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Acer debuts big-screen flexibility in 15″ Chrome

At its annual global press conference in New York last week, Acer introduced the industry’s first convertible Chromebook with a 15.6-inch display. The Acer Chromebook Spin 15 (CP315-1H) has a large touchscreen display with a convertible 360-degree design.

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In addition, Acer is launching a new Chromebook 15 (CB315-1H/1HT) line that pairs a large 15-inch display and long 14-hour battery life at a budget-friendly price.

“Acer has led the Chromebook market with a wide range of form factors, sizes and designs to meet the needs of our customers, and we’re expanding our line with new exciting 15-inch models today,” said James Lin, General Manager, Commercial & Detachable Notebooks, IT Products Business at Acer. “Acer’s new Chromebooks with large 15-inch Full HD displays are ideal for collaborating on projects for work and school, enjoying streaming media and running the latest apps. Plus, the Acer Chromebook Spin 15 is the company’s first to combine a large 15.6-inch display with a convertible design, so customers can use the device in different modes.”

Both the new Acer Chromebook Spin 15 (CP315-1H) and Chromebook 15 (CB315-1H/1HT) fully support Android apps via Google Play, joining the performance, security and simplicity of Chrome with the more than two million Android apps that consumers know and love.

Chromebook Spin 15 Provides Big Entertainment

The new Acer Chromebook Spin 15’s large 1080p display is ideal for people who want an affordable computer that can also be used for entertainment in homes, apartments or dorm rooms. The 1920×1080 resolution delivers sharp visuals while IPS technology provides wide viewing angles for sharing streaming video. Plus, the display supports 10-finger touch for responsive website browsing and running the latest apps. The large FHD IPS display is complemented by two full-sized upward-facing speakers that deliver enhanced volume and audio range for an excellent HD entertainment experience. The large display boosts productivity with the additional screen real estate for apps and tabs. This also makes room for a comfortable full-sized keyboard and a large Corning Gorilla Glass touchpad that provides smooth navigation through sites and apps.

Flexible Design That Looks Great

The Acer Chromebook Spin 15’s 360-degree hinges allow the touchscreen display to be rotated a full 360°until it becomes completely open and ready for use as a large tablet for reading online content, enjoying video and staying in touch on social media. This convertible design means that the keyboard can be quickly manoeuvred back for use in traditional notebook mode. In addition, customers can stand it up in display mode to get closer to the screen, or use it in tent-mode for constrained spaces like airplane cabins.

The Chromebook Spin 15 has a silver cross-hairline pattern on the top cover that looks great in any setting. This unique silky texture provides a premium look that’s professional enough for the office and stylish enough for the home. The Chromebook Spin 15 can easily be moved around the home or office since it weighs only 2.1kg (4.63 pounds). 

Performance and All-Day Battery Life

The new Acer Chromebook Spin 15 can be used for a full day of work or school, plus streaming and fun since it delivers industry-leading battery life of up to 13 hours1. The fanless design allows it to run quietly, making it great for shared spaces such as a family room, library or coffee shop.

It provides solid everyday performance, since it’s powered by the quad-core Intel Pentium N4200 processor, Intel Celeron N3450 processor, or the dual-core Intel Celeron N3350 processor. It comes with 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4 memory and either 32GB or 64GB of on–board eMMC storage.

Staying Connected

Fast and reliable 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi keeps customers connected, while Bluetooth 4.2 provides a convenient connection to peripherals. The Acer 720p HD webcam has high dynamic range (HDR) and a wide field of view for accommodating groups in video conferences and Google Hangouts.

The new Acer Chromebook Spin 15 has two USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 ports for quick transfer of data, connecting to an HD display as well as charging the device or other products. In addition, the Acer Chromebook Spin 15 includes two USB 3.0 ports and a MicroSD card reader.

New Value-Oriented Chromebook 15 Model

Acer is also introducing a new model in its popular Chromebook 15 line that delivers the same large 15.6-inch display and long 14-hour battery life at a budget-friendly price. The Chromebook 15 has a vibrant Full HD 15.6-inch display in both touch (CB315-1HT) and non-touch (CB315-1H) displays that both provide a Full HD 1920×1080 resolution ideal for enjoying Android apps and viewing multiple tabs and apps. The Chromebook 15 is powered by the quad-core Intel Pentium N4200 processor, the dual-core Intel Celeron N3350 processor, or quad-core Intel Celeron N3450 processor and comes with two full-sized upward-facing speakers that support high-definition audio. It can be connected to a wireless network via Intel® Wireless-AC 7265 (802.11ac 2×2 MIMO) WiFi and to other devices with its two USB 3.1 Type-C ports and two USB 3.0 ports. It will be available with up to 8MB dual-channel LPDDR4 memory and 64GB of on–board eMMC storage.

Chrome OS Provides Speed, Simplicity and Security

Both new Acer Chromebooks are easy to use and can be easily shared between multiple users. Customers simply log into their own Google account to access their Gmail, Google Docs, apps, extensions, bookmarks and other information. Chromebooks run on Google’s Chrome OS platform, which provides automatic updates and multiple levels of security to guard users against ever-changing online threats.

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News fatigue shifts Google searches in SA

Google search trends in South Africa reveal a startling insight into news appetite, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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The big searches of the year no longer track the biggest news stories of the year, suggesting a strong dose of news fatigue among South Africans.

“People ask, why are the Guptas not on the list of Google’s top searches?, says Mich Atagana, head of communications and public affairs at Google South Africa, “The Guptas are not on the list because South Africans are not actually that interested. South Africans are looking for things they don’t know. From a Gupta point of view, we’ve been exhausted by the news and we know exactly what is going on.”

Google South Africa announced the results of its 2018 Year in Search, offering a unique perspective on the year’s major moments.

