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Samsung Galaxy Unpacked August 2022 - new foldables, earphones and watches.

AndreiArgeanu
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Summary

Samsung at their unpacked even today released new devices. The Galaxy Flip 4(1799$), Galaxy Fold 4(999$), Galaxy Buds2 Pro(229$) and the Galaxy Watch 5(279$) and Watch 5 Pro(449$). All of these devices will launch on the 26th of August with pre-orders available today. The Fold 4 is thinner and lighter due to it's redesigned hinge and the backing of the reinforced digitizer. The Flip 4 also has a bespoke edition which allows you to customise the frame and the colour of the covers.

 

Quotes

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My thoughts

 Nothing at this event really blew my mind. They've made improvements to the Fold and Flip and released a new watch series and a pair of earphones. I'm curious to see how their new hinge design will hold up since it's totally different to the geared design the previous fold's have had.

 

Sources

 YouTube

Samsung - Flip 4  Fold 4  Buds 2 Pro  Watch 5  Watch 5 Pro

 

 

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Yeah, none of this really changes the stakes. The Z Flip 4 (that's the one that costs $999, by the way) and Z Fold 4 are still mainly suited to early adopters who are willing to live with a few quirks to say they have a foldable phone. If I had to buy a Samsung phone right now, I'd pick the S22+ instead.

 

I do like that the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro offers a titanium case for $449 ($499 with LTE), though. Apple's titanium Series 7 starts at $799; I suspect there's more to the price difference than meets the eye, like material composition, but it still means you can get a light-yet-strong smartwatch for Android that won't break the proverbial bank.

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Both the Fold and Flip are uninteresting to me. They don't offer anything super extra, bit extra display or so called space saving when closed. Yet sacrifice on specs while also higher price on top. Big no. I'm more interested in new S Ultra really.

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The Buds 2 Pro now supports Bluetooth LE Audio. This means that the compression will be far superior to the standard Bluetooth audio compression fallback.

 

All Bluetooth LE Audio devices has to support a new audio format called LC3.

LC3 is the replacement for the old Bluetooth audio format called SBC.

LC3 offers roughly 3 times higher quality audio at the same bit rate as SBC.

 

Bluetooth LE Audio also supports a bunch of other cool things like the master device connecting to both slave devices independently, rather than how it works right now where your phone connects to only one earbud, and then the earbud connect to each other. 

And Bluetooth LE Audio is lower latency too.

 

 

Too bad both the watch 5 and Buds 2 Pro are both pretty expensive. If they were cheaper I'd probably upgrade from my Galaxy Watch Active (first gen) and Galaxy Buds (first gen). But as it stands right now I don't think the improvements are enough to justify the price for me.

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9 minutes ago, Doobeedoo said:

Both the Fold and Flip are uninteresting to me. They don't offer anything super extra, bit extra display or so called space saving when closed. Yet sacrifice on specs while also higher price on top. Big no. I'm more interested in new S Ultra really.

Honestly I can't think of a reason why I would want a foldable phone. It seems like a huge pain with little upside. I think I much prefer your standard smartphone. Maybe I might change my mind if there is something that can leverage the extra screen space but tbh I find that my phone is plenty big enough for what I use it for. 

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56 minutes ago, LAwLz said:

The Buds 2 Pro now supports Bluetooth LE Audio. This means that the compression will be far superior to the standard Bluetooth audio compression fallback.

 

All Bluetooth LE Audio devices has to support a new audio format called LC3.

LC3 is the replacement for the old Bluetooth audio format called SBC.

LC3 offers roughly 3 times higher quality audio at the same bit rate as SBC.

 

Bluetooth LE Audio also supports a bunch of other cool things like the master device connecting to both slave devices independently, rather than how it works right now where your phone connects to only one earbud, and then the earbud connect to each other. 

And Bluetooth LE Audio is lower latency too.

