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HP’s rolls out new Pavilion PCs

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HP has unveiled a new Pavilion PC portfolio featuring new convertibles and notebooks with sleek designs and more power.

The new portfolio, says HP, “lets customers reflect their sense of style and delivers the power they need to be productive and entertained at a price that delivers value”.

HP provided the following information:

Highlights:

·       HP Pavilion x360: Offered in five colours with a stylish new digital thread design on the keyboard deck, a 15.6” (39.6cm) diagonal model joins the 11.6” (29.4cm) and 13.3” (33.7cm) diagonal platforms with a geared hinge inspired by the HP Spectre x360 to transition into four modes.

·       HP Pavilion: Features discrete graphics, five new colours, the iconic digital thread design and Intel RealSense Camera option for improved security with facial authentication with Windows Hello.

“Some customers want thin and light PCs for on-the-go while other customers want power and performance to create and store,” said Louis Perrin, director, consumer products, Personal Systems EMEA, HP Inc. “HP’s redesigned Pavilion PCs offer affordability and a variety of options for customers to get the functionality they need in a PC packed with style and personality.”

Performance with a Pop of Colour

The new HP Pavilion PCs feature updated designs with more colour options. Audio custom tuned by experts at B&O PLAY and vibrant displays, including Full HD IPS options, provide an immersive computing experience. The new line-up also features the latest Intel or AMD processors and graphics.

To meet customers’ increased desire for more mobile solutions, the HP Pavilion convertible and notebook PCs are thinner and lighter than the previous generation. They feature Prismatic Lithium ion battery cells to maintain long battery life and offer HP Fast Charge, which can charge the PC up to 90 percent in 90 minutes even when powered off.

Versatility for On-the-Go Entertainment

For 2016, HP redesigned the HP Pavilion x360 to be sleek with audio custom tuned by experts at B&O PLAY for on-the-go entertainment. HP added a new 15.6” (39.6cm) diagonal model to the 11.6” (29.4cm) and 13.3” (33.7cm) diagonal HP Pavilion x360s which are 12-14 percent thinner with lighter designs compared to the previous generations with starting weights at 2.93lbs (1.33kg) and 3.48lbs (1.58kg) and profiles at 19.3mm and 19.8mm thin respectively. HP’s new 15.6” diagonal HP Pavilion x360’s starting weight is 5.07lbs (2.3kg) and is 23.9mm thin. This year’s models feature a new digital thread pattern on the keyboard deck in a pearl colouring for added depth and style which now spans across the Pavilion convertible and notebook portfolios.

The Pavilion x360s are available in an assortment of colours including Natural Silver, Modern Gold, Dragonfly Blue, Cardinal Red and Sport Purple.

Other features include:

•          Up to nine hours and 15 minutes of battery life depending on model.

•          HD or option for Full HD IPS displays on the 13.3” and 15.6” diagonal models.

•          A full-size keyboard with an optional backlit keyboard on 13.3” and 15.6” versions and 1.5mm key travel for a comfortable typing experience

•          Up to 12GB of memory with multiple large storage options (HDD/SSD/SSHD) depending on the model.

•          Choice of the latest Intel Celeron, Intel Pentium or up to 6th  Generation Intel Core i7 processors subject to model.

•          A full-size keyboard now offering optional backlit keyboard on 13.3” and 15.6” diagonal versions and 1.5mm key travel for a comfortable typing experience.

Pavilion Laptops Deliver Style and Power

The new portfolio of Pavilion notebooks include 14” (35.5cm) and 15.6” (39.6cm) diagonal Pavilion notebooks that are 11-22 percent thinner and lighter with a smaller footprint compared to the previous generation. The starting weight is 3.3lbs (1.49kg) and 4.26lbs (1.93kg) with thin profiles at 19.5mm and 22.5mm, for the 14” and 15.6” versions respectively. For creating and consuming media, HP is also offering more power and performance in 15.6” (39.6cm) and 17.3” (43.9cm) diagonal Pavilion models with starting weights at 4.62lbs (2.09kg) and 6.28lbs  (2.84kg) and 24.5mm and 29.9mm thin profiles, respectively. The new designs are offered in a variety of colour options including Natural Silver, Modern Gold, Blizzard White, Onyx Black, Cardinal Red, Dragonfly Blue and Sport Purple with the new threaded design element on the keyboard and speakers.

Other features include:

•          6th generation Intel Core up to i7 processor options with optional NVIDIA GeForce 940MX or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics or 7th generation AMD A10-9600P Quad-Core processor with optional Radeon R7 Graphics on select models.

