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High-quality AirPort Extreme 802.11n unboxing photos

post #1 of 106
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Apple Inc. this week began to unleash the next-generation of Apple Wi-Fi, with the first shipments of its AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wireless Base Station making their way to select online customers and company retail stores.

If you're like us, you probably placed an order for one of these promising wireless network performance enhancers during the week of Macworld. And if you're like us, you're probably still waiting for that order to ship.

Even though our online order was placed way back when, it's not slated to leave Taiwan until around February 14. At the same time, however, we were able to swing by a local Apple retail store an pluck one off the shelf. Somewhat nonsensical from a customer relations standpoint, so pardon us while we grunt.

Nevertheless, they are shipping. If you're looking to pick one up this weekend, you best call around. While some Apple retail stores have received shipment, others have not. And there appears to no methodical procedure behind which stores are first to receive their inventory.

Anyway, the new AirPort Extremes, which weigh a couple of pounds, come nestled in rather uneventful packaging of relative dimensions. The router itself rests atop a cardboard platform bearing the "Designed by Apple in California" digression. Underneath are a power brick, power cord, AirPort Extreme install disc, setup guide, access point regulatory certification card and warranty pamphlet.

We'll have some additional details on the new base stations in the near future. In the meantime, enjoy our unboxing photos, below.





















































post #2 of 106
aaaagh, its got a nasty ol brick powerpack. blah bleh yuck!
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post #3 of 106
I could probably justify the $179 price tag if it allowed me to stream my music but I can't. And is it me or does anyone else think the design is weird. Why is it so big? What's up with that crevasse all the way around it that's going to be a dirt magnet? Since it's so big, why does it need a nasty power brick?
post #4 of 106
just wish it had an ADSL modem built in
post #5 of 106
This whole "Apple, Inc" thing must've come about very recently. I still see "Apple Computer, Inc." displayed on this hardware.
post #6 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Yohe View Post

This whole "Apple, Inc" thing must've come about very recently. I still see "Apple Computer, Inc." displayed on this hardware.

Good point.
post #7 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

is it me or does anyone else think the design is weird.

Have you seen the competition? How is it weird ... I've got an Airport Express and still think it's great, but this one looks much better. Keeping it in size with the Mac Mini and Apple TV seems smart and overall it has a nice iPod dock aesthetic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Why is it so big? What's up with that crevasse all the way around it that's going to be a dirt magnet?

My bet is the antenna. Plural in fact. It supports 802.11 b,g and n. They need separate aerials, which each have their geometric requirements and are usually spread around and about Macs which are larger than that little base station ... hence the size.

The groove could be a dirt magnet though. But it does look good if you ask me, breaks up the boxy appearance with a contour and I bet the part above the groove is where the biggest antenna is housed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Since it's so big, why does it need a nasty power brick?

Heard about the Airport Express failure rate? Hardmac have good coverage. APX in 240 volt contountries especially have been overheating due partly to poor ventilation inside, which is also where their power supply is squeezed. Not good. Mine is fine probably because I live in a chilly environment, but Apple are smart to address such a defect.
post #8 of 106
It'll probably be a while before this appears in Europe, the voltages here are off the scale.
And there's really no good-looking ADSL modem to match this beauty. Too bad.
post #9 of 106
What about the wall mounting option? It seems to me Apple has left out this small option, which by the way, all the other routers already have it...
post #10 of 106
IF it had GigaBit ethernet ports, I would buy two to replace 4 linksys boxes.

Sadly enough Apple still has its head stuck on fast ethernet. It just doesn't make sense. Gigabit ethernet is standard on their (and my) computers, but their only network box isn't.

Apple TV lacks gigabit as well, come to think of it.
post #11 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomasito68 View Post

What about the wall mounting option? It seems to me Apple has left out this small option, which by the way, all the other routers already have it...

