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Apple quietly updates USB SuperDrive, Airport Express

updated 06:08 pm EDT, Mon June 11, 2012

Latter now features dual-band 802.11n, new form

Amidst the slew of new products and apps announced today, also has also made unannounced changes to existing products. The MacBook Air and Mac mini (and now MacBook Pro) accessory USB SuperDrive has gained the addition of being able to natively burn DVDA (DVD-Audio) discs, a first for a Mac SuperDrive. The new Airport Express has been redesigned in its external appearance, along with the addition of a new dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n radio.

The USB SuperDrive is otherwise unchanged in specs apart from its ability to create DVDA discs, which Apple curiously does not call attention to on the product page. The new drive can be used with the Mac mini and MacBook Air, but for the MacBook Pro the company says it will only work with the new MacBook Pro with Retina display. The previous model is also still available from the online store at the same price ($80).

The Airport Express has dropped its familiar power-brick shape with a direct plug-in, and in its redesign has gone for an Apple TV-like (but white) shape (comparative measurements are not yet available). In addition to dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) capability, the unit has acquired a second Ethernet port, and now supports up to 50 users (from the previous limit of 10). The new Airport Express can be setup and administered from a Mac running Airport Utility 5.6.1 (compatible with OS X 10.5.7) or later, an iOS device running iOS 5 or later with the Airport Utility app, or a Windows machine running Windows 7 and Airport Utility 5.6.1.

For printer sharing, the host Mac must be running OS X 10.2.7 or later. Printer sharing from Windows requires a host PC running at least Windows XP (SP3) or later. The unit sells for the same price as before ($99) but the previous model has now been discontinued and is no longer available for ordering from the online store.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That's a brain teaser

    "The new drive can be used with the Mac mini and MacBook Air, but for the MacBook Pro the company says it will only work with the new MacBook Pro with Retina display."

    Well, why might that be... maybe all the other MBPs already have an optical drive built in? :)

    PS: Not a fan of the new APEX. I found the old "brick" style to be quite handy. The new second Ethernet port is a welcome addition though.

  1. facebook_Ντάνιελ

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2012


    DVDA, eh?

    So if I have songs by the band DVDA (which I assure you does NOT stand for DVD-Audio), can I burn them in this new format? ;)

  1. TheMacOracle

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Express has more capacity

    Another change to the Airport Express that was not mentioned in the article is that it now supports up to 50 users.

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wow ...

    I can't believe so many people including MacNN missed it but the new Airport Express also includes a second Ethernet port now. The old one only had one which you could ether plug a modem into, or wifi bridge a desktop with it. Now you can plug a modem into it, and a desktop. A nice addition I wish came out sooner.

  1. scott brown

    Joined: Dec 1969


    dvd-audio isn't new

    Superdrives have always been able to burn dvd-audio discs. dvd-audio isn't a hardware format, so it doesn't require any special discs. any blank dvd-r or dvd+r disc can be used to burn a dvd-audio disc. dvd-audio is just the layout of the files on the disc, so you just need the right software

    I've been burning dvd-audio discs on my mac superdrives for almost a decade now

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: That's a brain teaser

    But what if your drive fails? Will the external work in a pinch? And there's a lot of people who'd like to swap out the internal for another hard drive (of course, apple doesn't care about that, they just want to make things thinner, not more usable).

  1. apple4ever

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Really Apple? Only 100Mbps ports on the new Airport Express? N can do 300Mbps, so that's just dumb.

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