 

 

Too bad both the watch 5 and Buds 2 Pro are both pretty expensive. If they were cheaper I'd probably upgrade from my Galaxy Watch Active (first gen) and Galaxy Buds (first gen). But as it stands right now I don't think the improvements are enough to justify the price for me.

I got Galaxy Buds+ so these would be a neat upgrade especially with ANC too. Probably would get them with new phone eventually.

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43 minutes ago, Brooksie359 said:

Honestly I can't think of a reason why I would want a foldable phone. It seems like a huge pain with little upside. I think I much prefer your standard smartphone. Maybe I might change my mind if there is something that can leverage the extra screen space but tbh I find that my phone is plenty big enough for what I use it for. 

There are a few reasons, they're just harder to justify for most people.

 

For the Z Flip, it's mainly the compact footprint and the half-fold features (say, recording video of yourself). Well, that and we can finally get back to the days of slamming a phone shut after a call. The Z Fold proposition is simple: it's for folks who want a tablet they can carry anywhere.

 

The problem, of course, is that many people don't mind carrying a conventional smartphone and don't crave a tablet-sized screen when they're out. These are solutions in search of problems. I could see a day where foldables are truly mainstream, but that won't happen until there are so few compromises (such as durability, price and thickness) that they become easy choices.

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Samsung is really going downhill this year with their middle of the year releases.

 

The Z Fold 4 in particular looks like a really bad deal in so many ways, especially as I want and need a new phone since my current S7 Edge is too slow, its battery life is awful and it heats up a lot (not to mention the earpiece speaker being damaged makes having a phone call a difficult endeavor):

 

Its 4400mAh is just too small for a foldable phone of this size, it was easily one of the most lacking aspects of last year's Z Fold 3 (it had worser endurance than the S21 Ultra and the iPhone 13 Pro, forget the 13 Pro Max) and Samsung refused to improve this critical component;

The camera system on a device that costs close to 2000€ being worst than their S22 Ultra (that costs nearly 1300€) is insulting to say the least, I wouldn't mind not having the S-pen built in but the camera system of the S22+ in the Z Fold 4? Talk about predatory behaviour, robbing as much as they can from the tech-illiterates;

The crease is still visible and the Oppo Find N, from last year, had a better form factor and now we're going to get new Oppo, Xiaomi foldables with better adoptions of a folding screen and even a Pixel whose camera will be on the top bezel in order to not have it on the display itself!;

The outer screen really needed to be wider, the Z Fold 4 needs dust resistance for it to be usable on the daily and I still cannot trust that UTG that can be scratched by my pack of paper tissues!

 

Siiigh, I'm so very sad and very complainant because this device had so much potential to be great and, yet, it was leaked all the way to the Moon and we got a mediocre "bleeding edge" smartphone at the price of a Red Beryl gemstone!

 

The Galaxy Watch Pro 5 is the only interesting piece of hardware, which is really bad news for people who care about smartphones being efficient and long lasting tools instead of a fashion statement (or when they're seen as a financial show off + primarily selfie taker, those truly are the worst people!).

 

LG stopped making phones for a reason, nobody found them worth their price or even innovative - Samsung, at least here, seems to be acting in similar fashion so I'm worried that Apple is making truly flagship devices whereas Samsung doesn't even seem to care anymore and are just riding on brand recognition and advertisements -_-!

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1 hour ago, Commodus said:

There are a few reasons, they're just harder to justify for most people.

 

For the Z Flip, it's mainly the compact footprint and the half-fold features (say, recording video of yourself). Well, that and we can finally get back to the days of slamming a phone shut after a call. The Z Fold proposition is simple: it's for folks who want a tablet they can carry anywhere.

 

The problem, of course, is that many people don't mind carrying a conventional smartphone and don't crave a tablet-sized screen when they're out. These are solutions in search of problems. I could see a day where foldables are truly mainstream, but that won't happen until there are so few compromises (such as durability, price and thickness) that they become easy choices.

