We’re closing in on the end of the year at a pretty rapid pace. Before we know it we’ll be knee-deep in holiday shopping season. While we’ve seen plenty of exciting gadgets launch this year, a few more are coming. Here are a several we’re most excited about.
1. New MacBook Pro laptops
We still think Apple will launch new a MacBook Pro by the end of the year. Thanks to reporting from 9to5Mac, we’re expecting new processors (finally), a special OLED bar above the keyboard and a new design. Earlier rumors suggested it might arrive as soon as October, but Apple hasn’t sent out invites for any sort of event. The computers may launch in tandem with a new MacBook Air, a computer that’s also expected to get a refresh.
This is particularly important given Apple hasn’t refreshed the MacBook Pro in ages. The computers still run on older Intel processors and are generally getting long in the tooth. It’s important for Apple to get these computers out, given that its competitors are already using new Kaby lake chips.
2. Microsoft Surface all-in-one computer
Microsoft is hosting an event on October 26. All signs point to the company’s first Surface-branded all-in-one computer. According to ZDNets Mary Jo Foley, it’s code named “Cardinal” inside Microsoft. We expect the Surface all-in-one to ship in several sizes with touchscreen displays. Our bet is it will run Windows 10 Anniversary and offer Surface Pen support, too.
This will be the first Microsoft Surface all-in-one. Until now, the Surface branding has only appeared on the company’s Surface Pro tablets and Surface Book laptop computers.
One question we have: is there that much demand for this sort of product?
3. Oculus Touch
The Xbox One controller, while wonderful, doesn’t meet the demands of virtual reality entirely. The medium needs motion control.
This December, Oculus will have motion control for sale when Oculus Touch launches. The input pair will sell for $199 starting on December 6.
We’ve used them at conventions and events before, and the $199 price tag is worth it. The Oculus Touch is a fine piece of hardware.
4. Surface Pro, Surface Book refreshes
The Surface Pro and Surface Book are ready for new hardware. Word on the street is Microsoft isn’t going to offer full-on refreshes. Expect a smaller update. We’re betting on new processors in both computers but not complete design swaps.
Most reports have suggested Microsoft isn’t going to make a big deal out of these computers, which means we might not hear them discussed much (if at all) during Microsoft’s event. We’re huge fans of these computers, though, so even a marginal update is exciting.
5. Huawei Mate 9
Huawei has an event on November 3 where we expect the Chinese smartphone maker to unveil the new Mate 9 flagship. Pictures leaked earlier this week point to two models, including one that looks eerily similar to the recalled Galaxy Note 7. Look for a curved Quad HD display, gobs of RAM, plenty of storage, a Kirin 960 processor and Android 7.0 Nougat.
The Huawei Mate 9 is unlikely to launch immediately on U.S. carriers. Instead, we expect it to make its debut in Asia and Europe. If we’re lucky, we’ll get an unlocked model here, too.
6. HTC Bolt
This one might not launch before the end of the year. The HTC Bolt has been circling around the rumor mill recently. It’s expected to make its debut on Sprint, at least according to a leaked press image.
Other features should include Android 7.0 Nougat and HTC Sense 8.0 software. Given that HTC introduced the HTC 10 this spring, it’s possible the HTC Bolt won’t launch until 2017. Given the increase in leaks, however, anything seems possible.
7. PlayStation VR
Call us for cheating if you want. PlayStation VR is officially out today. Fine. You win.
Sony’s virtual reality headset marks the third major effort for the medium this year. It presents the lowest cost option, not counting mobile variants like Gear VR, and it earned attention from gamers everywhere.
We’re excited for another source of VR gaming. Oculus and Vive are great inputs, but we’re hoping Sony’s clout as a game maker and publisher pushes PSVR to new heights.
8. Made by Google Gadgets
We’ll bundle these all together. We’re excited for all of the new “Made by Google” products that are launching soon. That includes the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL on October 20, followed by the Chromecast Ultra, Google Wifi, Google Home and Google Daydream View VR.
Each of these is exciting in its own right, but we’re most excited about the phones. They’ll introduce Google Assistant in Android 7.1 Nougat, Google’s smartest-ever voice-controller artificial intelligence. Assistant will also be accessible through Google Home, the company’s take on the Amazon Echo. And, even more exciting, the smartphones will power Google Daydream View VR, a new headset that’ll compete with Samsung’s Gear VR.
All of these products are slated to launch by the end of this year.
9. LG V20
Last but not least, the LG V20 will launch by the end of this month. It’s the very first Android Nougat phone (at least it was the first announced with Nougat) and features LG’s unique secondary display. It’s one of the few flagships with a removable battery and expandable storage, plus it offers top-notch audio and visual features including a powerful DAC and a Quad HD screen. With the Galaxy Note 7 out of commission, this is LG’s time to shine.