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MWC: Huawei debuts new laptop and tablet

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Huawei has unveiled its MateBook X Pro and MediaPad M5 Series at this year’s Mobile World Congress which boast new generation processors, faster graphics cards, longer lasting batteries and a richer sound to boot.

Both the Huawei MateBook X Pro and Huawei MediaPad M5 blend crisp and clear displays, powerful hardware updates and intelligent software advances:

Huawei provided the following information:

·         Huawei MateBook X Pro:

The Huawei MateBook X Pro is an ultra-slim, yet full-featured 13.9-inch notebook with an all-new 3K touch-enabled HUAWEI FullView Display and 91 percent screen-to-body ratio. Powered by an 8th Generation Intel Core i7/i5 processor, a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU with 2GB GDDR5 and a long-lasting 57.4Wh (Typical Capacity) battery – the Huawei MateBook X Pro is one of the lightest and most powerful notebooks on the market. The Huawei MateBook X Pro features Dolby Atmos Sound System and custom speakers that deliver breakthrough, immersive audio for sound to flow above and around you, making you feel like you’re inside the action.

·         Huawei MediaPad M5 Series:

Ergonomically designed with a 2.5D glass screen and 2K HD, ClariVu 5.0-enhanced display, the sleek and powerful 8.4-inch and 10.8-inch tablets feature speakers tuned by Harman Kardon. Huawei Histen technology provides immersive 3D audio and fully supports Hi-Res audio for exceptional sound quality. The 10.8-inch Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro comes with an ultra-precise Huawei M-Pen featuring 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity to make note-taking effortless.

“Today’s consumers want more: they expect their technology to be both powerful and adaptable – and Huawei is committed to creating devices that not only meet these expectations, but create experiences that make everyday computing extraordinary,” said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “The Huawei MateBook X Pro and HUAWEI MediaPad M5 Series are at the forefront of a new generation of mobile computing that empowers every aspect of your life.”

Huawei MateBook X Pro

The Huawei MateBook X Pro is the first notebook to feature Huawei FullView Display. The 13.9-inch 3K notebook featuring an all-new 10-point touchscreen has a 3000 x 2000 pixel resolution and is set at a 3:2 aspect ratio, perfect for content creation. Its stylish metallic body design is crafted with perfect diamond cutting and sandblasting finishing to create an ultra-slim body that is just 14.6mm thin and weighs 1.33 kg, making it comfortable to carry. The Huawei MateBook X Pro is available in two iconic colours: Space Gray and Mystic Silver.

The premium design of the Huawei MateBook X Pro is matched by its performance. Featuring a powerful 8th Generation Intel Core i7/i5 processor and a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU with 2GB GDDR5, it is one of the most powerful and lightweight notebooks on the market. The Huawei MateBook X Pro features Dolby Atmos Sound System – breakthrough, immersive audio with Dolby Atmos and custom speakers. A 57.4Wh (Typical Capacity) battery and Huawei’s low power consumption design provide up to 12 hours of 1080P video playback, 14 hours of regular work or 15 hours of web browsing.

Huawei has applied many of its innovative smartphone technologies to the Huawei MateBook X Pro to create effortless and intuitive user experiences. Pioneered by Huawei for the Huawei MateBook Series, the Huawei MateBook X Pro features the super-fast power button 2.0 which enables login in just 7.8 seconds from power off, and 6.6 seconds from hibernation. In addition, the Huawei MateBook X Pro features the world’s first recessed camera which discreetly sits on the keyboard – to activate it, all users need to do is press it and it will pop up, ensuring privacy when it’s not being used. This contributes greatly to the perfect experience of FullView Display. A multi-purpose adapter supports USB-C fast charging widely used in smartphones, meaning users only need to bring one charger when travelling for even greater portability. By developing a high-speed transport protocol, Huawei Share enables users to exchange photos and files quickly, easily and safely, without USB compatibility problems. The Wi-Fi transfer speed is up to 20Mbps, 100 times faster than that of Bluetooth.