•          Up to 16GB of memory and up to 512GB SSD or up to 2TB for single storage options or dual storage options with up to 2TB HDD and 128GB SSD on select models.

•          Optical disk drive for select Pavilion models.

•          Edge to edge HD or FHD IPS displays for a more interactive experience on the PC depending on model.

Enhancing the Desktop Experience

To further the desktop experience, HP is offering a new Pavilion 32” (81.2cm) Quad HD display with wide-viewing angles and 100 percent sRGB colour space that delivers true-to-life colour. Customers will also be able to conveniently connect to their devices with dual HDMI, DisplayPort and a USB hub. The HP Pavilion 32” also comes with AMD FreeSync technology, reducing image tears and stutters, smoothing choppy gameplay, and reducing mouse lag for an immersive gaming experience.

Pricing and Availability 

·       The 11.6” diagonal HP Pavilion x360 is expected to be available in EMEA in May with a starting price of €379.

·       The 13.3” diagonal HP Pavilion x360 is expected to be available in EMEA in May with a starting price of €699.

·       The 15.6” diagonal HP Pavilion x360 is expected to be available in EMEA in June with a starting price of €499.

·       The 14” diagonal HP Pavilion is expected to be available in EMEA in June with a starting price of €499.

·       The 15.6” diagonal HP Pavilion is expected to be available in EMEA in June with a starting price of €499.

·       The 15.6” diagonal HP Pavilion with NVidia GTX Graphics solutions is expected to be available in EMEA in May with a starting price of €799.

·       The 17.3” diagonal HP Pavilion is expected to be available in EMEA in June with a starting price of €899.

·       The 32” diagonal HP Pavilion Display is expected to be available in EMEA in June with a starting price of €479.

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Samsung in lock-step with its rivals?

Tonight Samsung will kick off the next round in the smartphone wars with the S10 range, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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When Samsung unveils the new S10 smartphone at an event in San Francisco today, it will mark the beginning of the 2019 round of World War S. That stands for smartphone wars, although Samsung would like it to be all about the S.

Ever since the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 in 2013, Samsung has held both technology and thought leadership in the handset world. Back then, Apple’s iPhone 5 was the last device from the American manufacturer that could lay claim to being the best smartphone in the world. With the 2013 launch of the iPhone 5s, Apple entered an era of incremental improvement, playing catch-up, and succumbing to market trends driven by its competitors.

Six years later, Samsung is fighting off the same threat. Its Chinese rival, Huawei, suddenly wrested away leadership in the past year, with the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro regarded as at last equal to the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus and Galaxy Note 9 – if not superior. Certainly, from a cost perspective, Huawei took the lead with its more competitive prices, and therefore more value for money.

Huawei also succeeded where Apple failed: introducing more economical versions of its flagship phones. The iPhone 5c, SE and XR have all been disappointments in the sales department, mainly because the price difference was not massive enough to attract lower-income users. In contrast, the Lite editions of the Huawei P9, P10 and P20 have been huge successes, especially in South Africa.

Today, for the first time in half a decade, Samsung goes into battle on a field laid out by its competitors. It is expected to launch the Galaxy S10 Plus, S10 and S10 e, with the latter being the Samsung answer to the strategy of the iPhone XR and Huawei P20 Lite.

Does this mean Samsung is now in lock-step with its rivals, focused on matching their strategies rather than running ahead of them?

It may seem that way, but Samsung has a few tricks up its electronic sleeve. For example, it is possible it will use the S10 launch to announce its coming range of foldable phones, expected to be called the Galaxy X, Galaxy F, Galaxy Fold or Galaxy Flex. It previewed the technology at a developer conference in San Francisco last November, and this will be the ideal moment to reclaim technology leadership by going into production with foldables – even if the S10 range itself does not shoot out the lights.

However, the S10 handsets will look very different to their predecessors. First, before switching on the phone, they will be notable by the introduction of what is being called the punch-hole display, which breaks away from the current trend of having a notch at the top of the phone to house front-facing cameras and speakers. Instead, the punch-hole is a single round cut-out that will contain the front camera. It is the key element of Samsung’s “Infinity O” display – the O represents the punchhole – which will be the first truly edge-to-edge display, on the sides and top.

The S10 range will use the new Samsung user interface, One UI, also unveiled at the developer conference. It replaces the previous “skin”, unimaginatively called the Samsung Experience, to introduce a strong new interface brand.

One UI went live on the Note 8 last month, giving us a foretaste, and giving Samsung a chance to iron out the bugs in the field. It is a less cluttered interface, addressing one of the biggest complaints about most manufacturer skins. Only Nokia and Google Pixel handsets offer pure Android in the local market, but One UI is Samsung’s best compromise yet.

