The Wrap - Australia's fastest technology roundup

The Wrap – New PCs and the Sonos Beam

This week on The Wrap, the rush to get tech out begins, as we dive into what’s new in Android, Apple, Samsung, and more, with new PCs from Acer and Dell, new software from Adobe and Canva, and the Sonos Beam reviewed. All that and more in five.


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Transcript

For the middle of October 2021, you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology round up, and with restrictions gradually easing in some of the country’s most populous places, the focus may be moving on from the gadgets that can make your working from home life easier to, well, everything else.

And with the year beginning to wrap up, the technology for the year is almost on hyper speed as lots of news makes its way out. How fitting for this show, given it is called The Wrap.

So let’s wrap up what’s going on for this week, starting with news from the Android camp, because there’s some of that this week.

While next week will see Google talk up what’s coming in its next Pixel phones — that’s a bit of a preview for you — we already know one aspect is Android 12, and that’s coming to at least one Oppo phone this year, with more to come in the next.

Oppo is the first cab off the rank to announce that it will see its take on Android 12 arrive on phones shortly, with Color OS 12 seeing Google’s cool colour theming a part of the package, as well as more privacy, better animations, and improvements to battery performance, as well.

Owners of its flagship X3 Pro from this year can expect it first in December, with more phones to get it in 2022.

We’re not sure the timetable of all the other brands, but with Oppo leading the charge, you can expect announcements by Samsung, Motorola, Nokia, Realme, TCL, Asus, Alcatel, and the rest probably aren’t far behind.

And while we’re talking about what’s coming, Apple has an announcement set for next week, and we’re expecting computers and possibly some earphones.

So consider this your friendly reminder that with a few days to go before an Apple announcement, maybe just hold off on any major Apple laptop or earphone purchases for a few days. Your wallet might thank you for it.

Samsung also has an announcement next week, making it a friendly threesome for tech talk, so expect quite a lot of conversation in next week’s show.

This week isn’t without its goods, though, with quite a bit happening around the world and with Australian companies, emphasis on the latter.

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For instance, the Australian online graphic editing system Canva has added video this week, making it possible to use a web browser to edit video for free, and even get your videos built for templates. Video editing isn’t something everyone can do easily, but Canva’s approach hopes to do what it did for graphic creation, and means video editing efforts may only be a click away.

Canva’s editing system isn’t alone, with Adobe’s Elements range expanding this week providing apps that let you edit photos and videos as well. This year, the updates to Photoshop Elements include animated photo making and the ability to make photos look more like art styles quickly, while Premiere Elements sees automatic video resizing, animated overlays, and more.

Another Australian brand offered up something cool, as well, with BlueAnt building a small karaoke-style speaker in a pudgy two kilo box, the $300 BlueAnt X4.

And there’s a whole heap of things happening in PCs and entertainment.

Acer announced just a massive amount of machines this week, with mini PCs, tablets, chromebooks, gaming systems, and something called the ConceptD 7 SpatialLabs, which is basically a laptop featuring a glasses-free 3D screen. Trying saying that one three times fast.

Dell joined Acer with some rugged laptops supporting 5G, because now that we’re beginning to go back out and about, making sure laptops work from anywhere and survive is something you can think about again.

And HTC has something cool in the Vive Flow, a pair of VR glasses that remove the bulk and let you see a virtual world in what looks like some big shiny gold glasses.

They’ll support 3D sound and big screens, and even play with VR apps and movies, making it more than just a personal screen, but they’ll also only work with an Android phone and cost $750 when they rock up in November.

Something out already, though, is something we’re reviewing now, the Sonos Beam Gen 2, the latest take on a soundbar for your living room which is very similar to the old one.

It’s been three years since we saw the first Sonos Beam, and its latest has a different look, but much the same tech inside, save for a new chip. That new addition means the soundbar can process Dolby Atmos 3D sound and make it sound a little like it’s happening around you.

Kind of. It’s more of a trick for your ears, and not really the reason you’d buy it, but even beyond that, it’s a great sounding single speaker system that has a lot to offer for its $700 price.

The downside might be you can’t actually upgrade it to a proper 3D sound system, so if you want the full bubble of 3D sound in music and movies, you might want to go full steam ahead with a proper 3D soundbar like its more expensive Sonos Arc sibling, not one that only tricks you into hearing it.

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. Stay safe, stay sane, and take care.

Leigh :) Stark

A technology journalist working out of Sydney, Australia, Leigh has written for publications including The Australian Financial Review, GadgetGuy, Popular Science, APC, PC & Tech Authority, as well as for radio and TV since 2007.

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