Wi-Fi 6 doesn’t have to be expensive is the message TP-Link wanted to deliver today. The company introduced two new dual-band AX routers, the Archer AX3000 and Archer AX1500, which has the suggested price of $130 and $70, respectively.
Update: The review of the Archer AX3000 is available here.
These prices are in stark contrast to other Wi-Fi 6 routers’, specifically the Nighthawk RAX200 from Netgear that goes for more than $600.
Modest Wi-Fi specs
But the low costs do come with certain sacrifices. Both new routers are relatively low-powered and feature low-end Wi-Fi 6 speeds.
Specifically, the Archer AX300 is a dual-stream (2×2) router — (TP-Link calls it a 4×4 router but, similar to Netgear’s case, that’s a bit misleading) — with the top speed on the 5GHz band of 2404 Mbps, just half of the Netgear’s. Similarly, on the 2.4GHz band, it caps at 574 Mbps and not 1200 Mbps.
Considering there are currently only 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients on the market, the Archer AX3000 is the sweet spot. It will probably deliver the same real-world Wi-Fi speeds as other higher-end and much more expensive routers until faster clients are available.
The Archer AX1500 is even more modest. It’s a single-band Wi-Fi 6 router that caps at 1201 Mbps and 300 Mbps on the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands, respectively. In real-world usage, it’ll probably deliver the same wireless speed as high-end Wi-Fi 5 routers.
Other than that, the two routers look almost identical with a modern yet simple design that includes four Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN ports. The Archer AX3000 also has a USB port. Like all Wi-Fi 6 routers, both new routers support OFDMA technology and are backward compatible with all existing Wi-Fi clients.
The TP-Link Archer AC3000 Wi-Fi 6 router is available for pre-order now. The Archer AX1500 will be available later this year. Check back for their reviews.