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Introduction

Updated 4/17/2012: Marvell processor identified

With the introduction and first review out of the way, I thought I'd take a look inside the rest of Cisco's new routers. To recap, Cisco has pared its consumer router line down to the six products shown below. The E series to the left are the lower end of the line and lack the cloud-connected features of the higher-end EA series on the right. Let's jump right in.

2012 Cisco Linksys Router Lineup

2012 Cisco Linksys Router Lineup

E900 / E1200

The E900 is now Cisco's entry-level Linksys router. The FCC photos reveal that its innards are the same as the E1200, which has been bumped to V2. The difference between the E900 and E1200 is only firmware. The E900 does not support Guest Access or the Parental control features, while the E1200 does. Note the bump in flash size to 8 MB from 4.

  E900 / E1200 v2 E1200 v1
CPU Broadcom BCM5357 Intensi-fi XLR 802.11n Router Solution Broadcom BCM5357 Intensi-fi XLR 802.11n Router Solution
Switch 10/100 In BCM5357 10/100 In BCM5357
RAM 32 MB 32 MB
Flash 8 MB 4 MB
2.4 GHz Radio In BCM5357 In BCM5357
5 GHz radio N/A N/A
Table 1: Cisco Linksys E900, E1200v1, E1200v2 component summary

Here's a shot of the E900 / E1200v2 inside. Note that one antenna is a case-mounted bent-metal, while the other is etched into the board.

Linksys E900 / E1200 v2 inside

Linksys E900 / E1200 v2 inside

Here is a close up of the key components. Those are not amplifiers inside the shield area above the BCM5357; they are just transmit/receive switches.

Linksys E900 / E1200 v2 board detail

Linksys E900 / E1200 v2 board detail

And a photo of the E1200 v1 for reference. The redesign looks like its primary focus was cost reduction, which is appropriate for a $50 MSRP (for the E900).

Linksys E1200 v1 board detail

Linksys E1200 v1 board detail

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