Huawei MediaPad M5 Series

The Huawei MediaPad M5 Series is the world first tablet featuring a 2.5D glass screen for outstanding viewing experiences and great hand-feel. Both the 8.4- and 10.8-inch tablets take the iconic design of the Series to the next level with a sleek metal uni-body and U-shaped antenna design that is ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing. They are available in two colors: Champagne Gold and Space Gray.

With the Huawei MediaPad M5, users can take a world of immersive entertainment experiences with them wherever they go. The 2K and ClariVu 5.0-enhanced display captures even the subtlest details while intelligent algorithms ensure videos stay crisp and clear. The MediaPad M5 comes with two speakers on the 8.4-inch version and four speakers on the 10.8-inch version, tuned by Harman Kardon and Huawei Histen for immersive 3D sound. The support from Hi-Res audio when listening through headphones allows music to be experienced the way artists intended.

The Huawei MediaPad M5 is powered by a Kirin 960 Series processor for peak performance whether gaming, browsing the web or catching up on emails. EMUI 8.0 ensures a clean and user-friendly experience. A long-lasting battery – 5,100 mAh for 8.4-inch and 7,500 mAh for 10.8-inch – is augmented with Huawei QuickCharge technology.

Android has been optimized for productivity on the 10.8-inch Huawei MediaPad M5 with a ‘Desktop View’ experience that improves navigation for productivity-related activities. This includes a Taskbar and easy access to files for sharing and editing. The 10.8-inch HUAWEI MediaPad M5 also features ‘Pogo Pins’ that allow a keyboard to be connected, improving productivity even further.

Exclusively available with the 10.8-inch Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro is a Huawei M-Pen featuring 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity to make note-taking more realistic, easier and effortless.

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SA consumers buy 3.2m smartphones in Q1

Smartphone sales in South Africa grew by 12.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, reaching around 3.2 million units for the period.

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However, the value of the smartphone segment increased by 22.8% as sales of entry-level devices to low- and mid-income consumers continued to drive the market, according to point of sale data from market research firm, GfK South Africa.

GfK South Africa’s data reveals that telecommunications retail enjoyed a strong start to the year, with revenue growing 22.4% year-on-year. The growing popularity of phablets and higher unit prices (as a result of a weaker rand) helped to drive this increase in revenue, against a backdrop of low or negative growth in many segments of the consumer technology market.

“The mobile device market showed good growth in the quarter, despite rising prices during the period under review,” says Norman Muzhona, Solutions Specialist for Telecommunications at GfK South Africa. “In addition to the exchange rate, the introduction of popular, new mid-tier devices by several leading vendors helped to drive higher retail revenues in the telecoms market.”

Information technology retail revenues for the quarter contracted 4.8% compared to 2017, largely because of decreasing monitor prices and a 38.9% decline in tablet revenues. However, desktop computer revenues grew 39% and mobile computing revenues grew 6.5% year-on-year, thanks to higher prices and increased sales of higher-end products.

Says Berno Mare, Solutions Specialist for IT, Office Equipment and Value Added Services: “Retailers introduced new computing devices priced in the R3000 band during the quarter and enjoyed surprisingly strong demand for these entry-level units.

“Telcos enjoyed robust growth in mobile computing retail sales, thanks to credit deals, subsidised contracts and attractive data offers. However, South African consumers are heavily indebted, which may dampen growth for the rest of the year.”

With consumers rapidly migrating to smartphones, sales of traditional mobile phones continued to decline, down 1.6% year-on-year to around 2 million for the quarter. However, the exchange rate and the introduction of higher-priced brands helped to drive a 8.9% year-on-year revenue increase in mobile phone revenues during the period under review.

This follows the 21% drop in mobile phone unit sales in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. “Operators continue to lead the transition from feature phones to smartphones as they pursue higher data revenues,” says Muzhona. “The entry-level market for smartphones is fiercely competitive, and the minimum specs of lower cost smartphones is improving all the time.”

GfK South Africa expects the migration from mobile phones to smartphones to accelerate in 2018. However, it remains to be seen if the introduction of 4G-enabled, Voice-over-LTE-ready feature phones will have any impact on the South African mobile phone market.

