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Samsung’s 110-inch MicroLED TV is here. Don’t ask about the price.

Samsung's 110-inch MicroLED TV
A man stands next to a Samsung Electronics "Quantum Dot" SUHD television at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, July 4, 2016. Picture taken on July 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji - S1AETOCMJSAC

If you really hate bezels, and OLED just doesn’t cut it in terms of picture quality, we’ve got good news: Samsung has launched a 110-inch MicroLED TV.

The company has had a MicroLED TV in its lineup before, but The Wall, as it was called, was modular and primarily aimed at businesses. Samsung’s new TV is a traditional, singular unit, more suitable for home use.
MicroLED is widely viewed as next-gen TV tech, inheriting the best traits of OLED and LCD TVs but with nearly none of the disadvantages. Samsung says the new TV has 4K resolution, a wide color gamut, a powerful new Micro AI Processor, and a lifespan of up to 100,000 hours.

Yes, none of that is very specific, but there’s one cool thing about this TV that we can definitely see on product images: it has nearly no bezel. Samsung claims a 99.99 percent screen-to-body ratio, with the bezel and black matrix “completely removed” from the display.
The 110-inch MicroLED TV (that’s what Samsung’s officially calls it; perhaps the name hasn’t been finalized yet) also has a built-in, 5.1-speaker system. The sound system has a cool feature: the TV can track objects moving on the screen, and project the sound to follow the action.
The 110-inch MicroLED TV has been launched in Korea and will become available globally in the first quarter of 2021.

And now, about the price. In Korea, the recommended price is 170 million won, or $155,938. Yes, that much. Yes, we are sorry.

Acer Nitro 5 Review: A Stand-Out Budget Gaming Laptop

The Acer Nitro 5

It’s not a stretch to say we’ll probably see new gaming laptops with bigger and better graphics cards soon with 2021 and CES right around the corner. That’s all well and good for anyone who wants the latest and greatest, but many people would prefer something that just good enough—aka something on a budget. These laptops may weigh more than five pounds, they may not have the best display or the best keyboard. They get the job done though, and they do their jobs well, which is why I’d be happy to recommend Acer’s Nitro 5 to anyone who wants something that can do it all, but doesn’t need to spend an ungodly amount of money on a gaming laptop.

The Acer Nitro 5 is the type of laptop I would have loved to have in college. At 5.07 pounds, it’s light enough to carry around in your backpack, but it’s dimensions are thick enough so you don’t have to worry about it sliding around on your desk. Even at that weight, it’s still sort of brick-like with 14.3 by 1.02 by 10-inch dimensions. It would be nice to have that height under an inch at the very least, but it still comes with attractive features that budget laptops normally would not in the past, like a 1080p, 144 Hz IPS display. It’s a more-than-solid gaming laptop for $1,100.
The Nitro 5 has just the right amount of ports, too: one USB 2.0, two USB-A 3.1, one USB-C 3.1, Gigabit Ethernet, audio line out, headphone jack, and one HDMI port. Some $2,000-plus laptops have less ports than that! This laptop isn’t built for streaming, but if you want to plug in a wired mouse, a headset, and a standalone mic to coordinate with your friends over several rounds of Apex Legends, you can do that. There’s also Bluetooth 5.0 support, and a built-in 1280 x 720 webcam plus microphone.

The last-gen Intel processor isn’t that big of a compromise compared to the Nitro 5’s total package. The Core i7-9750H performance is definitely not as fast compared to the 10th-gen. But I’d rather sacrifice a bit of performance that only amounts to small decrease in frame rates or a few additional seconds of processing or loading time instead of DRAM, storage capacity, or a ray-tracing graphics card. The 512 GB SSD is middle-of-the-road for the overall price of this laptop, but it can easily be upgraded down the line. Games’ file sizes are massive these days, so any tier of gaming laptop should come with at least a 1 TB SSD. That’s one of the biggest drawbacks to the Acer Nitro 5, but again, it’s a budget laptop. Concessions need to be made somewhere.

