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Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 01:28 am PT (04:28 am ET)

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

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.