I imagine if they can make a foldable phone that is actually the same size as a traditional smartphone then maybe it would be more popular but they seem a bit clunky currently 

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3 hours ago, Crossyfloater said:

The camera system on a device that costs close to 2000€ being worst than their S22 Ultra (that costs nearly 1300€) is insulting to say the least, I wouldn't mind not having the S-pen built in but the camera system of the S22+ in the Z Fold 4?

I don't think it's as simple as "just use the S22U's camera system." That array is huge, particularly the 108MP main sensor and 10X zoom lens; I'm not convinced Samsung could use that without complaints about bulk and weight distribution. Foldables are thick enough as it is, and that 50MP main cam is still a nice step forward.

 

Foldable phones (not just Samsung's) are still too undercooked to truly appeal to the mainstream, but you can cut Samsung a little slack. It was never going to address every possible criticism of foldables in one update.

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4 hours ago, Commodus said:

The problem, of course, is that many people don't mind carrying a conventional smartphone and don't crave a tablet-sized screen when they're out. These are solutions in search of problems. I could see a day where foldables are truly mainstream, but that won't happen until there are so few compromises (such as durability, price and thickness) that they become easy choices.

I don't think foldables are "solutions in search of a problem". People want bigger screens. If you don't believe me then just go back 10 years and read all the articles talking about the iPhone's 3.5" screen and how "nobody needs a bigger screen than that".

I thought my Galaxy S22 Ultra was huge when I first got it, but now I have gotten used to it I feel like other phones are kind of small and cramped. 

 

So if you ask me, foldables are a solution to a real want/need/demand from customers (they want bigger screens). The issue right now is that the drawbacks of a foldable are not enough to outweigh the drawbacks.

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17 minutes ago, LAwLz said:

I don't think foldables are "solutions in search of a problem". People want bigger screens. If you don't believe me then just go back 10 years and read all the articles talking about the iPhone's 3.5" screen and how "nobody needs a bigger screen than that".

I thought my Galaxy S22 Ultra was huge when I first got it, but now I have gotten used to it I feel like other phones are kind of small and cramped. 

 

So if you ask me, foldables are a solution to a real want/need/demand from customers (they want bigger screens). The issue right now is that the drawbacks of a foldable are not enough to outweigh the drawbacks.

You might be right, but I also think the circumstances are different. Apple was trying to justify an ergonomic decision that, to be fair, didn't hold up as smartphone use cases changed rapidly. The question is whether or not people will keep demanding bigger screens to the point where phones like the Z Flip and Z Fold are virtually necessary, and I'm not sure that's the case. It may be a matter of diminishing returns.

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Because of the aspect ratio change there is more black bars on full screen video than the Fold 3.

It is a shame the crease isn't gone like the new Oppo Fold, strange that Samsung isn't equivalent or better.

 

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6 hours ago, Crossyfloater said:

Apple is making truly flagship devices whereas Samsung doesn't even seem to care anymore and are just riding on brand recognition and advertisements

So I guess the Galaxy S line doesn't exist in your world?

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10 minutes ago, Arika S said:

So I guess the Galaxy S line doesn't exist in your world?

There's the S22 Ultra, which is really a flagship phone, but the S22 in particular is very lacking (especially in battery life) and the S22+ isn't that much different from its smaller sibling aside from the noticeably larger battery - then again Samsung hasn't improved their S phones much since the Galaxy S10 models got released, just like Apple hasn't changed much since the iPhone X.

 

By flagships I'm referring to the top end devices, with Apple having the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max, which are certainly better than any of those devices and only start to lose on some aspects to the S22 Ultra (like on some cameras and the S-pen).

 

Where I live Samsung uses Exynos CPUs on every S series device and, historically, it's been known that Exynos are hot garbage compared to Samsung phones with Qualcomm CPUs, but those are still far behind the A series CPUs on the newest iPhones.

