Lenovo has unveiled its new X1 portfolio. According to the company, the series includes new additions like the adaptable ThinkPad X1 Tablet with its modular design; the ThinkPad X1 Yoga with an OLED display; and the ThinkPad X1 Carbon.
Lenovo provided the following information:
The modular design of the ThinkPad X1 Tablet offers something no other tablet can – adding functionality through simple clip-on optional modules:
· Need more battery? The Productivity Module increases use up to 15 hours total
· Ready to present? The Presenter Module includes a pico projector and HDMI port
· Creating in 3D? Add the 3D Imaging Module with its rear-facing Intel RealSense camera
The full size ThinkPad keyboard with the iconic TrackPoint has three adjustable typing angles and recreates the classic ThinkPad keystroke feel. Keyboard and tablet together weigh just 1 kilo for an ultra-light laptop experience. What’s more, it is the first Windows tablet with LTE Advanced support for fast connectivity from virtually anywhere. The ThinkPad X1 Tablet also features a removable rear panel for serviceability and upgrades. ThinkPad X1 Tablet will be available at a starting price of ZAR 26,500.
ThinkPad X1 Yoga is incredibly thin at just 0.66 inches and light at only 1.3 kilos. It is also the world’s first convertible featuring an optional Samsung OLED display that reproduces beautifully rich colors and deeper blacks. With a patented Lift and Lock keyboard that retracts keys in tablet mode, X1 Yoga also features an active pen that is perfect for highlighting and writing notes directly on webpages using the Microsoft Edge browser. The pen is also housed & charged inside the system so it won’t get lost. ThinkPad X1 Yoga will be available at a starting price of ZAR 29,000.
ThinkPad X1 Carbon continues to stand out as the world’s lightest 14-inch business ultrabook. One of the most refined and elegant notebooks available today, the X1 Carbon is thinner, lighter and more powerful than ever. Focused on customer-centric design improvements, we listened to customer feedback and made a number of improvements, including more display options, increased memory and storage capacity, improved connectivity and made the X1 Carbon lighter at just 1.2 kilos. ThinkPad X1 Carbon will be available at a starting price of ZAR 26,500.
Customers expect Lenovo to keep pushing the boundaries and the ThinkPad X1 series doesn’t disappoint. With a unique combination of performance, connectivity and security focused features available in all three products, the new ThinkPad X1 family is designed and engineered for forward thinkers:
· Up to 1TB high-density, low-power Samsung M.2 NVMe SSD storage offers speeds up to five times that of standard SATA SSD
· Ultra-fast enterprise class connectivity with the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X7 LTE modem with 4G LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation support for up to 300 Mbps download speeds
· Fast and secure WiGig wireless docking for a cable-free desk environment
· Touch Fingerprint reader and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) security chip for peace of mind
· Built tough to withstand the rigors of mobile working by passing more than two hundred Lenovo stress tests
The ThinkCentre X1 AIO offers a superlative design within an ultra-thin 11mm frame giving one of the world’s thinnest desktops. The premium anti-glare display offers a bright picture from any angle on its 23.8-inch screen and despite the incredibly thin chassis, the ThinkCentre X1 is built tough. Designed to withstand dust build up, a common cause of hardware failure with desktop PCs, the all-in-one has been tested for eight hours in a dust chamber, replicating ten years in an office environment.
The 7.5mm ultra-slim ThinkVision X1, is the world’s first monitor to receive the TUV Eye-Comfort certification. Featuring a 27-inch UltraHD edge-to-edge anti-glare display, the ThinkVision X1 includes rich connectivity options such as a USB type C port, providing the perfect complement to the ThinkPad X1 Tablet. ThinkCentre X1 AIO will be available at a starting price of ZAR 20,000.
Graham Braum, General Manager for Lenovo Africa commented, “Today’s progressive customers are open-minded, energetic and enthusiastic tech influencers who seek technology that will help push the boundaries. Our expanded X1 family stays true to the ThinkPad’s heritage that has been designed and engineered for these forward thinkers. Brilliantly adaptable with super-thin and ultra-light premium designs, these new products will help professionals embrace cloud computing, mobility and security to build companies of tomorrow.’’
Samsung unleashes the beast
Most new smartphone releases of the past few years have been like cat-and-mouse games with consumers and each other. It has been as if morsels of cheese are thrown into the box to make it more interesting: a little extra camera here, a little more battery there, and incremental changes to size, speed (more) and weight (less). Each change moves the needle of innovation ever-so-slightly. Until we find ourselves, a few years later, with a handset that is revolutionary compared to six years ago, but an anti-climax relative to six months before.
And then came Samsung. Probably stung by the “incremental improvement” phrase that has become almost a cliché about new Galaxy devices, the Korean giant chose to unleash a beast last week.
