or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple's redesigned AirPort Extreme with 802.11ac support gets first unboxing
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple's redesigned AirPort Extreme with 802.11ac support gets first unboxing

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
While Apple's latest 802.11ac-enabled AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi router isn't scheduled to hit store shelves for at least another day, an unboxing and first test has already been performed in Australia.

APE
Source: Ben Pasternak


Introduced on Monday at WWDC 2013, Apple's AirPort Extreme boasts an all-new "mini tower" design, beamforming antennas and support for the super fast 802.11ac protocol. AppleInsider has an exclusive first look at the device thanks to Ben Pasternak of BrandHitTech, who was able to get his hands on one just hours after its debut.

APE


Pasternak said the plastic unit is extremely light, though the design is a bit tall and bulky, especially when paired with existing modems on the market. Another downside is the shiny body's predilection to attracting dust.

While an 802.11ac-capable test machine was unavailable, a quick trial using common 802.11g/n showed slight gains in throughput possibly attributable to the new AirPort's six-antenna array.

The Extreme debuted alongside two AirPort Time Capsule models. Like their predecessors, the latest Time Capsules come in 2TB and 3TB HDD versions.

APE


So far, the only Macs to support the 802.11ac protocol are the two new MacBook Airs which were also introduced on stage at WWDC on Monday, but it is expected that Apple will add compatibility as it refreshes its laptop and desktop lineups.

post #2 of 56
I wish they'd bothered to plug it in. I'd love to know how well it stays upright with all of the ethernet cables connected.
post #3 of 56

It looks like it may have a smaller footprint than the current time capsule. 

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
post #4 of 56
>Apple's AirPort Express boasts an all-new "mini tower" design

I think you're confusing the Express with the Extreme...
post #5 of 56

Looks like it will be a dust magnet and fall over. Hope I am wrong. I am sad that the iMac i bought in November 2012 is not 802.11ac-capable or is there a remote chance it actually is with a firmware upgrade?  

William
iMac 21.5" Late 2012, iPad 3 (Works fine for films), iPhone 5 (6 on order)

Reply

William
iMac 21.5" Late 2012, iPad 3 (Works fine for films), iPhone 5 (6 on order)

Reply
post #6 of 56

It looks strange. Can't say I like the tower of babel look better than the flat. Could have called this Airport Extruded. It does look tipsy. My Apple TV slides all over when all the cables are plugged into it. They literally wag the dog. This seems to continue the tradition. Nothing that a little velcro won't solve but still.

 

So software is going flat while hardware is going more 3D.

post #7 of 56

It reminds me of the iPod Nano Fatty. A year from now it will be changed to something different and everyone will pretend it never happened.

post #8 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by wdowell View Post

Looks like it will be a dust magnet and fall over. Hope I am wrong. I am sad that the iMac i bought in November 2012 is not 802.11ac-capable or is there a remote chance it actually is with a firmware upgrade?  

unfortunately not.

post #9 of 56
Did he just "speed test" it against a 802.11n laptop and comment there was not much of a difference?...
post #10 of 56
"a bit tall and bulky". Possibly the IT world's understatement of the year.

This is definitely a train wreck of a design. Must have somehow slipped by Jony's review.
post #11 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by hydr View Post

Did he just "speed test" it against a 802.11n laptop and comment there was not much of a difference?...

No, they don't have a computer with 892.11ac on so they can't test the router. But they bumped it down to n to see if n speed was improved since that is all they can do.
post #12 of 56

"Another downside is the polycarbonate body's predilection to attracting dust."

What the huh?  Is this thing made out of something different then the old model?

 

Funny that so many are unable to appreciate that this thing is form-follows-function (the way it should be.) Guess Ive should have just slapped a half-dozen basket antennas onto the old design

post #13 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sargent Bob View Post

"a bit tall and bulky". Possibly the IT world's understatement of the year.

