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HP unveils new consumer line-up

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HP has unveiled its latest generation premium consumer PCs, which are thinner and lighter with better battery life.

HP provided the following information:

The premium portfolio is built to address customers’ need for devices that inspire and excite. Whether for within the home or on the go, the HP Premium products have become the gold standard for what customers expect from their computing experience. New products debuting today include:

·       HP Spectre x360, the second generation of HP’s revolutionary x360 convertible now features a near zero border display in a design that is 13 percent thinner and 11 percent lighter.

·       HP ENVY laptop offers a sophisticated design offering up to 14 hours of battery life,, four more than the previous model.

·       HP ENVY AIO 27 combines computing power with media experiences that feature a near borderless Technicolor Colour Certified HD display that floats over an integrated four speaker sound bar tuned by Bang & Olufsen.

“Premium customers have high expectations around device performance and quality for consuming media and productivity whether at home, work or on the go,”  said Anne-Sophie Hadberg, head of consumer personal systems EMEA, HP Inc. “We are strengthening our leadership in premium with our redesigned PC portfolio to deliver big power in thin and light designs to be even more portable and revolutionize our all-in-one to bring amazing sound into the home.”

HP Spectre x360 delivers powerful performance in sleek package

HP has taken its most successful premium laptop PC and made it even better. The Spectre x360 now achieves 25 percent more hours of battery life with up to 15 hours. This was accomplished by optimizing the PC for the latest 7th Generation Intel Core processors and fitting a larger 57.8W battery in the thinner design. The new micro-edge display bezel design reduces the overall footprint by eliminating almost 10mm from each side of the screen to provide a beautiful viewing experience for improved portability. With a new hinge design, it is 13.8mm thin, over 2mm thinner than the previous generation and is lighter at 1.29kg compared to 1.45kg. The PC now includes four speakers instead of two to deliver crisp audio. Thanks to tuning by Bang & Olufsen plus HP Audio Boost, the two forward facing speakers in addition to two on the bottom provide superb sound in every mode.

The new Spectre x360 features great connectivity with two USB-Type C ports with Thunderbolt 3 support and a USB-Type A 3.0 port allowing users to connect the latest peripherals both today and tomorrow. The bright display boasts a 13.3-inch (33.78cm) diagonal FHD IPS panel that delivers great viewing experiences. The Natural Silver colour with polished accents on the hinges creates the sleek profile customers crave.

Other features include:

·       The new dual fan design optimizes thermals to ensure the device runs cool during demanding activities

·       7th Generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors

·       Options with up to a 1TB PCIe SSD for fast performance and plenty of space to store high resolution videos and photos

·       HP Truevision FHD Webcam with 12% wider field of view, great for web chats.

·       A FHD IR camera supports Windows Hello Facial Log-In for secure, easy log in without typing a password.

·        HP Fast Charge to recharge the batteries to 90 percent capacity in just 90 minutes

 

HP ENVY Laptop is powerful in a thin and light design

Designed for the customer who wants premium laptop at an affordable price, the HP ENVY combines beauty and power with refined metal materials and slim lines offered in Natural Silver. The new 13.3” (33.78cm) diagonal HP ENVY laptop packs four more hours of battery life up to 14 hours compared to last year’s model. At only 14mm and 1.42kg, the new HP ENVY is slightly thicker and heavier than the previous generation, but now boasts a larger battery and the latest generation Intel Core processors for big power on the go.

An elevated hinge design provides a more comfortable typing experience coupled with a backlit keyboard for working in low light and an extra-wide glass touchpad for less resistance. The optional edge-to-edge flush glass display offers vivid visuals for movies and games with a QHD+, UHD or FHD panel. Dual firing speakers, with audio expertly tuned by Bang & Olufsen plus HP Audio Boost Technology offer amazing sound to amplify movies and music.

Other features include:

  • Two USB 3.0 ports, including one dedicated to sleep and charge, and one USB Type-C port
  • 7th Generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors
  • Up to a 1TB SSD PCIe provides fast response times when opening or moving large files
  • Up to 16GB RAM
  • HP Fast Charge up to 90 percent in 90 minutes

 

HP ENVY AIO 27 looks great in any room, delivers cinematic experiences

The HP ENVY AIO 27 offers a simple yet sophisticated design that makes it look great in any room in the house. By moving the computing power into the base, the two volume design reduces the display thickness by 44 percent for a 15mm thin, beautiful 27-inch (68.58cm) diagonal QHD or UHD display. The base includes an innovative sound bar with four speakers expertly tuned by Bang & Olufsen to provide theatre-like sound quality and an audio dial that allows for easy touch control. The 3.6 million pixel screen resolution with Technicolor Colour Certification helps ensure high accuracy colours when watching videos or creating and editing content. This is HP’s first all-in-one display to feature low blue light mode for improved eye comfort and a better night’s sleep. To safeguard privacy, the ENVY AIO 27 offers a HP Privacy Camera with IR support and a microphone that is hidden when not in use.

Other features include:

·       Powerful processing options available, including 6th Generation Intel Core i5 and i7 quad-core desktop

·       Optional discrete NVIDIA GTX 950M graphics card with 2GB GDDR5 video for blazing fast 3D gaming performance

·       Hybrid storage options include up to a 256GB SSD and 2TB HDD to give customers faster performance and plenty of storage for digital media collections

·       USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt support

·       HDMI-out to connect to a second monitor or to project to a TV

·       HDMI-in port for connecting a laptop to take advantage of the ENYV AIO 27’s beautiful display

 

Pricing and Availability

·       The HP ENVY All-In-One 27 is expected to be available in SA in December with a starting price of R27 999,00.

·       The HP Spectre x360 is expected to be available in SA in November with a starting price of R24 999,00.

·       The HP ENVY Laptop with QHD+ or FHD panel options is expected to be available in SA in November with a starting price of R19 999,00 The HP ENVY Laptop with UHD panel option is expected to be available in January 2017.

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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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