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3 minutes ago, Crossyfloater said:

By flagships I'm referring to the top end devices, with Apple having the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max, which are certainly better than any of those devices and only start to lose on some aspects to the S22 Ultra (like on some cameras and the S-pen).

So they do make a flagship....the s22 ultra. And I would say its the flagship of Android as a whole.

 

The existence of apple and iPhone doesn't mean it's not a flagship.

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22 minutes ago, Arika S said:

So they do make a flagship....the s22 ultra. And I would say its the flagship of Android as a whole.

 

The existence of apple and iPhone doesn't mean it's not a flagship.

.-.?

 

Yes, I agree with you since I did say the S22 Ultra is a flagship device (you're likely right when you say it's the best Android phone right now, maybe the Pixel 7 series will change that), and certainly the fact that Apple and iPhone Pros exist the way they do won't negate that point.

 

What's questionable is how Samsung is approaching their existing and potential consumers: Isn't the Z Fold 4 supposed to be the latest flagship phone from Samsung, wasn't the foldable lineup meant to replace the Note series launch events precisely because they were the "future" of smartphones?

 

I can't be the only one who thinks Samsung, who manufactures SO much of their own hardware, isn't even trying hard at this point and is as close to exploiting people as is legally possible with these new foldable phones, right?

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5 minutes ago, Crossyfloater said:

Isn't the Z Fold 4 supposed to be the latest flagship phone from Samsung, wasn't the foldable lineup meant to replace the Note series launch events precisely because they were the "future" of smartphones?

no? They know the fold/flip series are niche, they have never marketed them as being their flagship, or even their next big thing. It's gone on longer than i thought it would, but they have always touted their S line as their main flagships.

 

They discontinued the note after the note 20, and then the s21 ultra took up the s-pen and note features. i think a lot of people THOUGHT the fold was the replacement for the note because it was around the time the flip and the fold were announce that the note series would normally be announced.

 

7 minutes ago, Crossyfloater said:

I can't be the only one who thinks Samsung, who manufactures SO much of their own hardware, isn't even trying hard at this point

What is it you think they are not trying with? is it just because apple is better?

 

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2 hours ago, Arika S said:

no? They know the fold/flip series are niche, they have never marketed them as being their flagship, or even their next big thing. It's gone on longer than i thought it would, but they have always touted their S line as their main flagships.

 

They discontinued the note after the note 20, and then the s21 ultra took up the s-pen and note features. i think a lot of people THOUGHT the fold was the replacement for the note because it was around the time the flip and the fold were announce that the note series would normally be announced.

 

What is it you think they are not trying with? is it just because apple is better?

 

Well, that's disappointing as Samsung makes a point to sell a case that's capable of holding an S-pen that can be used with the Z Fold (last year there were even 2 different S-Pens, though one existed more because of the fragile inner display) - Samsung trying to say the Z Fold isn't a worthy successor to the Galaxy Note is quite difficult to see, tbh, because they both have the potential to be equal in specifications with the only difference being that one folds out and back in, the other doesn't and is simply more "traditional", more affordable too.

 

The Z Fold 4 could be a proper pocketable tablet replacement if only it was given a very large battery size, and it could be an excellent phone when not in need of a large canvas with a powerful camera system that's unmatched in the Android world (just like the camera system in the S-Ultra lineup).

 

I'm disappointed because, I suppose, I wanted to see a Z Fold 4 "Ultra", a pocketable phone that costs 2000€ but that truly has state-of-the-art technology, software and the endurance, reliability to match all of that - so, YES, Samsung could make that kind of foldable but they don't and all I see is Apple making large phones with excellent battery life and monstrous CPU performance and great system stability: Why can't Samsung do that, why don't they think that could work/sell?

 

Samsung feels a lot like Sony, they don't want to change anything much and just try to improve a little bit every year, trying to justify why people should even buy their newer phones - Z Fold 4 "Ultra", where are you :(!