Sectors of the consumer electronic market that showed strong growth for the first quarter of 2018 include loudspeakers—revenues up 21.6% year-on-year, thanks to demand of Bluetooth-enabled product—and ultrahigh definition (UHD) panel TVs—where revenues grew 33%, thanks to the growing affordability of the technology. UHD unit shipments were up 76%, while the average selling price of the products fell 24%.

Other market highlights for the first quarter of 2018 include:

  • Photo category revenues were up 8.1% year-on-year.
  • Small domestic appliance revenues grew 8%, following a 10.3% decline in Q1 2016 over Q1 2015. Hot air fryers sold well, as did kettles and toasters.
  • Major domestic appliances showed small year-on-year growth over Q1 2016, despite a decline in average selling price in many sub-categories of this market. Cooling products continued to make the highest contribution to growth in this segment.
  • Office Equipment revenues declined 18% year-on-year, led downwards by lower printer and cartridge sales volumes.
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What kids want online

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Kaspersky Lab’s latest report on the online activities of children – based on statistics received from its solutions and modules with child protection features – highlights children’s online activities and the importance of protecting them when online. For example, video content globally, comprised 17% of searches over the last months. Although many videos watched as a result of these searches may be harmless, it is still possible for children to accidentally end up watching videos that contain inappropriate content.

The report shows anonymised statistics from Kaspersky Lab’s flagship consumer solutions for Windows PCs and Macs that have the Parental Control module switched on and from Kaspersky Safe Kids, a standalone service for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices.

In South Africa, communication sites (such as social media, messengers, or emails) were the most popular pages visited by computers with parental controls switched on – with users in South Africa visiting these sites in 69% of cases over the previous 12 months. Software, audio, and video accounted for 17% of searches. Websites with this content have become significantly more popular since last year, when it was only the fifth most popular category globally at 6%. The top four is rounded off with electronic commerce (4.2%) and alcohol, tobacco, and websites about narcotics (3.9%), which is a new addition compared to this time last year.

The report presents search results on the ten most-popular languages* for the last 6 months. The data shows that the video & audio category – including requests related to any video content, streaming services, video bloggers, series and movies – are the most regularly ‘googled’ by children (17% of the total requests). The second and third places go to translation (14%) and communication (10%) websites respectively. Interestingly, games websites sit in fourth place, generating only 9% of the total search requests.

We can also see a clear language difference for search requests: for example, video and music websites are typically searched for in English, which can be explained by the fact that the majority of movies, TV series and musical groups have English names. Spanish-speaking kids carry out more requests for translation sites, while communication services are mostly searched for in Russian.

More than any other nationality, Chinese-speaking children look for education services, while French-speaking kids are more interested in sport and games websites. In turn, German-speaking requests dominate in the “shopping” category. The leading number of search requests for porn are in Arabic, and for anime are in Japanese.

“Kids in different countries have different interests and online behaviors, but what links them all is their need to be protected online from potentially harmful content. Children looking for animated content could accidentally open a porn video. Or they could start searching for innocent videos and unintentionally end up on websites containing violent content, both of which could have a long-term impact on their impressionable and vulnerable minds,” says Anna Larkina, Web-content Analysis Expert at Kaspersky Lab.

As well as analysing searches, the report also looks into which websites children visit or attempt to visit that contain potentially harmful content which falls under one of the 14 preset categories** for the last 12 months.

The mobile trend is again highlighted in the figures for computer games, which are now in fifth place locally on the list at 3%. As kids continue to show a preference for mobile games rather than computer games, this category will only continue to decrease in popularity on computers over the coming months and years.cleardot.gif

“No matter what they are doing online, it is important for parents not to leave their children’s digital activities unattended, because there’s a big difference between care and obtrusiveness. While it is important to trust your children and educate them about how to behave safely online, even your good advice cannot protect them from something unexpectedly showing up on the screen. That’s why advanced security solutions are key to ensuring children have positive online experiences, rather than harmful ones,” adds Anna Larkina.

The Kaspersky Total Security and Kaspersky Internet Security consumer solutions include a Parental Control module to help adults protect their children against online threats and block sites or apps containing inappropriate content. In turn, the Kaspersky Safe Kids solution allows parents to monitor what their children do, see or search for online across all devices, including mobile devices, and offers useful advice on how to help children behave safely online.

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