Apple has revamped its AirPort Express with a new case design and new features that mimic what can be found on its larger cousins, the AirPort Extreme Base Station and Time Capsule. The device is still $99.
The new AirPort Express looks radically different from the previous generation, which seemed to sport a case design stolen from one of Apple’s laptop AC adapters. Now it looks like a proper Apple networking peripheral: the squared device with rounded corners looks like a wee AirPort Extreme Base Station, with a proper backplane that includes WAN and LAN Ethernet connections, a USB port to connect a printer, power jack and audio output port – so it can still serve as a simple wireless audio connection to use to stream audio from your Mac or iOS device to a nearby stereo.
But under the hood is where the biggest enhancement lays – the AirPort Express now sports dual-band 802.11n wireless networking, which means that 5 GHz devices can connect at higher speeds.