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LAN & WAN Reviews

Powerline 1200 AV2 Adapter Kit
At a glance
ProductTRENDnet Powerline 1200 AV2 Adapter Kit (TPL-420E2K)   [Website]
SummarySecond HomePlug AV2-MIMO adapter based on Qualcomm's QCA7500 chipset.
Pros• Can provide ~450 Mbps of total throughput with multiple traffic sources
• Reacts quickly to line noise changes
Cons• Throughput falls off very quickly with distance

Typical Price: $55  Buy From Amazon


Update 7/15/15 Product retested
Update 3/30/2015: Shipments on hold pending design issue
Updated 7/15/2015: Product has been retested.

TRENDnet just started shipping its HomePlug AV2 MIMO powerline adapter, which was announced well over a year ago. ZyXEL beat them handily to market with the PLA5405, which we reviewed last November, the first AV2 MIMO adapter based on Qualcomm's QCA7500 .

TRENDnet tried to make a big splash by reducing its two-adapter TPL-420E2K kit to $99 when it changed the ship date last June. But the list price rose to $130 in February when TRENDnet announced first shipment. NewEgg, however, has posted a $110 price, which is reinforced by an exclusive deal for the time being.

ZyXEL's adapter started out priced at $140 , also with a NewEgg exclusive deal. But the two adapter kit has since fallen to around $93. So are TRENDnet's adapters worth the extra $17 (or so)?

NOTE: In this review, I'll be referring to the product as the TPL-420E. It is currently available only as the TPL-420E2K kit of two adapters.

Like the ZyXEL PLA5405, we class the TPL-420E as a 1 Gbps MIMO adapter. But also like the PLA5405, TRENDnet is marketing the TPL-420E as a "1200 Mbps" adapter.

The TPL-420E is sized more like the current crop of AV500 / 600 adapters, like TP-LINK's TL-PA6010. The TRENDnet has a smaller footprint than the ZyXEL...

TRENDnet TPL-420E & ZyXEL PLA5405 size compare

TRENDnet TPL-420E & ZyXEL PLA5405 size compare

... but it's thicker. The TRENDnet also has much more ventilation.

TRENDnet TPL-420E & ZyXEL PLA5405 thickness compare

TRENDnet TPL-420E & ZyXEL PLA5405 thickness compare

Its three-prong plug positions the adapter body so it won't block the adjacent outlet in a standard U.S. duplex, as shown in the photo below. The serial number label specs a 100 - 240 VAC 50 / 60 Hz operating range.

TRENDnet TPL-420E plugged in

TRENDnet TPL-420E plugged in

The callout diagram below shows the adapter supports tri-color HomePlug link quality indication. The single Gigabit Ethernet port is on the bottom side of the adapter, with the Sync button and reset button hole next to it.

TRENDnet TPL-420E callouts

TRENDnet TPL-420E callouts

The User Guide says the adapter goes into power-saving mode "when there is no network traffic for more than 10~20 minutes". I didn't verify this.

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