Here’s some exciting news for gamers who want tuff-sounding gear. Asus just announced its latest Wi-Fi 6 gaming machine, the TUF-AX5400 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router.
And this new toy sure reminds you of the Netgear XR1000. But before going that far out, it’s important to note that this one is part of a crowded family.
TUF-AX5400: Not the first Asus gaming router
If you follow my reviews on Asus routers, you’ll note that the TUF-AX5400 is not the networking vendor’s first Wi-Fi 6 gaming router. Far from it.
Indeed, before this, there have been the GT-AX1100, RT-AX86U, and RT-AX82U. That’s not to mention other non-gaming-branded routers that also have legit gaming features, including the RT-AX92U and RT-AX88U. And I might have forgotten some.
(Updated: I don’t, you’ll see the complete list of Asus gaming routers and what they can do in this general post on Asus routers. )
But the Tuf-AX5400 has some novelty of its own.
First, it’s part of the TUF Gaming sub-brand that’s well-known in Asia and the EU. TUF stands for “The Ultimate Force” and is the top-tough-sounding-tier of Asus’s Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand.
(Generally, TUF-branded gear is also rugged, supposedly enough to handle some beating.)
Secondly, it’s the presumed archrival of the Netgear XR1000 that came out in September 2020. The two seem to share the same internal hardware.
Asus TUF-AX5400 vs Netgear XR1000: Hardware specifications
Indeed, other than the quite distinctive appearances — among other things, the Asus comes with six fixed antennas while the Netgear has four removable ones — on the inside, these two routers come with the same specs.
Can you spot any other differences in the table below?
Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router
|Netgear XR1000 |
Nighthawk Wi-Fi 6
Pro Gaming Router
|Wi-Fi Technology||Dual-Band AX5400||Dual-Band AX5400|
|2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs||2×2 AX |
Up to 574Mbps
|2×2 AX |
Up to 574 Mbps
|5GHz Wi-Fi Specs||4X4 AX |
Up to 4804Mbps
|4X4 AX |
Up to 4804 Mbps
|Gigabit Ports||4x LAN, 1x WAN||4x LAN, 1x WAN|
|Link Aggregation||Yes |
(WAN and LAN)
|Ai Protection||Optional (Netgear Armor)|
|USB||1x USB 3.0||1x USB 3.0|
|Mobile App||Asus Router||Netgear Nighthawk|
|Processing Power||1.5 GHz tri-core CPU, |
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
|1.5 GHz tri-core CPU, |
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
|Dimensions||TBD||11.61 x 7.87 x 2.51 in (295 x 200 x 64 mm)|
|Weight||1.32 lbs (600 g)||1.32 lbs (600 g)|
|Antennas||Six (non-removable)||Four (detachable)|
|Gaming Features||Open NAT|
Dedicated Game Ports
|Game-oriented DumaOS 3.0|
|Suggested Price (US)||TBD||$349.99|
Asus TUF-AX5400: Features galore, no Multi-Gig port
The Netgear XR1000 and Asus TUF-AX5400 sure are similar. But the latter has a ton to call its own.
For one, it supports Asus’s AiMesh feature and therefore can work as a part of a Wi-Fi mesh system. On top of that, you can expect all features and settings available to any AiMesh-ready router.
For example, the port configuration alone is much better than that of the XR1000.
Specifically, it dedicates its LAN1 as the game port (similar to the case of the RT-AX86U and RT-AX82U). You can also combine the WAN port and LAN4 into a WAN Link Aggregation to support a 2Gbps broadband connection. On the LAN side, the LAN1 and LAN2 can work together similarly.
What’s more, the router also supports dual-WAN if you have two separate broadband connections to increase speeds or availability. And its USB 3.0 port comes with all you can think of in terms of USB-related applications.
So, from the onset, the latecomer TUF-AX5400 potentials to be a winner. But that’s left to be seen. Ultimately it’s always the performance and pricing that matter.
Availability and cost
Things are still pretty sketchy.
Asus did tell me, though, that the TUF-AX5400 would be available by mid-July, initially in the EU, with its pricing being available then. It’s likely will be more affordable than the Netgear counterpart. I guess it’s going to go for somewhere between $150 and $200 (or the equivalent in Euros).
That said, if you think this TUF one is that keeper you’ve been holding out for, check back for more detail, and who knows, maybe even a full review if I find it makes sense to do hands-on testing — that’s if it’s available in the US at all.
Other than the mean look and possibly more rugged design, on the inside, this Wi-Fi machine is likely very similar, if not the same, as the RT-AX82U — both belong to Asus’s tier-2 gaming hardware. You can expect them to deliver comparable performance and features.