Meraki Networks today unveiled a pair of new access points designed to serve high-density deployments, delivering sleeker, better performing units at a much more attractive price point.
The MR12 is a single-radio 802.11n access point intended for smaller deployments, while the dual-radio MR16 (above) is designed for enterprise and campus deployments. Both devices feature 2x2 MIMO chipsets, 400 mW transmit power and 802.3af-compliant Power over Ethernet.
Each of the new APs also sports a much slimmer chassis design, much closer to 2 cm rather than 4+ cm of the old products. To make everything fit in the slimmer chassis, Meraki moved to a single circuit board design inside, reducing the component count and theoretically leaving fewer components that could possibly fail.
Like the last-generation APs (the single-radio MR11 and the dual-radio MR14), the MR12 and MR16 promise to work seamlessly with Meraki’s Cloud Controller, delivering the same cloud-based features like the Lobby Ambassador or the application Traffic Shaping feature that impressed me during a previous review.
Customers may find the best part about the new APs to be the price, as the MR16 sells for $649, while the MR12 lists for $399. Compare that to Meraki's last-generation devices, which sold for $799 (MR14) and $599 (MR11).
Meraki’s press release points out that the new APs use the fourth-generation Atheros 802.11n chipset, and Meraki officials ambiguously promise the new devices will deliver better RF performance at the new lower prices.
I’ve got one MR16 sitting here on my desk right now, so I figure I will replace one of the MR14s that I’ve already got up and running. I’ll take my copy of the new AirMagnet Survey 8.0 for a spin, doing a before and after survey of our San Francisco offices to see whether that promise translates over to some measurably better coverage.