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Despite all the crazy rumors about the new AirPort Extreme Base Station and Time Capsule having some kind of built-in Software Update caching or iCloud integration, this week’s hardware refresh was quiet and uneventful -- that is, unless you like your AirPort with stronger Wi-Fi.
AppleInsider is reporting that this week’s seemingly uneventful AirPort Extreme Base Station refresh actually holds one mostly hidden feature, in the form of 2.8 times the Wi-Fi output over the previous model -- a fact completely missing from Apple’s product information.
“When broadcasting 802.11n Wi-Fi in 40Mhz wide mode, the new AirPort Extreme has a maximum output power of 392.64mW, which is more than 2.8 times greater than the 139.32mW maximum output of the previous model,” AppleInsider reports. “The details come from technical documents filed this week with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.”
It was the FCC who outed the new model only hours before it popped up on Apple’s website Tuesday morning with the new model number A1408 -- but it wasn’t quite the thrilling refresh that the rumor mill would have us believe. The companion Time Capsule hardware did receive a 1TB storage bump, now offered in both 2TB and 3TB models, with the biggest version sold for a whopping $499.
AppleInsider consulted with the tech gurus at iFixIt, who claim the power boost will “definitely increase signal strength and range” after comparing the two FCC certifications. “Theoretically, and in a vacuum, a power increase of 2.8 would provide the same signal strength at 1.6 times the distance,” AppleInsider reveals. “But real-world usage will vary, and any performance boost could be minimal, perhaps explaining why Apple chose not to advertise the modifications.”
In other words: Probably no need to rush out and buy this new model, unless you happen to be in the market for a new wireless solution to begin with. Then again, there have been whispers that the rumored Software Update caching and/or iCloud integration might suddenly appear in the new model via a firmware update this fall… but we’d take that with a grain of salt.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of AppleInsider)