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June 15, 2021

👋 Good morning! A little reminder that Nintendo Direct starts about five hours after this newsletter reaches your inbox!

🎞️ Today's newsletter is brought to you by Movavi! We've been telling you for awhile now that this is one of the best video editing apps on Android to easily help craft professional video projects. The Movavi Clips app features easy drag-and-drop, and high-quality 1080p exports, while Movavi's Video Editor Plus is a powerful desktop (and in-browser) video editor with both manual and automatic creation modes, and features, for fast, easy editing.

Razer’s new stuff

Razer had a moment at E3 2021, revealing the smallest 14-inch gaming laptop on the market, a new Raptor monitor, and its mask.

Blade 14:

  • This compact gaming laptop is notable for being Razer’s first 14-inch device in years, and for its AMD power, marking the first Razer laptop not sporting an Intel CPU.
  • It’ll be 12.59 x 8.66 x 0.66 inches, and weigh 3.92 pounds or 1.77kg.
  • The AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX will power it, plus depending on your spec choices, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series graphics card up to a 3080 GPU, and a display ranging from Full HD at 144Hz to Quad HD at 165Hz. There are plenty of ports too, including USB 3.2 with power delivery, and of course, a lit-up RGB keyboard.
  • Oh, and a 720p webcam, which is not really exciting other than most gaming laptops don’t include one.
  • This looks killer, even if it starts at $1,800 and jumps to $2,800 for the top-spec model with that 3080 GPU and 165Hz display.
  • But I think it’s stuck with 16GB of RAM, only? The lack of a 32GB option may leave it a little short for future high-end games, unless the whole industry goes streaming-first in the next few years. (Note: Amazon Luna’s trial during Prime Day).
  • It should stack up well, though reviews will tell the full story. Razer generally does solid build quality and it’s sticking with vapor chamber cooling hardware here.

Monitor, mask, GaN:

  • Razer Raptor 27: This 27-inch gaming monitor jumps to a 165Hz refresh rate, with the same Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution as earlier.
  • Razer is talking up its THX Certification, a first for the industry in general, and has an optional VESA adapter for mounting.
  • Also, the Project Hazel mask has appeared finally, a little late for the peak of the pandemic but sure to be useful — though no pricing yet (The Verge).
  • Finally, the company made a 130W GaN charger that is small in size but capable. It’s able to handle two USB-C devices at 100W (for anything from phones to Razer Blade laptops to Apple MacBooks) and another two USB-A devices at 18W (Andandtech)
  • That said, Razer is asking $180, which is steep. Gallium Nitride (GaN) chargers are at a premium for their size and efficiency, and won’t run hot, but $180… yowch!

🎧 New Beats Studio Buds are here, offering noise-cancelling, and even Android Fast Pair support at $150 (Android Authority).

Bloomberg reporting outlines the Apple Watch expected in 2021 and 2022, and it’s the 2022 model that looks like it’ll have some of the health tech we’ve been hearing about (Android Authority).

Google might ship a new Pixel Stand charger with cooling alongside the Pixel 6, with hints in the code (Android Authority).

🪁 DJI Mini SE: DJI could soon launch its cheapest drone yet at just $299 (Android Authority).

🤳 A light field selfie camera might come to your next smartphone, meaning you could potentially refocus photos after you’ve taken them (Android Authority).

📁 Leaker reveals details of Xiaomi’s upcoming foldable phone, but sounds a lot like the Mi Mix Fold with minor spec bumps? (Android Authority).

💻 Dell XPS 13 OLED review: nice OLED, shame about the 4K battery drain! (The Verge).

🆕 Google’s unified Gmail interface (and Google Chat) launches for everyone (Ars Technica).

🔫 Halo Infinite multiplayer news: Bots, free-to-play clarified, and split-screen is back (!!) (Ars Technica).

📸 Revolutionary “spaceplate” could eliminate traditional camera lenses, with Canadian researchers working nanotech into new ideas (PetaPixel).

⚖️ Supreme Court revives LinkedIn case to protect user data from web scrapers (TechCrunch).

🎮 Todd Howard is finally ready to share some Starfield details: set “300-ish” years in the future (Ars Technica).

🔴 How do you make a robot walk on Mars? (Wired).

👂 “The earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and the universe about 14.5 billion years old. If life isn’t special, then shouldn’t we have already been contacted?” (r/askscience).

Chart Tuesday

I can’t help but be fascinated by data presentations about drought, and this one is a beauty.

Here’s a wonderful visualization showing the levels of drought in the US from August 1999 to June 2021:


All the best,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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