Tech Bytes: October 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 tech season here in October, and the month sees much of the big tech giants unveiling their newest devices. See all that they have been announced here!

AFTERSHOCK PC presents their new VAPOR 15 Pro laptop

Tech Bytes October 2021: VAPOR PRO 15

Local tech company AFTERSHOCK PC is adding a new device to their family of laptops — the VAPOR 15 Pro.

The VAPOR 15 Pro aims to provide powerful performance in an ultraportable form factor.  It comes with an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H processor along with options for either an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 or 3070, all while weighing at just 1.94kg.

It also comes with a 15.6-inch QHD (1440p) resolution display with a 165Hz refresh rate for smooth, responsive gaming. The latest Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6 technologies are also a feature of the laptop.

The VAPOR 15 Pro is available right now at S$2275 and S$2904 for the RTX 3060 and 3070 configurations, respectively, and they can be purchased from AFTERSHOCK PC’s official website.

BenQ brings new MOBIUZ Gaming Monitors to Singapore

Tech Bytes October 2021: MOBIUZ Gaming Monitor

BenQ recently announced their new 2021 lineup of its MOBIUZ gaming monitors, aiming to bring players a more immersive experience when playing the latest AAA games.

Each MOBIUZ gaming monitor comes with HDRi technology that helps generate detailed HDR images on screen, providing a visual feast to gamers. They also come equipped with built-in treVolo audio speakers to deliver immersive audio to get players deeper into the game world. Additionally, BenQ’s Light Tuner feature allows for 20 visual settings customised for different game genres and a Black eQualizer for brightening dark corners and shadows. MOBIUZ also boasts a 1ms response time, variable refresh rate and AMD FreeSync for smooth gameplay.

The MOBIUZ slate consists of six monitors. The EX2510S and EX2710S are the 1080p and 165Hz refresh rate variants of the line, with the displays sized at 24.5-inch and 27-inch, respectively. The EX2710Q on the other hand, is a monitor with a 27-inch display and features a 1440p resolution and 165Hz refresh rate. 

The last three MOBIUZ gaming monitors are curved variants. EX2710R has a 27-inch, 1440p and 165Hz display that uses a 1000R curved VA panel. EX3210R has similar specs but is larger at 31.5-inches. Finally, EX3415R is not only the largest monitor within the family with a 34-inch screen, but it also is an ultrawide monitor as well. The display comes with a 1440p resolution and has a 144Hz refresh rate.

BenQ’s MOBIUZ gaming monitors start at S$429, and they can be purchased from the company’s official online store on Lazada or Shopee.

Apple’s newest generation AirPods undergoes a redesign

Tech Bytes October 2021: AirPods 3rd Gen

Apple just held an event for their new iPhone 13 and iPad Mini devices, and now they are back again this month. And among the announcements for their dubbed ‘Unleashed’ October event is the new 3rd generation AirPods. 

The latest AirPods now come with a new design reminiscent of Apple’s own AirPods Pro, though it lacks the ear tips. In addition to the redesign, the 3rd-gen AirPods now have additional features like water and sweat resistance as well as spatial audio. They also come with improvements to battery life, with the buds now lasting for 6 hours and the case bringing a total of 30 hours of use.

Apple’s new AirPods will be made available on 26 October, though there is a slight increase in price to S$269. You can pre-order the AirPods right now from Apple’s online store.

Apple introduces their new MacBook Pro lineup

Tech Bytes October 2021: MacBook Pro 2021

However, the biggest announcement from the ‘Apple Unleashed’ event goes to the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

These new laptops also receive a new look, with slimmer bezels on the screen and a notch in the middle to accommodate the webcam. The keyboard also no longer has the Touch Bar from previous MacBooks. Instead, it now uses a regular function row. Ports have also been added to the MacBook Pros — an extra Thunderbolt port, SD card slot and an HDMI port. The popular MagSafe charging also makes a return.

At the heart of these laptops are the new chips from Apple. The M1 Pro and M1 Max tout even better performance compared to the already powerful original M1 chip. The M1 Pro has a 70% improved CPU performance and doubles the GPU capabilities over the M1. The M1 Max bests even that, with double the memory bandwidth, RAM configuration (up to 64GB), and GPU cores (32 cores or quadruple the performance over M1).

Another big feature of the new MacBook Pros is the inclusion of Mini LED and 120Hz refresh rate for the display. In addition, the Mini led display now enables a 1600 peak brightness and a 1 million to 1 contrast ratio, while the refresh rate uses Apple’s ‘Pro Motion’ technology to adapt to a person’s usage to save battery. An upgraded 1090p webcam also brings better resolution and low-light performance to video calls.

Battery life has also been improved. The 14-inch MacBook Pro now offers up to 17 hours of video playback (a 7-hour improvement), while the 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers 21 hours (a 10-hour improvement). Fast charge also comes to the laptops, allowing you to get up to 50% battery in just 30 minutes.

Both the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros can be configured with either the M1 Pro or M1 Max chips. The 14-inch model starts at S$2,999, while the 16-inch begins at S$3,749. They will be made widely available on 26 October, and buyers can pre-order the device on Apple’s website.

Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are coming soon

Tech Bytes October 2021: Pixel 6

After teasing the new Pixel phone back in August, Google officially unveiled it this month. And it will come in two forms — the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro.

Both smartphones are now powered by Google’s proprietary Tensor processor, which helps to bring its machine learning capabilities to the next level. For example, it now allows for automatic punctuation when transcribing speech to text and faster translation to different languages. The processor also helps out with photos, bringing improvements like more accurate face detection and new features like Magic Eraser (which allows you to remove unwanted objects or people in a photo) and Motion Mode (which adds motions to your images).

The cameras have physically gotten an upgrade as well. Both phones now have a 50MP primary sensor that helps it to capture more light, allowing for better low-light photography. They both also come with a 12MP ultrawide camera capable of getting a 114-degree field of view. The Pro version will, however, include an additional 4x telephoto camera. Its front camera is also slightly better at 11MP compared to the regular’s 8MP.

Other differences between the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro can be seen in the display. The Pixel 6 comes in at 6.4-inches while the Pro model is 6.7-inches, which are curved on the sides. Aside from the size, the Pro has a better resolution (1440p vs 1080p) and refresh rate (120Hz vs 90Hz) compared to the regular version. There’s also more RAM on the Pixel 6 Pro (12GB vs 8GB), and lastly, the battery is also slightly larger on the Pro (5004mAh) than on the Pixel 6 (4614mAh).

They will have similar design sensibilities, though. The Pixel 6 lineup has been revamped with a two-tone finish and a diagonal camera bar at the back. But there will be different colour options to separate the two phones visually, with the regular Pixel 6 featuring more vibrant choices.

The Pixel 6 phones are due to come out on 28 October in the US and are set to cost US$599 and US$899 for the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro, respectively.

This marks 2021 October’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 November 2021, as we bring you more byte-sized news every month!

Visuals courtesy of AFTERSHOCK PC, BenQ, Apple, and Google.

Russell Matthew Loh

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

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