Linksys has decided to replace its 802.11n products as quickly as possible with 802.11ac models, the new Wi-Fi standard that's supposed to be ratified by the end of this year. The router manufacturer recently came up with three new products - the EA6300, EA6400 and the EA6700. That last one is set to replace the EA6500, and looks pretty impressive on paper. We tested it to find out.
In terms of design, Linksys hasn't strayed too far from the beaten path. The EA6700 largely looks like a router from the previous generation, which in its turn was based on the generation before it. It's a decent design, so you can't really blame it for sticking to a winning formula. The packaging did receive an update though. It looks much more modern now with a black box - gone is the traditional Linksys blue.
All connectors are located in the back, consisting of four LAN ports, one WAN port and two USB ports, one of which is USB 3.0. The rest of the features are a WPS button, a reset button and a power switch. So Linksys is stubbornly keeping the WPS button at the rear, even if it's located in a more accessible place than before. It's a button we like having on the front, as some people like to use it regularly.
The CPU used for the EA6700 is the first dual-core processor we've seen in a consumer router. It's a chip used for smartphones and tablets containing two 1GHz Cortex-A9 cores. That's pretty powerful for a router, traditionally equipped with single core CPUs running at 600 or 800MHz. The same BCM4708 is also used for the EA6300 and EA6400. For the radios, Linksys used the trusted BCM4331 for the 2.4GHz band and the BMC4360 for 5GHz. You can read the rest of Linksys EA6700 preview on Hardware.info.