802.11ac Stories August 31, 2015

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New Apple TV will look similar, but thicker (image via Michael Steeber)

Although iOS devices and the App Store have transformed the handheld gaming market, the first three Apple TV generations did not attempt to challenge Microsoft’s XboxNintendo’s Wii, or Sony’s PlayStation game consoles for complete control of living room TVs. According to sources with knowledge of the product, the fourth-generation Apple TV will actively compete for TV gamers with updated hardware, software, and peripherals that will debut at Apple’s September 9 event in San Francisco.

One of the next Apple TV’s tentpole features will be near-universal Siri control, a feature hinted at in Apple’s invitation to the event. But the other will be deep support for gaming, representing Apple’s largest-ever effort to lure players from traditional consoles. In addition to the convenience of downloading games directly from the Apple TV’s built-in App Store, and controlling many of them via a new bundled remote control, Apple will also support more complex, console-style Bluetooth game controllers with the pressure-sensitive buttons and joysticks previously introduced for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches…

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802.11ac Stories December 31, 2014

9to5Toys Lunch Break: Belkin 30% off sitewide, ZAGG iPad mini keyboard case $26, D-Link AC router $35, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the brand new 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Belkin 30% off sitewide: iPad Air 2 keyboard case $91, Thunderbolt 2 dock $210, WeMo Light switch $35, more

ZAGG Bluetooth keyboard case for iPad mini w/ backlit keys $26 shipped (orig. $100)

D-Link Wireless AC 1200 App-Enabled Dual-Band Broadband Router $35 shipped (orig. $140)

PSA: this is your last chance to get in on the official Xbox One price drop

More new deals:

More deals still alive:

New products/ongoing promos/info:

802.11ac Stories September 25, 2014

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Following rumors of a possible Mac mini refresh earlier this year and references on Apple’s own website, a new report says Apple could introduce an update to the product as early as next month. MacRumors cites a source that has provided accurate tips in the past claiming the new Mac mini could launch alongside new iPads and OS X Yosemite expected at an event in October. expand full story

802.11ac Stories January 22, 2014

Mac mini could finally see refresh next month according to retailer

Last year came and went without as much as a mention from Apple about the fate of its Mac mini line of desktop computers. The Mac mini lineup currently on sale through Apple, Amazon, and other retailers last saw its hardware updated in late 2012 at the original iPad mini event.

So it’s not too unreasonable to believe that a placeholder entry found online at computerstore.be, a Belgium retailer, found in MacRumors forums could be a genuine preview of what to expect in the updated hardware. The specs reference everything we would expect for a hardware updated Mac mini: Intel Iris graphics, 802.11ac wireless networking, Gigabit LAN, and more. 

802.11ac Stories September 3, 2013

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MacRumors is citing low stocks of Airport Express base stations as suggesting that a faster 802.11ac model is expected soon to match the capabilities of the latest Macs. This would offer wifi speeds almost three times faster than current 802.11n models, a capability that has already been incorporated into the current Airport Extreme and Time Capsule models.

We’re also hearing similar whispers about constrained supplies of iMacs, alongside price-cuts by resellers …  expand full story

802.11ac Stories July 22, 2013

9to5Toys Last Call: $80 D-Link Wireless AC Dual-Band router, $29 Jawbone ERA headset, iPad cases from $4, more

From 9to5Toys.com:

A large majority of the deals we cover each day come from a variety of ‘Daily Deal’ websites or are so popular that they don’t even last 24 hours. We know you can’t be at your computer every second, so we’re going to round up the best deals each day to make sure you have a fair shot at the deals you want. Be sure to follow 9to5Toys.com so you never miss a deal... Twitter, RSS Feed, Facebook, Google+.

Also check out the latest 9to5Mac Happy Hour to hear the latest 9to5Toys segment. During the show, there’s a mention of $50 video conversion software currently available for free and the VPN service proXPN.com available at a 20% discount.

Today’s Featured deals:

SOLD OUT D-Link Wireless AC 1200 Mbps Dual-Band Gigabit Router $80 Shipped (Reg. $120)

SOLD OUT Jawbone ERA Bluetooth Headset with HD Audio (recertified): $29 shipped

$10 rooCASE iPad 4 Leather Folio Cases & $4 CaseCrown Ace Flip iPad mini case

Other great deals we love:

802.11ac Stories June 24, 2013

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In its extensive review of the new 2013 MacBook Air, AnandTech notes an issue with the machine’s new 802.11ac WiFi capabilities that it says is limiting the faster Wi-Fi chip’s potential. While it was able to get an average of 533Mbps using the iPerf networking tool, Anand found real world file transfers would only get 21.2MB/s or 169.6Mbps:

I disabled all other wireless in my office. Still, no difference. I switched ethernet cables, I tried different Macs, I tried copying from a PC, I even tried copying smaller files – none of these changes did anything. At most, I only saw 21.2MB/s over 802.11ac. I double checked my iPerf data. 533Mbps. Something weird was going on. I plugged in Apple’s Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet adaptor and saw 906Mbps, clearly the source and the MacBook Air were both capable of high speed transfers. What I tried next gave me some insight into what was going on. I setup web and FTP servers on the MacBook Air and transferred files that way. I didn’t get 533Mbps, but I broke 300Mbps. For some reason, copying over AFP or SMB shares was limited to much lower performance. This was a protocol issue.