“Four years ago, there were almost no South Africans on the personalities list,” says Atagana. “Over the years, South Africans have gotten more interested in South Africa, in searching on Google.”

That isn’t to say that international searches – like Meghan Markle – are not heavily searched by South Africans. But  they feature lower down on the lists.

From the World Cup to listeriosis, Zuma and Global Citizen, South Africans use search to find the things they really need to know.

These are the main trends revealed  by Google this week:

Top trending South African searches

  1. World Cup fixtures
  2. Load shedding
  3. Global Citizen
  4. Zuma
  5. Winnie Mandela
  6. HHP
  7. Listeriosis
  8. Black Panther
  9. Meghan Markle
  10. Mac Miller

Trending personalities

  1.    Jacob Zuma
  2. Cyril Ramaphosa
  3. Sbahle Mpisane
  4. Kevin Anderson
  5. Malusi Gigaba
  6. Ashwin Willemse
  7. Patrice Motsepe
  8. Cheryl Zondi
  9. Shamila Batohi
  10. Mlindo the Vocalist

Top Questions

  1. How did Avicii die?
  2. How old is Pharrell Williams?
  3. What is listeriosis?
  4. What is black data?
  5. How old is Prince Harry?
  6. How much are Global Citizen tickets?
  7. How to get pregnant?
  8. What time is the royal wedding?
  9. What happened to HHP?
  10. How old is Meghan Markle?

Top ‘near me’ searches

  1. Jobs near me
  2. Nandos near me
  3. Dischem near me
  4. McDonalds near me
  5. Guest house near me
  6. Postnet near me
  7. Steers near me
  8. Spar near me
  9. Debonairs near me
  10. Spur near me

Top women

  1. Winnie Mandela
  2. Meghan Markle
  3. Sbahle Mpisane
  4. Aretha Franklin
  5. Khloe Kardashian
  6. Sophie Ndaba
  7. Cheryl Zondi
  8. Demi Lovato
  9. Lerato Sengadi
  10. Siam Lee

The Year In Search 2018 minisite can be found here.

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Smartphones dip in 2018

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to decline by 3% in 2018 before returning to low single-digit growth in 2019 and through 2022.

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While the on-going U.S.-China trade war has the industry on edge, IDC still believes that continued developments from emerging markets, mixed with potential around 5G and new product form factors, will bring the smartphone market back to positive growth.

Smartphone shipments are expected to drop to 1.42 billion units in 2018, down from 1.47 billion in 2017. However, IDC expects year-over-year shipment growth of 2.6% in 2019. Over the long-term, smartphone shipments are forecast to reach 1.57 billion units in 2022. From a geographic perspective, the China market, which represented 30% of total smartphone shipments in 2017, is finally showing signs of recovery. While the world’s largest market is still forecast to be down 8.8% in 2018 (worse than the 2017 downturn), IDC anticipates a flat 2019, then back to positive territory through 2022. The U.S. is also forecast to return to positive growth in 2019 (up 2.1% year over year) after experiencing a decline in 2018.

The slow revival of China was one of the reasons for low growth in Q3 2018 and this slowdown will persist into Q1 2019 as the market is expected to drop by 3% in Q4 2018. Furthermore, the recently lifted U.S. ban on ZTE had an impact on shipments in Q3 2018 and created a sizable gap that is yet to be filled heading into 2019.

“With many of the large global companies focusing on high-end product launches, hoping to draw in consumers looking to upgrade based on specifications and premium devices, we can expect head-to-head competition within this segment during the holiday quarter and into 2019 to be exceptionally high,” said Sangeetika Srivastava, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

Though 2018 has fallen below expectations so far, the worldwide smartphone market is set to pick up on the shift toward larger screens and ultra-high-end devices. All the big players have further built out their portfolios with bigger screens and higher-end smartphones, including Apple’s new launch in September. In Q3 2018, the 6-inch to less than 7-inch screen size band became the most prominent band for the first time with more than four times year-over-year growth. IDC believes that larger-screen smartphones (5.5 inches and above) will lead the charge with volumes of 947.1 million in 2018, accounting for 66.7% of all smartphones, up from 623.3 million units and 42.5% share in 2017. By 2022, shipments of these larger-screen smartphones will move up to 1.38 billion units or 87.7% of overall shipment volume.

“What we consider a so-called normal size smartphone has shifted dramatically in a few short years and while we are stretching the limits with bezel-less devices, the next big switch to flexible screens will test our imaginations even further,” said Melissa Chau, associate research director with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “While this category of device is still nascent and won’t see major adoption in the year ahead, it’s exciting to see changes to the standard monoblock we are all so used to carrying.”

Platform Highlights

Android: Android’s smartphone share will remain stable at 85% throughout the forecast. Volumes are expected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.7% with shipments approaching 1.36 billion in 2022. Android is still the choice of the masses with no shift expected. Android average selling prices (ASPs) are estimated to grow by 9.6% in 2018 to US$258, up from US$235 in 2017. IDC expects this upward trajectory to continue through the forecast, but at a softened rate from 2019 and beyond. Not only are market players pushing upgraded specs and materials to offset decreasing replacement rates, but they are also serving the evolving consumer needs for better performance.

iOS: iOS smartphones are forecast to drop by 2.5% in 2018 to 210.4 million. The launch of expensive and bigger screen iOS smartphones in Q3 2018 helped Apple to raise its ASP, simultaneously making it somewhat difficult to increase shipments in the current market slump. IDC is forecasting iPhone shipments to grow at a five-year CAGR of 0.1%, reaching volumes of 217.3 million in 2022. Despite the challenges, there is no ambiguity that Apple will continue to lead the global premium market segment.

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