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AirPort Extreme Teardown Features Hard Drive Slot but no Connectors

by Jacob Kleinman | June 12, 2013June 12, 2013 1:00 pm PDT

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Alongside the introduction of iOS 7 and OS X 10.9: Mavericks, as well as the new MacBook Airs and the redesigned Mac Pro, WWDC 2013 saw the unveiling of a refreshed AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule. Now the teardown pros at iFixit have gotten their hands on the new WiFi base station and they’ve found something interesting in Apple’s latest design for the AirPort Extreme.

The two new pieces of hardware feature the same exterior: a tall white rectangle intended to increase the antennas’ (of which there are now six up from three) range. Inside the Extreme, iFixit found extra space for a hard drive. Unfortunately, without built-in connectors, users won’t be able to transform the Extreme into a Time Capsule on their own.

“We free the top cover, only to find…3.5″ of empty space. While the AirPort Extreme doesn’t come equipped with storage, we dug up a standard 3.5″ SATA hard drive, just to test it out. Perfecto!…Except we can’t find any connectors where we’d plug in the hard drive, only empty spaces on the logic board—so chances of DIY AirPort Extreme to Time Capsule upgrades are slim.”

The AirPort also houses the expected array of computer chips and cables. iFixit gave the device an eight out of 10 for repairability, noting the lack of glue, modular components and Torx screws as positives, but criticizing the difficult fan access, break prone connectors and general difficulty opening up the device. The AirPort extreme costs $199, while the Time Capsule, which features wireless backup storage, costs $299 at 2 TB and $100 more for 3 TB.

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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