This is definitely a train wreck of a design. Must have somehow slipped by Jony's review.

Congrats on the "ignorant moron first post" prize.

post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I wish they'd bothered to plug it in. I'd love to know how well it stays upright with all of the ethernet cables connected.

Not sure why it would be any lighter than the old unit (possible though doubt it). It does have internal power supply like the last one. And that's obviously at the foot of the unit. That's a pretty substantial weight.

post #15 of 56
Who really cares about the design. It's just something new to keep the look fresh. Smaller footprint is better for me. The previous time capsules couldn't fit in the space I had for them and I had to go with extreme plus hdd. Cat6 cables will probably be a bit stiff and pull it around, but anyone with experience can manage their cables better, or get some flat flexi cables. But bitches always gotta bitch.
post #16 of 56

The new Time Capsule and Mac Pro both have horrible designs where Apple seems like they're trying to prove something.  Yuck.  Hopefully they don't FUBAR the pending Mac Mini refresh.

post #17 of 56
WWWDC
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #18 of 56

From the outside, there is no difference between this one and the TimeCapsule. Can you insert a HDD of your own? Does it have the same ports internally as a TimeCapsule?

Now running on a 20" aluminium iMac (Fall 2008), as well as a Macboook Pro 13" (mid 2009) and an iPhone.
Reply
Now running on a 20" aluminium iMac (Fall 2008), as well as a Macboook Pro 13" (mid 2009) and an iPhone.
Reply
post #19 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I wish they'd bothered to plug it in. I'd love to know how well it stays upright with all of the ethernet cables connected.
Not sure why it would be any lighter than the old unit (possible though doubt it). It does have internal power supply like the last one. And that's obviously at the foot of the unit. That's a pretty substantial weight.

You're exactly right.

A bunch of maroons hyperventilating without, as usual, having a clue.
post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

WWWDC

Enlighten us! What does it mean?

post #21 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I wish they'd bothered to plug it in. I'd love to know how well it stays upright with all of the ethernet cables connected.

That's a good question. The stand for my Asus router isn't very good and the cords aren't helping it stay up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

Not sure why it would be any lighter than the old unit (possible though doubt it). It does have internal power supply like the last one. And that's obviously at the foot of the unit. That's a pretty substantial weight.

The power supply for my other routers isn't that substantial. 12W power supplies can be light, the more efficient ones are often lighter than the less efficient ones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by robogobo View Post

Who really cares about the design. It's just something new to keep the look fresh.

Isn't that caring about the design? That said, it might be in part for improved transmission and reception.

Quote:
Smaller footprint is better for me. The previous time capsules couldn't fit in the space I had for them and I had to go with extreme plus hdd. Cat6 cables will probably be a bit stiff and pull it around, but anyone with experience can manage their cables better, or get some flat flexi cables. But bitches always gotta bitch.
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by wdowell View Post

Looks like it will be a dust magnet and fall over. 

You're probably right. All of my other objects fall over when dust hits them.

post #23 of 56

My wife keeps looking at the Apple TV Remote and saying how Apple seems to be the only company that is moving towards something like the Monolith from 2001. Looks like the new Time Capsule and Mac Pro are heading that way too!

post #24 of 56
What about the signal strength/range? Is there an improvement compared to the 5th generation of the APE?
post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BestKeptSecret View Post

My wife keeps looking at the Apple TV Remote and saying how Apple seems to be the only company that is moving towards something like the Monolith from 2001. Looks like the new Time Capsule and Mac Pro are heading that way too!

The Apple remote is not ergonomic for my hands. It's great for portability, but that's usually not the point with AppleTV.
post #26 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

It looks like it may have a smaller footprint than the current time capsule. 

75% less footprint.  All specs are found at http://www.apple.com/airport-time-capsule/

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdowell View Post

Looks like it will be a dust magnet

It's the exact same material as it has been for years.  Yes- it attracts dust- but it will attract less than the current model as the footprint is smaller.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robogobo View Post

Who really cares about the design.  But bitches always gotta bitch.

