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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 55


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

  • Reply 3 of 55
    td912td912 Posts: 25member
    >Apple's AirPort Express boasts an all-new "mini tower" design

    I think you're confusing the Express with the Extreme...
  • Reply 4 of 55
    wdowellwdowell Posts: 207member


    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?  

  • Reply 5 of 55
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 708member


    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.

  • Reply 6 of 55
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member


    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.

  • Reply 7 of 55
    scartartscartart Posts: 172member

    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.

  • Reply 8 of 55
    hydrhydr Posts: 146member
    Did he just "speed test" it against a 802.11n laptop and comment there was not much of a difference?...
  • Reply 9 of 55
    "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.
  • Reply 10 of 55
    uberbenuberben Posts: 62member
    hydr wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 55
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member


    "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

  • Reply 12 of 55
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member

    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.

  • Reply 13 of 55
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member

    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.

  • Reply 14 of 55
    robogoborobogobo Posts: 378member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 55


    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.

  • Reply 16 of 55
    irelandireland Posts: 17,521member
    WWWDC
  • Reply 17 of 55
    denmarudenmaru Posts: 208member


    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?

  • Reply 18 of 55
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,871member
    isaidso wrote: »
    richl wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 55
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post



    WWWDC


    Enlighten us! What does it mean?

  • Reply 20 of 55
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    richl wrote: »
    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.

    isaidso wrote: »
    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.
    robogobo wrote: »
    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.

    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.
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