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Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

At Computex 2019, Dell announced updates to its XPS line, including a 2-in-1 XPS 13 with up to 2.5 times faster performance.

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The XPS line is Dell’s most awarded line of devices, celebrated for its best-in-class technologies, great build and materials, and the ability to blend power and beauty. Dell is taking that commitment one step further with the launch of the new XPS 13 2-in-1, redesigned and higher performing than the previous generation.

“We’re thrilled to be back at Computex further spotlighting the exceptional innovation we kicked off earlier this year at CES 2019”, said Ray Wah, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer and Small Business Product Group, Dell. “We’re always listening to the needs of our customers and we’ve really delivered with smaller and sleeker designs, flawless detail and high performance in each of these new devices.” 

The display experience has been improved, refining the InfinityEdge display in a 16:10 format, and now offers an edge-to-edge screen with a 7% larger viewing experience. Dell’s smallest webcam is now located at the top bezel, a long-awaited ask from customers. The new display offers improved colour accuracy and resolution with FHD+ and UHD+ options to capture precise detail and sharp images, as well as the ability to enjoy HDR content with an HDR400 certified UHD+ panel and Dolby Vision.

With the addition of Eyesafe display, Dell is helping reduce potentially harmful blue light emissions while maintaining colour gamut performance. Because today’s device-driven culture has people staring at devices for hours on end each day and consuming high levels of blue light, Dell has partnered with Eyesafe to intelligently manage light energy at the source to selectively reduce harmful blue light and disperse it across the light spectrum.

What was previously a fanless design is now an actively cooled 15W design for up to 2.5 times more performance than the previous generation. 
The XPS 13 2-in-1 is Dell’s first laptop with Intel’s 10th Gen Intel Core processors. It features adaptive performance based on the latest Intel Dynamic Tuning Technology, which proactively changes the power of the CPU according to the performance of the workload. Dell has re-engineered the thermal design to cool the higher performing processor, while creating an overall 8% thinner 2-in-1 than the previous generation.

The new design combines expert craftsmanship and premium materials, including CNC machined aluminium with high polished diamond cut sidewalls, black carbon fibre or arctic white woven glass fibre palm rests, along with Gorilla Glass 5 for both durability and beauty. Dell has also elevated the essentials with a larger touchpad, edge-to-edge MagLev keyboard, and new cleverly crafted hinge design.

The new XPS 13 2-in-1 will be available in South Africa from August 2019.

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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.

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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.

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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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