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Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 review: Proper flagship

Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 review: Proper flagship

The Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 is an absolute unit of a router. It's big in every way, from its physical dimensions to the staggering number of ports to the price tag. It's similar to the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000, but with Wi-Fi 7 instead of Wi-Fi 6E. You'll need a 10Gbps broadband plan — available from Singtel and StarHub — to get the best out of it. And even then I doubt anyone uses or even needs every single one of its features.

Quick specs

  • Quad-band Wi-Fi 7
  • 10Gbps WAN/LAN port, 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN port, 10Gbps LAN port, 3x 2.5Gbps LAN port, Gigabit LAN port, 1x USB 3.2, 1x USB 2.0
  • Supports 320MHz channels, and LAN link aggregation
  • AiProtection Pro, WPA3 security, gaming features

First impression: What's with all the plastic wrapping the Rapture GT-BE98's eight antennas? While most tech firms are trying their best to reduce plastic use, Asus has wrapped three layers of plastic or cling film around this router's chunky antennas. It probably took me longer to remove the plastic than to set up the router. That aside, the Rapture GT-BE98 is a handful at around 2kg and a larger footprint than most routers. But to be fair, it does have seven(!) Ethernet ports, including two 10Gbps Ethernet ports, four 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports, and a single lonely 1Gbps port. It also has four Wi-Fi bands, with two 5GHz bands, and one each for 2.4GHz and 6GHz.

The Rapture GT-BE98 has programmable Aura RGB LEDs at the top. Thankfully, you can turn them off in the Asus Router mobile app (for iOS and Android). This app is user-friendly enough, albeit chock-full of options that most customers probably won't ever use. Part of the top panel is transparent, revealing a gamer-centric design underneath — that serves no practical purpose — replete with Asus' Republic of Gamers slogans. Asus did add a special vent and heat spreader to improve heat dissipation. Its plastic chassis is also slightly raised for ventilation. The Rapture GT-BE98 feels moderately warm to the touch, but it's not too bad. In addition to the Ethernet ports, the router also has two USB ports.

I tested the GT-BE98 with a Wi-Fi 7 laptop on its 6GHz band, and a second PC connected to the 10Gbps port via a Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter. The average download speed of 2.2Gbps is pretty good, considering that the maximum link speed for the laptop is stated at 2.8Gbps. However, the 6GHz band doesn't perform well at longer distances. In a distant bedroom, the speed dipped to an abysmal 32Mbps. Switching to the 5GHz band improved this slightly to 76Mbps. But you'll want to use the 2.4GHz band (or get a second compatible Asus router and set up an AiMesh mesh network) for better coverage. The router was stable without dropping connections during testing.

In terms of features, I can't think of a router that comes close to the Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98. Not only does it have the more common ones, such as a security suite, profile-based parental controls, and QoS, this router also has niche ones like VPN Fusion. You can even connect a wireless dongle or smartphone to the router USB port as a backup for Internet connectivity if your broadband goes down. I'm barely scratching the surface here. Not to mention that its Wi-Fi 7 features are still in development — there's no MLO yet — so you can bet that the GT-BE98 will improve with time.

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Of course, that means you'll be better off waiting for a future price drop. Which I definitely recommend, seeing as its S$1,099 retail price will raise some eyebrows. But if you need that many Ethernet ports, have the 10Gbps plan to take advantage of its speed, and have the spending power, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 is available from Shopee, and Lazada.

Note: Review unit provided by Asus.


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Verdict



CAN BUY

Bursting with features, with support for the latest Wi-Fi 7

Buy it at Shopee
Buy it at Lazada

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