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

The Wrap – Mesh WiFi and Apple’s MacBook Pro 16 reviewed

This week on The Wrap, we’ll dive into the world of versatile and capable technology, covering new laptops, new WiFi gear, new crazy sculptural remotes, and Apple’s latest pro-grade laptop and more. All in five minutes.

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For the week ending November 19, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and as the year begins to wind down and PR folks tell us to write holiday gift guides, you might be surprised to learn that stuff is still coming out. It just keeps on coming out, with so much on the way to stores ready for you to take a gander at, though some of it also makes us scratch our head and say… what were they thinking?

Take the case of Bang & Olufsen’s Beoremote Halo, a sculptural attempt at a Sonos-like remote that only works with Bang & Olufsen speakers, and yet comes with a low-res LCD and minimal functionality inside of a piece of art, and costs $1250 in Australia.

You could just use your phone for that. Hey, you could buy an iPod Touch, hire an electrician, mount it to the wall, plug it in, cover it up, and it would still probably cost less than the $1250 B&O is asking for.

Fortunately, most things feel like they’re going to be a little better value than a $1200 remote for a handful of speakers.

Guitar brand Fender this week chimed in with a way of getting its neat acoustic-electric guitar technology down in price, as it brought the Acoustasonic tech closer to $2K in Australia from the $3K it normally sits at.

It’ll come in the Acoustasonic Player Telecaster, a guitar that includes a few pieces of technology that let it sound like an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, or kind of a combination between the two, because these days, versatility matters greatly.

Not just versatility, mind you, but also capability.

Need more versatility and capability from your internet connection? There are new WiFi routers on the way, with D-Link adding one to the pile, a WiFi 6 device sporting a bunch of antennas plus support for mesh.

For those playing along at home who can’t remember what mesh is, it’s sort of a Venn diagram for WiFi activity, allowing you to place various mesh devices in places around your home, and having the wireless activity create overlapping circles of internet reach. D-Link’s X3260 will do that with a good 3200Mbps of bandwidth, talking to extra mesh devices brought in.

You can find mesh from a great number of companies, not just D-Link, and it may improve your home’s WiFi if it happens to be quite a spacious home.

Outside of WiFi, versatility and capability comes to a lot of other areas.

This week in the world of gaming, it’s coming to the Xbox, and whether you have one of the newer Xbox S or X models, or the older Xbox One, if you have a Game Pass Ultimate subscription, your versatility will stretch to the cloud, where you can play games before installing them. It’s a feature arriving after this week’s 20th anniversary of Xbox, and may mean less time to wait and more time to game.

There are also new computers this week focused on versatility and capability, with Dynabook going for 14 inch Intel Core 11th-gen computers starting from under a grand, while Asus focuses on people creating things in its Vivobook, ZenBook, and StudioBook computers, starting from $1500 locally and hitting a staggering ten grand when one of them launches next year.

We don’t have that much money to spend on a computer, and we’re not sure we know many people who do, but if we did, we think we know what they’d be considering, because we’re reviewing it right now. It’s the Apple MacBook Pro 16, the latest from Apple’s pro laptop line, and possibly one of the best computers we’ve seen… ever.

It’s even possibly a computer Apple might let you fix yourself, after this week, the company announced some of its devices will be user fixable in the new year.

Not yet, though, so you might just want to keep going to a pro, and you’ve got a good reason to with the 16 inch MacBook Pro, because it’s so good, you’d want to trust it to a pro to fix if it ever came down to it.

Priced from $3749, it’s a meaty computer with solid specs packaged into a metal body that just oozes professionalism.

You get a more schmick version of the capable M1 chip, either the M1 Pro or M1 Max depending on how much you want to spend, plus lots of memory, storage, and a big 16 inch vivid Mini-LED screen with an iPhone-like notch for the camera.

And Apple has nailed just about everything in this model. It’s fast, capable, and the battery life ranges from 10 hours of exhausting heavy work to closer to 20 for standard every day productivity.

It’s about as good as laptops come, and while it’s big, it’s biggest issue is more the price. At around the $4K mark, you need a good reason to spend on this, for sure. But given it’s the best laptop we’ve seen in a while, maybe that’s all the reason you need.

For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode appears every week on LiSTNR, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Otherwise, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time. Stay safe, stay sane and take care.

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