The new Galaxy Note 9 is not only the biggest smartphone Samsung has ever released, but one of the biggest flagship handsets that can still be called a phone. With a 6.4” display, it suddenly competes with mini-tablets and gaming consoles, among other devices that had previously faced little contest from handsets.
It offers almost ever cutting edge introduced to the Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones earlier this year, including the market-leading f1.5 aperture lens, and an f2.4. telephoto lens, each weighing in at 12 Megapixels. The front lens is equally impressive, with an f1.7 aperture – first introduced on the Note 8 as the widest yet on a selfie camera.
So far, so S9. However, the Note range has always been set apart by its S Pen stylus, and each edition has added new features. Born as a mere pen that writes on screens, it evolved through the likes of pressure sensitivity, allowing for artistic expression, and cut-and-paste text with translation-on-the-fly.
(Click here or below to read more about the Samsung Galaxy S Pen stylus) Samsung Galaxy S9 Features)
SA ride permit system ‘broken’
Despite the amendments to the National Land Transport Act, ALON LITS, General Manager, Uber in Sub Saharan Africa, believes that many premature given that the necessary, well-functioning systems and processes are not yet in place to make these regulatory changes viable.
The spirit and intention of the amendments to the National Land Transport Act No 5 (NLTA), 2009 put forward by the Ministry of Transport are to be commended. It is especially pleasing that these amendments include ridesharing and e-hailing operators and drivers as legitimate participants in the country’s public transport system, which point to government’s willingness to embrace the changes and innovation taking place in the country’s transport industry.
However, there are aspects of the proposed amendments that are, at best, premature given that the necessary, well-functioning systems and processes are not yet in place to make these regulatory changes viable.
Of particular concern are the significant financial penalties that will need to be paid by ridesharing and e-hailing companies whose independent operators are found to be transporting passengers without a legal permit issued by the relevant local authority. These fines can be as high as R100 000 per driver operating without a permit. Apart from being an excessive penalty it is grossly unfair given that a large number of local authorities don’t yet have functioning permit issuing systems and processes in place.
The truth is that the operating permit issuance system in South Africa is effectively broken. The application and issuance processes for operating licenses are fundamentally flawed and subject to extensive delays, sometimes over a year in length. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that it is very difficult for applicants whose permit applications haven’t yet been approved to get reasons for the extensive delays on the issuing of those permits.
Uber has had extensive first-hand experience with the frustratingly slow process of applying for these permits, with drivers often having to wait months and, in some cases more than a year, for their permits.
Sadly, there appears to be no sense of urgency amongst local authorities to prioritise fixing the flawed permit issuing systems and processes or address the large, and growing, backlogs of permit applications. As such, in order for the proposed stringent permit enforcement rules to be effective and fair to all role players, the long-standing issues around permit issuance first need to be addressed. At the very least, before the proposed legislation amendments are implemented, the National Transport Ministry needs to address the following issues:
- Efficient processes and systems must be put in place in all local authorities to allow drivers to easily apply for the operating permits they require
- Service level agreements need to be put in place with local authorities whereby they are required to assess applications and issue permits within the prescribed 60-day period.
- Local authorities need to be given deadlines by which their current permit application backlogs must be addressed to allow for faster processing of new applications once the amendments are promulgated.
If the Transport Ministry implements the proposed legislation amendments before ensuring that these permit issuance challenges are addressed, many drivers will be faced with the difficult choice of either having to operate illegally whilst awaiting their approved permits and risking significant fines and/or arrest, or stopping operations until they receive their permits, thereby losing what is, for many of them, their only source of income.
As such, if the Ministry of Transport is not able to address these particular challenges, it is only reasonable to ask it to reconsider this amendment and delay its implementation until the necessary infrastructure is in place to ensure it does not impact negatively on the country’s transport industry. The legislators must have been aware of the challenges of passing such a significant law, as the Amendment Bill allows for the Minister to use his discretion to delay implementation of provisions for up to 5 years.
Fair trade and healthy competition are the cornerstones of any effective and growing economy. However, these clauses (Section 66 (7) and Section 66A) of the NLTA amendment, as well as the proposal that regulators be given authority to define the geographic locations or zones in which vehicles may operate, are contrary to the spirit of both. As a good corporate citizen, Uber is committed to supplementing and enhancing South Africa’s national transport system and contributing positively to the industry. If passed into law without the revisions suggested above, these new amendments will limit our business and many others from playing the supportive roles we all can, and should, in growing the SA transport and tourism industries as well as many other key economic sectors.
What’s more, if passed as they currently stand, the amendments will effectively limit South African consumers from having full access to the range of convenient transport options they deserve; which has the potential to harm the reputation and credibility of the entire transport industry.