Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

The Wrap – December 8, 2017

Amazon finally arrives, Bang’s little burst of sound, Cygnett’s wireless gear, D-Link’s hot new modem, and Dyson’s latest heating fan. Do your ABCDs with The Wrap.


For the week ending December 8, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology round-up, and this week we feel like doing our ABCDs. It might be because we have a five month old daughter learning how to speak, or it might be because they’re letters of the companies that have popped up in the news and reviews this week.

So first A.

A is for Amazon, because Amazon arrived in Australia this week, and while some of those words started with A, Amazon’s Australian launch was hardly an A+ affair.

It was a Tuesday, and it seems as though Amazon didn’t quite get the hang of that Tuesday, finally opening its local Amazon store beyond that of Kindle eBooks, which it was already quite good at.

Unfortunately, this week the world’s biggest online store showed how not-so-good it was at sourcing products from other companies, with the product selection resembling something more like that of AliExpress, or the cheap section of eBay where you know everything is kind of a bit of a fake, but you consider it because you don’t mind not having the real thing for whatever reason. Probably cost.

That is literally the feeling we had when browsing through some of Amazon Australia’s electronic sections, which were bare enough at the best of times, while others offered the semblance of price drops.

Honestly, it wasn’t the Amazon we were expecting. We’re sure Amazon will turn things around by December 26’s Boxing Day, which is when big sales are expected, and we expect Amazon to really properly be ready.

By Boxing Day, you might even see a drop on the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8, a pair of cordless and wireless Bluetooth in-earphones we checked out this week.

Retailing for a hair under $450, the Beoplay E8 are by no means cheap, but arriving in a leather wrapped battery-equipped case and sporting an aluminium design and some solid sound, they’re kind of like the really, really good Apple AirPods that don’t look strange out of your ears.

In fact, they don’t really look like anything weird at all; they’re just simple and unobtrusive, and they hold in place, too, providing a few hours of great warm sound with a fairly solid punch of bass. We like them, a lot, and while they’re pricey, the Beoplay E8 offers a big sound in a little package that can easily impress.

And they’re sort of well matched for folks with a new iPhone or any major new phone this year, like the case with Australian accessory maker Cygnett, which has this week unveiled a wireless phone charger for the car which is also well matched.

It’s a bit of an interesting one this release, with the Cygnett MagMount Qi charger offering a wireless charger that mounts to your car’s air vents and charges phones like the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Note 8 wirelessly, but keeping them upright in a moving vehicle wasn’t going to be easy, so Cygnett has included a metal ring for the back of the phone that will help keep the phones upright thanks to the power of magnets.

Oh, we like magnets, and we like the idea of that here, because you won’t need to plug your phone in, just attach it to the charger, and away you go, provided you don’t mind parting ways with a little under $90.

And finally, we have the letter D, with two reviews from companies beginning with D.

First there’s the D-Link Cobra, a whopper of a modem router that essentially brings some seriously fast WiFi home in the one converged device.

Do you like a lot of wireless reach and speed, and do you need it in a router with three bands and an ADSL2+ modem built in? That’s essentially what the D-Link Cobra is, providing an unorthodox triangular design that won’t fit every book shelf, but will offer impressive wireless coverage that can provide WiFi to some pretty long houses.

Your only issue is the price, because at $749, it is not cheap, but it is NBN compatible, so it should last you a bit.

Finally there’s the Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link, a combo heater and fan made in the style of those bladeless fans we’ve all put our hands through in amazement.

Aside for having a severely complicated name, the Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link can warm you up, cool you down — kind of — and clear out the nasties lurking in your air, but our obsession with this heating and cooling fan stemmed more from the “Link” part of the name.

While Dyson includes a magnetic remote that sticks to the top of the fan, the Link part lets you connect the fan with your phone and not only control it remotely, but monitor how your home has been going.

How’s the temperature? And the air quality? How about the humidity? Dyson’s fan will monitor it and get back to you, providing a glimpse into the quality of life at home.

Its main issue is the price, because at a smidge under $800, Dyson’s fan will warm your feet as well as the rest of your body, but it might just leave your wallet feeling cold, which is a little cooler than it will likely leave you.

We’ve been using it in the baby’s room, helping our five month old Emma get to sleep, and it’s been working tremendously, especially thanks to that wireless monitoring and controlling, but our concern is that when summer really kicks in, Dyson’s defintion of “cool” just won’t cut it.

We’ll have to wait and see, though, so we’ll let you know what happens. For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology podcast.

We’ll be back next week with more news and reviews, and we might even know our ABCs. Until then be sure to have a great week, and we’ll catch you next time on The Wrap.

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