ASUS has announced the forthcoming release of what is being hailed as the smallest router produced to date. The WL-330NUL Pocket Router is just a bit longer than an AA-sized battery, includes an integrated USB 2.0 connector and cable that fold into the side of the body, and offers both wired and wireless connectivity for your notebooks, tablets and smartphones.
First revealed at CES last month, the pocket-friendly WL-330NUL has dimensions of 6.5 x 2 x 1.5 cm (2.55 x 0.78 x 0.59 inches) and tips the scales at a very portable 17.5 g (0.61 oz). It's been designed for folks who are always on the move but also need to get online, without adding too much bulk to the backpack or laptop case.
It has built-in 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities. At the opposite end to the USB connector is a 100/10 Mbps Ethernet port (useful if you want to take advantage of a wired internet connection, but your Ultrabook lacks a wired networking port), and there's an access point mode, too. The diminutive router supports up to 128-bit encryption for added security and is compatible with multiple operating systems, including Win8, Mac OS and iOS.
Like its full-sized cousins, the WL-330NUL can share a single connection with multiple devices without impacting on signal strength or performance, and benefits from one-click network management and guest access control. The low-power device can draw what it needs from the device it's connected to, or from a wall outlet via the included adapter.
At this point, it's not clear whether the new model will replace or join the company's existing smaller-than-a credit-card N150 Mobile Router in its networking portfolio, but the WL-330NUL Pocket Router will begin its global roll-out in March for a suggested retail price of US$39.99.