HP has announced its range of OMEN high-end notebooks and PCs which are designed for gaming enthusiasts as they feature fluid graphics, immersive sounds and thermal cooling to keep things running smoothly – even when playing the most demanding of games.
HP today announced the OMEN portfolio, a range of high-end, high-powered laptops and PCs built exclusively for gamers needing the performance to take on competition.
As part of the company’s strategy to reinvent personal systems, says the company, it is introducing a unified gaming portfolio based on OMEN by HP with a range of options spanning different price points to meet the various needs of gamers today. The new portfolio makes it easier to find the right platform to deliver the best possible experience for mainstream gamers. In short, says HP, “it’s for the gamer who wants even more aggressive performance with enthusiast-level customisation options”.
This OMEN by HP gaming PCs feature a family of three devices built to maximize gamers’ experience. The OMEN laptops are designed to deliver an immersive experience to compliment the laptops’ smooth performance. The 15.6” and 17.3” diagonal OMEN laptops are available in Full HD and 4K IPS display options to enhance gameplay with true-to-life visuals. Sound effects are crisp and clear with expert audio tuning by Bang & Olufsen and HP Audio Boost technology for added depth on dual speakers.
“We created OMEN by HP for gamers who need their PC to deliver a great experience while also allowing them the flexibility to choose the level of performance and design that fits their needs,” said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager, consumer personal systems, HP. “The new OMEN platform offers the features gamers rely on – power for battling on the go, graphics for smooth gameplay and advanced thermal cooling to tackle the latest games. The OMEN by HP delivers gamers what they need to strike first, and last.”
HP Provided the following information:
The OMEN by HP line-up includes:
· OMEN Laptops: Equipped with powerful hardware and stunning 4K displays, the 15.6” and 17.3” diagonal gaming laptops deliver winning performance.
· OMEN Desktop: Combines liquid cooling with the latest Intel Core processors, NVIDIA GeForce GTX and AMD Radeon graphics to deliver performance that is VR certified to power Vive by HTC.
OMEN Laptops Engineered for Gaming
Featuring a Dragon Red backlit keyboard with OMEN branding on the keyboard deck and on the black shadow mesh laptop lid, the OMEN laptops run cool with a dual fan design to maintain top performance. The 62 watt battery sits flat and towards the front of the machine to allow more cooling surface area and airflow for thermal management without sacrificing performance. Powerful NVIDIA GTX 965M graphics (on select models) and up to 6th Generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processors equip gamers for any challenge or challenger.
Other features include:
• Wide Vision HD Camera or optional Intel RealSense Camera for 3D experiences and to enable gesture control apps to interact with the PC when gaming.
• Up to 16GB of memory and up to 512GB PCIe SSD or up to 2TB for single storage options or dual storage options with up to 2TB HDD and 128GB SSHD on select models.
• HP Fast Charge and up to 10 hours of battery life on select models.
OMEN by HP Desktop Certified for Virtual Reality and Offers Latest NVIDIA Graphics
Engineered with the power and tuning for virtual reality, the OMEN Desktop features the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics to perfect the gaming experience. The unlocked Intel Core i7 processor delivers the performance required to keep up with the most demanding games and VR experiences. Optional liquid cooling, an advanced thermal system, keeps it running quiet and cool to virtually eliminate video lag time. The OMEN Desktop is upgradeable with tool-less access to the hardware to allow gamers to crank up gaming power with customizability.
The OMEN Desktop features the new OMEN logo on its signature vertical design with a brushed-metal chassis and HP LED Lighting that reacts to performance levels depending on customization by the gamer.
Other features include:
• Intel Core i7-6700K processors with overclocking capabilities in select models.
• Up to 32GB memory and ample storage with up to 512GB SSD and up to 3TB of HDD to host a massive amount of large format VR games and content.
• Options up to NVIDIA GTX 1080 Founder Edition or AMD Radeon R9 390X graphics cards, offering better frame rates at increased resolution.
Pricing and Availability
· The 15.6” diagonal OMEN Laptop is currently available in retail for R36,999.00
Time is running out for Microsoft SQL Server 2008
Companies are urged to update from the dated database management software as end-of-support looms, writes BRYAN TURNER.
The 11-year-old Microsoft SQL Server 2008 database management software is reaching the end of its support on 9 July. The applications that use databases running on this software will be at risk of security and stability issues.
On self-managed databases, upgrading to the latest database version comes with a lot of risks. Many IT departments within companies go by the motto: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”.
Microsoft made it very clear that it would not be updating SQL Server 2005 after its extended support date and even left it vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown by not releasing patches for the dated version.