 

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I have a 512GB S22 Ultra, so I have no need to upgrade my phone.

 

The Watch 5 Pro looks good, but I'm happy with my Watch 4 Classic, so I've got need for one of those.

 

The Buds 2 Pros however, those look great and I pulled the trigger. Can't wait to get my hands on those.

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Nice iterative updates. Still not something I'd buy, but they're getting a lot closer. 

 

12 hours ago, LAwLz said:

The Buds 2 Pro now supports Bluetooth LE Audio. This means that the compression will be far superior to the standard Bluetooth audio compression fallback.

 

All Bluetooth LE Audio devices has to support a new audio format called LC3.

LC3 is the replacement for the old Bluetooth audio format called SBC.

LC3 offers roughly 3 times higher quality audio at the same bit rate as SBC.

 

Bluetooth LE Audio also supports a bunch of other cool things like the master device connecting to both slave devices independently, rather than how it works right now where your phone connects to only one earbud, and then the earbud connect to each other. 

And Bluetooth LE Audio is lower latency too.

 

 

Too bad both the watch 5 and Buds 2 Pro are both pretty expensive. If they were cheaper I'd probably upgrade from my Galaxy Watch Active (first gen) and Galaxy Buds (first gen). But as it stands right now I don't think the improvements are enough to justify the price for me.

Interesting. Nice to see BT audio finally getting more love. What does the device end need to work with the earbuds? Anything special? 

10 hours ago, Crossyfloater said:

Samsung is really going downhill this year with their middle of the year releases.

 

The Z Fold 4 in particular looks like a really bad deal in so many ways, especially as I want and need a new phone since my current S7 Edge is too slow, its battery life is awful and it heats up a lot (not to mention the earpiece speaker being damaged makes having a phone call a difficult endeavor):

 

Its 4400mAh is just too small for a foldable phone of this size, it was easily one of the most lacking aspects of last year's Z Fold 3 (it had worser endurance than the S21 Ultra and the iPhone 13 Pro, forget the 13 Pro Max) and Samsung refused to improve this critical component;

The camera system on a device that costs close to 2000€ being worst than their S22 Ultra (that costs nearly 1300€) is insulting to say the least, I wouldn't mind not having the S-pen built in but the camera system of the S22+ in the Z Fold 4? Talk about predatory behaviour, robbing as much as they can from the tech-illiterates;

The crease is still visible and the Oppo Find N, from last year, had a better form factor and now we're going to get new Oppo, Xiaomi foldables with better adoptions of a folding screen and even a Pixel whose camera will be on the top bezel in order to not have it on the display itself!;

The outer screen really needed to be wider, the Z Fold 4 needs dust resistance for it to be usable on the daily and I still cannot trust that UTG that can be scratched by my pack of paper tissues!

 

Siiigh, I'm so very sad and very complainant because this device had so much potential to be great and, yet, it was leaked all the way to the Moon and we got a mediocre "bleeding edge" smartphone at the price of a Red Beryl gemstone!

 

The Galaxy Watch Pro 5 is the only interesting piece of hardware, which is really bad news for people who care about smartphones being efficient and long lasting tools instead of a fashion statement (or when they're seen as a financial show off + primarily selfie taker, those truly are the worst people!).

 

LG stopped making phones for a reason, nobody found them worth their price or even innovative - Samsung, at least here, seems to be acting in similar fashion so I'm worried that Apple is making truly flagship devices whereas Samsung doesn't even seem to care anymore and are just riding on brand recognition and advertisements -_-!

I mean, no device is made for everyone. They sell tons of these, so clearly not everyone is as needy when it comes to their device. 

 

The battery life on the phone is perfectly fine for most people. And, frankly, lasts longer than most people should be on their phones in a day. A foldable will have worse battery life because of the way the battery has to be designed. No real way around that. 

 

Haha. Pixel foldable. Can't wait for that train wreck. 

