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

The Wrap – June 16, 2017

Microsoft makes a meaty Xbox, Toshiba returns to TVs, a new type of malware makes for a better security case, and Sony’s Xperia XA1 gets reviewed. This is The Wrap.


It’s the middle of June, almost the end of financial year, and it’s time to get stuck into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest look at technology for the week, delivered right to your eardrums, and with the end of the financial year approaching, it’s time consider the things you might be buying later on.

Yes, all that money you saved has to do something, not to mention what’s coming from your tax return, and that’s good because this week Microsoft announced something that you might actually want to spend money on, especially if you’re a big gamer.

That is because Microsoft has announced a new generation of the Xbox it’s calling the Xbox One X. Originally called “Project Scorpio”, this is basically the next generation of gaming system, giving Microsoft the guts to take on Sony’s PlayStation Pro, which was launched last year.

Granted, Microsoft has had more time to refine the hardware, and that extra time has given the gaming giant the ability to call it the fastest console yet, with new hardware making it capable of rendering not just new games in 4K Ultra HD, but also older titles too, and Microsoft promises those of you without 4K TVs will even see benefits with better framerates on Full HD screens, too.

Pricing on the new console is set to a fairly pricey $649, with Australia set to see the Xbox One X from November 7.

Now based on our reading, it makes a lot of sense to grab the Xbox One X if you have a 4K Ultra HD TV, but if you don’t have one, there’s plenty of time, and now one more player in the TV world.

That is to say a player has returned, because while you might have seen Toshiba a few years ago selling televisions locally, they’ve been missing in action for quite some time.

This week, however, Toshiba is back, entering the world of TVs with its own 4K screens, coming to Australia in the U77.

The new TVs will bring a 4K Ultra HD panel with the Toshiba name and a Toshiba-made CEVO — do we pronounce that Seevo or Keevo? — anyway, it’s 4K engine developed to make colour images pop, with what we can only imagine is similar technology to what other TV manufacturers use while Google’s Android TV runs on this television as the smart TV interface, with prices starting at $1299 for the range.

Toshiba’s U77 4K TVs will also be joined by a slightly confusing range of L37 TVs, and these feel very much like a rebadging of old stock. It is entirely possible that we’re completely wrong about this, but with models offering both HD and Full HD resolutions, it’s hard not to call the Toshibs L37 TVs old stock. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a TV advertising high definition as a resolution? It’s not a thing anymore. It’s Full HD as a minimum, and Ultra HD as a maximum.

Come on, Toshiba. That’s just crazy. All of the cray cray.

And you know what else is crazy? Viruses and malware that activate without you needing to do much to make it happen.

That’s the word from Trend Micro, which has this week discovered a new type of malware that can run when you hover over a dodgy link, infecting your computer even if you don’t click.

It’s a very curious one this attack, relying on you to download a PowerPoint presentation and search through the link to check the slides, which we’re all guilty of having done in the past.

Unfortunately, when you sort through this one and hover over a link with the dodgy file, it will infect you.

That’s a real concerning turn of events, and really just hammers in that necessity that is internet security, a purchase that is kind of like the toilet paper of the digital world: you know you need it, but buying it doesn’t make you feel any better.

In this instance — hell, in all instances, because it’s needed practically all the time — security is definitely recommended, as it could save you from running a file either accidentally or inadvertently that has the potential to do incredible harm to your PC, which we know nobody wants.

Finally Pickr has reviewed a phone this week, because we like phones a lot, and this phone surprised the hell out of us.

It’s Sony’s Xperia XA1, and it continues Sony’s simplistic rectangular look, borrowing a familiar template we’ve seen from the company for the past few years and refining the look just a little.

There’s more at play here than just a slight refinement on the flattened rectangular prisms Sony likes so much, with a 5 inch screen, a new MediaTek Helio P20 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, and a battery that hits a surprising two days of life.

There’s also a decent 23 megapixel camera inside this phone that can handle its own in darkness, and while it doesn’t offer the most staggering sharpness up close, it’s actually one of the better cameras in a phone at its price point.

And that price point is just under $400, making it a mid-range marvel you can easily mistake for something a little higher end.

Or you could if it weren’t for one little feature that is missing in action. Specifically, we’re talking about the fingerprint sensor, because there’s none of that, and that’s what’s missing in this phone.

You can read the full review over at the website, and it’s a surprising little box that shows Sony still knows what it takes to make a great phone, even if it’s missing that one little something.

And with that, The Wrap is out of time for the week. Tune in next week for more news and reviews in as quick a time as we can muster, because that’s just how we roll.

Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap.

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