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Wireless Reviews

Lyra Home Wi-Fi System
At a glance
ProductASUS Lyra Home Wi-Fi System (MAP-AC2200)   [Website]
SummaryQualcomm-based three-radio mesh Wi-Fi system with many routing features.
Pros• Web interface with many standard ASUS routing features
• Has PPTP and OpenVPN servers
Cons• DHCP server seems flaky
• Poor mesh capacity and Wi-Fi performance

Typical Price: $400  Shop Amazon

Introduction

If you're an ASUS fan and have been itching to see what all the mesh/system Wi-Fi noise is about, your time has come. The Lyra Home Wi-Fi System (MAP-AC2200) is the company's entry into the Wi-Fi router market segment currently dominated by NETGEAR's Orbi.

When you're late to market, it helps to have a hook to draw in buyers. ASUS' grabber is similar to Orbi's in that you get a web interface as well as Android and iOS apps to set up and tweak the system. But Lyra's web interface provides access to more features than Orbi's, including PPTP and OpenVPN servers and the Adaptive QoS and Trend Micro-powered AiProtection security features found on its RT series routers.

Let's first, however, cover the basics. With a diameter of 5.5 inches, a Lyra mesh node (photo top right) is larger than its TP-Link, Google and eero (gen 2) competition shown below.

ASUS Lyra and friends

ASUS Lyra and friends

There are two gigabit Ethernet ports and a power port on the rear, but no USB port to lure you into thinking Lyra will some day support storage or printer sharing. Not shown are a reset button and screw slots for wall mounting on the bottom and a Pairing button on the left side. I'm not sure why the Pairing button is there; the app-guided setup process doesn't use it.

Lyra rear panel

Lyra rear panel

Lyra's top has a multi-color LED beneath that changes to indicate status.

Lyra LED colors

Lyra LED colors

Inside

ASUS didn't delay release of the FCC inside photos, which have nice closeups for component identification. What we find is another design based on Qualcomm's quad-core IPQ4019 2x2 802.11ac SoC. The four smaller 5 GHz and two larger 2.4 GHz antennas are clearly visible in the photo below. Antennas for the two (!) Bluetooth radios are etched onto the circuit board.

ASUS Lyra inside

ASUS Lyra inside

The next photo, with heatsinks and RF can tops removed, isn't clear enough to identify components. But you can see the switch near the two Ethernet connectors, main SoC with outboard RF amplifiers and 5 GHz filters below it. The second 5 GHz radio is at photo upper left. RAM, flash and two Bluetooth radios are on the other side of the board.

ASUS Lyra board

ASUS Lyra board

The FCC document has other photos showing many of the key components, which are summarized in the table below with Google Wi-Fi, eero gen 2 and TP-Link Deco M5. The radio power amplifier components came from WikiDevi; the flash capacity came from an ASUS reviewer's guide. It's pretty clear Qualcomm dominates the Wi-Fi System market segment right now. I haven't seen a Wi-Fi system yet with anyone else's chipset inside.

  ASUS Lyra Google Wifi eero gen2 TP-Link Deco M5
CPU Qualcomm IPQ4019 quad-core Wave2 2x2 a/b/g/n/ac SoC
- Qualcomm IPQ4019
- STM32F072 32 bit ARM Cortex-M0
- Infineon STM9615 Trusted Platform Module
Qualcomm IPQ4019 Qualcomm IPQ4019
Switch QCA8072 QCA8075 QCA8072 QCA8072
RAM 256 MB 512 MB 256 MB 256 MB
Flash 128 MB - 4 GB eMMC (IF5055?)
-4 MB Winbond 25Q64FV
32 MB 32 MB
2.4 GHz Radio - In IPQ4019
- Skyworks SKY2623L 2.4 GHz power amp (x2)
- In IPQ4019
- Skyworks SKY8530 2.4 GHz front end (x2)
- In IPQ4019
-Skyworks 85331-11 2 GHz front end (x2)
- In IPQ4019
- Skyworks 85303-11 2.4 GHz Front End (x2)
5 GHz Radio - In IPQ4019
- RFMD RFPA5542 5 GHz power amp (x2)
- In IPQ4019
- Skyworks SKY85717-11 5 GHz front end (x2)
- In IPQ4019
- Quorvo QPF4518 5 GHz front end (x2)
- In IPQ4019
- Qorvo PA5542 5 GHz power amp (x2)
http://www.qorvo.com/products/p/RFPA5542
5 GHz Radio #2 - QCA9886 2x2 802.11ac radio SoC
- RFMD RFPA5542 5 GHz power amp (x2)
N/A - QCA9886 Single-Band 2x2 5 GHz SoC
- Skyworks 85736-11 5 GHz front end (x2)
N/A
Bluetooth - Atheros AR3012 Bluetooth 4.0
- ISSC IS1678 Bluetooth Dual-Mode SoC
Qualcomm 3003-CL3D (CSR102x?) Atheros AR3012 Bluetooth 4.0 SoC CSR 8811 Bluetooth 4.1
ZigBee N/A - Silicon Labs EM3581 ZigBee / Thread SoC
- Skyworks SKY66109-11 2.4 GHz ZigBee front end
N/A N/A
Table 1: Component summary and comparison

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