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Dell XPS 13 offers ultra portability

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Dell has announced the XPS 13, a 13.3-inch Ultrabook said to offer all-day battery life, weighing as little as 1.36 kg and using the Intel energy-efficient Core i5 or i7 CPU.

Dell has unveiled its ultraportable XPS 13 laptop, a compact 13.3-inch Ultrabook featuring an edge-to-edge glass, near ‚frameless‚ display, all-day battery life, and the latest, innovative technology for a superb overall user experience. Starting at 1.36 kg and less than a quarter-inch at its thinnest point, the XPS 13 combines performance-oriented thoughtful design with the latest Intel technology, such as Rapid Start and Smart Connect, to enable users to be productive, connected and responsive anywhere.

The latest and most mobile laptop in Dell’s portfolio, the XPS 13 is part of Dell’s high-end XPS brand, which is now 20 percent of Dell’s total consumer laptop business. Revenue for XPS laptops has increased 207 percent over last year when the company re-launched the brand to better meet the needs of today’s mobile professionals.

The XPS 13 delivers second-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, 128GB and 256GB solid state hard drive options, Intel HD 3000 graphics and a bright high definition WLED 300-nit display for outstanding viewing experiences, packaged in an elegantly-designed, ultraportable laptop.

‚It is specifically engineered to help both our consumers and commercial customers – be more productive and connected in every way possible. From the edge-to-edge frameless display that packs more screen into a compact body, to the innovative carbon fibre base that is lightweight and cool to the touch, the XPS 13 exemplifies our commitment to offering industry-leading mobile solutions that deliver durability and performance without compromise,‚ said Gavin Slevin, Dell South Africa and developing countries retail manager.

Lead with Style and Never Miss a Moment

The XPS 13 maximises the Ultrabook experience for users: edge-to-edge display with hardened Gorilla Glass: a full-size backlit keyboard with a large glass touchpad with integrated buttons and multi-gestural support: and up to eight hours and fifty-three minutes of battery life all in a package starting at 1.36 kg.

The 13.3-inch high-definition display with slim bezel fits in a body size similar to the form factor of an 11-inch product, making it the most compact Ultrabook available. Other 13.3-inch laptops offer the same viewing area but with up to a 15 percent larger footprint. The carbon fibre composite base extends the design process, offering a premium visual appeal and is lighter and cooler to the touch than aluminium.

Keeping connected and getting online quickly is now a reality. The XPS 13 is one of the first Ultrabooks to feature Intel Smart Connect technology, which wakes periodically to detect known networks and update calendar and email. With solid state drives and Intel Rapid Start technology, the XPS 13 boots in seconds, giving customers the performance of a laptop with the instant gratification experience of a smartphone. Dell will also integrate location awareness via Skyhook and Google Places shortly after launch.

‚When Dell began the conversation of what an Ultrabook could be, we carefully considered how to provide customers not only incredible mobility, but also the kind of performance experience you would expect from something much larger‚ said Gavin Slevin, Dell South Africa and developing countries retail manager. ‚A ‚good-enough’ Ultrabook wasn’t good enough for us. We were committed to developing what an Ultrabook can and should be with the XPS 13 and providing a superior user experience.‚

‚The XPS 13 represents the most balanced of the Ultrabook class of notebooks to hit the market so far‚ , said Rob Enderle, Analyst for the Enderle Group. ‚Ultrabooks started by forcing people to make a choice between beauty and practicality and Dell took the time to make sure their offering would not only be very attractive, but address the critical needs of business and education buyers as well. Perhaps the best way to describe the XPS 13 is ‚beautifully uncompromised’.‚

Best of Both Worlds ‚ Enterprise Friendly Features that the IT Department will Love

Dell went a step further with the XPS 13 to create appeal for all customers ‚ for work and for play ‚ and has made it easier for IT departments to choose laptops that offer the security and services they value in a fit and finish executives and employees demand. Enterprise-friendly features include standard Trusted Platform Module for BitLocker Data Encryption and optional ProSupport after-sales service and Configuration Services such as custom imaging and asset tagging.

