ASUS WL-330 Pocket Access Point Review
Every once in a while here at
PCstats, amongst the typical flow of high-end motherboards and video cards that
pass across our test bench comes something that makes us sit up and say "hey!
That's kinda cool...!" Whatever the gadget, it's always refreshing when a
company goes a little out of their way to design something with features and
functionality that you can't normally get. ASUS has a reputation for innovation and reliability in their
motherboard and video products, and as we'll see today, they are no design
slouches in the networking department either.
In this article, we'll be
looking at the ASUS WL-330 Pocket Access point. This nifty little gadget's main
purpose is as a massively portable 802.11b wireless access point; hook it into
any wired Internet source and you have an instant hotspot. This diminutive
device also doubles as a USB-powered 802.11b wireless adaptor.
We haven't looked at many of
Asus' network offerings recently, so we were interested to see how the Asus
WL-330 Pocket 802.11b wireless access point would stack up
to comparative Wi-Fi solutions. Not that there's a lot of competition
in the area of ultra-portable wireless access points, but we digress.
The Asus WL-330 is a tiny wireless access
point so nondescript as to be practically invisible; it's also about the
size of a deck of cards. The unit supports 11Mbps 802.11b wireless, and is
designed to act as a wireless access point, or wireless adaptor in a pinch. For
example, we originally picked up this neat little gadget at CES 2004, and
since then it has been used at a couple of different technology trade
shows including Computex in Taiwan.
The beauty of the Asus WL-330 is that it
can bring wireless network access to the base of PCstats mobile
operations - ye old hotel room. The WL-330 could just as easily be applied
to an existing Ethernet network in a conference room, allowing room-wide
wireless networking for several users, as all the necessary components (power,
network cable, and itself) fit into a small paperback-sized black nylon travel
The unit is a true travelers friend too. After a
long day walking through exhibition buildings at a trade show like CES, it's
quite convenient to use a wireless equipped notebook in the hotel room to
check email, and get the work done. Since hotels offer their in-room internet
services differently, all you need is a nearby power socket, and an RJ-45
ethernet jack to plug the Asus WL-330 into, and you're good to go... So handy is
the Asus WL-330, that it has become an essential bit of kit when