Tech Bytes: March 2021

Welcome to Tech Bytes! In this series, we bring the biggest news hitting the Tech and Gaming fields, getting them into a simple brief for you to quickly catch up on, so you’re up to speed over that dinner and drinks.

It’s still early in the year, but tech companies are starting to ramp up new stuff to excite people. Check out what they’ve been cooking up for March 2021.

Samsung unpacks its newest A-series lineup

Tech Bytes: Samsung A-series

It has only been a couple of months since Samsung has shown off and released their new Galaxy S21 lineup, but they’re back again to announce the latest additions to their midrange-minded A-series — the A32, A52 and A72.

The A52 is touted as the flagship out of the trio, and there are two variants of it, one with 5G capabilities while the other only gets 4G. The 5G model also sports a 120 Hz display compared to the 90 Hz one featured on the non-5G model. Both models will get a 6.5-inch display with a quad-camera system with a 64MP primary camera at the back and a 4500 mAh battery.

For the budget-conscious, consumers can consider the cheaper A32, where you’ll have the same 5G functionality and the 6.5-inch display with the A32, but it comes with a lower resolution and a 60 Hz refresh rate. Other differences include a slightly lower 48MP primary camera, but it does trump in battery capacity at 5000 mAh.

The A72 is for those who prefer big phones. It is the largest of the lot at 6.7-inches, and it also has a 90 Hz refresh rate. It is similarly spec-ed to the A52 but currently is only limited to 4G functionality.

The Galaxy A52 5G will be the first to arrive in Singapore on 27 March, while the A32 5G comes shortly after on 2 April, available at a starting price of $548 and $348, respectively.

Lenovo levels up their Legion series

Tech Bytes: Lenovo Legion

Lenovo’s gaming-centric brand Legion has picked up some recognition in recent years and aims to continue that trend with their new 2021 collection.

They have four brand new entries to their line-up — the Lenovo Legion 7, Lenovo Legion Slim 7, Lenovo Legion 5 Pro and Lenovo Legion 5 — and not only are you able to configure NVIDIA’s RTX 3000 series on them. They have all been fitted with AMD’s 5000 series mobile CPUs; an increasingly popular choice amongst gamers.

Legion 7 is their most uncompromising system yet. It comes with the Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, and you can equip up to an RTX 3080 on it. The 16-inch display also features a new 16:10 aspect ratio, which helps deliver a 2560 x 1600 resolution and a 165 Hz refresh rate.

Meanwhile, the Legion Slim 7 is back to stake its claim to be among the lightest gaming laptops you can get. It also has the Ryzen 9 5900HX processor and is configurable with up to an RTX 3060 Max-Q GPU — all in a lightweight 1.9kg package. Additionally, you can choose either a 1080p panel with a 144 Hz refresh rate or a crisp 4K resolution panel with a regular 60 Hz refresh rate.

Lenovo sees the Legion 5 Pro as the midway step between the Legion 7 and the Legion 5. It offers the same display features as the Legion 7 and is also no slouch in performance, with a Ryzen 7 5800H CPU and up to an RTX 3070 GPU powering the system.

Lastly, the Legion 5 provides the best entry point for people wanting some gaming performance in a sleek package. It is available in two display sizes — 15-inches or 17-inches — it comes with the Ryzen 7 5800H and fits up to an RTX 3070 GPU. The 15-inch version supports a 1440p resolution with 165 Hz of refresh rate, while the 17-inch variant has a 1080p panel that runs a 144 Hz refresh rate. 

Each of the new laptops also comes with neat Lenovo features like the Lenovo AI Engine, which tweaks CPU and GPU power distribution to enable higher framerates for specific games and Nahimic Audio, a 3D audio sound experience. 

While most of these laptops will be made available from early April, you can get Lenovo Legion 5 Pro right now from Lenovo’s website and flagship store in Funan or from their official online pages in Shopee and Lazada.

Microsoft officially brings Bethesda to the family

Tech Bytes: Microsoft X Bethsda

We’ve known for some time that Bethesda will be joining Microsoft’s burgeoning first-party family, and now the deal has been made official. 

This new partnership’s immediate effect is the appearance of beloved Bethesda titles on Xbox’s Game Pass subscription service. Titles from franchises like Doom, The Elder Scrolls and Wolfenstein are now available on the service for players to enjoy. 

However, the more significant development of this is that future Bethesda titles will almost certainly be exclusive to the Xbox and PC platforms going forward, after admission from Xbox Head Phil Spencer, who all but confirmed people’s speculation.

How this will affect the gaming landscape in the future is left to be seen, but it will be an exciting journey to follow.

PlayStation unveils the next iteration of its virtual reality tech

Tech Bytes: PSVR2

Virtual reality (VR) is a growing market within the gaming industry, and PlayStation has been a presence in the scene, launching PlayStation VR back in 2016. Now they are ready to talk about the new version of their VR technology.

In a surprise announcement near the end of February, Sony revealed that their next-generation VR device is in the works — offering increased resolution, a wider field of view and greater ease of use with a single cord setup.

They’ve since quickly followed up recently with a first look at what the system’s new controllers will look like. It’s a big departure from the original, featuring an ‘orb’ design that allows users more freedom in hand movement without compromising comfort.

But the most exciting aspect about the controllers is their features. It brings many of PS5’s standout traits— adaptive triggers for realistic tension and haptic feedback to produce nuanced sensations. Another new addition is Finger Touch Detection which allows for more natural gestures during gameplay. 

Sony has confirmed that this new VR device won’t be coming out this year, but we’ll see more news about it throughout the year, something that we’ll be eagerly awaiting to hear.

This marks 2021 March’s edition of Tech Bytes, and we hope this roundup gives you a little insight into tech to be excited about. Check with us again in April 2021, as we bring you more byte-sized news every month!

Photos by Darren Chiong of the DANAMIC Team. Additional visuals courtesy of Samsung Singapore, Microsoft and PlayStation Asia.

Russell Matthew Loh

Watcher of films and player of games. Dabble with writing in between.

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