9 hours ago, Brooksie359 said:

I imagine if they can make a foldable phone that is actually the same size as a traditional smartphone then maybe it would be more popular but they seem a bit clunky currently 

Xiaomi is launching one tomorrow. Less than 12mm while closed, including cameras. 

1 hour ago, Crossyfloater said:

Well, that's disappointing as Samsung makes a point to sell a case that's capable of holding an S-pen that can be used with the Z Fold (last year there were even 2 different S-Pens, though one existed more because of the fragile inner display) - Samsung trying to say the Z Fold isn't a worthy successor to the Galaxy Note is quite difficult to see, tbh, because they both have the potential to be equal in specifications with the only difference being that one folds out and back in, the other doesn't and is simply more "traditional", more affordable too.

 

The Z Fold 4 could be a proper pocketable tablet replacement if only it was given a very large battery size, and it could be an excellent phone when not in need of a large canvas with a powerful camera system that's unmatched in the Android world (just like the camera system in the S-Ultra lineup).

 

I'm disappointed because, I suppose, I wanted to see a Z Fold 4 "Ultra", a pocketable phone that costs 2000€ but that truly has state-of-the-art technology, software and the endurance, reliability to match all of that - so, YES, Samsung could make that kind of foldable but they don't and all I see is Apple making large phones with excellent battery life and monstrous CPU performance and great system stability: Why can't Samsung do that, why don't they think that could work/sell?

 

Samsung feels a lot like Sony, they don't want to change anything much and just try to improve a little bit every year, trying to justify why people should even buy their newer phones - Z Fold 4 "Ultra", where are you :(!

 

Why would they do anything drastically different? They're making leaps and bounds in the sales of foldables and have little competition. 

57 minutes ago, linkboy said:

I have a 512GB S22 Ultra, so I have no need to upgrade my phone.

 

The Watch 5 Pro looks good, but I'm happy with my Watch 4 Classic, so I've got need for one of those.

 

The Buds 2 Pros however, those look great and I pulled the trigger. Can't wait to get my hands on those.

How do you like the Ultra? I'm thinking about picking one up on Black Friday. 

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1 hour ago, dizmo said:

Interesting. Nice to see BT audio finally getting more love. What does the device end need to work with the earbuds? Anything special? 

Support for Bluetooth 5.2 and Android 13. 

Maybe some manufacturers will patch it into Android 12 as well but I wouldn't count on it. Android 13 is the first version of Android that supports it natively. 

 

 

1 hour ago, dizmo said:

How do you like the Ultra? I'm thinking about picking one up on Black Friday. 

I also have an S22 Ultra. I like it a lot. But it took some time getting used to the size and weight. 

If I had paid for it myself I would have gone for the S22+ instead. 

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The Watch 5 will be the Pixel Watch's biggest competitor. Will be interesting to see how they compare, tho I think that the Pixel Watch will likely be more expensive.

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I still can't justify the cost of upgrading vs the performance/spec boost.

Companies are still chasing thin or now folding phones which shrinks battery which it really the biggest factor for the majority of people.

How can Samsung still not see that and just push gimmicks and numbers over repairable parts and real world performance? Are they really just a marketing firm who have a couple engineers trapped in a basement forced to push higher numbers each year?

 

Eventually it will happen but it still feels like each "new" phone is just model number+1 and no other benefits. The last big jump was 5G and even that is only available in select areas.

 

Still sticking with the S9 until I can't get a full day of battery. Slow charging and adaptive brightness keep me over 30% after 8h so advertising faster charging without replaceable parts is laughable.

Current Config:

Spoiler

R5 2600X @4.1ghz all core, 16GB Patriot 3200mhz, 1TB XPG SX8200 Pro nvme, RTX 2070 Duke, CM Elite 110 mitx, pair of KRK Rokit 6 monitors with 10in sub, BenQ TH671ST projector for 150" screen. 

MSI Prestige 14 with too many cooling mods to list out (it's quiet now)

 

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