AirPort Prices Drop Before Airport Express Release -- Apple has taken advantage of the gap between announcing and shipping its new $130 AirPort Express Base Station (due later this month; see "AirPort Express Brings Audio, Portability to Wireless Networking" in TidBITS-732) to drop the price of AirPort Extreme gear. The AirPort Extreme Card now costs $80, down from $100; the AirPort Extreme Base Station with modem and antenna jack has dropped to $200, down from $250. The business/education AirPort Extreme Base Station with a fire-safety rating and Power over Ethernet support remains at its $250 list price, but education customers pay $200 to $225 depending on quantity. The previous $200 base station that lacked a modem or antenna jack was removed from the product line informally a few weeks ago, and Apple has now made that formal. This price drop brings Apple's equipment closer to the cost of Wi-Fi gear from other manufacturers, and although you're still paying a premium for Apple's hardware, in return, you get specific features that other devices lack or are harder to configure. [GF]
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