If youre parked in a hotel room with a wired broadband connection, a new Wi-Fi solution can come to the wireless rescue. The Apple AirPort Express, a new $129 802.11g mobile Wi-Fi base station, offers what may be the most efficient design yet for roaming wirelessly.
The AirPort Express, for the Mac and the PC, weighs 6.7 ounces. It plugs directly into the wall, eliminating the need to tote a power brick, which other mobile Wi-Fi routers require. Although Apple initially positioned the AirPort Express as "the worlds first 802.11g mobile base station," DLink and APC have offered similar small routers. But Apples base station is an all-in-one design.
The companys nonmobile version of the AirPort is noted for easy setup of a wireless network; the new mobile version comes with the same software. "This is the first time with AirPort that weve offered PC setup software thats exactly the same as the Mac setup software," says Apple VP Greg Jozwiak.
The AirPort Express also has a built-in digital and analog audio connector, and AirTunes networking, so you can plug the base station into a home stereo or analog speakers to create a wireless music network. Once you connect the AirPort Express, you can wirelessly stream iTunes music from a computer to the base station and to other base stations in other rooms.