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Cisco debuts Wi-Fi 6 solutions

Cisco has announced innovative solutions that may help customers embrace a new age of wireless connectivity. Wi-Fi 6 (also known as 802.11ax) is the new standard for Wi-Fi networks, and is expected to drive immersive wireless experiences and the connecting of billions of devices in the Internet of Things.

Click through to read more about Wi-Fi 6 in Cisco’s product line.

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Cisco is also extending the industry’s most extensive campus networking portfolio by delivering a campus core switch purpose-built for cloud-scale networking. By coupling powerful automation and analytics software with an array of next-generation switches, access points, and controllers for the campus, Cisco claims it enables the industry’s only end-to-end, wireless-first architecture.

Built on the same fundamental wireless innovations as 5G, these new standards will reshape how businesses and consumers interact with the world. Beyond being significantly faster than the previous generation, Wi-Fi 6 delivers up to 400 percent greater capacity and is more effective in high-density settings like large lecture halls, stadiums and conference rooms. Latency is vastly improved, allowing for near real-time use cases. Wi-Fi 6 is also more battery-friendly for connected devices and provides an overall more predictable user experience.

Cisco provided the following information on its product rollout:

  • Wi-Fi 6 Access Points: New access points across the Catalyst and Meraki portfolios go beyond providing the new Wi-Fi 6 standard. With custom, programmable chipsets and access to industry-leading analytics capabilities, Cisco’s latest APs deliver a smarter and more secure wireless network. The new access points are also multilingual, with the ability to communicate with multiple IoT protocols, including BLE, Zigbee, and Thread.
  • Core Switch for the Campus Network: Cisco raises the bar with the Catalyst 9600 core switch family, which will serve as the foundation central to any network’s successful operation. To deliver the most secure and efficient wireless experience, organizations need a single networking fabric that brings wired and wireless together. Built as the next evolution of the Catalyst 6000 — the most successful networking product in the history of the internet — the Catalyst 9600 will be the bedrock for the next generation of intent-based business networks.
  • New Developer Resources: Wi-Fi 6 and 5G represent an incredible opportunity for developers. To enable them to create the immersive experiences that these new levels of connectivity promise, Cisco DevNet is unveiling a new wireless developer centre. DevNet, Cisco’s developer network, offers the learning labs, sandboxes and developer resources needed to create game-changing wireless applications. The Cisco Catalyst and Meraki access platforms are open and programmable all the way down to the chipset level, allowing applications to take advantage of advanced network programmability.
  • New Ecosystem Partnerships: Prior to the launch of its Wi-Fi 6 access points, Cisco completed interoperability testing with Broadcom, Intel and Samsung to address the inevitable gaps that come with a new standard. Samsung, Boingo, GlobalReach, Presidio and others are expected to join the Cisco OpenRoaming project to solve one of today’s biggest wireless pain points. The Cisco OpenRoaming project aims to make it easier to seamlessly and securely hop between Wi-Fi and LTE networks and onboard public Wi-Fi.

“Every leap in connectivity enables the next wave of profound innovation. 5G and Wi-Fi 6 represent a new era of connectivity,” said David Goeckeler, executive VP and GM, Networking and Security Business at Cisco. “Developers are already creating the next generation of wireless-first, immersive experiences. With billions of things connecting to the network, this growth will create unprecedented complexity for IT. Cisco is building a multi-domain network architecture to simplify complexity for IT, allowing CIOs to deliver against their innovation agenda.”

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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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