After seeing the Netgear R8000 and the D-Link DIR-890L, you'd almost think that a tri-band router simply must have a showy appearance. With their RT-AC3200, ASUS shows that a more modest approach also works. We tested the device extensively.
Over the last few years, ASUS has established a very successful router line-up. Their success story essentially began with the RT-N66U (and to a lesser degree, the RT-N56U), which came out over three years ago. The Taiwanese company chose to (and still chooses to) not release a large amount of models, but instead focused on a handful of devices, mainly in the high-end segment, which as a result received a lot of attention. This strategy ASUS came up with turned out to be rather successful, as their routers are selling exceptionally well, and have received more than a few awards.
Today, we'll take a look at the RT-AC3200, a tri-band model. We can't help but notice that ASUS decided to go with a different naming scheme for this model, as we were already rather used to the existing RT-N/ACxxU template. We enquired as to why this decision was made, but the company's Dutch spokesperson was unable to provide us with any information. Since ASUS is already working on the RT-AC88U, the successor of last year's MU MIMO-router, we suspect that we're dealing with an in-between model of sorts. We could say the same about the tri-band router concept as a whole, because as far as we're concerned, this type of router has primarily been introduced to offer something new in a router landscape that hasn't seen a lot of change over the last few years. MU MIMO, which is more elegant and cohesive from a technological point of view, will probably end up being the technology of the future. However, it'll take a while before it becomes mainstream, as clients have to actively support this technology.
As far as pricing goes, the RT-AC3200 keeps up quite nicely with the D-Link DIR-890L and the Netgear R8000 that we've reviewed previously. This device therefore isn't particularly cheap either: on average, it'll set you back approximately $300.