Intel is not known for consumer products, but it lurks inside many gadgets that will make ideal gifts, writes FOTINI DE KEIZER, Territory Marketing & PR Manager South & sub-Sahara Africa at Intel.
Whether you’re shopping for gifts for friends or family, or just looking to spoil yourself this festive season, there’s something for everyone in Intel’s gift bag.
Here are a few of our favourite wish list items:
For the minimalist: The Intel Compute Stick
Dynamite. Small package. It may sound clichéd but the Intel Compute Stick packs some serious punch for its size and is perfect for someone looking for hassle-free computing.
Instantly transform any HDMI monitor or TV into a computer without compromising on specs or features. With an Intel quad core Atom processor, Intel HD graphics, integrated Bluetooth and WiFi, 32GB storage, 2GB memory, a USB 2.0 port and micro SD card reader, this small yet powerful device takes computing to new places.
For the ‘work hard, play hard’ believer: An Intel-powered 2 in 1 device
Some things are better in pairs. Like an Intel-powered 2 in 1 device – a laptop when you need it; a tablet when you want it. Offering the performance, memory and connectivity options of a laptop, with the convenience and mobility of a tablet, a 2 in 1 lets you switch seamlessly between work and play.
With impressive battery life and enhanced speed and performance, a 2 in 1 has all your holiday needs covered – reading, shopping, watching movies, playing games, chatting to friends and, if you really must, catching up on work.
Want to know more? Here’s why you should get a 2 in 1.
For the person who’s always on the go: An Intel-powered tablet
Powered by Intel’s new-generation processors, tablets have become serious contenders in the computing space, allowing you to multitask seamlessly, accelerate data-intensive apps, and take video/photo editing to the next level.
With up to 16 hours’ battery life, Intel-powered tablets are guaranteed to last as long as you do, keeping you entertained for longer while you’re on the go.
For the DIYer: The Intel NUC
For those who like to customise their computers, you can’t go wrong with the Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing).
Available in a number of different variations, the customisable NUC kit includes a 4×4-inch board that’s ready to accept the memory, hard drive and operating system of your choice.
And because the NUC fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, it’s the ultimate space saver, allowing you to shrink your desktop while giving you the same visuals and performance as a full-sized tower.
For the gamer: Intel-powered gaming devices
Intel powers an impressive range of gaming devices, including the Acer Predator, Dell Alienware and ASUS ROG.
Dishing up powerful performance, deep sound and graphics immersion, dynamic overclocking and exceptional heat management for marathon gaming sessions, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better gaming machine that plays nicely with Intel-optimised titles.
Take the guesswork out of festive season shopping and find the perfect gift for anyone today. Click here for more gift ideas.
Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist
Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.
Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.
The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela. It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.
“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time. We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”
The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba. It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka. The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.
Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.
“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”
This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.
Sports streaming takes off
Live streaming of sports is coming of age as a mainstream method of viewing big games, as the latest FIFA World Cup figures from the UK show. Africa isn’t yet at the same level when it comes to the adoption of sports streaming, but usage is clearly moving in the right direction.
England’s World Cup quarter-final against Sweden was watched by just under 20 million viewers in the UK via BBC One. While this traditional broadcast audience was huge, it was streaming that broke records: the game was the BBC’s most popular online-viewed live programme ever, with 3.8 million views. In Africa, the absolute numbers are lower but the trend towards streaming major sports events on the continent is also well under way.
According to DStv, live streaming of sports dominates the usage figures for its live and recorded TV streaming app, DStv Now. The number of people using the app in June was five times higher than a year ago, with concurrent views peaking during major football and rugby games.
Since the start of the World Cup, average weekday usage of DStv Now is up 60%. The absolute peak in concurrent usage for one event was reached on 26 June, during the Nigeria vs Argentina game. The app’s biggest ever test was on 16 June with both Springbok Rugby and World Cup Football under way at the same time, resulting in concurrent in-app views seven times higher than the peaks seen in June last year.
The World Cup has also been a major reason for new users to download and try out the app. First-time app user volumes have tripled on Android and doubled on iOS since the start of the tournament.
“While we expected live sports streaming to take off, it’s also been pleasing to see that the app is really popular for watching shows on Catch Up,” says MultiChoice South Africa Chief Operating Officer Mark Rayner. “Interestingly, some of the most popular Catch Up shows are local, with Isibaya, Binnelanders, The Queen and The River all getting a significant number of views.”
With respect to app usage, the web and Android apps are the most popular way to watch DStv Now, with Android outpacing iOS by a factor of 2:1.
“We’re continuing to develop DStv Now, with 4k streaming in testing and smart TV and Apple TV apps on their way shortly,” says Rayner. “The other key priority for us is working with the telcos to deliver mobile data propositions that make watching online painless and worry-free for our customers.”
The DStv Now app is free to all 10 million DStv customers in Africa. The app streams DStv live channels as well as supplying an extended Catch Up library. Two separate streams can be watched on different devices simultaneously, and content can also be downloaded to smartphones and tablets. The content available on the app varies according to the DStv package subscribed to.