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IFA 2018: Acer offers devices that ‘minimise to maximise’

At the IFA 2018 electronics show in Berlin, Acer unveiled a range of new products, upgrades and ideas for gamers, creators, families, students and professionals.

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With a theme of “Minimize to Maximize,” the Acer press conference demonstrated the company’s commitment to creating technology that fits with people’s need to pack more capability and performance into powerful, beautifully designed devices – both for personal and professional use.

“With this collection of devices, gadgets and refreshed models in our existing ranges, we’ve pushed our technology capabilities further,” commented Emmanuel Fromont, President Acer EMEA. “Whether you’re looking to for a good gaming world, manage your personal and creative projects on some of the world’s best personal computing devices, or equip your personal and professional life with highly capable technology then the latest revelations from the Next @Acer conference will appeal to you.”

On Stage

On the conference stage, Acer also revealed first details of the new Predator Triton 900, the most powerful, versatile gaming laptop. Progressing the design of the Predator Triton 700 the 17” display combines the unique Ezel arm structure and high efficient thermal system making it a remarkable, high performing gaming rig with great portability.

The Predator X, hitting markets this winter will bring the immense power of a workstation to the gaming world through its Dual Intel Xeon Processors and up to 12 ECC DIMM Slots.

Also announced were upgrades new NVIDIA GeForce RTX for the existing Predator Orion 3000, 5000 and 9000 models of gaming desktops.

Full Details

All of the new lines with full product and performance details are available on Acer’s press information hub, with key highlights being:

  • The introduction of Acer Swift 5 – the world’s lightest 15” notebook. The new device weighs less than 1 kg and packs the latest Intel Core processors, superb style and a thin bezeled-15.6″ display
  • The launch of the 14” Acer Chromebook 514 – A highly capable and powerful device that confirms Acer’s leadership position in Chromebook
  • A full refresh across Acer Aspire notebook and all-in-one PC range including upgrades to CPU and designs
  • The introduction of the Acer OJO 500 – first Windows Mixed Reality headset and first Virtual Reality headset to feature a detachable design, patented built-in sound pipe technology, and software-assisted interpupillary distance (IPD) adjustment technology
  • The new 27” Predator XB273K gaming monitor offers ultra-high definition (3840×2160) immersion and NVIDIA G-SYNC
  • The new 27” Acer Nitro XV273K monitor features AMD Radeon FreeSync and up to a 1ms Visual Response Boost
  • The Predator Thronos gaming chair has an ergonomic design, support for three 27-inch gaming monitors
  • The launch of a new PL and SL series projectors which are powered by laser light sources – designed for demanding commercial and educational applications

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Opera launches built-in VPN on Android browser

Opera has released a new version of its mobile browser, which features a built-in virtual private network service.

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Opera has released a new version of its mobile browser, Opera for Android 51, which features a built-in VPN (virtual private network) service.

A VPN allows users to create a secure connection to a public network, and is particularly useful if users are unsure of the security levels of the public networks that they use often.

The new VPN in Opera for Android 51 is free, unlimited and easy to use. When enabled, it gives users greater control of their online privacy and improves online security, especially when connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots such as coffee shops, airports and hotels. The VPN will encrypt Internet traffic into and out of their mobile devices, which reduces the risk of malicious third parties collecting sensitive information.

“There are already more than 650 million people using VPN services globally. With Opera, any Android user can now enjoy a free and no-log service that enhances online privacy and improves security,” said Peter Wallman, SVP Opera Browser for Android.

When users enable the VPN included in Opera for Android 51, they create a private and encrypted connection between their mobile device and a remote VPN server, using strong 256-bit encryption algorithms. When enabled, the VPN hides the user’s physical location, making it difficult to track their activities on the internet.

The browser VPN service is also a no-log service, which means that the VPN servers do not log and retain any activity data, all to protect users privacy.

“Users are exposed to so many security risks when they connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots without a VPN,” said Wallman. “Enabling Opera VPN means that users makes it difficult for third parties to steal information, and users can avoid being tracked. Users no longer need to question if or how they can protect their personal information in these situations.”

According to a report by the Global World Index in 2018, the use of VPNs on mobile devices is rising. More than 42 percent of VPN users on mobile devices use VPN on a daily basis, and 35 percent of VPN users on computers use VPN daily.

The report also shows that South African VPN users said that their main reason for using a VPN service is to remain anonymous while they are online.

“Young people in particular are concerned about their online privacy as they increasingly live their lives online,” said Wallman. “Opera for Android 51 makes it easy to benefit from the security and anonymity of VPN , especially for those may not be aware of how to set these up.”

Setting up the Opera VPN is simple. Users just tap on the browser settings, go to VPN and enable the feature according to their preference. They can also select the region of their choice.

The built-in VPN is free, which means that users don’t need to download additional apps on their smartphones or pay additional fees as they would for other private VPN services. With no sign-in process, users don’t need to log in every time they want to use it.

Opera for Android is available for download in Google Play. The rollout of the new version of Opera for Android 51 will be done gradually per region.

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Future of the car is here

Three new cars, with vastly different price-tags, reveal the arrival of the future of wheels, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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Just a few months ago, it was easy to argue that the car of the future was still a long way off, at least in South Africa. But a series of recent car launches have brought the high-tech vehicle to the fore in startling ways.

The Jaguar i-Pace electric vehicle (EV), BMW 330i and the Datsun Go have little in common, aside from representing an almost complete spectrum of car prices on the local market. Their tags start, respectively, at R1.7-million, R650 000 and R150 000.

Such a widely disparate trio of vehicles do not exactly come together to point to the future. Rather, they represent different futures for different segments of the market. But they also reveal what we can expect to become standard in most vehicles produced in the 2020s.

Jaguar i-Pace

The i-Pace may be out of reach of most South Africans, but it ushers in two advances that will resonate throughout the EV market as it welcomes new and more affordable cars. It is the first electric vehicle in South Africa to beat the bugbear of range anxiety.

Unlike the pioneering “old” Nissan Leaf, which had a range of up to about 150km, and did not lend itself to long distance travel, the i-Pace has a 470km range, bringing it within shouting distance of fuel-powered vehicles. A trip from Johannesburg to Durban, for example, would need just one recharge along the way.

And that brings in the other major advance: the i-Pace is the first EV launched in South Africa together with a rapid public charging network on major routes. It also comes with a home charging kit, which means the end of filling up at petrol stations.

The Jaguar i-Pace dispels one further myth about EVs: that they don’t have much power under the hood. A test drive around Gauteng revealed not only a gutsy engine, but acceleration on a par with anything in its class, and enough horsepower to enhance the safety of almost any overtaking situation.

Specs for the Jaguar i-Pace include:

  • All-wheel drive
  • Twin motors with a combined 294kW and 696Nm
  • 0-100km/h in 4.8s
  • 90kWh Lithium-ion battery, delivering up to 470km range
  • Eight-year/160 000km battery warranty
  • Two-year/34 000km service intervals

Click here to read about BMW’s self-driving technology, and how Datsun makes smart technology affordable.

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