Tech Round-up: May 2021

Source: Apple
Source: Apple

Despite the space-time continuum seeming to have come to a halt, cool, new techie toys are here for us to occupy our time and keep our lives feeling fulfilled – maybe.

Here we are, once again, caught in a lockdown. Well, not exactly a lockdown in the strict sense of the word, but for the most social of us heightened restrictions and being limited to groups of two seem as restrictive as being alone entirely.

Thankfully, in this age of digital and technological achievements, who needs friends when we can have stuff!?

Dyson’s Air Purifiers may be the heroes we never knew we needed…

techroundup-may-dyson-2
Source: Dyson

It has not taken Singaporeans very much time to realise that healthy air flow and ventilation in their homes are key to surviving this age of stay-home-everything. With the island’s average temperature and humidity on an almost perpetual rise, anything that can be done to keep our home’s air cool and clean is of utmost importance.

Dyson’s latest offerings in the air purifier series are the Purifier Cool and the Purifier Cool Formaldehyde. Both air purifiers now meet HEPA H13 standards, meaning they are fully sealed  to prevent filtered pollutants from escaping the purifiers and returning to the air, while also being up to 20 per cent quieter

In addition to reportedly being able to remove 99.95 per cent of particles, they can also capture allergens, pollen, mould spores, bacteria and even the H1N1 virus. The Purifier Cool Formaldehyde goes a step further to eradicate formaldehyde that may come from furniture and wooden products that may contain formaldehyde-based materials.

The PlayStation 5 DualSense controllers are here to colour your gaming life

 It seems the days of the Apple-inspired simple white look may have come to an end… until Apple decides it’s in again.

Until then, Sony (and just about every gaming console company) are having a ball of time merchandising key devices with cosmetic differences. While the Midnight Black controller seems more of a reminiscent homage to the controllers of yesteryears, the Cosmic Red introduces a vibrant, if not striking, aesthetic to your gaming experience.

Both controllers are expected to hit stores on 11 June.

Samsung takes folding phones into the next century

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Source: Samsung

Remember when we were all obsessed with making phones smaller? The idea of folding your mobile phone seemed to be a truly novel one, essentially halving the occupied real estate of your pocket to house your device.

But with the continuing effort to essentially turn our phones into portable televisions, Samsung has brought us the S-Foldable OLED panel, an OLED screen that can be folded twice. Additionally, the Slidable OLED panel can be expanded horizontally by simply sliding it out and without having to be folded.

Samsung’s other foldable display 17-inch foldable display opens the possibility of foldable tablets, with rumours suggesting development of a triple folding tablet by the electronics giant.

While none of these are available yet, they are expected to begin proliferating on the market later this year, or early next.

ASUS goes small to go big!

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Source: Asus

Speaking of an age where size downsizing was the trend, ASUS brings us the 5.9-inch AMOLED display equipped ZenFone 8 – a size that is positively diminutive when compared to the industry-ruling mini-desktops everyone is looking at.

Despite its smaller size, the ZenFone 8 continues to impress with a hardy build, from a Corning Gorilla Glass Victus-protected screen, to housing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset within its compact build.

The ASUS ZenFone 8 comes with 8GB RAM + 256GB storage model, and 16GB RAM + 256GB storage model. 

Xiaomi’s 4K televisions will be available locally from 6 June

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Source: Xiaomi

Xioami seems intent on conquering the extreme ends of the digital screen market with their increasingly in-demand phones, and now cinematic quality televisions.

The Mi TV Q1 Series is available as a 75-inch beast of a screen, boasting edge-to-edge display with a 178° viewing angle. With a 4K QLED display, the television features 100 per cent NTSC colour range with 1.07 billion colour variations and 1024 different colour shades, enhanced by an image contrast of 192 zones of full array dynamic local dimming.

Conversely, the Mi TV P1 Series is not only more affordable, but also offers a greater sense of variety, coming in three sizes of 32, 43, and 55 inches.

Similar to its oversized Q1 counterpart, the P1 Series has a bezel-less display, with the 55-inch and 43-inch models supporting 4K UHD resolution. The 32-inch model however, features a standard HD resolution. Only the 55-inch model supports HDR10+ for higher dynamic range and more vivid colours.

Both series’ models will be available from 6 June on Xioami’s online, as well as authorised physical retail outlets.

The 24-inch iMac is a pleasant return to old times

techroundup-may-imac-7
Source: Apple

Before Apple decided that white was the only way to go, the groovy trend-altering brand existed in myriad colours, setting an entire generation ablaze with cosmetic choices regarding their Macintosh computers, as opposed to the bland off-whites and greys that PCs usually boasted.

This multi-coloured range includes an advanced 4.5k retina display, as well as a much improved 1080p FaceTime HD camera. The machine runs on Apple’s M1 processors, and hosts 8 GPU cores and 8 CPU cores – 4 high-performance CPU cores, 4 high-efficiency ones.

Being a Mac, variants are to be expected. Besides featuring two different GPU counts, 7 or 8, the step-up variant also hosts two additional USB-C ports which also support USB 3.1 Gen 2 drives. The higher grade variant also exclusively offers the yellow, orange, and purple-coloured bodies.

Sennheiser continues revolutionising audio with their IE 900

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Source: Sennheiser

While Sennheiser’s reputation for auditory experiences are already nigh impeccable, the fussiest of audiophiles will be pleased to hear that the IE 900 further builds upon the IE 800 S, featuring Sennheiser’s new 7mm-large X3R transducers, which are essentially refined versions of the XWB transducers seen in the IE 300.

These supposedly game-changing improvements are housed in a precision-milled aluminium chassis that features a specially-designed triple-chamber absorber system dedicated to reducing external noise, and amplifying the audio.

Doubling down on their commitment to enthusiasts, the IE 900 comes with a 3.5mm single-ended cable, along with 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced cables for an easy plug-and-play experience with digital audio players and portable amplifiers. The set also comes with three pairs each of differently-sized silicone and foam ear tips, totalling to six different options for users.

The Sennheiser IE 900 will be available from July 2021.

The new Apple TV 4K might just be your new best friend

techroundup-may-AppleTV-1
Source: Apple

Concluding this list of techie reasons as to why staying home for weeks on end might not necessarily be the worst thing, is the ultimate in stay-home entertainment. Boasting a system powerful enough to support high frame rate (HFR) high dynamic range (HDR) video delivery at 4K resolutions, the experience of watching shows on an Apple TV device is now ahead of the curve.

This next gen 4K Apple TV is not only an upgrade in specifications and tech, but also content. In coming months, Apple TV’s library would include not only its growing stable of original content, but also access to other licensed content from NBCUniversal, Paramount+, Fox Sports, and even Red Bull TV.

The new Apple TV 4K is already available in 32GB or 64GB internal storage options and will include the new remote.

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