When we first reported on Belkin's N1 802.11n pre-release router, we didn't know much. Know we know that's it's pretty cool and can pump out a steady HD video stream—plus a lot more—at a nice range and acceptable throughput.
Belkin set up a nice test bed to show us how the N1 performed in a "real environment." They had 17 devices streaming at once including iTunes sharing, HD playback, and Internet radio. Most of them were running at 802.11g speeds, except for the high bandwidth stuff, and there was a nary a jitter.
They foresee full 802.11n ratification next year, so unless you have a good application—data sharing at home or at the office, essentially—802.11n won't help much. However, the N1 is also a harbinger of things to come from Belkin. The entire system is idiot-proof. It has a full complement of easy-to-understand LEDs on the front and the box comes labeled to a fault. This should roll out through all of Belkin's products over the next year or so.
Those three antennae on the top? The Atheros chipset in this thing has three recievers and three transmitters. The PC card even has a long antenna that hangs out of the back of your computer. The Windows drivers are current and OS X drivers are forthcoming.
The N1 looks cool and, based on the not particularly scientific tests arrayed for us at the demo, stable and fast. The router will cost $199 while the laptop and PC cards will cost $99 and $119 respectively. A forthcoming USB device is planned for October and will cost $149.