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IFA 2016: Acer makes Swift move on ultra-thin laptops

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At the IFA 2016 expo in Berlin this week, Acer unveiled its new Swift series of ultra-thin and lightweight notebook PCs.

Comprised of four lines, namely the Swift 7, Swift 5, Swift 3 and Swift 1, the new ultra-thin models feature Windows 10 and cater for a range of budgets and lifestyles.

“We are thrilled to announce the new Swift series, a complete ultra-thin laptop line-up with something for everyone,” said Jerry Hou, General Manager, Consumer Notebooks, IT Products Business, Acer Inc. “Front and centre is the flagship Swift 7 with an all-aluminium chassis that’s less than one centimetre thin, while still packing in performance and stamina for all-day productivity.”

Chris Walker, Vice President of the Client Computing Group and General Manager of Mobility Client Platforms, Intel Corp, said: “The new 7th Generation Intel Core processors set a new bar for performance and efficiency enabling amazingly fast, responsive designs that are also incredibly thin and light. Intel and Acer’s strong collaboration is on full display with the new Swift series which delivers great performance in a beautiful package.”

Acer provided the following information:

Swift 7 – Ultra-Slim with All-Day Battery Life

The Swift 7 weighs in at just 2.48 pounds (1.1 kg) and measures a mere 0.39 inches (9.98 mm) thin, making it the world’s first laptop to measure less than 1 cm thin. Its black-and-gold dual tone design brings a touch of elegance to its durable all-aluminium uni-body, while tough Corning Gorilla Glass adds superior scratch resistance to the 13.3-inch Full HD IPS display with a micro-bezel. With up to 9 hours of battery life, it is the perfect notebook for those on the go.

Small and speedy, top-of-the-line performance is delivered through a 7th Generation Intel Core i5 processor, fast 256GB SSD and up to 8GB of memory.  The latest wireless technology (2×2 802.11ac with MU-MIMO) delivers reliable and up to three times faster connections, while dual USB 3.1 Type-C ports are included for quick data transfer, connection to an external display, and to charge the notebook. An HD webcam with HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging support provides clear, bright and detailed images.

Swift 5 – High-End Features without the Weight

Just 0.57 inches (14.58 mm) in height and weighing 3 pounds (1.36 kg), the Swift 5 manages to fit a 14-inch Full HD IPS display into a 13-inch frame, making it the ultimate in portability and usability. Available in Pearl White with gold trimming or Obsidian Black with silver trimming, it cuts an impressive figure combining brushed metal surfaces and diamond cut accents.

7th Generation Intel Core processors coupled with fast SSDs (256 or 512 SATA or PCIe), up to 8GB of memory and the latest wireless technology deliver big results in a small package. Rounding out this strong feature set is up to 13 hours3 of battery life, a backlit keyboard, a reversible USB 3.1 Type-C port and options for a touch display and fingerprint reader.

Swift 3 – Essential Features at a Compelling Price

Just 0.7 inches (17.95 mm) in height and weighing 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg), the Swift 3’s svelte and lightweight design features a sturdy brushed aluminium chassis. It offers up to 12 hours3 of battery life and a collection of indispensable features for great productivity, mobility and security.

The Swift 3 models pair a 14-inch HD or Full HD IPS anti-glare display with 6th or 7th Generation Intel Core processors, fast 512GB SSDs, up to 8GB memory and 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac wireless technology for fast and reliable internet connectivity.

Additional must-have features include a USB 3.1 Type-C port (for fast data transfers, connection to an external display, and to charge the notebook), and an HD webcam with High Dynamic Range. Lastly, the optional backlit keyboard is paired with a large 72mm touchpad, providing ample room to navigate and manoeuvre.

A built-in fingerprint scanner is located at the upper right-hand corner of the palm rest and works in conjunction with Windows Hello for enhanced security. It takes less than one second from scanning a fingertip to accessing the desktop. It can also recognize specific people, linking actions to approved individuals, deterring inappropriate behaviour and helping to eliminate fraudulent activity.

Swift 1 – Light and Budget-Friendly 

Lightweight and priced right for a student or others on a budget, the Swift 1 is highly portable and includes the essentials, making them a great value. Just 0.7 inches in height (17.9 mm) and weighing 3.5 pounds (1.6 kgs), the cover features a brushed-metal-like finish that minimizes fingerprints and scratches, while the diamond-cut edges around the power button and touchpad provide nice design touches. With up to 12 hours3 of battery life, they will last a student an entire school day, with a few extra hours to spare for late night studying or web-surfing. The Swift 1 features a 14-inch HD display, an Intel Pentium® or Celeron® processor, 4GB of memory and either 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of eMMC storage.

Availability

The Acer Swift 7, 5 and 3 will be available in South Africa in Q4 2016.

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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