The Wrap – September 7, 2018

One show wasn’t big enough to cover IFA 2018, so we’re finishing it off here, covering headphones, speakers, and computers, while also covering Canon’s mirrorless EOS R, Lenovo’s take on VR, and iPhone rumours ahead of next week’s launch. All in five minutes on The Wrap.

Transcript

For the first week of September 2018, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and while last week offered much from the world of IFA, this week kind of wrapped it up, dishing the dirt on quite a few new gadgets on their way to Australia.

Yes, quite a bit is on the way locally, including headphones, speakers, phones, cameras, a VR headset, computers, and more, so let’s get stuck in.

Starting with what we missed from last week’s show, because as we said, there was going to be more announcements after we finished recording, and that’s true.

Sony announced the follow-up to its excellent WH-1000XM2 headphones, with the mark three version, the XM3. You may not realise this, but we carry the XM2 headphones everywhere, and they are this reviewer’s go-to pair of wireless headphones, so we’re curious how Sony plans to make them better.

What we hear suggests the noise cancellation has improved thanks to a new chip, the design is now lighter, and the audio should now be even better. We’re not sure how, but we’re intrigued, and you’ll find them locally for just under $500 later this month.

Sony wasn’t the only news waiting for us, with a smart speaker and two smart soundbars on the way from Bose. While we didn’t see a new pair of noise cancelling headphones from Bose, the these speakers aim to deliver a wide sound, complete with the ability to talk to the speakers.

Bose is relying on Amazon’s Alexa platform, different from its headphones which have used Google up to this point, and there’s even AirPlay 2 support coming, suggesting they’ll play nicely with a HomePod, as well.

There were also new computers from Acer and Dell, the former building a complicated gaming chair that connects three monitors and is made to immerse you in the game, while the latter had updated to nearly everything. Dell’s changes included lots of laptops like the refreshed XPS 13, a Chromebook, and a thin new monitor.

Lenovo also had gear this week, but it wasn’t specific to computers. Rather, it was a VR headset and camera, as the company released the Mirage VR headset in Australia alongside a VR camera.

They’re a little different from your regular VR headset, which is either very computer dependent or very mobile dependent. Instead, Lenovo’s Mirage runs solo, and is even called that, with a headset offering the screen, sensors, and cameras to track the real world, letting VR go with you wherever you are.

There’s a Mirage camera for VR which is more 3D than VR, and both will be landing in Australia very, very shortly.

The big news this week wasn’t VR or computers, though. It was cameras and phones.

On the camera side of things, Canon announced its rival to the mirrorless professional cameras built by the likes of Sony and Nikon.

Called the Canon EOS R, it’s not Canon’s first dance with mirrorless cameras, but it’s easily the most professional we’ve seen, offering a solid build and a design that’s comfortable to hold even while carrying big lenses.

And big lenses is one of the big deals here, because Canon says the system has been designed around that. And we’re not kidding by big lenses. They were the first thing we saw when we went hands on with Canon’s EOS R at the launch this week, with massive lenses that were just monumental, and could be used to take some great shots.

The camera itself sports a full-frame 30 megapixel sensor with 4K capture supported, and the focus appears to have been on building a camera made to be great at both photography and videography.

There’s a lot of competition in this area, too, so while our first impressions were good, we’ll hold off until we say whether you should go and buy it until Canon gives us some proper review time. That should be sometime in October, when the EOS R launches.

Before then, there will be a new iPhone, and if the rumours are true, probably three. This time next week, we’ll know for sure, with September 12 in America and early morning September 13 in Australia being the time of the next iPhones to be announced.

Current rumours suggest three models that look like the iPhone X, with no front button and better cameras all around.

If you miss the button, our guess is Apple will suggest the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which will likely stick around, but only as a budget option. Both are still excellent phones, and so they’re still great upgrade paths.

Meanwhile, if what we’re hearing is true, you could see a small, a medium, and a large all-screen iPhone ready for release in the next couple of weeks.

For now you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. The Wrap appears every Friday at Podcast One and Apple Podcasts, and we’ll be back next week after the iPhone is announced for more.

Until then, have a great week and a great weekend, whichever comes first. We’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.

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