Impossible without some form of bracket.
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post #12 of 106
Sexy

-Owl
post #13 of 106
I wonder if it's possible to boot-up a Mac using the networked USB drive as the startup disk.
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post #14 of 106
now, the question: will they sell an 802.11n airport extreme card for things like my ibook g4?
post #15 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Yohe View Post

This whole "Apple, Inc" thing must've come about very recently. I still see "Apple Computer, Inc." displayed on this hardware.

On the cd it reads "Copyright 2007 Apple Computer, Inc." The hardware says 2006. Kinda interesting.

I think i'll wait awhile before getting one, our Linksys router still works alright.
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post #16 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post

It'll probably be a while before this appears in Europe, the voltages here are off the scale. . . .

I thought so too. But I live in Paris and received an email today saying that mine shipped. Too bad the iPhone is a different story . . .
post #17 of 106
I think this is a worthy replacement for the AirPort Extreme. However it should have AirTunes and an ADSL Modem to make it more attractive. If it's just a router it competes poorly with the likes of Netgear who make smaller Routers/ADSL Modems.
post #18 of 106
I'm surprised there was little to no packing/protection of the unit on top and sides. The photo seems to indicate just a thin piece of cardboard (top of the box) separates the unit from damage. You wouldn't want to bump it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by iridedasupabus View Post

now, the question: will they sell an 802.11n airport extreme card for things like my ibook g4?

Nope, unless there's something via USB 2.0 or ethernet.
post #19 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCrazy View Post

I think this is a worthy replacement for the AirPort Extreme. However it should have AirTunes and an ADSL Modem to make it more attractive. If it's just a router it competes poorly with the likes of Netgear who make smaller Routers/ADSL Modems.

Uh not everyone uses ADSL let alone DSL. I hate combo modem/routers. As it having switch, wireless, USB NAS, enough things can go wrong. All I wan to see is Gigabit Ethernet and maybe a audio out for Airtunes to make it perfect.

Is the wireless and wired network layered (as in Wired then wireless is behind that) or are they parallel. I assume layered since they only use one IP. Paralleled is better for security (but ain't going to get into that).
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post #20 of 106
My Airport Extreme 802.11n arrived 2 days ago.... and I live in *New Zealand*.... must be the first time ever that we get stuff this early!

Its working famously.

Jeremy
post #21 of 106
What do I miss about this? Wall mounting, gigabit ethernet (even for wan) , connections for external antennas, place for an Firewire drive (this is Apple, after all), a standard shape power brick (consistency) and a magsafe DC port.

It's really not worth 180 dollars right now.

Activity LEDs are unneccesary, though.

I do hope it's the same size as the Mac Mini, for stackability.
post #22 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandros View Post

I do hope it's the same size as the Mac Mini, for stackability.

It is.
post #23 of 106
Looks like the same size as a Mini Which means it will sit on top of a Mini Stack Hard Drive. I just picked up a 320GB Mini Stack with a USB and FireWire hub in it so I now can hook this up to the APX and have a network HD and the USB hub to attack a Printer.
post #24 of 106
I am curious to find out if you can share multiple devices using a USB 2.0 HUB? If you have it, let me know if you have tried this. Thanks...
post #25 of 106
OH... are they available in stores yet?
post #26 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

I am curious to find out if you can share multiple devices using a USB 2.0 HUB? If you have it, let me know if you have tried this. Thanks...

Yes. Apple's web site clearly states that you can use a USB hub to plug in multiple hard drives, printers, etc. with the new base station. This is a major improvement over the last one. Still, it would have been nice to get two real USB ports on there.
post #27 of 106
Just for those who are complaining about no external ant. port the reason being it would actually have adverse affects because of the way N works multiple in and multiple outs. So haveing a port would make it even less speed and less range.
post #28 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Since it's so big, why does it need a nasty power brick?

