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Acer expands fanless Switch 2-in-1 range

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At a global launch in New York this week, Acer announced new 2-in-1 notebooks that are compatible with Acer Active Pen and Windows Ink.

Acer has expanded its popular Switch 2-in-1 notebook line with two new models, the Switch 5 and Switch 3, featuring Windows 10, with versatile, highly-mobile designs for work, school and fun.

Launched at the Next@Acer global press conference in New York this week, both new Acer Switch 2-in-1 notebooks can be used with an Acer Active Pen on the touch screen to sketch, take notes or annotate documents or photos with Windows Ink.

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The Acer Switch 5 builds on the industry-leading innovations of its predecessor, the Acer Switch Alpha 12, providing a fanless, quiet experience through Acer LiquidLoop cooling, and performance enhanced with up to 7th Generation Intel Core i7 processors. Acer’s patented auto-retracting kickstand allows for easy one-handed adjustments to the viewing angle. It also supports Windows Hello with a fingerprint reader for fast and secure access.

The Acer Switch 3 features a 2-in-1 design that is well-balanced with a large 12.2-inch display, Intel processors and a quiet, fanless design.

“Customers have embraced the flexibility of 2-in-1 designs to help them get more done throughout the day in both notebook or tablet modes,” said James Lin, General Manger, Commercial & Detachable Notebooks, IT Products Business, Acer Inc. “Acer’s Switch line is now able to reach more customers, whether they are looking for something that provides the latest in performance and features, or if they need a more accessible option for studies, work and play.”

Fanless Switch 5 is Performance-Minded, Quiet, and Reliable

The Switch 5 is Acer’s first 2-in-1 to be offered with 7th Generation Intel Core i7 and i5 processors to deliver the top-rated performance needed for serious tasks, presentations and entertainment on the go. The built-in fingerprint reader on the power button authenticates users and provides quick access to their projects. Users can be assured their information will remain secure and private when using the fingerprint reader for logging on thanks to Windows Hello.

With Acer’s patented auto-retracting kickstand, the Switch 5’s viewing angle can be easily adjusted one-handedly, providing added convenience in any scenario. Also, the Switch 5 uses Acer’s proprietary fanless LiquidLoop cooling system to keep it running efficiently without fan noise, making it ideal for shared spaces such as meetings and open offices. Plus, the LiquidLoop Cooling System doesn’t require venting that can compromise reliability due to airflow issues and dust accumulation. The fanless design supports powerful 7th Generation Intel Core processors to deliver excellent performance and day-to-night 10.5-hour battery life.

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The Switch 5 has a vibrant 12-inch wide-view FHD+ touch display with IPS technology, an impressive 2160 x 1440 resolution and support from Intel HD Graphics 620. Customers will enjoy vivid colour and crisp detail on the display for video and fun that can be shared on wide 178-degree viewing angles. Acer TrueHarmony and Smart Amplifier provide enhanced audio performance for clarity and robust volume to complement the exceptional display.

The Switch 5 has an anodized aluminum chassis that is elegant and modern. The brushed hairline texture complements the design while enhancing the comfort of the device during transport.

The Switch 3 brings excellent usability and performance to students, families and anyone looking for an excellent all-around value. The device runs on Intel Pentium  and Celeron processors that deliver solid every day performance and up to 8 hours of battery life. The 12.2-inch display is designed to deliver incredible precision and a responsive 10-point touch experience. It has a wide 178-degree viewing angle and 1920×1200 FHD resolution with IPS technology. The front-facing speakers complement the stunning visuals with enhanced volume and quality for rich, expressive tones. The sleek metallic top cover has a distinctive yet subtle design with complementary etched edging.

The Acer Switch 3 has won a Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017, one of the most prestigious product design awards.

Versatile 2-in-1 Design is Sturdy, Comes with Attachable Keyboard

Both the Acer Switch 5 and Acer Switch 3 come with an attachable keyboard that snaps on with ultra-secure magnets and can be adjusted to an ergonomic angle for customer preference. The Switch 5’s keyboard is backlit for added convenience while working in darker environments. Measuring just 5.85 mm thin, the keyboard delivers 1.4 mm of travel to ensure comfort and productivity while typing. Plus, the keyboard protects the screen and ensures easy transport. The large trackpad supports convenient and intuitive navigation with Precision Touchpads supporting Windows 10 gestures to provide a smooth and responsive experience.

The versatile and stable U-shaped kickstand holds up the display and can be adjusted fluidly to any angle up to 165 degrees. The anti-slip design holds the display upright when customers touch or write on the display. Plus, the Switch 5 can be adjusted effortlessly with a single hand thanks to the auto-retracting kickstand. Both systems work with the Acer Active Pen, which enables accurate and detailed direct-to-screen digital ink input for a natural pen-on-paper experience that’s perfect for notetaking, sketching and capturing ideas and taking advantage of Windows Ink. The Acer Active Pen provides palm rejection and 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity.

Both the Switch 5 and Switch 3 have front and rear cameras for videoconferencing and capturing memories. Both systems’ front webcams provide 720p Full HD video recording.

Optional USB Type-C Dock Facilitates Business Use

For commercial customers, the Acer Switch 5 can be purchased with the Acer USB Type-C Dock that transforms the device into a powerful workstation. This compact dock enables high-speed video, audio and data transfer and keeps the work area clutter-free with immediate connectivity to an additional display and other devices. It includes the ports and connections commercial customers need: DisplayPort, HDMI, two USB 3.1 Type-C ports and three USB Type-A ports, as well as audio input for microphone and audio output for speakers.