Updating SQL Server versions may seem daunting, but the benefits far outweigh the effort it takes for a migration. In the last major version update, SQL Server 2016 introduced simpler backup functionality, database stretching, and always-encrypted communications with the database, to name just three features.
While backing up the database may be the last thing on the typical database administrator’s mind, it’s become increasingly important to do so. In SQL Server 2008, it’s clunky and causes headaches for many admins. However, in SQL Server 2016, one can easily set up an automated backup to Azure storage and let it run on smart backup intervals. Backing up offsite also reduces the need for disaster recovery for onsite damage.
Database stretching allows admins to push less frequently accessed data to an Azure database, automatically decided by SQL Server 2016. This reduces the admin of manually looking through what must be kept and what must be shipped off or deleted. It also reduces the size of the database, which also increases the performance of the applications that access it. The best part of this functionality is it automatically retrieves the less accessed records from Azure when users request it, without the need for manual intervention.
Always-encrypted communications are becoming more and more relevant to many companies, especially those operating in European regions after the introduction of GDPR. Encryption keys were previously managed by the admin, but now encryption is always handled by the client. Furthermore, the keys to encrypt and decrypt data are stored outside of SQL Server altogether. This means data stored in the database is always encrypted, and no longer for the eyes of a curious database manager.
The built-in reporting tools have also vastly improved with the addition of new reporting metrics and a modern look. It includes support for Excel reports for keeping documentation and Power BI for automated, drag-and-drop personalised reporting. Best of all, it removes the dreaded Active X controls, which made the reporting in a webpage feel very clumsy and bloated in previous versions.
A lot has changed in the past ten years in the world of SQL Server database management, and it’s not worth running into problems before Microsoft ends support for SQL Server 2008.
Local apps to feature in Huawei’s App Gallery
Huawei’s mobile app store, the HUAWEI AppGallery, will soon feature a multitude of apps and designs by local developers. The company says this is part of its drive to promote South African digital talent and include more useful apps for Huawei smartphone users. HUAWEI AppGallery and HUAWEI Themes are pre-installed on all the latest Huawei and Honor devices.
“South African consumers are increasingly wanting more apps that are relevant to their unique circumstances, addressing issues they experience regularly – such as load shedding or safety concerns – but also apps that celebrate South Africa’s multitude of cultures and this vibrant country,” says Lu Geng, director of Huawei Consumer Cloud Service Southern Africa Region.
Akhram Mohamed, chief technology officer of Huawei Consumer Business Group South Africa, says: “Huawei is committed to catering to the needs of South African consumers, but we also know that we do not have all the answers. For this reason, we aim to work closely with South African developers so that we can give our users everything that they need and want from their devices. At the same time, we also hope to create an open ecosystem for local developers by offering a simple and secure environment for them to upload content.”
Huawei Mobile Services was launched in South Africa in June last year. Since then, both the HUAWEI AppGallery and HUAWEI Themes – which features tens of thousands of themes, fonts and wallpapers that personalise user’s handset – have become increasingly popular with the local market. Even though it is a relatively new division of Huawei, there has been a great increase in growth; at the end of 2018 Huawei Mobile Services had 500 million users globally, representing a 117% increase on the previous year.
Explaining what differentiates the HUAWEI AppGallery from other app stores, Mosa Matshediso Hlobelo, business developer for Consumer Cloud Service Southern Africa says: “We use the name ‘HUAWEI AppGallery’ because we have a dedicated team that curates all the apps in terms of relevance and ease of use and to ensure that there are no technical issues. Importantly, all apps are also security-checked for malware and privacy leaks before being uploaded on to the HUAWEI AppGallery.”
Huawei recently held a Developers’ Day where Huawei executives met with South African developers to discuss Huawei’s offering. 48 developers registered their apps on the day, and Huawei is currently in discussions with them with the eventual aim of featuring the best apps and designs on HUAWEI AppGallery or HUAWEI Themes. The Consumer Cloud Service Southern Africa Team at Huawei plans on making Developers’ Day a quarterly event and establishing a local providers’ hub, where developers can regularly meet with Huawei for training on updates to programmes and offerings.
“We have a very hands-on approach with our developers, and hope to expand that community so we can become an additional distribution channel for more developers and expose them to both a local and a global audience,” says Geng. “For example, we regularly feature apps and designs from local developers on our Huawei social media pages, and do competitions and promotions. We want to do everything we can to make our Huawei users aware of these local apps and upload them. This will encourage the growth of the developer community in South Africa by giving developers more opportunities to generate revenue from in-app purchases.”
* Developers who would like their apps featured on the HUAWEI App Gallery, or designs featured on HUAWEI Themes, should visit https://developer.huawei.com or email Huawei Mobile Services on firstname.lastname@example.org.