This week on The Wrap, find out what’s so special about Windows 11 and how it could change life on your computer, plus news on 5G, computers, wearable screens, and the new Apple TV 4K reviewed. All in five.
For just about the last week of June 2021, you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and we’re almost at the middle of the year. That means nearly six full months have gone by, and this week that finally included a bit of a tech trade show, even if it’s one Australians couldn’t get to.
We probably don’t need to remind you why, but it’s a sign that the world is gradually returning to normal, even if the news wasn’t thoroughly exciting.
While COVID started last year with the cancellation of Mobile World Congress, this year MWC is back, even if it came in the middle of the year. You can expect to hear a bit from it next week, too, but this week, there have been a few announcements timed for the show, most of which have centred around 5G.
While you won’t get it from a vaccination, you will see 5G in more and more devices this year, with Intel talking up how it’s expected in more hardware, and Lenovo saying it will be an option in some of its laptops, as well.
Lenovo also talked up other upgrades, with one of its thin ThinkPad X1 models seeing an optional high-end graphics card in the form of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 models, up to a 3080, meaning gaming could come in the form of super thin laptops.
That’s true for many a laptop brand, too, with Razer talking up similar hardware in its also thin Razer Blade 14. While neither is expected to be remarkably inexpensive, they’re both signs that every thing is getting smaller and easier to carry, which is always good news for when life returns to normal.
And when life returns to normal, you might even be able to sit on a bus or train, covering your face with a screen rather than a traditional mask.
That’s kind of the idea TCL is trying to show off at Mobile World Congress, where it’s launching a pair of glasses that have a screen built into them. TCL’s Nxtwear G looks more like a big pair of sunnies, but instead of regular lenses, there’s a pair of Full HD micro OLED screens at each eye, allowing you to watch content from your phone, tablet, or your computer in the glasses.
They’re not a pair of VR goggles like you might think, and this is more of a head-mounted display — an HMD — meaning you’re just watching stuff, not having the experience move all around you, but because of the distance from eye to screen, the glasses will create a big screen 140 inch experience at close range, and will work with hundreds of devices, too. And they’re coming to Australia shortly, too, where TCL told us they’d be available for under a thousand when Nxtwear G launches locally.
And there was more this week had to offer, including D-Link launching a wireless range extender for regular networks plus its own mesh networks, Samsung launching a smart monitor that combined its TVs and monitors for something for the desktop, and Oppo teamed up with Danish HiFi company Dynaudio for a couple of wireless noise cancelling, as well.
Oh, and Windows 11 launched.
You might expect a bit of big hoopla with this one, because it has been over five years since Microsoft launched Windows 10, and finally Windows 11 is ready. Almost. Kinda sorta.
The next version looks a little like what would happen if Windows and macOS had a baby, with a centred icon screen, a different approach to design, widgets in the desktop, and a slicker layout.
Microsoft’s next version of Windows goes beyond that, though, because it’s adding support for Android apps. It’s thanks to something called Intel Bridging technology, which will work with AMD computers, and means Windows can run Android apps. That’s good news, because it not only expands the apps Windows has available, but brings what the M1 Macs have: support for a major mobile operating system. On the M1 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, and iMac, you can run select iPhone and iPad apps.
And now, you’ll be able to get the Android equivalent running on Windows, too.
There’s also something in there for gamers with support for faster storage and HDR, and Windows finally gets a stable way of having apps run across multiple monitors.
It’s the little things we get excited about.
Even when those little things include a gadget that has seen little changes, which we’re reviewing right now with the Apple TV 4K.
Or rather, the new Apple TV 4K, because it’s a little different from the old one.
You’d never realise it simply by looking at it, because from the outside, the last Apple TV and this new model are identical, but there’s a new chip, some faster WiFi, and that’s mostly it, save for the new remote.
Designed with both a touchpad and a click pad, it’s a little easier for everyone to get across, even if it’s chunkier.
Mostly, the 2021 Apple TV 4K is the same great Apple TV with a minor update, and that makes it a hard argument for a genuine upgrade, especially if you have the old one, or you have a smart TV you like. It’s still a great device, and the remote is nice too, but if you have the old one, you’re still good. And if you want the new remote, you can buy that separately for even less.
For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode can be found every week at Listnr, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Otherwise, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap, and take care.