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MWC: Huawei’s MateBook matches up to MS Surface

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At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Huawei launched the MateBook, a 2-in-1 device that seems to be in direct competition with the Microsoft Surface but which is backed by Microsoft as it runs Windows 10.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Huawei launched its new MateBook, a 2-in-1 device that appears to compete directly with Microsoft’s Surface. However, Microsoft is backing the device fully, since it also runs on Windows 10. Huawei defines it as “a mobile productivity tool that seamlessly integrates mobility, high efficiency, work and entertainment”.

“With this landmark device, Huawei is demonstrating our industry-leading design and manufacturing expertise by bringing a beautifully crafted flagship product to market that is redefining the new style of business – connected computing across all devices in almost every scenario,” said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “Huawei has successfully channeled its comprehensive experience and excellence in building premium mobile products into the needs of the modern business environment by introducing a highly efficient device, seamlessly capable of integrating work and entertainment functions.”

Huawei provided the following information:

Starting at $699/€799, the MateBook is answering the demand for portable, stylish smart devices that allow users to stay connected in any setting. Designed as a total solution for consumers who enjoy the flexibility of a convertible device, the MateBook is a premium product that perfectly balances mobility, productivity and design.

With the MateBook, Huawei is continuing its strategy of partnering with the most innovative market leaders.

Built to operate on Windows 10, the MateBook also delivers the best of the legendary productivity tools and features offered by Microsoft Corp., including its latest browser, Microsoft Edge and the Cortana digital personal assistant.

“Our collaboration with Huawei offers consumers a new way to experience Windows 10 on a beautifully designed device,” said Peter Han, Vice President, Worldwide OEM Marketing, Microsoft Corp. “Huawei appreciates how consumers want to interact with devices, and is bringing a fresh perspective to this space. Our relationship with Huawei is a great example of the growing ecosystem of premium portable Windows 10 devices.”

The device features a 6th Generation Intel Core m-series processor to handle the most rigorous business demands in a stylish, thin and lightweight fanless design.

“This is an exciting time for Huawei to enter the market with its powerful new MateBook,” said Kirk Skaugen, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Client Computing Group, Intel Corporation. “By designing with the Intel Core m processor, Huawei is delivering a premium 2-in-1 experience that offers a compelling combination of mobility combined with full PC productivity. We are thrilled to extend our partnership with Huawei in this growing 2-in-1 market.”

Combining the mobility of a smartphone with the power and productivity of a laptop, the MateBook is designed with simplicity in mind. With minimal embellishment and a sleek appearance, the device is made of high-quality aluminum unibody that is both elegant and sophisticated. The MateBook features a strong protective body to withstand the rigors of an on-the-go lifestyle, and its slim profile and ultra-low weight of just 640g makes it ideal to take anywhere.

The MateBook keyboard case is made of environmentally friendly, soft PU leather, the perfect choice to match style with functionality. The durability of the keyboard case also provides an ideal level of protection. The keyboard features a 1.5mm keystroke and a chiclet keycap design, which allows for larger key surfaces to minimize typing errors. The built-in touchpad uses multi-touch technology that supports smooth and precise finger movements, combining comfort and utility.

The MateBook’s 12-inch IPS multi-touch screen is further enhanced by an ultra-narrow frame and a screen-to-body ratio of 84 percent. The screen boasts a resolution of 2160×1440 and a 160-degree wide angle for an immersive experience. The color gamut reaches an impressive 85 percent, capable of displaying true-to-life colors.

To ensure the MateBook delivers optimal performance as a mobile device, battery life and power were a top priority throughout the design process. Its 33.7Wh high-density Lithium battery provides enough power for nine hours of work, nine consecutive hours of Internet use and 29 hours of music playback. The device also features Huawei’s exclusive power-saving technology to meet the needs of business users. The MateBook’s battery can attain a full charge in just two-and-a-half hours. When there is not enough time for a full charge, the device can power up to 60 percent battery strength in just one hour.

When only a hand-written note will do, the accompanying MatePen stylus offers 2,048 levels of sensitivity, perfectly capturing users’ subtle and diverse pen-tip actions with zero delay. For advanced business functions, MatePen supports graphics and mathematic functions, and can be used as a laser pointer for delivering presentations.

The MateBook provides security while maintaining quick access through the fingerprint recognition feature that supports 360-degree sensitive identification for fewer authentication failures. It takes only one touch to unlock the MateBook’s screen – the fastest fingerprint recognition in the industry.

Additionally, the MateBook features a Wi-Fi mobile hotspot for users to stay connected when a traditional Internet connection is not available. Other features that ensure an efficient mobile experience include a seamless data transfer capability that allows drag-and-drop document transfer to and from Android smartphones.

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Epic Games brings a
Nite-mare to Android

Epic Games’ decision to not publish games through Google Play inadvertently opens a market to Android virus makers, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, decided to take the high road by skipping Google Play’s app distribution market and placing a third-party installer for its games on its website. While this is technically fine, it is not recommended for the average user, because allowing third-party installers on one’s smartphone opens up the possibility of non-signed and malicious software to be run on the smartphone. 

