Introduction & Pricing, Availability and Specifications
We haven't seen too many routers come through offering up a touchscreen, so when asked if TweakTown would like to take a look at the latest solution from TP-LINK, I was happy to dive right in. In fact, looking back the only other touchscreen networking solution I have seen is the Range Extender TAP-EX2 from Amped Wireless, so this router should be interesting nonetheless.
With AC1900 now mature, being on the market for going on three years, it was just a matter of time before vendors started dressing up their routers to appeal to the younger generation. While touchscreens are now a part of our everyday lives, they can often be cumbersome as they don't always work as expected. With the Touch P5, TP-LINK has deployed a 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 480x272 and 16-bit color. On the surface, this router is your typical dual-band solution offering 600 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band while 5GHz tops out at 1300 Mbps.
Going a little deeper, the Touch P5 offers four gigabit LAN alongside a single gigabit WAN port all located on the backside of the router. For storage, it offers both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 with the SuperSpeed port placed on the front corner. Three dual-band antennas operate off two Broadcom BCM4360 radios while the main CPU in this router is the Broadcom BCM4709, a dual-core chip operating at 1GHz with 128MB of memory and 128MB of flash paired with it.
MSRP of the TP-LINK Touch P5 sits at $204.99 with a two-year warranty.
TP-LINK Touch P5 Wireless Router
The product packaging carries the standard vibrant TP-LINK colors with an image of the router to the right. The left side of the box is filled with marketing details while the bottom right carries the model number.
On the back of the box, we have a two-part design with the layout of the touchscreen to the left and a home network diagram to the right.
The scope of delivery includes the router with its three antennas to the left along with the Ethernet cable and power adapter.
The front right corner of the P5 tucks away the USB 3.0 port.
The back of the router houses the three antenna ports, four LAN, and a single WAN port along with USB 2.0 and the power input.
Test System Setup and Management GUI
Tyler's Router Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Z97-A - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- CPU: Intel Core i7 4770K - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Memory: Patriot Viper 3 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 1600 - Buy from Amazon
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage: Intel 730 480GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 750D - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower 750W - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 - Buy from Amazon
TP-LINK touts their Touch P5 as having a one-minute quick setup utilizing the touchscreen. To start the process, it's rather simple as the router has an auto detect feature for the WAN connection.
Moving on, we continue setting up the wireless networks both 2.4Ghz and 5GHz.
After setup is complete, we have the screen seen above. When you are not in the menu, the router will display the time and date similar to the lock screen on your mobile phone.
Above, we have the main menu for the Touch P5. As you can see, it's laid out similar to an Android device and allows you to change everything from wireless settings to parental controls.
Diving a little deeper into the menu system, this solution does offer QoS along with the ability to adjust the screen settings to your liking.
Along with having the ability to control this router with the Touchscreen, you will also have the standard WebGUI. As you can see here, the landing screen gives you a quick overview of what's going on with the router.
Under the advanced settings, parental controls allow you to setup a whitelist and blacklist for devices in your home, these can then be setup to allow access during certain times.
QoS, as mentioned previously, is a big feature in modern routers and seen above, TP-LINK has chosen to use banks in which devices can be set up according to how important they are.
A growing feature of modern solutions is the ability to switch modes on a single piece of hardware. With the Touch P5, while its primary job is a router, it can also operate as an access point or repeater.
Benchmarks – Throughput
Testing the Touch P5 starts with LAN to LAN performance. Seen in our chart above, this router was right on par with competing AC1900 solutions at 941 Mbps.
WAN to LAN for the P5 came in at 917 Mbps putting it at the higher-end of AC1900 routers.
Switching to wireless throughput, the TP-LINK started out with 117 Mbps on the 20MHz band and reached 140 Mbps on the 40 MHz band.
We weren't quite able to reach the magical 400 Mbps with the Touch P5, but the 80Mhz band was able to produce 322 Mbps quite easily, while the low two band reached 144 Mbps and 222 Mbps, respectively.
Benchmarks – Multi-User Test & Final Thoughts
Multi User Throughput
In our Multi-User test, we use three identical smartphones with the latest MU-MIMO chipset. This test requires the router to handle three simultaneous throughput streams with the results below for each band.
As you can see in our 2.4GHz testing, the P5 reached just 69 Mbps while 5GHz produces better results at 268 Mbps.
When I was first contacted and shown photos of the Touch P5, I wasn't sure if the touchscreen was a gimmick or would actually prove useful. In testing, I was quite surprised by how easy the touchscreen was to use and being capacitive, it was more responsive - very similar to my original Android phone, the HTC Incredible. Build quality seemed to be quite good, and while comprised of plastic the mosaic pattern did give it a bit of aesthetic appeal.
The performance of the Touch P5 was middle of the road in most cases but did excel in our wired throughput testing. 2.4GHz and 5GHz results were average reaching a peak of 140 Mbps on the 2.4GHz and 322 Mbps on the 5GHz. With this solution not taking advantage of MU-MIMO, I didn't expect the Touch P5 to perform amazingly well in multi-user testing, but it did manage to bring in 268 Mbps on the 5GHz 80MHz band.
With so many solutions on the market, it can be quite difficult to find a solution you are confident can serve your needs for years to come. In looking at our market analysis, TP-LINK has priced the Touch P5 in quite a difficult spot with the Nighthawk R7000 just a few bucks cheaper. With that said, TP-LINK does offer an extra year on the warranty so it really just comes down to what you want as the consumer, a higher performing router or more warranty.
|Quality including Design and Build||80%|
|Bundle and Packaging||80%|
|Value for Money||75%|
The Bottom Line: TP-LINK's Touch P5 is a middle of the road wireless solution with everything you need to get started, but at this stage in the game, it's going to take more than a touchscreen to lure buyers.
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