It introduces a new interaction area, in the bottom half, reachable with the thumb, with a viewing area at the top, allowing the user to work one-handed on the bottom area while still having apps or related content visible above. One UI also improves gesture navigation – the phone picks up hand movements without being touched – and notification management.

The S10 range will be the first phones to feature the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip, at least for the South African and American markets. That makes it 5G compatible, for when this next generation of mobile broadband becomes available in these markets.

They will also be the first phones to feature Wi-Fi 6, the next generation of the Wi-Fi mobile wireless standard. It will perform better in congested areas, and data transfer will be up to 40% faster than the previous generation.

The phones will be the first to use ultrasound for fingerprint detection. If Samsung gets it right, this will make it the fastest in-screen fingerprint sensor on the market, and allows for a little leeway if one pushes the finger down slightly outside the fingerprint reader surface. It does mean, however, that screen protectors will have to be redesigned to avoid blocking the detection.

Not enough firsts? There are a few more.

Most notably, it will be the first phone range to feature 1 Terabyte (TB) storage – that’s a thousand Gigabytes (GB) – at least for the top-of-the-range devices. Samsung last month announced that it would be the first manufacturer to make 1TB built-in onboard flash storage. Today, it will deploy this massive advantage as it once again weaponises its technology in the fight for smartphone domination.

  • Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee

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IoT set to improve authentication

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By Sherry Zameer, Senior Vice President, Internet of Things Solutions for CISMEA region at Gemalto

As it rapidly approaches maturity, the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to continue a transformational trajectory, introducing new efficiencies in multiple fields by allowing measurement and analysis on a scale that has never been possible before. From agriculture to logistics, from retail to hospitality, from traffic to health, from the home to the office, the applications for monitoring ”things” are limited only by the imagination.

And South African (and African) businesses are showing abundant imagination in their practical deployments of IoT solutions in multiple settings, creating a better tomorrow through almost universal measurement and the introduction of new levels of convenience – including how to access locations, devices and services securely.

Any company, whether South African or international, should bear in mind that understanding consumer expectations can be the key to unlocking the full potential of IoT devices and related smart services.

According to Gemalto’s latest Connected Living study, improving the way consumers authenticate themselves to services is one of the most anticipated benefits of IoT, highlighting a desire for a more seamless and secure IoT experience.

Consumers are interested in advanced ways of authenticating themselves through automatic (based on behavioral patterns) or biometric techniques, lessening the need to have to intervene manually, all in the name of a much more streamlined authentication process. Smartphone manufacturers like Apple and Samsung have already placed fingerprint and facial recognition high on the agenda. There is also a widespread positive sentiment towards IoT’s potential for improving the quality of home life through connected, smart appliances.

Personalised services is something else that wins consumers over. In fact, a fluid, personalised and unified experience with continuity of services, together with security and privacy, is critical for the successful implementation of any technology.

And those types of services are today quite possible. With everything being connected – from small gadgets to digital solutions for large enterprises – IoT is no longer just a buzzword. That much is clear in a piece from Vodacom IoT managing executive Deon Liebenberg. Writing for IOL Online, Liebenberg provides insight into the sheer range of applications for IoT: the 20 use cases he cites range from the obvious, like transport and logistics, to the connected home and wearables; he even suggests tagging pets with IoT transmitters, for those who always need to know the whereabouts of the family cat.

Low-cost tags fitted to cats, dogs, lamp posts, shipping containers or other items are just one part of the puzzle, however. There are other two pieces; arguably the most complex part is the availability of communication networks in areas where there aren’t any WiFi networks, or indeed, anything else.

And that’s where the bigger takeaway from Liebenberg’s piece and other IoT trends articles becomes apparent. The communication networks are there, as are those tags: dedicated IoT networks (like LoraWAN, SigFox and narrowband IoT) are all available in South Africa.

So, too, is the third and final essential component. Software which is able to process the data generated by the tag and transmitted over the IoT network and into the internet. In this regard, there’s no shortage of solutions available from cloud providers like AWS and Azure; electronics giant Siemens, too, is in on the action, having recently launched a new cloud-based IoT operating system to develop applications and services for process industries, including oil and gas and water management.

This combination means it is quite possible right now to enable just about any use case. Business owners, who will know best how IoT can add value in their organisation, can now see their ideas becoming reality. Most crucial of all, IoT solutions delivering new levels of efficiency and convenience are not only possible, they are able to be offered with the simple and effective security that will drive consumer acceptance.

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