Power converters tend to create a lot of noise. There are performance advantages to isloating the converters from the rest of the electronics. It would be nice if it were internal, but I can understand why it's not.
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post #29 of 106
Too bad there is no external antenna port...for $179 I would at least like to be able to use a high gain antenna with it but still have the sleek Apple look as opposed to the Linksys style...
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post #30 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by HitnThaNitrous View Post

Just for those who are complaining about no external ant. port the reason being it would actually have adverse affects because of the way N works multiple in and multiple outs. So haveing a port would make it even less speed and less range.

so add 2 or 3 ports...most other N boxes have 2-3 external antennas...
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post #31 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandros View Post

Activity LEDs are unneccesary, though.

I don't think so, as I use the patterns as a quick way to help me check traffic / diagnostics.

Quote:
I do hope it's the same size as the Mac Mini, for stackability.

I think that might hurt your range if you put a mini on top, and Apple suggests that you not stack anything on top of a mini as it might put enough pressure on the top to damage the optical drive, and of course hurt the range of the wireless in the mini too.
post #32 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Write View Post

Uh not everyone uses ADSL let alone DSL.

The "A" means asymmetric, not advanced. It only means one direction is faster than the other. It is pretty rare for a DSL service to not be not asymmetric.
post #33 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiopollution View Post

Impossible without some form of bracket.

That wouldn't be unprecedented. I have bought wall-mount brackets for my Linksys gear. The units I have don't have built-in slots for screws, the bracket fixes that.
post #34 of 106
Good hardware pr0n. Now, speed test, speed test, speed tests!!!!11!!1!!!!!
post #35 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Write View Post

Uh not everyone uses ADSL let alone DSL. I hate combo modem/routers. As it having switch, wireless, USB NAS, enough things can go wrong...

Yeah, when I am near the equator there's usually thunderstorms every evening. Combo modem/router is just asking for trouble. The DSL modem is separate, so if that gets fried by lightning, the wired/wireless router may be spared.

Also naughty ISPs which just support their standard DSL modem will wash their hands clean of any help for you if you are using a combo modem/router. Screaming "Just give me the damn WAN settings motherfrackers!!" down the phone does not help...
post #36 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

The "A" means asymmetric, not advanced. It only means one direction is faster than the other. It is pretty rare for a DSL service to not be not asymmetric.

I know that, but there is SDSL, etc, hence why I said ADSL and DSL.
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post #37 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by GamoGuy View Post

I wonder if it's possible to boot-up a Mac using the networked USB drive as the startup disk.

That would be 'no' since the network adaptor both wired and wireless isn't active until well after initial boot up.
post #38 of 106
I'm very much appreciative of the work (and the cost) necessary to have these first looks at the hardware.

Upon looking at these pictures, though, I'm confused as to why the restart icon (above the restart pinhole) appears to be backwards in some of these photographs. Specifically, I recall the restart icon being a white triangle pointing backwards. Not only is the triangle pointing forwards in some of these photos, it appears that the triangle is pointing backwards in the photos where that icon is not in focus.

Have I gone mad, or is photo editing being performed?
post #39 of 106
Excellent pictures - they put my phototography skills to shame.

I like the design very much and want an 802.11n access point. However, I have a couple of questions?
  1. How does the 802.11n perform in a mixed environment, e.g. with 802.11b&g devices as well as 802.11n clients? All the devices I have that connect wirelessly are 802.11g (iBook G4, PSP, DS) - I'll be purchasing a Macbook soon (about the same time Leopard is released).
  2. Can it act as an wireless access point client or bridge? At present I have two identical US Robotics wireless routers - one is set up as an access point that connects directly to my ADSL modem and my web server (a Mac Mini). The other is in another room set-up as an access point client. The client has a hub connected and I am then able to directly connect to my xbox360, Slingbox and Pinnacle Showcenter.

post #40 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Write View Post

Uh not everyone uses ADSL let alone DSL. I hate combo modem/routers. As it having switch, wireless, USB NAS, enough things can go wrong.

In the UK pretty much everyone does. Which poses the question: How do I connect this thing to the Internet?

I went into PC World - and the number of ADSL modems for sale was precisely zero.
(not counting USB types). There was an entire wall of ADSL / Wireless / Router combo boxes.

C,
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