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First Take: Fifth-generation Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station

CNET editors offer a first glance at Apple's newest fifth-generation AirPort Extreme Base Station router, released today for $179.


Apple updated its AirPort Extreme Base Station today after weeks of rumors speculating about a batch of new wireless devices. With the release of today's Time Capsule update, we now know that little has changed from the previous dual-band design.

The new AirPort Extreme maintains the slim design of its predecessor with the same square shape, status lights on the front, and three Gigabit Ethernet Ports on the back. You also get a USB port to add a wireless printer, additional storage, or for use with Apple's Time Machine backup utility.

The price also stays the same at $179, but competing routers in the same price range, including the Linksys E4200 and the Asus RT-N56U, support the new three-stream 450Mbps wireless standard on at least one Wi-Fi bandwidth. We're curious to see whether Apple has also made that upgrade.

A full CNET review of Apple's new router is on its way, so check back soon, but if you can't wait, the Editors' Choice-winning Asus RT-N56U Dual-Band Gigabit Wireless-N Router is available now and costs $130.