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This review is from: ASUS RP-AC56 AC1200 Wireless Dual-Band Repeater / Access Point/Media Bridge
Pros: -- signal strength
-- it's pretty
-- reliable signal
-- dual band
-- easy configuration via GUI (see cons)
-- works on power surge bar
Cons: -- Uses 2 outlets
-- Links to Chinese site
-- Media playing not easy
-- NO restoration utility available
Other Thoughts: This is a beautiful box, albeit a large one. There are easy to use separate “WPS,” “Reset,” and power buttons, which are great features. The WPS and Reset buttons must be held several seconds to activate, so only a very purposeful push will do it. Using it as a wireless bridge, you can even connect its ethernet jack to give far-away device (TV,, Ooma, desktop PC, etc.) wired access to your network wirelessly. Although “pretty,” the form factor blocks the second outlet no matter which way you orient. If the designers could shift the plug toward one end, it would solve it. This is one of the few extenders I've installed which works flawlessly on a surge protector.
WPS connects quickly in under 30 seconds. Instead of cloning your SSID, the extender names itself “yourSSID_RPT” or “_RPT5G”. Logging in to the web GUI (repeater.asus.com) forces you to change the admin password. A firmware check generated a “Failed due to transmission or corrupt file” error. I downloaded the file manually and wirelessly updated to latest firmware without a hitch. The unit amazingly kept all configuration info instead of defaulting to factory. (You can backup settings beforehand.) If the firmware upload fails, the page reveals you must use a “restoration utility on the CD.” There is no CD. Even the GUI links to the utility, manual and firmware send you to the Taiwan/Chinese Asus site. There also IS NO RESTORATION UTILITY even on the U.S. site. This could be very frustrating for users who need help.
Other than those problems, the interface is easy to use to switch modes and configure. It is clear and shows animated diagrams and/or explanations of most things. I'm not sure why there are complaints about it, it is well designed and flexible.
You’ll need 2 apps to play internet radio: Asus AIPlayer and XIIALive. I was able to stream media from my my Android tablet sporadically, but not get XIIALive to play internet radio. The app kept saying it detected an “unconfigured” ASUS device, even though another screen listed it (along with my Chromecast). I judge this feature not quite ready.
As far as performance, the Asus performed very well. The antenna directions can make a big difference, so experiment! The beam-forming works well; even equidistant from router and extender, the Asus produced a signal 3-6db higher within 5 sec. and was much steadier than the router. Properly placed, it covers a large house. So Asus: fix the GUI and firmware links, add the restoration utility to the U.S. Site, design unit so it uses 1 outlet and you’ll have a winner worth $100.
Pros: -- narrower than common
-- feel / feedback
-- Plug & play
Cons: -- no separate [PgUp], [Dn], [Home], [End]
Other Thoughts: This was just what I need to fit on my desk's pull out shelf. It's hard to find a narrow keyboard with a full separate keypad, like this one has. Each key is slightly narrower than normal. The arrow keys share double duty with [PgUp], etc. I do miss separate keys for that. These functions must be used with [Fn] combination to do that. (There is the other set of them on numeric keypad, which can be locked if you don't need numbers.) There are bright blue LED's for lock functions (missing from my last wireless keyboard)
The feel is satisfactory, with a fair right amount of travel, touch and auditory click. The "F" and "J" keys have raised dashes (no other keys marked for touch). The surprise for this keyboard was the "special" keys that work without drivers: speaker up/down, mute, even right mouse key (context). So it's a decent compromise. There are no adjustment on "tilt." Just a slight thickness difference between back and front.
Pros: -- well built
-- super clean refurb
-- 4 USB ports
-- ease of repair
Cons: -- difficult Windows 10 upgrade due to wireless card
-- BIOS way decrepit
Other Thoughts: I spent hours tracking down problem with upgrade quitting at 40% and reversing to Win 7. The stock wireless card (DW1395) is NOT Win 10 compliant. You must replace it (1/2 height pcie laptop wireless card). I replaced with newer Intel. (Intel 6000, 7000, or Realtek RT3090 or higher should be fine.)
To do the Win 10 upgrade: upgrade the BIOS stepwise (you must do A09, A10, then A16 in that order. Remove wireless and bluetooth drivers, deleting the drivers in Device Manager (keep ethernet!). Then re-enter BIOS and uncheck WLAN, WWAN, and Bluetooth. Replace wireless card. Re-enable WWAN, WLAN, Bluetooth before booting into Windows. Likely inbox drivers will install automatically. These instructions may help with other "FAILED_OS" or "FAILED_FIRST_BOOT" Win 10 upgrade errors.
ARROW does a nice refurb job. Nice keyboard. There is no webcam, but mine came with (useless for me) fingerprint scanner. These pro-line laptops are so much better than mass market ones. The bottom panel, nearly full across, is actually metal.