If you can’t justify the ZenWiFi AX (CT8)’s cost, here’s some excellent news. Asus announced today the availability of a more affordable alternative, the ZenWiFi AX Mini AX1800 Dual-band Mesh WiFi 6 System (model XD4).
Asus ZenWiFi AX Mini XD4: A subdued Wi-Fi 6 AiMesh system
As the name suggests, this is a stripped-down version of the previous model. The XD4 is a dual-band system — there’s no dedicated backhaul – and features comparatively subdued hardware specifications.
The new mesh system includes three identical-looking cube-shaped hardware pieces, though there’s an option of a 2-pack. The hardware units are not all the same.
Each pack includes a router (model XD4R) that has one Gigabit LAN port and one Gigabit LAN/WAN auto-sensing port. The rest of the units are nodes (model XD4N) or satellites that have only one Gigabit LAN port. They work together to form a Wi-Fi system using Asus’s famous AiMesh feature.
On the inside, each device is a dual-band 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 broadcaster that doesn’t support the 160 MHz channel width. It seems, like other AiMesh routers, the XD4R can also work as a node, but the XD4N can’t work as a router.
They all have one thing in common, though, which is the fact each has the top Wi-Fi speed of 1200 Mbps when working with a Wi-Fi 6 client, as a single broadcaster. When working as a wireless mesh system, a node unit can only deliver half of that at best due to signal loss. So it’s safe to say the XD4 won’t break any record.
Asus ZenWiFi AX Mini XD4: Hardware specifications
|Full Name||Asus ZenWiFi AX Mini Mesh System (XD4)|
|Hardware Models||XD4R / XD4N|
|Role||AiMesh Router / AiMesh Satellite (Node)|
|Dedicated Backhaul Band||None|
|Dimensions (WxDxH)||3.54 x 3.54 x 3.14 inc |
(9.0 x 9.0 x 8.0 cm )
|Weight||Router: .65 lb (295 g) |
Satellite: .64 lb (290 g)
|5GHz Wi-Fi Specs||2×2 AX: Up to 1200 Mbps |
2×2 AC: Up to 867 Mbps
|2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs||2 x 2 Wi-Fi 6: Up to 574 Mbps|
|Wi-Fi Security||WPA3 / WPA2 / WPA|
|Channel Width Support||20Mhz, 40MHz, 80MHz|
|Mobile App||Asus Router|
|Web User Interface||Yes (Full)|
|AP Mode||Yes (as a single unit or a mesh)|
|Gigabit Port||Router: 1x WAN, 1x LAN|
Satellite: 1x LAN
|Processing Power||Quad-core SoC processor, |
256MB Flash memory, 256MB RAM
A mesh for a wired home
Like all Asus AiMesh systems, the XD4 support wired backhaul, where you can use network cables to link the hardware. In this case, you can expect full Wi-Fi speed out of each unit, which will cap at 1 Gbps.
In other words, if the ZenWi-Fi AX is great for a large home where you need to use the mesh in a wireless setup, the ZenWiFi AX Mini is made for those that have been wired with network cables. In a way, it’s Asus’s answer to the Deco X60 from TP-Link.
Like the previous ZenWi-Fi systems, the ZenWiFi AX Mini (XD4) is available in two colors, white and charcoal, with a $300 price tag for a 3-pack. Wondering how this new mesh’s performance pans out? Check back soon for its full review.