After carrying a Slate for several years, I’m a huge fan: it’s a fantastic product in the perfect form factor. It’s gotten me out of a number of networking binds - most recently when I had to abandon mine at a customer site as a permanent remote access gateway. So long, trusty friend… time for a new replacement.
So I ordered a GL-SFT1200 Opal, and was disappointed to discover it’s… huge. Like, it feels 25% or more bigger than the Slate, most of it in what feels like unnecessarily bulky plastic. It’s a pretty big bummer coming from the compact sizing of the Slate.
What’s my best GL.iNet option going forward? I see the Slate is now formally end of life, but fortunately it’s still available for sale - should I get one and hang onto it? Is one of the newer models smaller than the others, making it a better choice for portability? Is there something more compact on the horizon I should hold out for, using the Opal for now until it arrives?
Due to the increase in Wi-Fi speeds, new products will inevitably become larger…
We will still maintain the firmware. But it is not recommended to consider it when purchasing new products, unless you are sure that you will not need to increase your Wi-Fi and VPN speeds in recent years.
The smallest travel router of the last two years is the Beryl AX.
If you don’t need Wi-Fi, then the Brume 2 is the best choice. It’s smaller than the Slate.
Thanks for the reply! I collected the dimensions (all in mm):
Beryl AX 106 x 83 x 33
Opal 118 x 85 x 30
Slate 100 x 68 x 24
So the Beryl XL isn’t really much different than the Opal I’ve already tried, it seems, other than being a centimeter less long. It’s really the thickness that I’m finding challenging, though.
I appreciate it’s hard to fit the latest technology into a small package, but the extra size is really noticeable and makes the difference between me being able to fit the router in the pocket of my laptop bag.
It sounds like my best bet for now might be to buy another Slate and hope that another model that’s smaller is introduced in the future. I mostly use my router to share hotel/airplane Wi-Fi, which isn’t usually very fast, so I don’t need blazing fast Wi-Fi 6 speeds. I do use the VPN features and gigabit Ethernet ports, though, so I wish a product existed that had an updated CPU while sticking to a compact form factor.
Fingers crossed you’re able to introduce a new device in a similar form factor to the original Slate in the future - even if that means some performance compromises! For a road warrior, size is almost as important as performance.
I agree with you on size/weight of the new GL iNet routers. I’m looking at buying a backup Slate (AR750S) router before they go out of stock, as its speed is just fine for what I’m doing. Size, weight and power really does matter if you are traveling all the time. The size of the newer models, and that they all come with bigger, heavier power supplies, just makes it hard to justify upgrading. I would love to see something like the A1300 in a small package, maybe using an aluminum case to dissipate heat.
I would like to use the Flint at home but prefer the Slate AX (which is supposedly designed as a travel router). I would like to use the Slate AX for travel but prefer to use the old Slate or the Mango (due to better size and universal power source). I would like to use the Spitz in the motorhome but prefer the Slate AX as the Spitz is completely rubbish in all other aspects apart from being LTE. I wanted to try the new Brume2 but found the old Brume to be a confused product with no particular usercase or distinctive features apart from being crippled by the lack of WiFi. I still am unsure as to why one would go for the new Beryl AX as opposed to the Slate Plus with little to distinct between the two in terms of features. I am starting to find the whole array of products to be too confusing and it is quite possible that I am losing the plot when it comes to GL.iNET products.
Exactly my point. Very little substance with few millimeters and dollars to distinguish between the final products and probably other small changes which are essentially meaningless to the home users and likely difficulties focusing on software development.
Bought the Slate AX for much less before the recent price hikes. They have been changing some of their pricing like a yoyo. £40 difference between the metal and plastic versions of the Brume2 here in the UK is just plain bonkers in my opinion.
I also don’t always understand the idea of some GL-inet products. I have a N300, an AR300M, an AR750S and an AXT1800.
When I was choosing a travel router between Brume-w and AR750S, Brume-w was technically more interesting, but did not have 5G WIFI, so the choice fell on the Slate. I was surprised by its small size, but its slow booting up and web shell was not very responsive. My older fritzbox from early 2010 with poorer specs in everything, actually starts up faster and has a much more responsive shell. I understand that it does not provide such features as openwrt tools, but…
Slate AX is quite fast, but at the same time hot and really significantly more larger in size than it’s older brother AR750S.
I have already pre-ordered a Beril AX and honestly I can’t answer the question why do I need it?
But somehow I like all the GL products that I purchased, thanks to Gli-net I began to understand networking and Linux based devices much better.
But the Slate Plus is $70, and has similar Wireguard performance. And vanilla OpenWrt support, if you care about that sort of thing. Also the Beryl AX apparently will be $110 at full price (street price still uncertain?)
But I agree that there are now 3 routers that are basically the same size and weight and have relatively similar performance, depending on application (Slate Plus, Beryl, Beryl AX).
Thanks for the heads up but I am already aware of the plans for the Spitz AX and not too keen on it so far due to lack of USB-C and needing its own power brick but also due to the cheap plasticky feel looking at the pictures released so far. I will however wait to see more details about the specs (especially the memory and LTE modules used) nearer to the time of release.