CNET First Look
Apple Time Capsule 2TB (summer 2011)The new 2TB Time Capsule brings improved price competitiveness and faster networking performance to Apple's Wi-Fi router/NAS drive combo device, which will satisfy consumers in need of a multipurpose networking device.
Hi! I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for cnet.com. Today, we're gonna take a look at Apple's new two terabyte Time Capsule. The Time Capsule if you're unfamiliar is both a wireless router and a network-attached storage device. It comes in a simple little box. In the front here, there's a little indicator light that tells you when it's powered on and on the back you can see just the basic set of ports. You have a power input. You've got the network input there and a couple of other network outputs. There's a lock right here and here you have a USB port. So, network inputs look like any standard router. The USB port is also pretty straightforward that can take a printer or an extra external hard drive. You can access both those device over the network when it's connected or you can connect a USB hub and connect both those devices at the same time. So, with this update, Apple moved the two new hard drives. There's a two terabyte drive in this $299 model and there's a $499 model that comes with a three terabyte drive. This seems like a pretty big mark upon the higher ends, so we recommend the two terabyte model for its overall value. So, with that update, Apple's actually improved the time capsule value equation. For $299, the Time Capsule gives you a two terabyte drive and a wireless routing. That's roughly the same price as you pay for a similar 802.11n wireless router and a separate external NAS drive. For performance, we've found that Apple has made its new Time Capsule a little bit faster than the older model too. On a wireless speed test, it performed either at the top or near the top on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless bands. We also found that for its hard drive performance, it's pretty good but not quite as good as the dedicated NAS drive. If you have a router and an external hard drive attached compared to that, this is one of the fastest devices around next to a dedicated NAS drive. Although its write speed is actually pretty fast, its data read speed is slower. So, what that means to us now is that the Time Capsule is pretty much meant for Wi-Fi routing and is a great back-up device. It may not be the best device to share large data files between multiple systems on a network, but overall we find this a pretty good deal especially for our consumer level Wi-Fi router and network-attached storage device. So, I'm Rich Brown and this Apple's new 2-terabyte Time Capsule.