May 2005

1 plus 1 does not necessarily equal 2

When Asus’s Network Devices Department contacted the design team with a request to develop a stackable wireless router and hard disk combo, our approach of giving them less than they asked for surprised and delighted them.

Leading Ken Wang through the product development process, we found that – despite the fact that a few competitive products had just been released – separating and stacking the wireless and storage units was not the best solution for our customers’ problems. So we devised a plan to pack the two elements all into one enclosure.

Efficient simplicity

The engineering team was thrilled by this idea, even though fitting all components – including the power adapter – into one slim package posed quite the challenge. We managed to accomplish all these goals and created a slim device with a simple appearance, accomplished by placing the WL 700’s LED’s and some of its vent holes between the gaps of the product’s iconic layered rings.

Being released one and a half years before Apple’s Time Machine, the Asus WL 700 served not only as wireless router and hard disk, but also doubled up as a web- or FTP-server, thus enabling users to share data over the internet. The WL 700 won the iF Product Design Award and the Taiwan Excellence Award.