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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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SA consumers buy 3.2m smartphones in Q1

Smartphone sales in South Africa grew by 12.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, reaching around 3.2 million units for the period.

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However, the value of the smartphone segment increased by 22.8% as sales of entry-level devices to low- and mid-income consumers continued to drive the market, according to point of sale data from market research firm, GfK South Africa.

GfK South Africa’s data reveals that telecommunications retail enjoyed a strong start to the year, with revenue growing 22.4% year-on-year. The growing popularity of phablets and higher unit prices (as a result of a weaker rand) helped to drive this increase in revenue, against a backdrop of low or negative growth in many segments of the consumer technology market.

“The mobile device market showed good growth in the quarter, despite rising prices during the period under review,” says Norman Muzhona, Solutions Specialist for Telecommunications at GfK South Africa. “In addition to the exchange rate, the introduction of popular, new mid-tier devices by several leading vendors helped to drive higher retail revenues in the telecoms market.”

Information technology retail revenues for the quarter contracted 4.8% compared to 2017, largely because of decreasing monitor prices and a 38.9% decline in tablet revenues. However, desktop computer revenues grew 39% and mobile computing revenues grew 6.5% year-on-year, thanks to higher prices and increased sales of higher-end products.

Says Berno Mare, Solutions Specialist for IT, Office Equipment and Value Added Services: “Retailers introduced new computing devices priced in the R3000 band during the quarter and enjoyed surprisingly strong demand for these entry-level units.

“Telcos enjoyed robust growth in mobile computing retail sales, thanks to credit deals, subsidised contracts and attractive data offers. However, South African consumers are heavily indebted, which may dampen growth for the rest of the year.”

With consumers rapidly migrating to smartphones, sales of traditional mobile phones continued to decline, down 1.6% year-on-year to around 2 million for the quarter. However, the exchange rate and the introduction of higher-priced brands helped to drive a 8.9% year-on-year revenue increase in mobile phone revenues during the period under review.

This follows the 21% drop in mobile phone unit sales in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. “Operators continue to lead the transition from feature phones to smartphones as they pursue higher data revenues,” says Muzhona. “The entry-level market for smartphones is fiercely competitive, and the minimum specs of lower cost smartphones is improving all the time.”

GfK South Africa expects the migration from mobile phones to smartphones to accelerate in 2018. However, it remains to be seen if the introduction of 4G-enabled, Voice-over-LTE-ready feature phones will have any impact on the South African mobile phone market.

Sectors of the consumer electronic market that showed strong growth for the first quarter of 2018 include loudspeakers—revenues up 21.6% year-on-year, thanks to demand of Bluetooth-enabled product—and ultrahigh definition (UHD) panel TVs—where revenues grew 33%, thanks to the growing affordability of the technology. UHD unit shipments were up 76%, while the average selling price of the products fell 24%.

Other market highlights for the first quarter of 2018 include:

  • Photo category revenues were up 8.1% year-on-year.
  • Small domestic appliance revenues grew 8%, following a 10.3% decline in Q1 2016 over Q1 2015. Hot air fryers sold well, as did kettles and toasters.
  • Major domestic appliances showed small year-on-year growth over Q1 2016, despite a decline in average selling price in many sub-categories of this market. Cooling products continued to make the highest contribution to growth in this segment.
  • Office Equipment revenues declined 18% year-on-year, led downwards by lower printer and cartridge sales volumes.
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What kids want online

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Kaspersky Lab’s latest report on the online activities of children – based on statistics received from its solutions and modules with child protection features – highlights children’s online activities and the importance of protecting them when online. For example, video content globally, comprised 17% of searches over the last months. Although many videos watched as a result of these searches may be harmless, it is still possible for children to accidentally end up watching videos that contain inappropriate content.

The report shows anonymised statistics from Kaspersky Lab’s flagship consumer solutions for Windows PCs and Macs that have the Parental Control module switched on and from Kaspersky Safe Kids, a standalone service for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices.

In South Africa, communication sites (such as social media, messengers, or emails) were the most popular pages visited by computers with parental controls switched on – with users in South Africa visiting these sites in 69% of cases over the previous 12 months. Software, audio, and video accounted for 17% of searches. Websites with this content have become significantly more popular since last year, when it was only the fifth most popular category globally at 6%. The top four is rounded off with electronic commerce (4.2%) and alcohol, tobacco, and websites about narcotics (3.9%), which is a new addition compared to this time last year.

The report presents search results on the ten most-popular languages* for the last 6 months. The data shows that the video & audio category – including requests related to any video content, streaming services, video bloggers, series and movies – are the most regularly ‘googled’ by children (17% of the total requests). The second and third places go to translation (14%) and communication (10%) websites respectively. Interestingly, games websites sit in fourth place, generating only 9% of the total search requests.

We can also see a clear language difference for search requests: for example, video and music websites are typically searched for in English, which can be explained by the fact that the majority of movies, TV series and musical groups have English names. Spanish-speaking kids carry out more requests for translation sites, while communication services are mostly searched for in Russian.

More than any other nationality, Chinese-speaking children look for education services, while French-speaking kids are more interested in sport and games websites. In turn, German-speaking requests dominate in the “shopping” category. The leading number of search requests for porn are in Arabic, and for anime are in Japanese.

“Kids in different countries have different interests and online behaviors, but what links them all is their need to be protected online from potentially harmful content. Children looking for animated content could accidentally open a porn video. Or they could start searching for innocent videos and unintentionally end up on websites containing violent content, both of which could have a long-term impact on their impressionable and vulnerable minds,” says Anna Larkina, Web-content Analysis Expert at Kaspersky Lab.

As well as analysing searches, the report also looks into which websites children visit or attempt to visit that contain potentially harmful content which falls under one of the 14 preset categories** for the last 12 months.

The mobile trend is again highlighted in the figures for computer games, which are now in fifth place locally on the list at 3%. As kids continue to show a preference for mobile games rather than computer games, this category will only continue to decrease in popularity on computers over the coming months and years.cleardot.gif

“No matter what they are doing online, it is important for parents not to leave their children’s digital activities unattended, because there’s a big difference between care and obtrusiveness. While it is important to trust your children and educate them about how to behave safely online, even your good advice cannot protect them from something unexpectedly showing up on the screen. That’s why advanced security solutions are key to ensuring children have positive online experiences, rather than harmful ones,” adds Anna Larkina.

The Kaspersky Total Security and Kaspersky Internet Security consumer solutions include a Parental Control module to help adults protect their children against online threats and block sites or apps containing inappropriate content. In turn, the Kaspersky Safe Kids solution allows parents to monitor what their children do, see or search for online across all devices, including mobile devices, and offers useful advice on how to help children behave safely online.

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