ASUS RT-N66U First Impressions

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My ASUS RT-N66U arrived from yesterday. I installed Tomato (Shibby) on it and have it up and running.

The build quality helps justify the $150 price tag. It has heft and a solid feel unlike any router I’ve ever owned. It even has a power button and a stand which may seem like odd things to highlight but these are the kinds of features that I expect from a router this pricey.

Initial performance impressions are positive but it did not quite achieve the level of exterior wall performance I was hoping for. The 5 GHz antenna on my E4200 was good. It was able to reach all the way from the top floor to the basement with a reasonable signal. The RT-N66U signal, however, is excellent no matter where I am.

The WDS performance is better but it’s not a night and day difference. The signal strength and quality seems to be more stable than with the E4200 I previously used though. Stability with reasonable throughput (10+ Mbps) is the goal here and so far this RT-N66U is delivering on that front. I’ll check in after some days have passed. Hopefully the link stays up.

More HP TouchPad & Android Impressions

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hp-logoThe Android on HP TouchPad experiment continues from mid-October.

I haven’t done much other than web browsing via Dolphin HD. The web browsing is competent for simple sites, but more complex ones like GiantBomb and Tested don’t seem to load properly in landscape mode — it’s a really weird problem.

Since the last post there have been several alpha releases of Cyanogenmod 7 to address various problems including the wi-fi not coming back after sleep and other little quirks. I can honestly say it’s a stable tablet now.

We still haven’t gone into great lengths to customize the hell out of the interface because of Ice Cream Sandwich. In fact, the only real customizations we’ve done was to skin it to look like Google’s latest Android release.

I’ve tried a few games, but none of them appear to render natively for tablet devices. I haven’t determined if it was an app or Cyanogenmod on HP Touch Pad problem, but to be perfectly honest: there’s not much to get excited over on the Android Marketplace.

The ASUS RT-N16, Tomato & 802.11n

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I was planning to upgrade my gateway router after I moved to my new house, but a sale caught my eye and changed that.

I’ve been using factory firmware and routers for a long time. It started with Linksys, followed by another Linksys and then two identical D-Link routers. This ASUS RT-N16 router is my first custom firmware capable router.


I chose this particular router because it was affordable and recommended as one of the best custom firmware capable routers. It also featured 802.11n, four gigabit ports and 2 USB 2.0 ports.

And I got all of it for $90 some odd dollars after shipping and taxes. There was also a $10 mail in rebate offer, but it’s coming in as an inconvenient MasterCard debit card. I hate those things. Maybe I’ll donate it to Child’s Play or something.

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Android on HP TouchPad First Impressions

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hp-logoThese are the phases of owning an HP TouchPad with WebOS:

  1. Awesome device for just $150!
  2. This device isn’t so bad.
  3. Okay. There are a few issues with performance, but it’s tolerable
  4. Argh. This thing is an inconsistent P.O.S. No wonder nobody bought it!

The one shining beacon of hope was an Android port. The HP TouchPad hardware solid. It’s a dual core 1.2 GHz device with 1GB of RAM. That’s plenty of power for Android, right?

Things are working surprisingly well based on the early alpha Cyanogen Mod 7.1 for the HP TouchPad. It may be Android 2.3 Gingerbread and it may be an alpha, but I’m enjoying using it a lot more than the Touchpad outside of one key area: multitasking.

The card system is the one innovation that WebOS has over its competitors. It enabled seamless application switching and management with nothing more than a few finger swipes.

But I’m willing to bet that gripe could be addressed with an app of some kind. With access to the Android Marketplace and the customizability of Android, almost anything is possible. If only this was more than an alpha release, then I would get into mucking around with it some more.

As promising as things seem with Cyanogen Mod 7.1, Cyanogen 9 and the release of Ice Cream Sandwich is what everyone is waiting for. I can’t wait for that release and its tablet centric features.

Finally, the HP Touchpad has some real promise ahead of it.

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