If Apple’s Time Capsule update on Tuesday was quiet, the company’s refresh to its AirPort Extreme Base Station was no louder than a mime in outer space.
You’d be forgiven for failing to notice the AirPort Extreme revision: It carries no new specs, and Apple’s uttered nary a public peep about it. But the model number for the last incarnation of the AirPort Extreme was MC340AM/A; Tuesday’s new Extreme carries the model number MD031AM/A. According to the specs published on Apple's website, the updated AirPort Extreme (like its predecessor) offers simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi networking for up to 50 concurrent users.
There are no obvious changes to the base station—for example, it still sports only a USB port, not a Thunderbolt one. (Thunderbolt, you may recall, is the new, high-speed peripheral-connection technology that Apple has recently championed—but few Thunderbolt devices are available yet.) But sources told Macworld that the new Extreme does sport some new hardware under the hood, which one could reasonably assume is meant to boost performance. Apple hasn’t made any new claims regarding the updated Extreme’s performance, though.
Macworld will soon get its collective hands on the new Extreme so that we can test its performance in our lab, to see just what improves with the internal updates.