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ASUS' new Lyra routers are seriously unconventional

One doubles as an Alexa speaker, the other just looks wack.
Cherlynn Low, @cherlynnlow
January 8, 2018
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ASUS has developed an interesting habit. Forget routers with subtle designs that blend into your living room -- the company has started making routers that look... unusual, to say the least. Case in point: The Blue Cave router that launched at Computex last year. At CES, ASUS unveiled the Lyra Trio, a triangular mesh router that looks like a wonky iron, and the Lyra Voice. The latter is a mesh router that doubles as a stereo speaker with Alexa built in. Both will be available sometime in the first half of 2018, but ASUS hasn't revealed a price yet.

Gallery: ASUS Lyra Trio router press images | 4 Photos

Let's start with the Trio. The pyramid-like router features 3X3 MIMO and dual-band technology, with what ASUS is calling "unique antenna placement... to (banish) WiFi dead zones." It's not clear from what we know what this placement is, so we can't judge how different this is just yet. It might be similar to that of the EA-N66 range extender, which has basically the same shape as the Lyra Trio.

Gallery: ASUS Lyra Voice router-speaker press images | 2 Photos

The more interesting product is the Voice, a tri-band 802.11ac mesh router system with Alexa built in. Its gray rectangular body looks a lot less conspicuous than the Trio, and houses stereo speakers and a microphone to let you interact with Amazon's digital assistant.

Both these routers can be configured with the new Lyra app for setup so you can monitor network information from your phone. The app will also notify you if problems arise, which should hopefully mean you won't have to go all the way to the router to hit a reset button if your network drops out.

ASUS also unveiled a new system last week that creates a mesh network with routers you already own, along with the first AX router and a slew of laptops and gaming hardware. Stay tuned to check out our first impressions of all these devices from CES 2018.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2018.

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