Exactly

Quote:
Originally Posted by craigminah View Post

The new Time Capsule and Mac Pro both have horrible designs where Apple seems like they're trying to prove something.  Yuck.  Hopefully they don't FUBAR the pending Mac Mini refresh.

I hope the Mac Mini looks just like it- it will be better in my situation, because it will save me 75% more space.  And more importantly, if the design (once one of these are torn down) allows for better cooling capacity (particularly for the Time Capsule)- then it is a brilliant design move.  Just because it doesn't fit "your" specification means absolutely nothing to anyone.  Too bad, so sad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984lars View Post

What about the signal strength/range? Is there an improvement compared to the 5th generation of the APE?

This is the most important question brought up so far.  All I care about is the improved range.  If all these people are worrying about is aesthetics on a frikkin' router- then they are morons.  Plain and simple.

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply
post #27 of 56
It will also be compatible with the new Mac Pro. I'd like to HOPE there will be ethernet dongles that will adapt previous Macs to the new protocol. Even if they don't go at full 11.ac speeds, if they're faster than the current wireless systems it will be good.
post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don108 View Post

I'd like to HOPE there will be ethernet dongles that will adapt previous Macs to the new protocol.

I don't understand. Do you want to plug a wifi adapter into your ethernet port so you can get 802.11ac? Apple released one of those adapters yesterday (http://www.apple.com/airport-extreme/). Set it on your desk and run an ethernet cable from the device to your computer.

post #29 of 56

This tells us nothing at all.  It's not even really an "unboxing."

 

Questions:

 

- What's the black tab thing on the bottom about? 

- What kind of drives are in the Time Capsule versions?

- Are both products the same size? 

- If it's so light, is it "tippy"?

post #30 of 56
I love the new design. Less of a foot print, improved range, and better antennas. I do wish they would have added a fourth LAN port to it, but its not a deal breaker.
post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

- Are both products the same size? 

 

Yes.  Apple.com

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply
post #32 of 56
I'm guessing the next time capsule will also be smaller, to match, and quite possibly the mac mini server will be smaller as well.

One nice touch of the new design is the apparent, integrated AC/DC power supply. I don't really care much what the device looks like, but at least for me it is great to have one fewer box and one fewer cord.
Cat: the other white meat
Reply
Cat: the other white meat
Reply
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

"Another downside is the polycarbonate body's predilection to attracting dust."

What the huh?  Is this thing made out of something different then the old model?

 

Funny that so many are unable to appreciate that this thing is form-follows-function (the way it should be.) Guess Ive should have just slapped a half-dozen basket antennas onto the old design

 

Yes, form should follow function (not that Apple always follows this theory). But my question is if the form of the Extreme is following its function? Or it is simply following the form, and thus the function, of the Time Capsule, which requires an internal hard drive? Is it only the antenna array that is causing the Time Capsule to be so tall? Or is it also due to the hard drive (which I'm assuming is a vertial 3.5" drive mounted diagonally inside the case) which the Extreme doesn't have. I'll be curious to see the teardowns of both of the new Airports.

The USB 2 spec is a bit disappointing. Almost as if Apple doesn't really want you to hook up a hard drive to these things. Between the gigabit Ethernet and AC wi-fi, it would be relatively easy to overwhelm USB 2.
Edited by Wiggin - 6/11/13 at 8:23am
post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Yes.  Apple.com

Yeah, I looked this up afterwards also. 

 

But it seems that it has real, full sized hard drives in it so the version without a hard drive would have a lot less weight and be less stable overall.  For those of us that don't need the hard drive (most), it seems silly to use the same housing.  I have the same thoughts as "Wiggin" above in that I would rather it be shorter and not have the hard drive, and wonder if it really needs to be that tall shape for the aerials or if it's for the giant hard drive that I don't need.   

