We all take internet access for granted these days. Nearly everybody has some kind of wireless internet access at home, at the office or at the neighbourhood coffee shop. So why would you need something like the portable TP-Link MR3020 router?
The fact of the matter is that while internet access is now readily available in the form of 3G on most smartphones, it isn't the same for tablets, pads or laptops, most of which still rely on Wi-fi to get online. And while there are 3G USB dongles that you can plug into your laptop, you can't share the same connection with your tablet or your friends.
By plugging a 3G modem into the MR3020, you turn it into a Wi-fi access point for multiple devices, which should be pretty handy when you are out of range of conventional Wi-fi hotspots.
The MR3020 even lets you control how much data your friends can use, in case you have a data cap.
The MR3020 is even more valuable when you are travelling since it turns a hotel's fixed broadband line into a Wi-fi hotspot, so you can use your laptop, and your tablet, and even better, your smartphone without those exorbitant data roaming charges.
Basically, you can plug any internet connection - 3G modem or broadband line - into the MR3020 and you have an instant hotspot that supports 802.11b, g, and n wireless connections.
The MR3020 is sold for HK$200-HK$300 at most computer malls.
Pros: allows you to set up your own hotspot using 3G and broadband
Cons: no battery so still needs power from laptop or wall socket