After the two first Wi-Fi 6 and 6E routers in decades, the Radix AX6600 and RadiX AXE6600, at the heels of the Wi-Fi Alliance's official launch of the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 7 program, Micro-Star International just announced its intention to stay in the home networking space in a big way.
The Taiwanese technology corporation, an apparent rival of Asus, introduced at CES 2024 a new canned mesh series called Roamii and a brand-new gaming router, the RadiX BE22000 Turbo. Both support the latest Wi-Fi 7 standard. Of the two, the new router is definitely a conversation starter. Among other things, it moves.
MSI RadiX BE22000 Turbo: Antennas that "follow" you
The RadiX BE22000 Turbo looks like a spaceship, similar to the case of the TP-Link Archer GE800, but with some literal twists: the four external wing-shaped antennas that encircle the router's body before sticking up on its top can wiggle around horizontally.
MSI says that these are "auto-detecting antennas that change antenna patterns to follow your device location, enhancing signal coverage."
Just to be clear, that's not how Wi-Fi radio signals work — e.g. what if a device moves up or down? The swiveling antennas are just a gimmick, even if it's a cool one. Before this, TP-Link already had a similar concept of its own — the Archer AXE200 Omni showcased during CES 2022 — which never became anything, likely for a good reason.
Just like internal fans, (unnecessary) moving parts are generally not a good thing. In the case of the RadiX BE22000 Turbo, the moving antennas can be problematic, if not outright nonsensical.
Imagine if you put something, like a glass of wine, near the router itself. That's not to mention the noise the movements might produce. Technically, how many devices can these things "track" and "follow" simultaneously? In which directions? Etc. You catch my drift.
The attention-grabbing effects aside, the RadiX BE22000 Turbo is a formidable router at a glance. It comes with high-end Wi-Fi 7 BE22000 specs — that's 22000 Mbps of total bandwidth between all bands — and, like the case of the TP-Link BE800 or Asus GT-BE98 Pro, comes with two 10GBASE-T and four 2.5GBASE-T Multi-Gig ports. It has everything to bring a home network to the multi-Gigabit performance grade.
MSI says, like other routers in the Radix lineup, the RadiX BE22000 Turbo is a gaming router that features "AI QoS", which "can reduce 90% ping rate to provide extremely low latency for gamers." Additionally, it comes with a "prime thermal module" to ensure high performance even in heavy traffic. Judging from my experience with the Wi-Fi 6 and 6E routers in the lineup mentioned at the beginning, these are just marketing languages.
Still, the RadiX BE22000 Turbo is definitely a welcome addition to MSI's relatively new family of home Wi-Fi. And there's more.
The all-new Roamii Mesh series
Together with the new Wi-Fi router, MSI also unveiled its first purpose-built mesh system, the Wi-Fi 7-enabled Roamii series. The company says the new product line is "tailored to handle bandwidth-demanding applications at home such as 4K/8K streaming, online gaming, and immersive AR/VR entertainment."
Per MSI, the Roamii series comes with a "smart backhaul that allows nodes to communicate with each other over wireless MLO and up to 10Gbps wired connectivity", which is generally the case for any Wi-Fi 7 mesh system with wireless backhauling.
Additionally, the included MSI FortiSecu feature "provides both an isolated IoT network that blocks malicious connections and automated protection for all connected devices, including computers, smartphones, security cameras, and more." Again, that's just the general case of a Guest network.
So overall, while details are still sketchy, the Roamii seems just a typical mesh lineup, with nothing earth-shattering until you look at the price. It seems to be the most affordable to date. Specifically, it'll be available in three tiers as follows:
- Roamii BE Max ($499 for two units): This is a top-tier system with up to 21Gbps of bandwidth. It comes with 10Gbps ports for wired backhauling and clients.
- Roamii BE Pro ($399 for two units): A mid-tier system with up to 11Gbps of total bandwidth. It comes with 2.5Gbps for wired backhauling and clients.
- Roamii BE Lite ($299 for two units): This is an entry-level mesh system with up to 5Gbps of total bandwidth and includes Gigabit ports for wired backhauling and clients.
To put things in perspective, the most expensive Roamii BE Max costs less than half of the 2-pack Netgear Orbi 970 series and is significantly cheaper than a 2-pack TP-Link Deco BE85. And that's the most welcome news.
MSI says the Roamii Wi-Fi 7 mesh systems will be available in a couple of months, around the end of the first quarter. Check back then to see if I have more to offer.
As for the MSI RadiX BE22000 Turbo, there's no estimated shipping date or pricing. But you can expect it to be not cheap, that is, if it doesn't turn out to be vaporware like the case of the TP-Link AXE200 Omni.