Google announced through the company’s official blog, the second member of its OnHub family. Google rolled out its first router earlier in August and the newest one is from Taiwanese hardware maker Asus and it's available to pre-order.
The Asus OnHub comes with a nifty feature that sets it apart from the rest, by just waving the hand over the top of the Asus OnHub; users can boost the Wi-Fi speed of any of the devices. However, if there are multiple devices in the same direction, it's unclear how the router knows which device to boost.
Google informed potential buyers that the new Asus OnHub is essentially the same as the one made by TP-Link. It is a dual-band AC1900 Wi-Fi router with the top speed on the 5GHz band of up to 1,300Mbps and on the 2.4GHz band, up to 600Mbps. Similar to the TP-Link OnHub, the Asus one also has one Gigabit LAN port and one USB 3.0.
The new router also comes with built-in Bluetooth and supports the Home Automation wireless standard, though these functions are not activated at launch.
Design wise, the Asus OnHub has the same cylindrical shape as the TP-Link OnHub, but there is a slight difference in their bases. Asus OnHub’s base is wider than its top, tapering off as it gets taller. Like the earlier OnHub, the Asus model should be kept out in the open for proper functioning because obstructions like walls have an impact on the Wi-Fi signal. A live Internet connection and an Android or iOS portable device are required to set it up and manage it, using the Google On app. The app allows users to see WiFi-connected devices in their homes that need the most bandwidth so they can prioritize service availability to those devices.
Google will soon make available the Asus OnHub and also will release the first firmware update for its OnHub router in the coming week. Smart Antenna is one of the improvements that enable the OnHub to make an intelligent selection of the best combination of antennas to send Wi-Fi to the devices, based on their location and orientation to deliver faster and more reliable Wi-Fi.
The new Asus OnHub is not cheap, costing $219.99, double that of many AC1900 routers. It is available for preorder now and will ship sometime in November.