Back at CES earlier this year, I had visited Quantenna and covered the announcement of their QSR1000 4x4 802.11ac MIMO chipset. It was announced that the Asus RT-AC87U would be the first QSR1000 enabled router to hit retail. Despite the announcement at CES, no availability date or price was announced.

Things are getting together now, and Asus and Quantenna have announced that the RT-AC87U is all set to ship (Best Buy actually has it for purchase right now). The router will retail for $270, an admittedly steep price, but one that should be seen in context with the Broadcom-XStream enabled Netgear R8000 that is shipping for $300. The router also seems to be a bit lacking in the I/O front, with only one USB 2.0 port apparently. [ Update: Some readers have mentioned that a USB 3.0 port is hidden beneath a flap in the front. ] That said, it is like that most of the power users who are going to purchase this already have a dedicated NAS device (and don't need USB 3.0 or eSATA ports in their routers).

The RT-AC87U is a bit more future-proof with respect to Wi-Fi standards, thanks to it being the first shipping 802.11ac Wave 2 router. As part of the Wave 2 features, we get four spatial streams and support for MU-MIMO (we do need clients supporting it to get the full benefits). One of the most obvious benefits of going to Wave 2 is the 160 MHz-wide channel support, but, that is not part of the Quantenna QSR1000 chipset that is being used in the Asus RT-AC87U.

Obviously, technology moves at a rapid pace, and one can always wait for the next big thing. There is also talk online of Netgear releasing a Wave 2 router (Nighthawk X4) soon (the FCC details are already out), but official details are scarce. In effect, if readers are interested in hopping on to the Wave 2 bandwagon, the Asus RT-AC87U will be the first opportunity.

Source: Quantenna

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  • 457R4LDR34DKN07 - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - link

    Great now show me a network adapter that does 1.73Gbps on the 5GHz band in 802.11ac mode and up to 600Mbps via 802.11n that isn't a internal PCIe. Reply
  • iwod - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - link

    Slightly Off Topic: Do Quantenna sell anything other then WiFi Chip? I dont see any using their 802.11n solution. And the market has basically settled on Broadcom and Atheros (Now Qualcomm) solutions. And i was surprised to see they are still here, since WiFi Chipset market isn't exactly every profitable, and if they are aiming at high end niche makes things even worst. Reply
  • jamyryals - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - link

    Good to see, but after the terrible firmware on their first gen AC router, it definitely keeps me away from this. Reply
  • usama_ah - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - link

    Is the RT-AC66U part of first gen? Because I have nothing but good things to say about this router. I've had it for over a year and I couldn't ask for more. With 3-4 people simultaneously streaming video (mix of Youtube, Netflix, Facebook video) doesn't phase it at all. (Behind it I have a strong Comcast 100Mbps connection.) Reply
  • LtGoonRush - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - link

    The firmware was buggy at launch but improved quickly, like most innovative new technology. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    My AC68U has been flawless on shipping firmware. Reply
  • juhatus - Sunday, August 17, 2014 - link

    Updates give some really nice new features on AC68U, also plugs some holes in the firmware too. My AC68U is just not going anywhere for a while neither :) Reply
  • Morawka - Monday, August 25, 2014 - link

    yea the a66u is amazing now with the latest Asus DDWRT Reply
  • LancerVI - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    Besides a power supply dying on me and killing one of them, I have also had no other problems with either of my RT-AC66U's or their firmwares and I have a TON of household clients and multiple simultaneous steams going. Never a problem. Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - link

    If you can plug a printer to the USB2 port to network it I could see it still being useful to some of the power users likely to pay the price premium. Reply

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