CES 2014: Vintage routers are not a thing. Not now, probably not ever.

Just because the design is old does not make it "retro" or "nostalgic." Sometimes it's better just to move on.


There is a disturbing trend in design -- especially in the tech world -- to spruce up and garner attention to a new product simply by slapping a "retro" feel to it.

We see this time and again with digital cameras especially, but also increasingly on home appliances and even gaming consoles.

Here's one that might be reaching too soon for its time: wireless routers.

Immediately out of the gates at CES 2014 on Monday, Linksys introduced its latest dual-band Wi-Fi router, WRT1900AC.

The design is said to be inspired by original WRT54G model that debuted in 2002, which the previously Cisco-owned property characterized as being styled with an "iconic blue/black stackable form factor."

This week's debut has a "modernized spin" -- not to mention (hopefully) better hardware.

It's one thing to have a signature look, but it's completely another to try to push something that isn't there -- if not just lazily rest upon a dated design. The look of this Linksys router isn't so much "iconic" as just plain clunky.

Pardon the cliché, but if there was ever a time to go back to the drawing board, this is certainly it. Reiterating that the so-called iconic first router only came out a little more than 12 years ago, the door is still wide open for experimentation with a new blueprint altogether.

For the full review on just how beautiful or not this router is on the inside, head over to CNET's CES 2014 coverage.

Image via CNET


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