Detailed Information:

ÔÇ∑ Ultrathin laptop (0.24-0.71‚ /6-18mm) with Microsoft Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium: precision machined aluminium with a carbon fibre composite base

 Intel Core i5 2467M and i7 2637M processor choices

ÔÇ∑ 13.3‚ HD WLED, 300-nit (1366×768) 720p: edge-to-edge hardened Gorilla Glass,

 Intel HD 3000 video graphics

 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333Mhz memory

 128 GB SSD or 256GB SSD drive options

 Full size, backlit keyboard: glass integrated button touchpad with multi-gesture support

 Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 802.11 A/G/N and Bluetooth 3.0 wireless connectivity

 High definition audio with Waves MaxxAudio 4

 Built-in 47WHr 6-cell battery (Dell XPS 13 batteries are built into the laptop and are not replaceable by the customer) offering up to eight hours, fifty-three minutes of battery life: 45W AC adaptor

 USB 3.0 (1) + USB 2.0 with PowerShare (1), mini Display-Port, and headset jack (1)

 Built-in 1.3MP webcam (H.264 enabled via Skype) with dual array digital microphones

 Dell ProSupport for business customers, Dell Configuration Services and Windows Trusted Platform Module options for commercial models

ÔÇ∑ Dimensions: Height: 0.24-0.71‚ (6-18mm) / Width: 12.4‚ (316mm) / Depth 8.1‚ (205mm): Weight: starting at 1.36 kg

Availability and Pricing:

The XPS 13 is available in South Africa at Incredible Connection, with a starting recommended retail price of R13 999 including VAT

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Prepare for Wi-Fi 6

From traffic to healthcare, the applications of the new Wi-Fi 6 standard are set to transform how we connect.

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20 years ago, with the release of 802.11b, Wi-Fi began its conquest of the world networking scene in earnest. Wi-Fi can easily be called out as one of the most popular technologies of the last two decades. Just as mobile telephony and mobile internet, it has become a part of everyday life. And with the advent of IoT and the introduction of 5G, the time has come for the new standard – Wi-Fi 6.

Beyond being significantly faster than the previous generation, Wi-Fi 6 delivers up to four times greater capacity. Latency is vastly improved, allowing for near real-time use cases. Wi-Fi 6 is also easier on connected devices’ batteries.

So what impact will Wi-Fi 6 have on business in the coming years?

Digitisation, mobility and IoT are driving the need for connectivity. By 2022, more IP traffic will cross global networks than in all prior ‘internet years’ combined up to the end of 2016. In other words, more traffic will be created in 2022 than in the 32 years since the internet started. In 3 years, 28 billion devices will be connected to the Internet, many of which (robots, production lines, medical devices) will communicate over a wireless network. Against this background, it is easy to understand why we need a redesigned wireless standard that is more responsive to present and future challenges.

Wi-Fi 6: The business impact

“In the first phase, we expect the new wireless standard to gain a significant foothold in the B2B field, where it brings important innovations,” said Garsen Naidu, Country Manager, Cisco South Africa. “We will see it, together with other technologies, penetrate significantly into manufacturing, into the logistics industry. The technology is also more effective in high-density settings like large lecture halls, stadiums and conference rooms, so we are likely to see significant penetration in these settings too. And, with its extremely low latency, Wi-Fi 6 also promises to open up new opportunities in AR/VR, healthcare, and self-driving vehicles. ”

Ever since the launch of the Internet, every leap in network speed has had a major impact on technological innovation: 4G has brought along the age of smartphones, whilst 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will transform the business world. According to Cisco experts, these two technologies – 5G and Wi-Fi – will be widely adopted at the same time, complementing each other.

A short history of Wi-Fi

In 1999, half a dozen technology companies, including Aironet, which was later acquired by Cisco, formed the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance. The standard announced that year, 802.11b, which gained significant commercial traction, was the first to emerge under the ‘Wi-Fi’ brand. As such, 1999 marks the year in which Wi-Fi really began.

Solutions that carry the official Wi-Fi logo work consistently with the IEEE 802.11 data transfer standard. These solutions are certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, which guarantees compatibility between various wireless devices. In addition, networking manufacturers have done a lot to improve compatibility. Launched as early as 2002, Cisco Compatible eXtensions is a free licensing program that has enabled other vendors’ Wi-Fi products to be securely deployed on Cisco wireless networks.

Subsequent developments in Wi-Fi technology included managing interference and increasing data stability. Cisco is supporting these with the Cisco Flexible Radio Assignment and Cisco CleanAir technologies. The latter is capable of identifying and graphically displaying radio interference, identifying the source of the problem, and directing users to other, less crowded, channels.

