The New Sixth Generation Airport Extreme and Airport Time Capsule (June 2013)

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There were a LOT of new iDevices introduced at WWDC yesterday. iOS 7, OSX Mavericks, iTunes Radio, new (non-Retina) MacBook Airs, a new Mac Pro that looks kind of like an updated 20th Anniversary Macintosh...

But here at AAAD, we're focused on how this stuff integrates with our home. So I'm focused on the new Airport Extreme and Airport Time Capsule.

After all, that's the device that's going to be beaming our music and movies around the house.

Two immediate observations - first and foremost, the form factor is dramatically changed. 

Secondly, the form factor is now identical for both the Airport Extreme and the Airport Time Capsule.

A glossy white obelisk. 4 inches square, 6.6 inches high.

It looks kind of like "several new-style Airport Expresses stacked on top of each other."

The rationale behind this new form factor is obvious - there are six antennae in this thing (three at 2.4Ghz, and three at 5Ghz), and they want to get some space between the antennae, and to get them up higher.

(SIDE NOTE: This really looks like a "desktop" device, whereas the prior form factors were - at least in theory - wall mount-able. So the antenna arrangement is key.)

The primary advance with the new Airport devices is the introduction of a new wireless standard - 802.11ac. If you have a wireless-AC device, (and enough bandwidth coming into your house to matter), you should reach speeds up to three times wireless-N.

Apple claims that these new Airport devices will be compatible with all wireless devices - a, b, g, n, and ac.

In which case I should be able to use all of my existing Airport Expresses as wireless range extenders and music streaming devices.

I've updated the "Not All Airport Extremes Are Created Equal" post to include these new devices, but there's really no chance of confusion here.... it's a completely different looking beast.

The new Airport Extreme is $199.

The new Airport Time Capsule is $299 for 2 TB, and $399 for 4 TB.

I have no idea where they cram a 3 TB drive in that 4x4x6 casing.... but they must have. If these Time Capsules were packing solid state drives I assume Apple would have mentioned it.

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