It is important that when a wireless adapter is broken, a replacement, if not an alternative, be found. Since most, if not all, of our laptops and mini-computers have Wi-Fi capabilities, having a wireless adapter is of utmost importance. Should no replacements come in, that’s where the Tenda U3 Wireless 11N Adapter comes along as an alternative.


At first glance, it seems just a USB thumb drive. In a way, that’s what Tenda might have planned for it. As an external mini wireless adapter, it promotes ergonomics and portability unlike any other (considering today’s more advanced external wireless adapters that tend to be bulky and include antennae). This way, it looks very simple and inconspicuous. You won’t look weird with it.


Specs-wise, it fits the profile of the specs of what a bulky wireless adapter might have, but without the bulk. Since it is only an external wireless adapter, it runs at a maximum of 300Mbps (in Philippine conventions, that’s a maximum of 30Mbps for each device). Its interface is the standard USB 2.0. It includes an installation disk in the package upon purchase, however, since it is built on standard Tenda chipsets, it would run without flaw on a Linux machine as a plug-and-play device.


Now, what makes this different? It comes with its inner workings. Wireless devices such as these can have their increase in TX Power (shorthand for the transmit power) upon use. In our case, we plugged this device into our Debian Linux laptop to see it in action. It runs at a TX Power of 30 dBm (decibels per milliwatts) – typically, wireless adapters and wireless cards only run at 20 dBm. This makes it a good candidate for SoftAP use: It can be used as a Wi-Fi extender given the right configuration.


Since not all parts in a computer are invulnerable to damage, replacements will end up being an option soon, and hopefully, a user can opt to avoid too many expenses by going for an alternative such as in the case of the Tenda U3 Mini Wireless Adapter.


Verdict: 5/5


We’d like to give this a 5/5 store for its superior specs compared to its size, which makes it not only a more suitable option for travel, but also for aesthetically-inclined people.


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