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HP goes Mini with Z2

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HP South Africa has released the Z2 Mini Workstation, created for the design community with a focus on both aesthetics and functionality.

HP says the Z2 is three times more powerful than a business-class PC mini, the height of an espresso cup and “the epitome of elegance”. This device has a recommnded retail price of R16599, excluding VAT.

“Style over substance is detested, substance over style is scorned upon,” says Fulvio Donà, Value Computing Area Country Manager for HP Africa. “However, like many other industries, designers can fall into the trap of using sub-standard technology.”

Donà says that, sometimes, it’s easier to stick with what you know than branch out and experiment with something new, only to be disappointed. In part, this could be the reason why some 2.9 million CAD users are still not using workstations – turbo-charged, professional grade computers, with rapid microprocessors, large amounts of RAM and special features, such as professional graphics.

In the absence of workstations, designers could be competing with productivity bottlenecks, frustrating flexibility issues and challenges producing anything beyond 2D design. They may have hit the wall, inspiration-wise, no thanks to limited desk space, outdated technology and the sort of background noise that distracts rather than aids concentration.

“Small is desirable but it shouldn’t come at the expense of functionality,” says Donà. “By refusing to compromise on performance, we packed a wagon load of functionality into a sleek, silver grey octagonal powerhouse.  We also added a discrete graphics card for blistering 3D design with the Performance model version, whisper-quiet acoustics and enough ports to support 4-6 displays.”

The Z2 Mini stands a mere 2.3 inches (5.8 cm) tall, meaning professionals can avoid cluttering their workspace and becoming overrun by cables and large, unpleasant black boxes.

“We packed the Z2 Mini with cutting-edge cooling solutions, enabling us to cool an immense amount power in an unprecedentedly small space, including custom piping – ordinarily the preserve of Ultrabooks – a calibre of fans normally used in desktop tower PCs and discrete venting.”

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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