Apple Air

Out is the cone shape and the modem support. In is a new design, new features including greater range and a wireless connectivity protocol that promises to be 2.5 times faster than the previous Base Station.
Publish date:

Being Apple, everything is kept to a minimum – there is just one light on the front, so no Star Trek extravagent light displays. On the back, however, is the inclusion of three LAN ports and more importantly the inclusion of a USB socket.

The USB socket means two things –­ one, that you can connect a printer to it so you can then print from any computer on the network, and two –­ so you can plug in a hard drive, be it a USB memory key or a hard disk drive and then access it from anywhere on the network.

Where the Apple Airport Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi Wireless Base Station succeeds is its simplicity, not only in design, but set up. Coming with a new Airport Utilities tool, the software takes on the iTunes interface with your Base Stations listed graphically down one side and the information down the other.

Furthermore, for those not so knowledgeable about networks, there are a series of wizards that allow you to set up the Base Station even if you don't know what you’re doing.

Of course if you do want to get into the nitty gritty you can and there is everything here for the networking fan, although the device still doesn’t support UPnP for connecting your Slingbox or wireless cameras with ease.

But the new USB socket and design aren't the only reason you'll want to invest. Apple has used this latest update to introduce 802.11n, a new wireless protocol which has complicatedly yet to be approved by the body that looks after all things wireless.

If you're a big networking fan then this isn't for you. However, if you're a Mac owner looking for a simple, but highly effective wireless offering for your office or home then this is ideal. And that USB drive element makes all the difference if you need to share files around your house.



Adobe Air

Should the channel get excited about Adobe's new cloud computing project? Ian Osborne takes a look at the technology and what early adopters are using it for?


Logitech MX Air Mouse

Looking like a futuristic spaceship, the gloss black mouse with a silver underbelly will sit stylishly on your desk like any ordinary input device.


Apple MacBook (Late 2008)

Carrying the same styling as the design of its bigger brother, the casing now has those curved edges top and bottom giving it a thinner appearance. Like the Pro it is only 2.41cm thick.


The Apple Effect

With a legion of fans, an ever-expanding array of innovative products and an evangelical CEO, Apple has it all. The question is, what's the appeal for consumers and how long will it last? Rob Power investigates...