Gift Guide: Fun photography gear to brighten up the holidays

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera

Welcome to TechCrunch’s 2020 Holiday Gift Guide! Need help with gift ideas? We’re here to help! We’ll be rolling out gift guides from now through the end of December. You can find our other guides right here.

It’s a difficult time to be a photographer. Getting creative feels impossible when every day is the same and the most exotic locale you visit is the living room. Travel is out this year, vacations are pushed back and everybody is cooped up inside trying not to lose it.

Everything is hard in like 12 different ways right now, but encouraging your friends and fam to immerse themselves in new hobbies and plan future adventures is a great distraction. For photographers at a loss for what to shoot this year, it’s the perfect time to mix things up, switch up your gear entirely and try to see the world with fresh eyes.

It might not seem like it, but it’s actually the perfect time to get into instant photography. As a photographer myself, I haven’t picked up my main camera in months. Nothing feels inspiring. But I started carrying a cheap instant camera on walks around my neighborhood, rain permitting, and it’s been a meditative way to appreciate the beauty of small things that otherwise just blend into my routine. This Fujifilm Instax shoots larger, square photos and they look great popping up in an Instagram feed too if you’re in it for the ‘gram.

Another good option: The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera creates smaller, rectangular photos and it’s playful design makes it perfect for anyone.

Apple is full-steam ahead on replacing Qualcomm modems with its own

5G modems

Apple introduced 5G modems for the first time this year in its iPhone 12 lineup, but the phones use modems made by Qualcomm. When Apple completes its work on its own modems, it is likely to drop the Qualcomm modems from most or all of its phones. Qualcomm shares fell in value after the Bloomberg report ran.
However, the report notes that “a 2019 patent agreement between Apple and Qualcomm includes a six-year licensing pact,” and that “Qualcomm charges license fees to phone makers based on wireless patents it owns, regardless of whether they use its chips or not.”

In any case, this news is a confirmation of suspicions long held by close observers of Apple. As if the Intel modem business acquisition wasn’t a big enough clue, Apple was also in 2018 visibly and publicly ramping up its staff in an office in San Diego that is located close to Qualcomm’s offices there. As we noted when we covered Apple’s hiring sprees two years ago, the San Diego office appears all but designed to poach skilled engineers from Qualcomm and the smaller San Diego-based firms in its orbit to work on modem technologies.

In 2019, Apple confirmed plans to open a second major San Diego campus. Further, Apple has been listing numerous opportunities related to modems on its jobs portal for a couple of years now. The report today says that Apple has people working on the new modems in San Diego, Cupertino, and Europe.
It is unknown when Apple might add these new modems to its phones, but we can easily speculate as to what its priorities might be. Our iPhone 12 review (and the reviews at other publications) pointed out that the new iPhones take a dramatic hit to battery life when browsing in 5G. That Apple may hope that it can produce more efficient alternatives that are more tightly integrated with the other technologies in its phones is one possible focus.

New video of Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus shows thin bezels around a flat display

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Plenty of details about the Samsung Galaxy S21 have already leaked ahead of its expected January release date. But a new video gives a glimpse of the Galaxy S21 Plus model, showing a flat display with thin bezels around it, and a punch hole selfie camera.

The quality of the video from user Random Stuff 2 isn’t the greatest, and it has some sort of distracting music playing under the user’s commentary. It also doesn’t provide a lot of detail about the back of the phone.

Three Galaxy S21 models are expected: a standard, a Plus and an Ultra. A series of leaked teaser trailers, showed off redesigned camera bumps, showing what appears to be five cameras on the S21 Ultra and three each on the S21 and S21 Plus.

Android Police reported last month that the S21 will have a 6.2-inch display, the Plus will be 6.7 inches and the Ultra will have a 6.8-inch display. The phones will all have batteries ranging in size from 4,000 mAh to 5,000 mAh, and all three are expected to have either a Snapdragon 875 or Exynos 2100 processor.

The phones are all expected to have 5G, with the S21 and Plus both with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, and Wi-Fi 6E in the Ultra. The S21 Ultra is also expected to be compatible with Samsung’s S-Pen, but rumor has it the S-Pen won’t be sold with the device.