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TRENDnet TUC-ET5G USB-C to 5Gbe Ethernet Adapter Review

TRENDnet puts USB-C to the test with its own 5Gbe ethernet networking adapter. Join us as we test it out and see what it can do.

Published Tue, Nov 17 2020 8:33 AM CST
Rating: 85%Manufacturer: TRENDnet (TUC-ET5G)

An influx of USB-C network adapters has flooded the market over the last few months that aim to add increased network functionality to nearly any device that will support it. We have found in our own testing devices like the new iPad Pro, Nintendo Switch, or even your modern notebook can benefit from these solutions adding 1Gbe or even 2.5Gbe ethernet to your device.

Not to be outdone, TRENDnet released its solution earlier in the year, skipping past 2.5Gbe and pushing USB 3.1 Gen to its limits with the TUC-ET5G. As you may have gathered from the model number, the TRENDnet adapter is a bit spicy, supporting 5Gbe over USB-C, thanks to the AQC111U controller from Marvell, a single chip package that supports USB 3.1 and 5GBASET/2.5GBASET.

The MSRP of the TRENDnet TUC-ET5G comes in at $89.99 with a one-year warranty.

TRENDnet TUC-ET5G USB-C to 5Gbe Ethernet Adapter Review 02 | TweakTown.com

The packaging is rather simple for the TRENDnet device. We have a window to the adapter covering most of the box with model number top right.

TRENDnet TUC-ET5G USB-C to 5Gbe Ethernet Adapter Review 03 | TweakTown.com

The adapter carries a similar footprint to the 2.5Gbe adapters we have seen, though we do have a large chunk of metal surrounding the port area as shielding. You will also notice two LEDs on top of the unit, one for power and the other connectivity.

TRENDnet TUC-ET5G USB-C to 5Gbe Ethernet Adapter Review 04 | TweakTown.com

The port in use is RJ45, LEDs on either side, and the color of those LEDs denoting connection rate.

TRENDnet TUC-ET5G USB-C to 5Gbe Ethernet Adapter Review 05 | TweakTown.com

Opening the adapter, we did find the AQC111U controller hidden under its own small heat sink soldered to the PCB on either side.

TRENDnet TUC-ET5G USB-C to 5Gbe Ethernet Adapter Review 10 | TweakTown.com

Connecting the TUC-ET5G to our network, we did get a link rate of 5Gbps.

TRENDnet TUC-ET5G USB-C to 5Gbe Ethernet Adapter Review 11 | TweakTown.com

Testing the adapter, we see around 3.6Gbps solid start to finish.

Closing out this review, the TUC-ET5G is a fantastic adapter for those wanting to significantly upgrade their wired throughput with a sleek, removable device. Build quality is top-notch, and setup is a breeze with the NIC having its drivers onboard the device.

In testing, I found the performance of the TUC-ET5G to be good but not great. Honestly, I expected closer to 4.5Gbps out of the device, where we only could get 3.5-3.6Gbps in real-world testing. That said, this device too produces a good amount of heat, so it's not out of the question that it may have throttled back during testing to save itself.

Looking up the chipset, AQC111U, I was able to find a good number of adapters that use this exact setup. Pricing for these range from $79.99 with the QNAP solution to $139.99 from Startech. At $89.99, TRENDnet should bite the bullet and match QNAP, which would give consumers more reasons to pick up this solution over the others.

Tyler's Test System Specifications

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The Bottom Line

All things considered, even at its MSRP of $89.99, the TUC-ET5G is a rather solid device for those wanting to add multi-gig connectivity to their legacy machines, we just expected a little better performance though.


TRENDnet TUC-ET5G USB-C to 5Gbe Ethernet Adapter

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* Prices last scanned on 12/1/2020 at 2:11 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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