AirPort Extreme (Generation 3, Apple Service part, Early 2009)

According to Apple, this AirPort Extreme (Generation 3) provided “simultaneous dual-band wireless 802.11n networking. When you set up your AirPort Extreme Base Station, it creates two high-speed Wi-Fi networks.”

The AirPort Extreme Generation 3 had 5 ports:

  • 1 10/100/1000Base-T Gigabit Ethernet Wide Area Network (WAN) port (for DSL/cable modem)
  • 3 10/100/1000Base-T Gigabit Ethernet Local Area Network (LAN) (for Ethernet devices, such as printers or computers)
  • 1 USB port (for a USB printer, hard disk, or hub)

This device is packaged as an Apple Service part and does not include the retail packaging. The box, labeled Part Number 661-4908, contains the three parts needed to repair or replace the device including a power adapter, a power plug (North America), and a base station.

This AirPort Extreme model was available for less than 8 months before it was replaced by the Generation 4 model. It measured 6.5 x 6.5 inches square and was 1.3 inches tall. It weighed 1.66 pounds.

Sources: Apple (manuals), Wikipedia

iPad Air (original, WiFi+Cellular, 2013)

When the iPad Air was released, Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, commented:

“…the new iPad Air is another big leap ahead. It is so thin, light and powerful, once you hold one in your hand you will understand what a tremendous advancement this is. iPad Air with its 9.7-inch Retina display weighs just one pound and packs the incredible performance of iOS 7 running on a 64-bit desktop-class Apple A7 chip, and delivers all-day battery life in the lightest full-sized tablet in the world.”

Apple described the iPad Air as 20% thinner and 28% lighter than the iPad Generation 4 (the base iPad at the time).

The iPad Air had many available configurations with 2 colors (Space Gray and Silver), 2 wireless connectivity options (Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi+Cellular), and 4 storage capacities (16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB). This model is Space Gray, has Wi-Fi+Cellular, and 16GB of storage.

The iPad Air is 9.4 inches (240 mm) wide x 6.6 inches (169.5 mm) tall, and 0.29 inch (7.5 mm) thick. It weighed 1.05 pounds (478 g). Its Retina Display was 9.7 inches with 2048 x 1536 resolution (at 264ppi).

Wireless technologies included Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, and this model allowed cellular service including LTE.

The front camera was a 1.2 Megapixel FaceTime HD Camera that could record 720p HD video. The back camera was a 5 Megapixel iSight Camera with features including autofocus, face detection, tap to focus, tap to control exposure, geotagging, and HDR.

Sources: Apple, (Newsroom, Tech Specs), EveryMac

iPad (Generation 5, 2017)

The iPad Generation 5 was released on March 21, 2017, and was described as having a “stunning Retina display and incredible performance.” It was offered in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray. It was available in 32GB and 128GB configurations with WI-Fi-only or with Wi-Fi+Cellular capabilities. This example is a 32GB Space Gray Wi-Fi-only model.

In a press release, Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said:

“iPad is the world’s most popular tablet. Customers love the large, 9.7-inch display for everything from watching TV and movies, to surfing the web, making FaceTime calls, and enjoying photos… New customers and anyone looking to upgrade will love this new iPad for use at home, in school, and for work, with its gorgeous Retina display, our powerful A9 chip, and access to the more than 1.3 million apps designed specifically for it.”

It used a 9.7-inch LED-backlit Multi-Touch Retina display at 2048 x 1536-pixel resolution (264 ppi). This iPad measured 9.4 inches (240 mm) x 6.6 inches (169.5 mm), and was 0.29 inch (7.5 mm) thick. It weighed 1.03 pounds (469 g). This iPad was powered by the A9 Fusion chip.

The back camera was 8 Megapixels with features such as Autofocus, Panorama (up to 43 megapixels), and HDR. The front FaceTime HD Camera was 1.2 Megapixels.

It used five sensors including Touch ID, a 3-axis gyro, accelerometer, barometer, and an ambient light sensor. Its Home button used the Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor.

The iPad Generation 5 originally shipped with iOS 11.

Source: Apple (Tech Specs, Newsroom)

iPad (Generation 6, 2018)

The iPad Generation 6 was considered Apple’s “base” iPad when it was released on March 27, 2018. It was offered in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray. It was available in 32GB and 128GB configurations with Wi-Fi-only or with Wi-Fi+Cellular capabilities. This example is a 32GB Space Gray Wi-Fi-only model.

This iPad was announced in Chicago at an education-focused event at Lane Tech High School. An Apple Press Release stated:

“The new 9.7-inch iPad and Apple Pencil give users the ability to be even more creative and productive, from sketching ideas and jotting down handwritten notes to marking up screenshots. The new iPad is more versatile and capable than ever, features a large Retina display, the A10 Fusion chip and advanced sensors that help deliver immersive augmented reality, and provides unmatched portability, ease of use and all-day battery life.”