According to the review, the problem is likely with the OS X networking stack that is for some reason artificially limiting the capabilities of 802.11ac: expand full story

802.11ac Stories June 20, 2013

New MacBook Airs experiencing WiFi connectivity issues?

Apple’s refreshed MacBook Airs introduced earlier this month at WWDC certainly bring some major improvements over previous generations thanks to Intel’s 4th gen Haswell processors, 802.11ac WiFi, and other internal upgrades. However, while reviews have been quite positive and focusing on the up to 12 hour battery life, it appears some users are experiencing teething issues with the new machines, which isn’t exactly something new for the first release of a refreshed Apple product.

A thread on Apple’s support forums (via Gizmodo) includes a growing number of customers complaining of WiFi connectivity issues with the new MacBook Airs that were just released last week. It’s worth pointing out that users have complained of similar issues with other MacBooks, and with WiFi there are always lots of variables, like the network and the user’s router, that could be causing problems.

The first release of a new or revamped product can often run into some issues early on that Apple attempts to work out in future firmware updates or hardware tweaks. We saw it with the Retina MacBook Pros, and it’s likely Apple will release updates to address some of the issues that users are experiencing with the new MacBook Airs.

802.11ac Stories May 21, 2013

There have been plenty of hints over the past months that indicate that Apple’s incoming next round of MacBook Air/Pros would contain 802.11AC Gigabit wifi chips, not the least of which was code we found referencing ‘802.11AC‘ in 10.8.4 Betas.

TonyMacx86, found some interesting parts on Chinese VR-Zone today that could be the next 802.11AC boards in Macs, widely expected to be announced at WWDC next month. The Broadcom BCM94360CD PCI-E mini custom combo WLAN+Bluetooth card supports IEEE 802.11ac, the next standard in wireless computer networking. Interestingly, it also looks like it may fit in current iMacs/MacBooks which could mean aftermarket updates could be possible.

This compares to the current iMac cards via iFixit below: expand full story

802.11ac Stories May 14, 2013

Gear up for new Macs, D-Link releases four next generation ultra-fast 11AC WiFi routers

From 9to5Toys.com:

Last month we were tipped to some clues in the latest OS X 10.8.4 beta which indicated that Apple is ramping up to release new Macs and accessories sporting the next generation wireless technology, 802.11ac. It’s entirely possible that we could see these Macs introduced as early as next month at Apple’s WWDC. If you’re planning to upgrade your Mac, you’re going to need an AC compatible router to take advantage of this new wireless technology. Below are four new options for you to consider when making the switch.

D-Link announced the immediate availability of four new 11AC wireless routers, starting at just $80.  The next generation wireless technology, 11AC delivers more coverage and up to 3 times the speed of the current wireless standard “N.” The proliferation of mobile devices and streaming content has necessitated the move towards AC wireless as a faster, more reliable wireless connection for home and businesses users.

The new D-Link wireless router lineup consists of the AC750 (DIR-810L), AC1000 (DIR-820L), AC1200 (DIR-860L) and AC1750 (DIR-868L), ranging from $80 up to $170. These cloud routers offer remote network management via the free D-Link Lite iOS app, which “enables users to see what websites are being visited, block unwanted connections, and set up automatic email alerts when unauthorized connections are made.”  The top of the line AC1750 and AC1200 feature four ultra fast Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Even though most devices we have aren’t AC compatible yet, if you’re currently in the market for a new router it may make sense to go AC in an effort to future proof your network.

All four of these routers are now available for order from D-Link or major retailers like Amazon.

802.11ac Stories January 5, 2012

Broadcom Corporation is a global innovator for wired and wireless communications, and today the company announced its first family of 802.11ac chips designed for a broad range of product segments.

The chips, also called “5G Wi-Fi” by Broadcom, do not correlate with 3G and 4G cellphone networks. The BCM4360, BCM4352, BCM43526 and BCM43516 chips improve Wi-Fi’s range and are significantly more efficient. Perhaps, the most tantalizing aspect is that the 5GHz-based technology has speeds beyond 1Gbps and is currently in the high-end range of consumer Ethernet.

Apple currently uses Broadcom Wi-Fi Chips in its Mac line and in its iOS devices, including iPad and iPods.  The latest MacBook Airs have the Broadcom BCM4322 Intensi-fi® Single-Chip 802.11n Wi-Fi Transceiver.  Maybe we will see something a little faster later this year…

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