Sabtu, 29 Maret 2008

Apple is keeping up with the wireless times. On Monday, the company updated its AirPort Express mobile base station with 802.11n, the latest standard approved by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

The new model delivers up to five times the performance and twice the range of the previous model, according to the company. Priced at $99, the AirPort Express can be plugged directly into the wall for wireless Internet connectivity and USB printing at home, or it can be taken on the road and used wherever there is an Internet connection. The AirPort Express features AirTunes, which works with iTunes to let users wirelessly stream iTunes music from a PC or Mac to any room in the house.

No big surprises with this Apple product release, according to Michael Gartenberg, a wireless analyst at JupiterResearch. "Apple has migrated almost all of its wireless efforts over to 802.11n. It makes sense that the AirPort Express would to go there [too], as the ultra-mobile wireless device with the ability to stream music and content using AirTunes," he said. "It made sense for Apple to get that device over to the n specification to match up with the rest of the product line."


The AirPort Express features a single-piece design with portability in mind. The unit weighs 6.7 ounces. PC and Mac users alike can use AirPort Express to share a single DSL or cable broadband connection with up to 10 simultaneous users.

Users can also wirelessly share a printer that is connected to the USB port. The products advanced security features are designed to safeguard data on networked computers with support for Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2), 128-bit WEP encryption and a built-in firewall.

Apple now includes 802.11n as standard in its entire line of AirPort base stations and Mac notebooks, as well as its iMac, Apple TV and Time Capsule products.


The AirPort Express includes a built-in combination digital and analog audio connector that lets users connect to a home stereo or powered speakers. iTunes automatically detects remote speakers and displays them in a simple pop-up list for the user to select.

Heres how it works: Once the remote speakers are selected, AirTunes wirelessly streams iTunes music from the computer to the AirPort Express base station. Multiple AirPort Express base stations can be set up around a home, each connected to a set of powered speakers for a whole-home music experience. The AirPort Express can also extend the range of an existing AirPort Extreme wireless network.

"The big difference with the n standard is more speed, less interference and, of course, the fact that it maps with the rest of Apples line," Gartenberg said. "Apple is really the only company that has taken responsibility for the whole wireless ecosystem, everything from the stuff thats built into the computers to the routers to ancillary devices like Apple TV. Apple wants to make the experience as smooth and compatible as possible."


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