As if this morning's monumental WWDC keynote was not enough, Apple seems to have a few more silent product updates in the pipeline. A quick look at the now updated Apple website, reveals a redesigned Airport Express.

The new design takes after the 2nd generation Apple TV, except for the color, which is in line with the traditional Airport enclosures. The dimensions of the tiny box are exactly the same as the current Apple TV.

The most notable additions to the new Airport Express is support for simultaneous dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, just like the Airport Extreme. Other usual features include the ability to perform the initial setup via iOS devices and support for AirPlay and Wireless Printing. 

On the front, we have a tinier than usual status light, which should blink in the traditional amber and green colors. The ports at the back are a standard affair; power, one WAN port, one LAN port (still not Gigabit), a USB port, a 3.5-mm audio mini-jack for analog or optical digital sound and the reset button.

One of the major gripes I had with the older Airport Express was that it needed to be plugged directly into a power outlet, which made access to the ports rather awkward. Also, the design was prone to falling off the power outlet, unless plugged into a power strip, flat on the floor. I'm glad the new design finally resolves these issues by using a good old power cable.

The new model retains its $99 price tag and is shipping today.

Apple Airport Express: Product Page - Store

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  • repoman27 - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    The old AirPort Express had a modular power connector though, so you could just replace it with the cord from an Apple laptop power adapter. That's what I did with mine and it is much more convenient than plugging it directly into the wall.
  • wolrah - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Or use any ordinary C7 power cord. The nice-fitting Apple cord my laptop came with stays at my desk and a generic C7 cord lives in my backpack for use on the road.

    It's also nice if you screw up and forget that part of the cord, it can be borrowed from many electronic devices.
  • repoman27 - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Good point. I happen to have a lot of perfectly good cords from failed power adapters due to Apple's complete disdain for proper strain relief.
  • mabaty - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    I wonder how it will compare to the Airport Extreme.
  • Brian Klug - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Airport Extreme has GigE ethernet, this has 10/100.

    I also suspect that the Airport Express, while having simultaneous dual band, is probably only 1x1:1 or maybe 2x2:2, 3x3:3 is unlikely (Airport Extreme territory).

  • Dug - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    If you could find this out it would be much appreciated.
    I was going to order one until you mentioned this.

    I don't really need the gigabit ethernet as I already have a switch handling this, but if the extreme is faster with 3x3 then it would be worth the extra money.
  • Nik4 - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    Looks like it is 2x2:2

  • michael2k - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Replace the HDMI with USB+audio!
  • Daniel Egger - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    Combining 11n dual band with 100 Base-T is freaking non-sense. Now if it had 1000 Base-T (Uplink at least) and PoE I'd be immediately down to replace my current WLAN router but so...
  • Paul Tarnowski - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    While most folks here would never bother building an 11n dual band network without gigabit LAN, the Express isn't meant to work for guys like us. It's a simple router that hooks up to the modem (DSL or CABLE) to provide a good, solid wireless connection for all the iDevices in a house. In that sense, it doesn't matter what the physical ports are, as this router's LAN is generally not meant to hook up to anything more than an AppleTV or smart TV.

    For what you want, you'll have to shop around and spend quite a bit more.

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