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Inside - more

Like the TP-LINK OnHub, ASUS' design also has antennas with horizontal and vertical polariztion. But it's a simpler design, using three each of two different antenna designs. Both antenna types are dual-band, with the stamped metal the horizontally polarized; the hollow tube the vertically. The antenna ring below sits atop the main body and also contains the proximity sensor visible in the center of the ring. Note there is no "satellite dish" antenna reflector like the TP-LINK OnHub's.

ASUS OnHub main antenna ring

ASUS OnHub main antenna ring

I didn't pop off the heatsinks and RF can tops for component identification. But Google's specs confirm the main design components are the same, so that's what's entered in the table below. The only things I don't know are whether the RF amplifiers are the same and what is used for the ZigBee and Bluetooth radios. Maybe iFixit will do a nice teardown like they did for the TP-LINK OnHub.

  ASUS OnHub TP-LINK OnHub
CPU Qualcomm Atheros IPQ8064 @ 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Atheros IPQ8064 @ 1.4 GHz
Switch QCA8337 QCA8337
RAM 1 GB DDR3 1 GB DDR3
Flash 4 GB + 8 MB 4 GB + 8 MB
2.4 GHz Radio - QCA9880 3x3 802.11ac
- QCA9880 3x3 802.11ac
- Skyworks SE2623L 2.4 GHz power amp (x3)
- Skyworks SKY65971-11 2 GHz 256 QAM LNA (x3)
- Skyworks unidentified switch ("S81") (x3)
5 GHz radio - QCA9880 3x3 802.11ac - QCA9880 3x3 802.11ac
- Skyworks SKY85405 5 GHz power amp (x3)
- Skyworks SKY13438 6 GHz DPDT switch (x3)
- Skyworks SKY65981-11 5 GHz 802.11ac LNA (x3)
Monitor ?
QCA9882 1x1 802.11ac
ZigBee ?
- Silicon Labs EM3581 ZigBee / Thread SoC
- Skyworks SKY66109-11 2.4 GHz ZigBee front end<
Bluetooth ? Atheros AR3012 Bluetooth 4.0 SoC
Table 1: Component summary

Setup & Features

The OnHub app recognized the ASUS OnHub and setup went uneventfully, including the audio-based portion where OnHub plays an sequence that is received by the Android device.

ASUS' OnHub has the same feature set as the TP-LINK with one tweak. After you set up a priority device via the app, you can wave your hand over the top of the OnHub to begin the Priority device's priority period. I verified that the hand-wave works by checking the app; I didn't check that traffic was actually prioritized. Given that Google controls the firmware, I expect that the feature works.

If you wave again before the programmed period expires, the period gets reset. You can't cancel Priority by waving; you need to use the app.

Waving at ASUS OnHub

Waving at ASUS OnHub

The feature is an unnecessary gimmick and certainly not worth the $20 extra ASUS is asking.

Routing Performance

Update 1/19/16: Corrected TP-LINK routing throughput table values. Data entry error

The ASUS OnHub was loaded with the same special test firmware loaded into the TP-LINK, so that I could run the same tests, using our standard router test process, for the apples-to-apples performance comparison found in Table 2.

Test Description ASUS OnHub TP-LINK OnHub (retest)
WAN - LAN 794 683
LAN - WAN 791 731
Total Simultaneous 1,395 1,332
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 30,913 38,376
Firmware Version 7390.62.2 7390.62.2
Table 2: Routing throughput

The IxChariot unidirectional composite plot below shows periodic spikes up to peak speeds near 950 Mbps for uplink and 940 Mbps for down.

Routing throughput unidirectional summary

Routing throughput unidirectional summary

The simultaneous up/downlink benchmark plot shows lower throughput in the first 10 seconds or so, which is an IxChariot quirk. Once that settles down, the usual pattern of higher uplink than downlink throughput that is typical of our test methodology is evident. Uplink throughput is very steady; downlink spikes down around 35 seconds in, then climbs slowly back up for the rest of the one minute test.

NRouting throughput bidirectional summary

Routing throughput bidirectional summary

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