The Wrap – Choices, Choices

There’s so much choice in tech, but there’s even more this week, with Disney+, Intel, Dell, Epson, Samsung, and more. Find out how your choices get more interesting in five.

Transcript

It’s almost the end of August and this is The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and if you’re thinking of buying anything, you probably know just how many choices you have. It’s an incredibly wide scope, with numerous phones, TVs, computers, headphones, speakers, cameras, game consoles. Generally if there’s a product to buy, you have
And sometimes, you get even more choice.

You’ll soon have more choice in the streaming world, as Australia looks to get another video provider. We already have Netflix, Stan, and Amazon, and that’s not even including the likes of Foxtel, YouTube, and the local catchup services such as ABC, SBS, Seven, Nine, and Ten.

The newbie is Disney, which is set to launch a rival to Netflix “Disney+” later this year. There’s a date of November 19 penciled in, there’s a whole heap of content on the way. Disney owns the rights to a lot of stuff. There’s the typical assortment of Disney movies like Frozen and Tangled, but there’s also all that Pixar stuff… and all that Marvel stuff, which means The Avengers and Iron Man.

And then there’s Star Wars, because Disney owns the rights there, too. You can expect new and old Star Wars stuff on Disney+, as well as stuff from Fox, because, yep, Disney owns that, too.

That means a good 30 seasons of The Simpsons should be making their way to Disney’s streaming service, as well as those other Marvel movies that were a little more adult, such as Deadpool, Logan, and the good X-Men movies.

There’s new stuff coming as well, but perhaps the most interesting part about Disney’s local launch is what it will do to Stan.

Last year, Stan grabbed the Disney content library, but with a local launch impending, we’re not sure how much longer Stan will have it. That might mean Stan will have to lift its game and get more originals and exclusives. With Disney launching in November, that doesn’t give Stan much time.

By November, buses in Australia’s biggest city, Sydney, should see tap payment for the Opal network. If you’re living there, you might use your phone or smartwatch to tap on for train, light rail, and ferry, but not bus. Well not yet, anyway.

It is definitely coming, with Transport New South Wales announcing a roll out this year, with Western Sydney, North West Sydney, and Wollongong — which isn’t really Sydney — getting it first.

When it comes to tap on, you should be able to tap on with any phone, tablet, or wearable that supports Visa or Mastercard. That means Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, and Garmin Pay, and it means you have a lot of choice.

You also have choices in the world of computers, with more of those on the way as well.

While we expect to hear about a new iPad and likely a new MacBook by the end of the year, Dell is talking up what it has coming shortly with new Intel chips. It’s a fitting time, because Intel is launching a few chips under the codename Comet Lake. Code names aside, this is all about mobile performance, sitting under Intel’s Project Athena, which is a project focused on getting you through the day with your laptop or tablet, no dramas.

You’ll see them in quite a few laptops by the year’s end, but before then, Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 seems to be getting it first, getting a mostly bezel-less 13 inch screen, 360 degree hinge, fast WiFi, and the option of a 4K screen.

4K screens don’t come on everything, and they’re not needed everywhere.

The truly portable Epson EF-100 projector we checked out this week lacked the 4K, and only had high definition. However it brought a laser light source that worked in daylight and night, and for well under the high prices that laser projectors typically go for. It’s a relatively small projector for $1699 that has a single HDMI port, which means it’ll work for watching movies, but is more designed for your phone or a Chromecast.

In fact a Chromecast or an Amazon Fire Stick are perfectly suited for it, allowing you to throw movies from Stan, Netflix, or even Disney+ when it launches later in the year.

You can throw from any mobile device, and this week, there are a couple more choices there, too.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ are both out this week, with the bigger model, the Note10+ getting a good three thousand pixels high screen with no notch. In fact, there’s no punch hole design in the right side, either. Rather, Samsung’s take in this phone is to throw the front-facing cameras at the top and in the middle, making it just a small dot on the screen, and not something that throws out symmetry.

Initial thoughts are both feel good in the hands and pack a lot of features, not least of which is some interesting camera technology and that stylus. Like last year, you can trigger the camera from the stylus, though now you can wave it in the air to do other things, and painted augmented reality doodles.

We should have more next week, because you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. The Wrap is found every Friday at Podcast One, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts, but until then, have a great week. We’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.

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