Tech Bytes: June 2024

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

As we all know, June belongs to the games, but that doesn’t mean it is only about them. Here in Tech Bytes: June 2024, we discuss the other notable pieces of news to hit the tech and gaming space, including highlights from WWDC 2024 and ASUS’s updated gaming handheld.

Nikon Z6III enters the frame

Tech Bytes June 2024: Nikon Z6III

If you’re a Nikon fan of the Nikon Z9 and Z8, the company’s latest camera addition might get your heart racing. Introducing the new Nikon Z6III, a 24.5-megapixel full-frame mid-range camera that brings the best from the two beloved premium models.

The biggest feature of the Nikon Z6III is that it is the world’s first partially-stacked CMOS sensor, meaning that you’ll get faster autofocus and higher continuous shooting rates, among other nifty benefits. It also boasts a very bright electronic viewfinder that goes up to 4,000 nits. Nikon confirms that the display’s refresh rate will enable 60 fps viewing during 20 fps high-speed continuous shooting. The camera can also film 6K RAW video at up to 60fps and 4K RAW at up to 120fps.

The camera will also inherit several features from the Z9 and Z8. For instance, its build will be similarly sealed against dust and moisture while also being resistant to low temperatures of up to -10 degrees Celsius. But that isn’t all. It will also come equipped with almost the same dials and button layouts as the Z8, with extensive custom settings offered. Nikon Z6III also acquires the Z9 and Z8’s AF detection range to -10 EV4, allowing users to easily capture static objects in low-light conditions.

No local pricing or information on availability has been released just yet, but the Nikon Z6III retails at US$2,500 in America. In the meantime, you can register your interest in the camera on the Nikon Singapore website to be among the first to get it!

Apple brings Apple Intelligence

Tech Bytes June 2024: Apple Intelligence

Let’s talk about WWDC 2024, Apple’s annual developers conference. While the event is geared towards software developers, there is usually some exciting news revealed there that we can look forward to, and so was the case for this year.

AI is the hot word in the tech world, so it was heavily expected that Apple would be talking about it at WWDC 2024. And they did, except they aren’t calling it Artificial Intelligence, but Apple Intelligence — very on-brand. But funny name aside, Apple will bring some neat features to iPhones and Macs.

One of the big things to come from Apple Intelligence is that Siri will become smarter. The assistant will have “onscreen awareness,” meaning it can understand what you’re asking from what is shown on the screen. Siri will be complemented by ChatGPT, which will arrive on iOS, macOS, and iPadOS later this year. It will be able to perform more complex tasks that Siri is unable to perform, like planning meal courses or generating images from text.

Apple Intelligence will, however, not be available to all Apple users. The company says that users with iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, as well as iPads or Macs with M1 or later chips, will be the only ones who can experience the AI features. If you happen to have one or more of these devices, you can try them out once the new OS update for each system drops this Fall.

Huawei announces their newest MatePad tablets

Tech Bytes June 2024: Huawei MatePad SE 11

This month, Huawei launched two new devices—the MatePad 11.5’S and the MatePad SE 11”—to bolster its tablet lineup.

First up is the MatePad 11.5’S. It touts a PaperMatte display that mimics a pen-on-paper sensation when used in tandem with the M-Pencil. But the screen has other features too. It also has low blue light emission, operates flicker-free, and guards against screen reflections. Regarding specs, the display is a 2.8K resolution screen with an adaptive 144Hz refresh rate. 

The other new Huawei tablet is the MatePad SE 11″, a more budget-centric option for consumers. At just 475 grams and 6.9mm thick, this device is crafted to be ultra-portable. The 11-inch display has a 1920 × 1200 resolution, with four speakers underneath, providing robust audio performance as you watch movies or TV shows on the device. The 7,700 mAh battery capacity also supports 22.5 W fast charging to get the tablet up and running fast. 

The MatePad 11.5’S retails for S$698 while the MatePad SE 11″ starts at S$268. You can get your hands on the MatePad SE 11″ now, but the MatePad 11.5’S will be arriving later in Singapore.

The ROG Ally X is ASUS’ upgraded gaming handheld

Tech Bytes June 2024: ASUS ROG Ally X

Today, we have several options for handheld gaming devices, but the ASUS ROG Ally was the first Steam Deck competitor from major electronics brands. A year after its launch, the company is readying a follow-up with the all-new ROG Ally X.

This isn’t exactly a full successor to the ROG Ally —it contains the same AMD Z1 Extreme chipset and 7-inch 48–120Hz VRR display — but there are notable improvements made to the device. The biggest one is the new battery capacity. ASUS has doubled the battery to an 80 Wh one, which will lengthen gaming sessions. It will also come with more RAM and storage, specifically 24 GB of DDR5-7500 RAM and 1 TB of storage.

Other notable updates were made to the handheld itself. The chassis has a slightly rounder shape for improved comfort, while the joysticks and D-Pad have been tweaked to be more responsive and precise. The device will also feature two more USB-C ports, one of which is Thunderbolt-compatible for use with third-party docks and external GPUs. Internally, ASUS says the new, smaller fan system will also improve thermal performance while keeping the weight low.

The ROG Ally X will be available in Singapore from 26 July 2024 onwards, retailing for S$1,199. It will be available at the ROG Experience Store Bugis, the ASUS Online Store, and all authorised retailers.

Samsung unveils 2024 Odyssey OLED gaming monitors

Tech Bytes June 2024: Samsung 2024 Odyssey OLED gaming monitors

OLED, once just a TV-specific feature, is now becoming more prevalent in monitors. CES 2024 teased the monitor earlier this year, and now Samsung is delivering on that with their new 2024 Odyssey OLED gaming monitors.

It will consist of two models—the Odyssey OLED G8 and the Odyssey OLED G6. The G8 is Samsung’s first flat 32-inch OLED gaming monitor, boasting a 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution with a 240Hz refresh rate. It will also be Samsung’s first OLED gaming monitor powered by AI, with the NQ8 AI Gen3 processor helping to upscale content to nearly 4K. The monitor will also come installed with native Smart TV apps.

Meanwhile, the Odyssey OLED G6 is a 27-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) resolution monitor, geared more towards the competitive scene with its blazing 360Hz refresh rate. It also shares a couple of features with the 68, like Samsung OLED Safeguard+ (a new proprietary burn-in protection technology) and FreeSync Premium Pro.

Both models are available now. The G8 is priced at S$2,058, while the G6 will cost S$1,404. They can be purchased from the Samsung Online Store, the Samsung Official Store on Lazada and Shopee, and major consumer electronics and IT retailers.

This marks June 2024’s edition of Tech Bytes, and we hope this round-up gives you insight into tech to be excited about. Check with us again in July 2024, as we bring you more byte-sized news every month!

Visuals courtesy of Nikon Singapore, Apple, Huawei, ASUS, and Samsung Singapore.

Russell Matthew Loh

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

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