 

Edit: I know they make it stand on a table because they consider the design to be a "work of art" that one wants to show off, but most folks I know still put it behind the couch or shop for a wall mount so they can put it in a wiring closet with the other network gear.  Wall mounted routers and wireless hubs are pretty much the standard.  

 

Apple will-fully ignores that "standard" and therefore the wish of the majority of their customers. 

post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Wall mounted routers and wireless hubs are pretty much the standard.

Airport isn't meant to address the needs of enterprise customers, where wall mounting is far less common.

post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

Airport isn't meant to address the needs of enterprise customers, where wall mounting is far less common.

Wall mounting isn't just limited to enterprise customers. I would say most home consumer wireless routers offer wall mounting....

Tallest Skil:


"Eventually Google will have their Afghanistan with Oracle and collapse"

"The future is Apple, Google, and a third company that hasn't yet been created."


 


 

Reply

Tallest Skil:


"Eventually Google will have their Afghanistan with Oracle and collapse"

"The future is Apple, Google, and a third company that hasn't yet been created."


 


 

Reply
post #37 of 56
And again, many are underestimating Apple and their design forward thinking (and obsessive attention to detail). The shape is unusual, but the footprint is much smaller and the vertical shape probably adds to the antenna functionality.

You can see the vertically elongated/ square (or round) base/ small footprint trend also in the new Mac Pro design. Even the iPhone is stretched.

Expect the industry to follow.
post #38 of 56
Is there anyone at the conference that can ask Apple people if there will be an Airport Express with 802.11ac? Possibly the extra antennas may not allow an 802.11ac express design.
post #39 of 56

I currently have an Airport Extreme. The new "footprint" may be smaller but its height is a real problem.  Cable management will be terrible if every port is used, in my case they would be. All the cables climbing up the back and and hanging out will look awful compared to the current design where they are low and close to the desk/shelf.

 

Only have 3 gigabit ports is also a bummer. Most products over $100 have 4, some more.

 

The new design may help with the antenna(s) but all they are really doing is trying make up for the fact that the antennas are not external and removable. For most people, the ability to swap out the standard omnidirectional antenna for a directional antenna would do far more to help with their wireless signal than this design.

 

That being said, Apple has a built-in audience for anything they make. Most of their fans ignore the weaknesses of their products and pretend the often questionable benefits and design choices are some giant innovation. If Apple does something differently than every other company, their assumption is that this difference has to be great. I am sure they will sell a lot of these.

 

-kpluck

Do you use MagicJack?

The default settings will automatically charge your credit card each year for service renewal. You will not be notified or warned in anyway. You can turn auto renewal off.

Reply

Do you use MagicJack?

The default settings will automatically charge your credit card each year for service renewal. You will not be notified or warned in anyway. You can turn auto renewal off.

Reply
post #40 of 56
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
It reminds me of the iPod Nano Fatty. A year from now it will be changed to something different and everyone will pretend it never happened.

 

Nonsense.

 

Originally Posted by craigminah View Post
The new Time Capsule and Mac Pro both have horrible designs where Apple seems like they're trying to prove something.  Yuck.  Hopefully they don't FUBAR the pending Mac Mini refresh.

 

Thanks for proving you don't know anything about anything.


Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

- What's the black tab thing on the bottom about? 


Wrapping that the guy left on for zero reason.

 

Quote:

- What kind of drives are in the Time Capsule versions?

 

Given the capacities, they have to be 3.5".


- Are both products the same size? 

 

Yes. Apple.com shows that.


- If it's so light, is it "tippy"?

 

All the weight is going to be at the bottom. The height is for antennas.

 

Originally Posted by numba1 View Post
Is there anyone at the conference that can ask Apple people if there will be an Airport Express with 802.11ac? 

 

Plenty of people. Apple won't answer that, though. Why would they?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple's redesigned AirPort Extreme with 802.11ac support gets first unboxing