In June, malware researchers at ESET warned Android gamers that malicious fake versions of the Fortnite app had been created to steal personal information or damage smartphones. A malware researcher demonstrated how the fake applications works in the Tweet below.

While the decision to bypass Google Play was a bold move on Epic Games’ part, it has been a long time coming for app developers to move their premium apps off Google’s Play Store. The two major app distributors, Google Play and Apple’s App Store, take a 30% cut of every purchase made through their app distribution platforms. 

The App Store is currently the only way to get apps on a non-modified iOS device, which is why Epic Games had no choice for Fortnite to be in the App Store. On the other hand, Android phones can install packages downloaded through the browser, which makes the Play Store almost unnecessary for the gaming company. 

The most interesting part of this development is that Google is not the “bad guy” and Epic Games is no saviour to other game developers. Epic Games is a company with a multi-billion dollar valuation and has resources like large-scale servers to distribute and update its games, a big marketing budget to ensure everyone knows how to get its games, and server security to protect against malware. 

Resources of this scale allow the game company to turn a cold shoulder to Google’s Play Store distribution and focus on its own, in-house solution. 

That said, installing packages without the Google Play Store must be done carefully, and it is essential to do homework on where a package is downloaded. Moreover, when a package is installed outside of the Google Play Store, a security switch to block the installation of third party apps must be turned off. This switch should be turned back on immediately after the third party package is installed. 

This complex amount of steps makes it less worthwhile to install third party apps, in favour of rather waiting for them to reach the Play Store.

From a consumer perspective, ESET recommends not installing packages outside of the Google Play Store and to ignore advertisements to download the game from other sources.

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How to take on IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is coming, whether you like it or not and organisations today will look to platforms and services that help them manage and analyse the streams of data coming from connected devices, says RONALD RAVEL, Director B2B South Africa, Toshiba South Africa.

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Today, we are witnessing an explosion in IoT deployments and solutions and are moving towards a world where almost everything you can imagine will be connected. While this opens the door to many possibilities it also comes with its own challenges such as privacy and security.

The Internet has become an integral part of everyday life; it has been a free for all on a daily basis. IoT is a difficult concept for many people to wrap their minds around. Essentially, nearly every business will be affected.

Managing vast quantities of data across increasingly mobile workforces can be tremendously beneficial if done well, but equally can be cumbersome and ineffective if not managed properly. This is why technologies such as mobile edge computing are becoming increasingly popular, helping to increase the prevalence of secure mobile working and data management in the age of IoT.

Unlocking IoT

The evolution of IoT, despite rapid and ongoing technological innovation, is still very much in its fledgling stages. Its potential, though, is demonstrated by the fact that by 2020, Bain anticipates a significant shift in uptake, with roughly 80 per cent of adoptions at that point to have progressed to the stage of either ‘proof of concept’ or extensive implementation. This means that technological innovation in IoT for the enterprise is progressing at a similarly fast rate with many of these solutions being developed with utilities, engineering, manufacturing and logistics companies in mind.

Processing at the edge

For IoT to be adopted at the rate predicted, technology which does not overwhelm current or even legacy systems must be implemented. Mobile edge computing solves this. Such solutions offer processing power at the edge of the network, helping firms with a high proportion of mobile workers to reduce operational strain and latency by processing the most critical data at the edge and close to its originating source. Relevant data can then be sent to the cloud for observation and analysis, thereby reducing the waves of ‘data garbage’ which has to be processed by cloud services.

A logistics manager can feasibly monitor and analyse the efficiency of warehouse operations, for example, with important data calculations carried out in real-time, on location, and key data findings then sent to the cloud for centrally-located data scientists to analyse.

The work of wearables

The potential of IoT means it not only has the scope to change the way people work, but also where they work. While widespread mobile working is a relatively new trend in industries such as banking and professional services, for CIOs in sectors where working on the move is inherent – such as logistics and field maintenance – mobility is high on the agenda.

Wearables – and specifically smart glasses – have started to gain traction within the business world. With mobile edge computing solutions acting as the gateway, smart glasses such as Toshiba’s assisted reality AR 100 viewer solution have been designed to benefit frontline and field-based workers in industries such as utilities, manufacturing and logistics. In the renewable energy sector, for example, a wind turbine engineer conducting repairs may use assisted reality smart glasses to call up the schematics of the turbine to enable a hands-free view of service procedures. This means that when a fault becomes a barrier to repair, the engineer is able to use collaboration software to call for assistance from a remote expert and have additional information sent through, thereby saving time and money by eradicating the need for extra personnel to be sent to the site.

The time is ripe for organisations to look to exploit the age of IoT to improve the productivity and safety of their workers, as well as the end service delivered to customers. In fact, Toshiba’s recent ‘Maximising Mobility’ report found that 49 per cent of organisations believe their sector can benefit from the hands-free functionality of smart glasses, while 47 per cent expect them to deliver improved mobile working and 41 per cent foresee better collaboration and information sharing. Embracing IoT technologies such as mobile edge computing and wearable solutions will be an essential step for many organisations within these verticals as they look to stay on top of 21st century working challenges.

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