The iPad generation 6 used a 9.7-inch LED-backlit Multi-Touch Retina display at 2048 x 1536-pixel resolution (264 ppi). This iPad measured 9.4 inches (240 mm) x 6.6 inches (169.5 mm), and was 0.29 inch (7.5 mm) thick. It weighed 1.03 pounds (469 g). This iPad was powered by the A10 Fusion chip.

The back camera was 8 Megapixels with features such as Autofocus, Panorama (up to 43 megapixels), and HDR. The front FaceTime HD Camera was 1.2 Megapixels.

This iPad used five sensors including a 3-axis gyro, accelerometer, barometer, and an ambient light sensor. Its Home button included the Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor.

This was the first base-model iPad to support the Apple Pencil and the Logitech Crayon, and it originally shipped with iOS 12.

Source: Apple (Tech Specs, Newsroom)

AirPort Time Capsule 802.11n (Generation 3, 2TB, 2009)

The AirPort Time Capsule was a device that combined Apple’s Wi-Fi base station with a built-in hard drive that allowed network-attached storage (NAS). This example (A1355) is the third of five generations of this product released between 2008 and 2013. Apple described this product as a “Backup Appliance” that was designed to work with its Time Machine software that was released with Mac OS X 10.5.

Using the Time Machine software, Time Capsule creates backups of the operating system and files wirelessly and automatically, thus eliminating the need for an external hard drive. Time Machine made hourly backups of the files that were changed and managed older backup images to save space. The initial backup of a computer using Time Machine could take several hours (or overnight) on an 802.11n wireless network, but subsequent hourly backups occurred instantly and far more quickly (depending on file sizes).

This Generation 3 model used the same design as Generations 1–4: 7.7 inches square and 1.4 inches tall. The Generation 3 included the following interfaces:

  • One Gigabit Ethernet WAN port for connecting a DSL or cable modem
  • Three Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports for connecting computers or network devices
  • USB port for connecting a USB printer or USB external hard drive
  • 802.11n wireless

Time Capsule used a Hitachi Deskstar hard drive, the same hard drive sold with Apple’s Xserve server products. The Hitachi Deskstar met or exceeded 1 million hours mean time between failures (MTBF) status, common for server-grade hard drives.

Sources: Apple, Wikipedia

iPhone (original, 8 GB, 2007)

The original iPhone was officially announced on January 9, 2007, and was released on June 29, 2007. The original iPhone was available in 4, and 8 GB capacities, with a 16 GB capacity released on February 5, 2008.

The original iPhone introduced the “multi-touch” display that allowed control by dragging one or more fingers across the glass display, although no interface controls required multiple fingers in the iPhone OS 1.0. This iPhone has sensors including an accelerometer (to detect landscape or portrait orientation), an ambient light sensor (to control screen brightness), and a proximity sensor (to turn off the display when held to the ear).

Other features included Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), EDGE, Bluetooth 2.0, and a 2.0 megapixel camera. The case is 2.4 inches by 4.5 inches, is 0.46-inch thick, and weighs 4.8 ounces.

This example is in somewhat rough shape cosmetically, but still functions perfectly. It includes the charging base station that shipped with the original iPhone.

Sources: EveryMac

AirPort Extreme 802.11ac (Generation 6, 2013)

The AirPort Extreme was a wireless base station that combined the functions of a router, network switch, wireless access point, Network-Attached Storage (NAS), and other features. Apple released a total of seven AirPort Extreme Base Station models. This Generation 6 was the final model.

The original version of the AirPort Extreme Base Station used the “flying saucer” form factor. Generations 1–5 used a flat square form factor with rounded corners. The final Generation 6 model kept the concept of a square with rounded corners, but the base station used a tower design, measuring 3.85 inches x 3.85 inches and 6.6 inches tall.

The Generation 6 AirPort Extreme 802.11ac was announced on June 10, 2013. It offered three-stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi at 1.3Gbit/s (three times faster than 802.11n). Time Machine was supported in this model using an attached external USB hard drive.

The packaging listed the following features:

  • Simultaneous dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi with up to three times faster performance than 802.11n
  • Compatible with 802,11a/b/g/n/ac-enabled computers, networks, and Wi-Fi devices such as iPhone, iPad, Pod touch, and Apple TV
  • USB port to share a printer or hard drive and access it wirelessly
  • One Gigabit Ethernet WAN port to connect to a DSL or cable modem or Ethernet network; three Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2) security and built-in firewall protection
  • Ability to set up a separate guest network to share your Wi-Fi connection

Sources: Wikipedia, Apple

iPad Air (original, Wi-Fi, 32 GB, space gray, 2013)

The original iPad Air used a 9.7-inch Retina display. According to Apple’s press release at the time, the iPad Air was “20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than the fourth generation iPad, and with a narrower bezel the borders of iPad Air are dramatically thinner.”

