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.