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Acer launches premium Chromebook line

Acer Africa has introduced two new premium Acer Chromebook lines, the Acer Chromebook 715 and Acer Chromebook 714, designed to help employees work in the cloud more securely. Both new Acer Chromebooks have a premium all-aluminium chassis that delivers military-grade (U.S. MIL-STD 810G1) durability, as well as an integrated fingerprint reader, and Citrix Ready Certification.

Click below to read more about the computer.

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The new Chromebooks have Full HD displays and up to 8th Gen Intel Core processors, and up to 12 hours of battery life from typical work operations.

“The addition of a premium durable chassis and integrated fingerprint reader onto the latest Acer Chromebooks enhances the security and reliability of these devices,” said James Lin, general manager for notebooks, IT Product Business, Acer Inc. “Employees of all types — whether in a corporate office, small business, or an educational setting — need reliable, powerful PCs that help protect their data, perform well, and look great. These new Acer Chromebooks fit that bill.”

Premium Protection

The Acer Chromebook 715 and 714 both feature a durable, all-aluminium, impact-resistant chassis that looks great on a front desk for customer-facing settings, as well as on the road with employees making client visits or sales calls. The reinforced design delivers military-grade protection (U.S. MIL-STD 810G compliant), so it can handle drops from up to 48 inches (122 cm) and can withstand up to 132 pounds (60 kg) of downward force. The anodised aluminium chassis stands up to daily wear and tear, resists dents and bending, and wards off dings, chips and corrosion to maintain the high-end look and feel.

The Corning Gorilla Glass touchpad features click-anywhere functionality and is also scratch- and moisture-resistant.

For further protection, the machines feature an integrated fingerprint reader conveniently placed next to the keyboard. Ideal for shared environments, the fingerprint reader gives employees a quick and secure way to unlock the device and share with co-workers.

Citrix Ready certified, the new Acer Chromebooks are fully compatible with Citrix solutions that enhance business mobility, networking, and cloud platforms.

First Acer Chromebook with a numeric keypad

The 715 is the first Acer Chromebook to include a dedicated numeric keypad. The large display provides ample room for the keypad, which gives cloud workers in retail, finance, and service fields — as well as in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) — an efficient way to input data. In addition, it has a backlit keyboard so productivity can continue in low-light conditions.

The 15.6-inch IPS display allows viewing of multiple apps and tabs in Full HD 1920×1080 resolution. It comes in both touch-screen and standard display options.

Narrow-Bezel Display 

Employees working remotely will appreciate the Acer Chromebook 714’s compact design and 14-inch Full HD display. The slim bezels measure as little as 6.18 mm (0.24 inches) to reduce the overall footprint and keep the focus on the visuals. Like the 715, the 714 has IPS3 technology and comes in touch-screen and standard non-touch options.

All-Day Battery Life and Enhanced Performance 

Both machines deliver industry-leading battery life of up to 12 hours, so they can be used for a full day of productivity on the road or in customer-facing environments. Both can be powered by a range of processors, including the 8th Gen Intel Core i5 and Core i3 processors as well as Intel Celeron and Intel Pentium Gold options.

Staying Connected

The laptops have a USB 3.1 Type-C port on each side so they can be connected to devices and charged from the side that’s most convenient. The ports can be used for quick data transfers, connecting to an external display, and for charging other devices. Both Chromebooks also have a USB 3.0 port and a MicroSD card reader.

The optional Acer USB-Type-C Dock can be connected via a single cable, transforming the machines into powerful workstations that can connect to external displays, printers, and more. This convenient and compact dock enables high-speed video, audio, and data transfers, and keeps the front desk or work area clutter-free.

Chrome OS Security 

The new units work well with Google’s Chrome Enterprise solution that helps businesses manage devices at scale. Ideal for a range of business environments, including those where employees share devices and are mobile, such as in health care and retail, Chrome Enterprise helps create a secure and productive environment for cloud-based workers.

Customers will have access to the latest Chrome apps and millions of Android apps for productivity, connectivity, and services, via Google Play.
Availability 

The Acer Chromebook 715 is available with 8GB or 16GB of DDR4 SDRAM and either 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of eMMC storage. 

The Acer Chromebook 714 is available with 8GB or 16GB of DDR4 SDRAM and either 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of eMMC storage.

