If you’re the sort of person who expects gadgets to just work when you take them out of the box, Xiaomi’s new WiFi router isn’t for you. On the other hand if you’re the sort of person who likes to build things, take them apart, and put them back together again so you can understand how they work, the Chinese company’s got something rather special.
The new Mi router is a cross between an 802.11ac WiFi router, a network-attached storage device, and a artisanal puzzle. The router comes in a wooden box, includes a screwdriver, anti-static gloves, and a series of components you can put together yourself. You won’t have to do any soldering, but the router is still a bit more DIY than most products on the market.
At this point Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra says the company is beta testing the Mi router — it’s going out to 500 beta testers. It’s not clear if or when larger quantities will be made available.
Xiaomi has earned a reputation for offering high quality Android devices at low prices without scrimping on build quality, design, or software. The Mi WiFi router seems to be something a bit different, but it’s a product that could appeal to DIY enthusiasts that make up a relatively small but vocal portion of the folks who use Xiaomi’s other internet-connected products including phones, tablets, and TVs.
The device features a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor, 256MB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, Ethernet, WiFi, and NFC, and a USB 2.0 port.
WHATS THE PRICE?!?! Everyone just blabering about unimportant stuff, but nobody knows the price!
Approximately 110 USD.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I had the notion that “MiFi” implies a path from a local network (generally WiFi but in all too rare cases also wired devices) to the Internet through a cellular mobile wireless carrier. So is this featured device here just named “Mi WiFi” to confuse the consumer, sound whizzy, or does it have a capability I cannot glean from your writeup or the vendor’s web site?
I do see a few scattered legible letters spelling out WAN here and there. Any clarification on what this thing actually is supposed to do? E.g. do you have to bring your own Internet to it through a cable modem, DSL, etc?
Yes, it looks like it’s just a standard 802.11ac router, with a nice slot for a sata drive. Nothing suggests it has a SIM slot that I see (and it is too big to lug around – no battery showing, either). I like the wood case / some assembly required packaging, though – if it runs DD-WRT and Tomato, I might be willing to get one.
the OS in this router is based on OpenWRT
Given the kinds of cool things that folks do with”regular” routers I can see this as being something that could be very popular with the router hacking crowd.
Comments are closed.