Check out two new laptops this week on The Wrap as we review Microsoft’s 2022 MacBook Air and Surface Laptop Go 2, and dive into what’s new in spatial audio from Netflix, Sennheiser and Apple Music, all in five minutes.
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In mid-July 2022 you’ll be listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest tech collection, and lots of a David Bowie song, this week was a little bit about “Sound and Vision” because it was all about how to listen and what to watch .
Starting with “sound”, and if you’re a Netflix subscriber, the sense of how you’re listening to your sound may soon increase, even if you’ve never upgraded your sound before.
We’re probably not the first to tell you that great sound makes a big difference to what you watch, often more than the quality of your TV, but it’s an area that not everyone appreciates. If you’re still rocking the speakers in your TV, you’re actually quite normal, and it’s an area soundbar makers have been trying to influence lately, with more releases that fit better in your wallet and still offer great sound. .
But you may not need a recent update from Netflix, as the streaming service has partnered with Sennheiser for a style of spatial audio that can work on a normal two-channel system. Borrowing the name from Sennheiser’s Atmos soundbar, it’s called Ambeo two-channel spatial audio, and in fact it delivers spatial sound to stereo systems so they can experience the sound in a way that larger sound systems can.
If you have an Ambeo soundbar, a Sonos Arc, a Beam or one of the many spatial sound systems you will get your true 3D spatial sound, but if you have a basic stereo set Netflix productions like Stranger Things, Resident Evil and The Adam Project are now starting to play in a sort of spatial sound, sort of intro pack for better audio on your TV.
It’s not the only spatial news this week.
Apple has added some space to its live sessions, sort of a disconnected music experience it’s had over the years, with spatial audio that probably gives a bit more of a sense of being there. It’s not the first time we’ve seen Apple play with the idea, and it’s been adding spatial audio from Dolby Atmos to its music service in recent months, as well as live concerts and DJ mixes.
This expands on that and turns an intimate style of music recording into one that adds the spacious sound. For those with regular headphones, it will open up the soundstage a bit more, while those with supported Apple and Beats headphones will add some directional head tracking. And if you have one of those swanky new soundbars, it might sound like they’re playing in your home. Kind of.
Then there’s also the vision side of things, and for that we turn to phones and computers, because these are things you’re probably looking at.
Motorola has a new phone that you might want to check out, especially if you’re looking to spend a small amount of money, in the G62. This is a 5G phone with a large 6.5-inch screen, plus a couple of cameras on it, with the feeling that it’s made for budgets, basically made to keep costs down.
While the phone looks good on paper, one of our concerns is updates, with Motorola in Australia noting that it would only get one major Android update, which is expected later this year. You get quite a few security updates, but we’re a little surprised that Moto only does one Android update when at least two are normal, especially if they can come up with new features.
Fortunately, you have a lot of choice here and you can vote with your wallet.
That’s a lot the case with laptops. There’s just so much more, and we’ve got a few reviews for you too.
First up is Microsoft’s latest, the Surface Laptop Go 2, a sort of premium version of the frugal laptop. It’s a 12.4-inch laptop with Intel’s Core i5 in it, a combined aluminum and plastic design, touchscreen support, a decent keyboard and mouse, and for the most part a great experience using it.
Small and light, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is a fairly friendly machine, apart from a few things: the screen resolution is very low and the price feels quite high. You can get a better screen on the cheapest iPad, battery life is hit and miss, and the $1,000 starting price seems more expensive than it should be.
On the other hand, there’s the new MacBook Air, which we’re also reviewing right now, and it’s an excellent example of near-computing perfection.
There’s a new design that’s somehow lighter, a new 13 screen that’s slightly bigger, the new M2 chip that’s faster than the M1 before it, plus another port for charging and solid battery life. . It’s a little more expensive, starting at just under 1900 in Australia, compared to the M1 which costs just under $1500 locally, but it’s just a nice machine.
Apple gets top marks for almost everything, with a better design, keyboard, screen, sound system, webcam and even the power pack for charging, which is also smaller.
The new Air is so good it’ll baffle you to even guess how competitors are planning to keep up, and highly recommended.
For now, you’ve listened to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest tech collection. A new episode can be found every week on Listener, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. For now, have a nice week and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Stay safe, stay healthy and be careful.