Challenges of the present and opportunities for the future

One of the most widespread business applications of wireless technology is office Wi-Fi. Using Wi-Fi, employees can move freely and access the network from anywhere where there is a hotspot. Wi-Fi-based analysis and location services are also becoming increasingly popular. And with the spread of IoT, Wi-Fi is becoming ubiquitous, and is today found everywhere from agricultural fields to production lines.

“We see promising business opportunities and a wide range of new applications. At the same time, with hundreds and thousands of new devices connecting to wireless networks, IT teams are facing increasing complexity. So we need to rethink IT architectures from the ground-up,” added Naidu.

Much of this need to rethink network architectures is driven by the enormous growth in wireless connectivity.

Wi-Fi has driven growth in general IT use, which in turn has led to the need to provide and run bigger and more complex networks with a greater variety of endpoint device types on them. This complexity ‘feedback loop’, driven in no small part by Wi-Fi, requires that new solutions are developed to deal with this complexity.

Cisco has pioneered in this area, using AI, machine learning, and machine reasoning, via products such as Cisco DNA Assurance to eliminate manual troubleshooting and reduce the time spent resolving service issues.

The latest Wi-Fi 6 developments introduced earlier this year make a consistent, efficient and seamless wireless connectivity experience a reality.

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Now for hardware-as-a-service

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Integrated ICT and Infrastructure provider Vox has entered into an exclusive partnership with Go Rentals to introduce a Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) offering, which is aimed at providing local small and medium businesses (SMEs) with quick, affordable, and scalable access to a wide variety of IT infrastructure – as well as the management thereof.

“Despite an increasingly competitive business environment where every rand counts, many business owners are still buying technology-based equipment outright rather than renting it,” says Barry Kemp, Head of Managed IT at Vox. “The problem with this is that the modern device arena has grown in variety and complexity, making it more difficult to manage, and to reduce the overheads of controlling these devices.”

According to Kemp, there is a global trend being observed in businesses moving away from owning and managing IT infrastructure. This started with the move away from servers and toward cloud-based subscription services, and now organisations are looking to do the same with the remaining on-premise hardware – employees’ desktop systems.

The availability of HaaS changes the way in which local businesses consume IT, by allowing them to direct valuable capital expenditure toward the more efficient and competitive operation of their organisation, rather than spending on hardware products. 

“The rental costs are up to 50% lower than if they buy these products through traditional asset financing methods. Furthermore, using HaaS gives businesses the ability to scale up and down depending on their infrastructure requirements. Customers on a 12 month contract can return up to 10% of the devices rented, while those customers on 24 and 36 month contracts can return up to 20% of the devices – at any time during the contract,” adds Kemp.

More than just a rental

HaaS gives business access to repurposed Tier 1 hardware from vendors such as Dell, HP and Lenovo, equipped with the required specifications (processor, memory, and storage), and come installed with the latest Microsoft Windows operating system, unless an older version is specifically requested by the customer.

Kemp says: “Where HaaS is different from simply renting IT hardware is that businesses get full asset lifecycle management, such as having all company software pre-installed, flexible refresh cycles and upgrades, support and warranty management and transparent and predictable per user monthly fees.”

The ability to upgrade during the contract period means that businesses can keep pace with the latest in technology without needing to invest on depreciating equipment, while ensuring maximum productivity and efficiency for employees. Returned devices are put through a decommissioning process that ensures anonymity, certified data protection, and environmental compliance. 

Businesses further stand to benefit from Vox Care, which incorporates asset management and logistical services for customers. This includes initial delivery and setup in major centres, asset tagging of all rented items, creation, and the repair and/or replacement of faulty machines within three business days – again in the main metropolitan areas. 

Vox Care also assists in the design, testing and deployment of custom images, whereby HaaS clients can have the additional programmes they need (security, productivity tools, business software, etc) easily pre-installed along with the Windows operating system, on all their machines.

Kemp says HaaS customers can get further peace of mind by outsourcing the day to day management of their desktop environment to Vox Managed Services, as well as leverage the company’s knowledge and expertise to manage and host workstation backups to ensure business continuity.

Says Kemp: “Hardware-as-a-Service allows businesses to reduce the total cost of ownership of their hardware and ensure they only pay for what they use. Making the switch to a service model helps them take advantage of the global move in this direction, and to turn their business into a highly functional, flexible, low cost, change your mind whenever you want workplace.”

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