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CES 2016: Acer styles up Chromebook

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Acer rolled out the newest model in its Chromebook 11 line, with a more durable design that features a nano-imprinted cover, at CES 2016 in Las Vegas last week.

“Acer’s position in the Chromebook market is unparalleled because we offer the range of Chromebook products that our customers want – including larger 15-inch displays and convertible models,” said Jerry Kao, president of Acer Notebook Business Group. “We know what our customers want most in a Chromebook are the attributes that complement the mobile lifestyle – great performance and a portable design at an excellent value – all this can be found in the Chromebook 11.”

According to data from Gartner, Acer Group is currently the world’s leading Chromebook brand with over 34% market share for the first three quarters of 2015.

Acer provided the folloiwing information on the new laptop:

The Chromebook 11’s cover is made with a nano-imprinted pattern which gives it a premium look and feel while also boosting durability. The Chromebook 11 has been reinforced like Acer’s models for commercial and educational customers to handle extra-stressful environments. It can handle up to 60kg of downward force on the top cover, while the corners can tolerate up to 60cm drops without damage. The reinforced case results in greater resistance to twisting and stress.

The slim and portable form factor makes the Acer Chromebook 11 ideal for use anywhere – at home, school, work and on-the-go. It measures only 0.73 inches (18.6mm) thin and weighs only 2.42 pounds (1.1kg).

The Acer Chromebook 11 has an 11.6-inch display that features non-glare Acer ComfyView, so it limits eye-strain even after long hours of use. The display has a 1366×768 resolution that ensures sharp and legible text as well as vivid, clear videos and photos.

Customers will enjoy video chats on Google Hangouts and capturing crisp, clear photos with the high-dynamic range (HDR) camera. The webcam experience is further enhanced by the two stereo speakers and integrated microphone for top-notch audio and video capabilities.

Solid Performance and All-Day Battery Life

The Acer Chromebook 11 delivers solid everyday performance using Intel Celeron quad-core processors. Further contributing to responsiveness and a fast boot time, the Chromebook 11 features 2GB or 4GB of memory and a 16GB or 32GB eMMC storage. Customers on the go will be able to experience all-day productivity and fun since it provides up to 9 hours of battery life.

Keeps Customers Connected on the Go

With the fast dual-band 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi on the Acer Chromebook 11, customers can stay connected and in touch with up to three times faster wireless connectivity compared to 802.11n. The device connects easily to peripherals via Bluetooth 4.0, or the USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and HDMI ports. Customers can transfer files to or from the Acer Chromebook 11 and access media on SD cards with the SD reader.

Acer Chromebook 11 Simplifies Security and Collaboration

Chromebooks are simple to use and ideal for sharing by multiple users. Customers simply log into their own Google account to access Gmail, Google Docs, favorite bookmarks, and other information. Plus, the Acer Chromebook 11 CB3-131 can be used by customers to create, edit and collaborate both on-line and off-line in programs, such as Office documents.

Security is a key benefit of the Chrome OS, as it’s automatically updated to guard against ever-changing online threats. Every time Chrome OS boots, it checks the integrity and validity of system files. In addition, user files stored on the device are in a separate partition to keep data secure. Many customers prefer to keep all their files on Google Drive which protects files, documents, and photos safely in the cloud, and ensures that the most current version of the file or document is always available and safe, even if the Chromebook is lost or stolen. In addition, the Supervised Users feature helps get children online in a safe, controlled way.

Models, Availability and Pricing

The Acer Chromebook 11 line (CB3-131) will be available in South Africa from Q2 2016 at the suggested retail price of R 4 499,

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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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