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IFA 2019: Dell puts 10th gen Intel Core in laptops

Ahead of IFA, Dell has announced its consumer portfolio with new form factors and the addition of 10th Gen Intel Core processors to its current XPS and Inspiron portfolio. It is likely that the devices will go on display at IFA 2019 in Berlin at the beginning of September.

Click below to read more about the updated portfolio.

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Dell says its latest consumer portfolio refresh can deliver performance gains needed for compute-intensive, demanding, multi-thread workloads, while still handling 4K content efficiently. In doing so, Dell says it gives heavyweight performance in a thin, light and portable design.

XPS 13

The refreshed XPS 13 will be available in the USA on 27 August, along with some of the models housing Intel 10th Gen Core U series processors, while i7 hexacore models will be available in October.

With the new Killer AX1650 (2×2) built on Intel WiFi 6 Chipset, wireless connectivity is three times as fast as the previous generation. Along with Dell CinemaColor, Dolby Vision and an optional 4K Ultra HD InfinityEdge display, the XPS 13 will remain eye candy for those glued to their screen. 

The XPS will be available with either Windows 10 or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the latter serving as the foundation of the XPS 13 developer edition, now in its 9th generation. Ubuntu versions also mean lower cost due to not having to pay for Windows bundled with the computer. 

Inspiron 14 7000

With the latest 10th Gen Intel Core processors, Dell says it is putting premium materials and performance to its Inspiron line with the introduction of the new Inspiron 14 7000 ultralight laptops. Weighing under 1.1 kg, this impressively portable design was achieved through introducing a lightweight yet durable magnesium alloy chassis.

It features a new lid-open sensor, Connected Modern Standby and fingerprint reader built into the power button. The system signs on securely and starts in a flash. The stylish laptop features all-around narrow borders with 100% sRGB colour coverage, great for mobile multitasking.

For more specs, details, pricing and availability, follow Gadget on Twitter.

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Acer’s latest Chromebook means serious business

The latest Acer Chromebooks for business have arrived in South Africa. BRYAN TURNER reviewed the Acer Chromebook 715.

Click below to read the review.

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The Chromebook market has been perceived as very consumer-focused, until the recent introduction of management tools for Chrome OS.

To complement these corporate management tools, Acer has released the Chromebook 715, aimed at the business person that works in the cloud, in South Africa.

The unit we reviewed contained an Intel Core i5-8250U, 16GB of RAM, and 128GB of eMMC storage. All of this was housed in a sturdy aluminium body. 

On the left side, the computer features a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer, a standard USB Type-A port, and a headphone jack, while on the right it has a Kensington Lock, another USB Type-C port just for connectivity and a microSD card slot. 

When open, the narrow bezelled 15.6″-inch display has a Full HD resolution for crisp lettering in documents. The wide colour gamut also ensures that colours are accurately represented on screen. 

The keyboard features a first for Chromebooks: a num-pad. This is especially useful for those working with spreadsheets on Google Sheets or Excel Online, or accountants working in web apps like Xero.

The overall design of this computer shows the professional look Acer was going for with a business-facing Chromebook. It has a grey aluminium body, which looks heavy, but comes to a mere 1.8kg. It’s much lighter than it looks for an almost 16″ laptop.

The performance is great and switching between web apps is fast. This is thanks to the embedded i5 processor, which doesn’t make as much of a noise as its Windows counterparts.

The computer isn’t for the “slashie”: those who run their personal and business lives on the same device. As a result, games don’t run on the computer because it doesn’t run applications. This asserts the device’s status as a purely business-focused device.

Apart from the hardware features, the computer is handled via the lightweight Chrome OS. 

Chrome OS is Google’s answer for those who only work with web apps, and don’t want their computer’s performance hindered by unnecessary apps. With the increasing power offered from web apps, the computer application as we know is likely to disappear eventually. 

With Google’s Apps for Work platform, the Chromebook lends itself to the same admin management tools that exist on other platforms. 
The integrated 45 Wh battery may seem small but operates for around 9 hours, thanks to the lightweight software and good battery management.  

Overall, for those who want a no-nonsense approach to computing, the Acer Chromebook 715 may be their best next device. However, its pricing at R7,999 may deter those who would expect to pay less.

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