - it is normally not sold here at all so getting a Gundam edition is the only choice at the moment. If you are a collector though, then the price increase may actually be pretty reasonable as collectable items do tend to be very expensive.
As mentioned before - this is a very unusual collaboration, so if you feel like you have had enough of the standard looking routers and fancy some splash of colour that these Gundam series would bring into your interior, then grab them while they are still available. I think they are quite interesting and might be a good conversation starter when you have some friends over.
Asus RT-AX86U Gundam themed
Asus RT-AX86U original version
Asus RT-AX82U Gundam themed
Asus RT-AX82U original version
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