The original iPad Air’s display was 2048×1536 (at 264 ppi). Internally, it used a dual-core 1.4 GHz A7 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and was available with 16, 32, 64, or 128 GB of internal storage. Wireless connectivity included 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

Its rear 5-megapixel iSight camera recorded video at 1080p, and its front 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera recorded video at 720p.

The original iPad Air was available in silver (silver back with white front) and space gray (dark gray back with black front). This is a 16GB space gray example that includes the original box.

Sources: Everymac, Apple

iPad Pro 11-inch (Generation 3, Wi-Fi, 128GB, 2021)

The Generation 3, 11-inch iPad Pro appears the same externally as its two predecessors, but uses Apple’s significantly faster M1 chip and adds an enhanced front camera. This iPad Pro featured an Apple M1 chip with an 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores along with a 16-core Neural Engine. The iPad Pro website boasts that this model is “Supercharged by the Apple M1 chip” with “Mind-blowing performance.”

Apple adds:

“With M1, iPad Pro is the fastest device of its kind. It’s designed to take full advantage of next‑level performance and custom technologies like the advanced image signal processor and unified memory architecture of M1. And with the incredible power efficiency of M1, iPad Pro is still thin and light with all‑day battery life, making it as portable as it is powerful.”

This iPad Pro 11-inch uses an LED-backlit 2388×1668 Liquid Retina display (264 ppi, 600 nits) with a thin black bezel with rounded corners and flat sides. This iPad is Space Gray, and it was also available in Silver. This 128GB models used 8GB RAM (as did the 256 and 512 GB options, while the 1 and 2 TB models used 16 GB of RAM).

This iPad Pro included a USB-C port (Thunderbolt/USB 4) for charging and wired connectivity. Wireless connectivity included 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. Cellular models were also available.

The 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera was the first iPad camera to offer the Center Stage feature that automatically keeps people in the camera frame by zooming and panning. Its two rear cameras included a 12-megapixel wide angle and a 10-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens.

Like iPhone Pro models of the time, this iPad Pro also included LiDAR and Face ID. It could also use a Generation 2 Apple Pencil that charged using a magnetic connection on the side of the iPad. A similar iPad Pro with a 12.9-inch screen was sold at the same time as this 11-inch model.

Sources: Apple, EveryMac

HomePod mini (black, 2020)

The HomePod mini was the second device in Apple’s HomePod line of intelligent, Siri-controlled speakers. Despite its small size and relatively low price, the HomePod mini offered impressive sound quality. Apple described the HomePod mini: “Jam-packed with innovation, HomePod mini delivers unexpectedly big sound for a speaker of its size. At just 3.3 inches tall, it takes up almost no space but fills the entire room with rich 360‑degree audio that sounds amazing from every angle.”

Apple designed the HomePod mini to allow homes to use multiple devices:

“With multiple HomePod mini speakers placed around the house, you can have a connected sound system for your whole home. Ask Siri to play one song everywhere or, just as easily, a different song in each room. And HomePod mini works with HomePod for multiroom audio and features like Intercom. If you want to take the amazing sound experience of HomePod mini even further, you can create a stereo pair. Two HomePod mini speakers paired in the same room create left and right channels for an immersive soundstage.”

The HomePod mini was spherical with a flat top and bottom. It measured 3.3 inches high and 3.9 inches wide. Internally, it used four microphones and allowed real-time tuning through computational audio. The HomePod mini had no ports and connected wirelessly to audio sources including Apple Music, iTunes music purchases, iCloud Music Library with an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription, and some third-party services. In addition, it could play content from any device that allowed AirPlay streaming (AirPlay 2). Wireless technology included 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0.

The top of the device provided a backlit touch surface for certain controls: tap to play/pause music or Siri; double-tap to skip; triple-tap to skip back; touch and hold to access Siri; and tap or hold + or – to control volume up/down.

The HomePod mini was available in black and white. It used a permanently affixed USB-C cable and a provided a 20W USB-C power adapter was included in the box.

This is my second HomePod mini. I purchased it in black, and I’m using it in my kitchen so I now have a HomePod in every main living area.

Photography note: Since a few people have asked, I have 2 Hue LCD color lights that are part of my photography table. The 2 IKEA lights are clipped to the bottom of the table and are positioned up. Most of my photos use these lights set to a pure white color for the background, but occasionally I use the Hue app to add a color wash to the white sheet backdrop. In this case, I used the HomePod mini box colors as inspiration.

Source: Apple (Overview, Tech Specs)