A big new TV, a metal camera, a couple of mice, and the death of a mobile. In the order of most expensive to least, it’s The Wrap.
It’s the week ending July 14, and this is The Wrap, Australia’s fastest serving of technology news packed into a small sandwich bag that you can take with you to work.
And we start the week with a big spend, going down the list in news and reviews from something big and expensive to, well, much less expensive and more pocket friendly.
This week, that starts with Sony’s X93E, one of the bigger TV releases of the year, as Sony takes on the current champions of the television world, Samsung and LG.
For the past few years, manufacturers have all been fighting over who can produce the best picture for that new 4K Ultra HD thing that’s out there, and while there hasn’t been much content to speak of, much of the fight has been over media that was brought up to the new resolution.
This year, however, the 4K battle is properly on, and now with Ultra HD Blu-rays out in the world, not to mention growing online libraries on services such as Netflix and Stan, the heat is on for the best panel results around, and much of that fight is in the field of colour.
We all know what colour looks like, and while the colour TV isn’t exactly new, a colour TV made to display the entire range of colours present in high dynamic range media is new, with much of the effort these days about boosting that and making images pop off the screen.
And really, that’s the important thing about new TVs, with images that pop off the screen, almost as if they were real. That’s what the organic LED screens accomplish – the OLED TVs – but regular LED still has some life left in it.
To help with that, manufacturers have been using tiny crystals to amplify the colour called quantum dots, and that’s an area Sony has been dabbling in for quite some time with its Triluminos TVs.
This year, the latest take on that is to push the colour even harder thanks to processing powers, and while there’s a whole lot of marketing jargon in the use of Sony’s “4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme” and the “X-tended Dynamic Range Pro” chips, the point here is to emphasise colour, and lots of it, rendering everything with the sort of lifelike realism you’d expect a 2017 TV to handle.
And for the most part, Sony’s X9300 is a stellar display, boasting sublime colours, brilliant contrast, and a picture quality as real as day, complete with a sound system that actually isn’t bad either.
That’s one of the areas you usually expect to be weaker, normally expecting to replace it with an amplifier and speakers, or even a soundbar. But you may not need that here, as the X9300 offers decent sound without any extra help.
One thing that definitely needs work is the remote, and in a day and age where the remote control is getting simpler, Sony has kind of left things old school, with buttons and lots of them.
That shouldn’t mar the experience, though, just lessen it a little. You can read our full experience with our 15 minute review at the website, but sufficed to say Sony’s X9300 is a lovely screen, even if we were left wanting it to be a little thinner and maybe a touch brighter.
And at a little over five grand, it’s the most expensive of the gadgets we’ve seen this week, followed close behind by something else, with a new fancy Leica Camera also announced.
This week, the company that made the instruments used by greats like Henri Cartier Bresson, Elliott Erwitt, and Alexander Rodchenko, announced a new model would be on its way to Leica’s stores and the online presence, crafting an update to the mirrorless Leica T series made out of aluminium.
That would be the Leica TL2, an update to last year’s TL, with improvements including a 24 megapixel sensor, a new image processor, and the ability to fire 20 frames per second, with a 3.7 inch touchscreen on the back.
The camera is special outside of it being a Leica, and that’s because it’s the first interchangeable mirrorless for the company to sport 4K Ultra HD video. Granted, it’s not the first 4K camera from Leica, but it’s the first mirrorless to do so, making it potentially a 4K Leica that could be within reach of more customers, especially thanks to a sub $3 grand price.
A little less expensive are a couple of new mice on the way from Logitech that both do something special.
As Logitech relaunches its flagship MX mouse range, it’s also introducing something rather interesting, with a technology called Flow.
Developed for the type of computer user that relies on a couple of computers at once – you know, like so many of us do these days – Logitech’s Flow will let you control the two computers and as many as three with the one mouse.
A rather neat concept, Logitech does this by letting its mouse software talk to other computers on your network where the mouse driver is installed, and when you run the external mouse from one side to the other, the mouse is picked up on the other computer.
The catch for this technology is that you not only need one of these mice, but to also be connected to a network at the time, as that’s how this whole things works.
The network issue is easy to deal with, as is the mouse, which will set you back anywhere between $100 and $150 depending on if you want a portable or more desktop friendly version.
Logitech’s MX mice are also the least expensive devices on The Wrap this week, worth more than some of the Windows Phones still found in the world now that Windows Phone 8.1 has been pronounced dead.
If you have a Nokia 1020 or something that can’t be upgraded, consider this your public service announcement to get out, and get out now.
This is the end, the end my friend, and Windows Phone 8.1 is done. We’re rather curious what will remain of Windows Phone 10 given Microsoft hasn’t made a change or released a new model in almost two years, but we’ll just have to see.
And also at the end is The Wrap, with another week done with. We’ll be back this time next week with news and reviews put together in the space of time it takes to eat a bagel or anything else you fancy. Until then, take care and have a great week.