Content creators and other users longing for more LAN bandwidth than the long-in-the-tooth Gigabit Ethernet standard has to offer can look towards the XG-U2008 hybrid 10GbE switch from Asus for some reprieve. The new switch combines a pair of 10GbE ports with eight GigE ports to allow up to ten times the bandwidth of a Gigabit Ethernet connection for a couple of machines—all without the dizzying $700+ price tag of an eight-port 10GbE switch. Instead, the XG-2008U is available from Newegg today for $250.
Asus' latest allows two machines with high local bandwidth requirements to tap the full capabilities of 10GbE networking while allowing the machines to talk with additional legacy devices. The switch is unmanaged, so those needing business-class management features like VLANs should look elsewhere. Multi-colored LEDs for the 10GbE ports illuminate in blue for 10GbE connection, white for GigE connection, or red if the user's cabling isn't up to snuff.
The 2008U has an all-metal chassis with a silver brushed-aluminum finish. The manufacturer claims the stylish case makes the switch suitable for display, though it might not be so pretty with ten Ethernet cables sprouting from its backside. An optional 19" rack-mount kit allows easy deployment into a networking closet.