This week on The Wrap, we’ll look at what’s new in the world of laptops from Intel and AMD, plus Australia’s new music service, a pair of big HiFi headphones, and the return of Atari, all in five.
It’s the beginning June 2021, and you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and with next week likely to be dominated by all things Apple, courtesy of WWDC, the Worldwide Developer’s Conference, this week we’re going to try to focus on things not made by Apple. All while trying to speak after having a cold. That’s why we might sound a little different this week.
And not because we’ve been up writing about Computex, the world’s mid-year computer show, which has seen new computer and graphics chips launch, giving us an idea of just what’s coming in new laptops very, very shortly.
And speed is it. Specifically, Intel is launching chips for thin and light laptops that can hit as fast as 5GHz, meaning lots of speed could well be something your next ultra-portable will have.
That’s good news for people creating content, but if you’re someone who happens to game, there’s news there, too, with both AMD and Intel launching new hardware for gamers in laptops at the show, as well.
What it all means is that your next laptop won’t just be very portable, but very capable, too.
There are a few computers set to arrive with this tech, including some from Asus and Alienware, but we suspect we’ll hear about more very soon.
And that’s just a sampling of what’s new this week, because there’s fair bit more, too.
For instance, Australia is getting a new music service to choose from this week, as the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Tidal, Deezer, Amazon Prime Music, iHeartRadio, and Qobuz have another player, coming in “Moodagent”.
Yes, that’s its real name, and it’s a little different. While most music services allow you to pick a song or artist, Moodagent is about matching your music to specific moods, and shaping the sound of what you hear accordingly.
If it sounds a little like Pandora for when you’re happy and sad, you’re somewhat there, and it’s a service that will work on your phone and computer, and cost $12 per month.
Moodagent isn’t all that’s new.
Canon talked up what’s coming in its next major camera, the EOS R3, which will offer 30 frames per second RAW photography and sharper focus in what is basically a big full-frame mirrorless camera for the brand. Huawei has a new Watch and tablet coming with its own operating system, Harmony, given that Android is largely out of the picture still.
There are new smart lights coming shortly from Nanoleaf that look a little like wood panels mounted to a wall. You’ll find those in the Nanoleaf Elements, while Atari is bringing the wood another way, and returning to homes with a neat little console cross movie platform.
It’s called the Atari VCS or Atari Video Computer System, and it’s basically a computer wrapped up in a wooden box made to look like a classic Atari console. It can play the classic Atari games and comes with a classic joystick, but it can also be used as a computer, with Windows or another operating system loaded. Atari’s VCS will also support streaming services, so it’s kind of like an Atari made like a gaming console for today.
Priced at $850, Atari’s VCS won’t be for everyone, but retro gamers who prefer old games to new ones just might be convinced.
You’re probably more easily convinced with phones that cost that much because that’s pretty normal. Flagship phones tend to command prices over the thousand dollar mark, even if we’ve not seen a whole heap in Australia this year, largely leaving it to Oppo and Samsung. However another player is entering the ring, this one you might not have heard of, with Vivo launching something interesting in the X60 Pro.
Another of those 5G phones, Vivo’s X60 Pro is its second big phone in Australia, after last year’s X50 — which you also probably didn’t hear about — and the focus this year is on, shock horror, the camera.
Simply put, Vivo has teamed up with the Zeiss of Carl Zeiss to make this camera, so much that it has Zeiss lenses and a portrait mode inspired by old Zeiss lenses. There’s even something in there to hold the camera tight when it’s moving, potentially giving you more control.
It’ll come in the three camera 6.56 inch X60 Pro for a little over a grand later this month.
And our final gadget of the show is one that costs over a grand, closer to the $1500 mark. In fact, it’s a pair of headphones that is less gadgety than normal, but still very, very good.
They’re a pair of French headphones from Focal, the Celestee, and they may actually be some of the best headphones around. They’re clear and balanced, and offer a sound that really delivers.
But in a wireless world, they can be a bit of a hard ask, because the Focal Celestee are wired headphones only. You’ll need to plug these in, you’ll probably want an amp to do it, and the cable is too short to matter.
At $1399, the price isn’t bad for a pair of genuinely great HiFi headphones, but with so many great wireless headphones out there and more on the way, we’re not sure these will appeal to anyone but the most ardent of audiophiles.
For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode can be found every week at Listnr, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Otherwise, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap, and take care.