Slim, Lightweight Designs; Ready to Connect

The Switch 5 and Switch 3 are available with ample storage and memory options. The Switch 5 supports a 256GB or 512GB PCIe SSD and up to 8GB of LPDDR3 SDRAM. The Switch 3 supports 32GB, 64GB or 128GB eMMC memory and up to 4GB of LPDDR3 SDRAM. Both models can access additional files through the MicroSDXC slot. The devices both feature a thin and reversible USB 3.1 Type-C port for fast data transfers of up to 5Gbps from connected peripherals, to share video and also to power other devices. Both lines also have an additional USB 3.1 Type-A port and Bluetooth 4.0.

The Acer Switch 5 is thin and light, measuring just 292 (W) x 201.8 (D) x 12 (H) mm (11.5 x 7.94 x 0.47 inches) and weighing 1.27 kg (2.8 pounds) when the tablet and keyboard are connected. The Switch 5 tablet alone measures just 9.6 mm (0.38 inches) in height, and weighs 0.92 kg (2.03 pounds). The Switch 3 measures just 295 (W) x 201 (D) x 16.3 (H) mm (11.61 x 7.91 x 0.64 inches) and weighs 0.9 kg (1.98 pounds) when the tablet and keyboard are connected. The Switch 3 tablet alone measures just 9.95 mm (0.39 inches) in height, and weighs 0.9 kg (1.98 pounds).

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Legion gets a pro makeover

Lenovo’s latest Legion gaming laptop, the Y530, pulls out all the stops to deliver a sleek looking computer at a lower price point, writes BRYAN TURNER

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Gaming laptops have become synonymous with thick bodies, loud fans, and rainbow lights. Lenovo’s latest gaming laptop is here to change that.

The unit we reviewed housed an Intel Core i7-8750H, with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It featured dual storage, one bay fitted with a Samsung 256GB NVMe SSD and the other with a 1TB HDD.

The latest addition to the Legion lineup has become far more professional-looking, compared to the previous generation Y520. This trend is becoming more prevalent in the gaming laptop market and appeals to those who want to use a single device for work and play. Instead of sporting flashy colours, Lenovo has opted for an all-black computer body and a monochromatic, white light scheme. 

The laptop features an all-metal body with sharp edges and comes in at just under 24mm thick. Lenovo opted to make the Y530’s screen lid a little shorter than the bottom half of the laptop, which allowed for more goodies to be packed in the unit while still keeping it thin. The lid of the laptop features Legion branding that’s subtly engraved in the metal and aligned to the side. It also features a white light in the O of Legion that glows when the computer is in use.

The extra bit of the laptop body facilitates better cooling. Lenovo has upgraded its Legion fan system from the previous generation. For passive cooling, a type of cooling that relies on the body’s build instead of the fans, it handles regular office use without starting up the fans. A gaming laptop with good passive cooling is rare to find and Lenovo has shown that it can be achieved with a good build.

The internal fans start when gaming, as one would expect. They are about as loud as other gaming laptops, but this won’t be a problem for gamers who use headsets.

Click here to read about the screen quality, and how it performs in-game.

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Serious about security? Time to talk ISO 20000

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By EDWARD CARBUTT, executive director at Marval Africa

The looming Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act in South Africa and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) have brought information security to the fore for many organisations. This in addition to the ISO 27001 standard that needs to be adhered to in order to assist the protection of information has caused organisations to scramble and ensure their information security measures are in line with regulatory requirements.

However, few businesses know or realise that if they are already ISO 20000 certified and follow Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s (ITIL) best practices they are effectively positioning themselves with other regulatory standards such as ISO 27001. In doing so, organisations are able to decrease the effort and time taken to adhere to the policies of this security standard.

ISO 20000, ITSM and ITIL – Where does ISO 27001 fit in?

ISO 20000 is the international standard for IT service management (ITSM) and reflects a business’s ability to adhere to best practice guidelines contained within the ITIL frameworks. 

ISO 20000 is process-based, it tackles many of the same topics as ISO 27001, such as incident management, problem management, change control and risk management. It’s therefore clear that if security forms part of ITSM’s outcomes, it should already be taken care of… So, why aren’t more businesses looking towards ISO 20000 to assist them in becoming ISO 27001 compliant?

The link to information security compliance

Information security management is a process that runs across the ITIL service life cycle interacting with all other processes in the framework. It is one of the key aspects of the ‘warranty of the service’, managed within the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The focus is ensuring that the quality of services produces the desired business value.

So, how are these standards different?

Even though ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 have many similarities and elements in common, there are still many differences. Organisations should take cognisance that ISO 20000 considers risk as one of the building elements of ITSM, but the standard is still service-based. Conversely, ISO 27001 is completely risk management-based and has risk management at its foundation whereas ISO 20000 encompasses much more

Why ISO 20000?

Organisations should ask themselves how they will derive value from ISO 20000. In Short, the ISO 20000 certification gives ITIL ‘teeth’. ITIL is not prescriptive, it is difficult to maintain momentum without adequate governance controls, however – ISO 20000 is.  ITIL does not insist on continual service improvement – ISO 20000 does. In addition, ITIL does not insist on evidence to prove quality and progress – ISO 20000 does.  ITIL is not being demanded by business – governance controls, auditability & agility are. This certification verifies an organisation’s ability to deliver ITSM within ITIL standards.

Ensuring ISO 20000 compliance provides peace of mind and shortens the journey to achieving other certifications, such as ISO 27001 compliance.

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