It’s October, and the tech news hasn’t stopped. What’s coming left on the cards? We’ll talk new iPhones, the next generation of gaming consoles, and what’s happening in sound, all in five minutes.
For the week ending October 9, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup and with only a few months left in the year, the tech announcements are drawing to a close.
There’s little doubt that this year has been weird, a sentiment we’ve probably said every week that everyone is feeling, but we’re in the last stretch, with October offering the last vestige of consumer tech, ahead of November which is largely about game consoles.
Can you guess what’s coming? There’s quite a bit, as November looks set to trigger a new bout of the console wars once again.
Yep, we’re just about ready for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S and X, and that’ll kick off a new world of 4K gaming, plus support for 8K if you happen to have one of those 8K TVs.
And that’s a good thing, because there’s practically no 8K content in the world, so if you can afford an 8K TV, either the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X should provide some semblance of upscaled gaming.
For everyone else, it’s Full HD and 4K gaming at its finest, though we’ll certainly know more as November draws closer.
Before it, there’s plenty of stuff on the way, some of which was announced this week, including a ten thousand dollar monitor from Dell. Honestly, we don’t know anyone with the sort of money for that, but if you’re a creative, Dell’s UP3221Q uses a new technology called Mini-LED. It’ll also appear in select new TVs from TCL, and is basically small clusters of LEDs backlighting the screen, providing a finer level of backlighting for what you see.
It’s just one of the new things on the way to people, but not everything will be quite that high priced.
Hisense has a new Laser TV on the way, which is actually a projector capable of delivering a 4K image on a big 100 inch, but at a short distance. That’s going to be a neat idea for folks who don’t go to the cinema anymore, but yet still want that big screen experience at home.
Or you can live inside your bedroom, and get into movies in your own world and private space. In fact, this week, Microsoft has a 12 inch laptop kind of made for that, as well as typing and student life. It’s coming in the thousand dollar Surface Laptop Go, which is basically a student’s Surface Laptop made for a lower price point.
It joins the new iPad Air, which is like an iPad Pro made for a lower price point, but it won’t be the only Apple device focused on entertainment, we don’t think anyway.
The big news this week is that Apple is having an announcement next week, and while some things are more or less certain, others get a question mark. You can kind of figure what next week’s show will be all about, we’re sure, with all eyes on new iPhones, which are expected to be launched there.
We’re expecting four, which would make for Apple’s biggest iPhone range yet, but they’re not the only gadgets expected to make an appearance.
Alongside new iPhones, we’re expecting possibly a new pair of headphones, a new speaker, and maybe even a computer or two. Adding fuel to audio possibilities is word that Apple has removed headphones and speakers not made by an Apple-owned company from its store.
And Apple’s new audio potential comes off the back of the AirPods Pro last year, which are still one of the best pairs of in-ears you can find, still.
Meanwhile, those earphones are still competing hard against the competition, and there’s more happening there. Oppo just released three options, Australia’s Nura has its NuraLoop earphones out, and audiophile headphone brand Grado has its first pair in the $365 Grado GT220.
And that’s not the only sound news, with Google’s Nest Audio out now. It’s Google’s latest speaker, and a replacement for the first Google Home in 2017, and this time it’s not just a smart assistant, but all about the sound.
While the first Google Home was no slouch, the new Nest Audio sounds better, and is pretty much focused on sound. That’s thanks in part to new speakers inside the Nest Audio delivering better balance and bass, and quite a bit of volume, as well.
It’s not a speaker with a battery, though, so you’ll need to keep it plugged in. That’s one of the downsides of the Nest Audio, and it’s also not humidity or water resistant, making it less than ideal for the outside or a bathroom.
But it is inexpensive, and armed with decent sound, volume, and a $149 price tag in Australia, plus microphones that can tell who’s talking to it — you or someone else — it’s a smart speaker for the home that fits into an entry level price point offering decent sound for what you pay.
We will say that it’s not always easy to control, and while you can pair two of these speakers in stereo, getting them to play around the house with other speakers using just your voice isn’t easy.
But for $149, if you’ve been looking for a way into the smart home world with good sound, the Nest Audio is an intriguing speaker to check out.
You can even ask it to play your favourite podcast. Unless it finishes, which this one now has.
So you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. We’ll be back next week for more tech in five, with a new episode appearing every Friday at Podcast One, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. But until then, have a great week. Stay safe, stay sane, and take care.