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IFA 2019: Acer launches graphics-heavy ConceptD Pro

Acer has expanded its line of creative-aimed computers with the ConceptD Pro range, which comes with upgraded graphics and Pantone Validated displays.

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Today in Berlin, Acer announced its ConceptD Pro series notebook family with NVIDIA Quadro GPUs, built for peak performance. The Pro series with Windows 10 Pro is aimed at professional creatives who utilise cutting-edge applications in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics. 

Following ConceptD’s design language, the notebooks also feature amber backlit keyboards for understated styling.

The updated Nvidia RTX GPUs are among the first notebooks to support real-time ray tracing and advanced AI capabilities.

“We’re excited to bring NVIDIA Quadro GPU options across our entire creator PC portfolio for the most demanding professional and enterprise customers,” said Jerry Kao, Co-COO, Acer, at a media event on the eve of the opening of IFA 2019. “Combined with the power of 9th Gen Intel Core processors, these powerful workhorses will help creators focus on being creators whether in the office or on-the-go.”

“Whether designing complex 3D animations, editing high-resolution video, or conducting virtual walkthroughs of building designs, Acer customers can now do their best work from anywhere,” said Bob Pette, Vice President of Professional Visualization, NVIDIA. “That’s because the massive computing muscle necessary to power these capabilities is a task our Quadro RTX GPUs are perfectly suited for.”

“Intel knows creators have the highest standards and demanding computing needs, which is why we develop products that are optimized for real-world performance that matters,” said Chris Walker, Intel’s Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Mobility Client Platforms in the Client Computing Group. “9th Gen Intel Core H-series processors, including the Intel Core i9, are a perfect match for the ConceptD portfolio, providing the best premium performance and platform technologies for creators to speed up workloads and enable them to do their best work.”

ConceptD 9 Pro – Designed for Power and Collaboration

The ConceptD 9 Pro is the most powerful of the Pro series features a new CNC-machined Ezel Aero Hinge. This allows the 17.3-inch 4K display (3840 x 2160) to flip, extend and recline for the various angles needed for team member collaboration. The display is Pantone Validated and covers 100% of the Adobe RGB colour gamut with Delta E <1 colour accuracy. 

The maximum specification for the CPU is a 9th Gen Intel Core i9 processor for premium, multi-threaded performance. The maximum specification for the GPU is an Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 graphics processor, aimed at AI/deep learning, engineering simulations and large animation studios requiring power, flexibility and cross-compatibility. 

A Wacom EMR stylus is also included and magnetically attaches to the ConceptD 9 Pro. The stylus delivers fast accurate control with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. 

Shipping with a 15.6-inch 4K display, Acer’s ConceptD 7 Pro is designed for powerful on-the-go performance. At 17.9 mm thin and weighing 2.1kg, its design makes it far more viable for portability. 

It features up to a 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processor for compute-intensive workloads that demand performance, while powerful NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 GPU options are ideal for data scientists, software developers, engineers, and professional design studios. In addition, the ConceptD Palette offers a UI for quickly adjusting preferred colour profiles and monitoring system controls.
ConceptD 5 Pro

Part of the RTX Studio program and available in 15.6- and 17.3-inch IPS display options, both featuring 4K UHD resolution, the new ConceptD 5 Pro series packs a large display into a smaller form factor. Up to 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processors and up to NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 graphics can be used by architects, 3D animators, special effects producers, and small design studios. A  metal chassis offers durability and the Pantone-Validated display is built for creators, with a wide colour gamut that matches 100% of the Adobe RGB colour space for precise colour replication.

ConceptD 3 Pro

To include more creatives, the more-affordable ConceptD 3 Pro is for digital natives such as photographers, industrial design students, interior and graphic designers as well as social media personalities like YouTuber streamers. Equipped with up to 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processors and NVIDIA Quadro T1000 graphics, the ConceptD 3 Pro allows users to process their media with true colour reproduction and runs quietly at less than 40 dB at maximum capacity. 

Pricing & Availability

The recommended retail price and availability for South Africa will be confirmed within the next month. 

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Showmax launches half-price mobile streaming service

A new streaming product designed specifically for Africa, featuring TV series as well as African content and live sport, is aimed at filling the gap in subscription video on demand services

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The subscription video on demand (SVoD) model, which originated in the USA, spread rapidly in countries where uncapped broadband is affordable and widely available. However, because the model also relies on consumers being comfortable with transacting online and having ready access to credit cards, it has barely scratched the surface across Africa.

On top of that, smartphones are often the only only form of Internet access across Africa, and none of the popular SVoD services have been designed for the format.

Showmax says it plans to change this with the launch of a new mobile plan that costs 50% of the standard Showmax package but still features 100% of the same video content. Showmax is set apart by a combination of four pillars: hit African content, exclusive international series, topkids’ shows, and live sport, including weekly matches from the English Premier League, Italy’s Serie A, and Spain’s La Liga.

Showmax says the new plan is aimed at consumers who only use smartphones and tablets to watch video content. Video resolution peaks at standard definition to help reduce data consumption. As it is a product aimed at individuals, only one concurrent stream is included in the plan. As with the regular service, it is also available for a 14-day free trial.

“This is all about an African service developing a solution that meets the needs of African consumers,” saus Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice. “Customer feedback consistently points to local content and sport as some of the things that people value most from Showmax. That’s of course on top of the international series, movies, and kids’ shows that are our bread and butter. With all of that content now available in a product designed specifically for mobile usage, we’re doing something no other service can offer.

“On top of that, with groundbreaking deals like our new offer with Vodacom in South Africa, we solve the credit card issue through add-to-bill payment and the data issue by including data directly in the package. We’re looking to launch similar offers in Kenya and Nigeria soon.”

Both the standard and mobile plans include live sport, sport magazine shows and sport documentaries. The 2019 Rugby World Cup Final was streamed live on Showmax earlier this month, and the following is a selection of some of the football due to be live-streamed in November:

22 November: Levante vs Mallorca (La Liga)

23 November: Arsenal vs Southampton (Premier League)

24 November: Bologna vs Parma (Serie A)

25 November: Aston Villa vs Newcastle United (Premier League)

29 November: Celta Vigo vs Valladolid (La Liga)

30 November: Fiorentina vs Lecce (Serie A)

30 November: Chelsea vs West Ham United (Premier League)

Showmax’s mobile plan is currently available in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. 

Comparison of Showmax plans:

Mobile Standard
Price per monthR49 / N1450 / KSh 375R99 / N2900 / KSh 750
Watch on smartphone or tabletYesYes
Watch on smart TV and computerNoYes
HD streamingNoYes
TV series, movies, kids’ showsYesYes
SportYesYes
Concurrent streams12
Cancel anytimeYesYes
14-day free trialYesYes
Chromecast and AirPlayNoYes
Number of devicesOne registered device5 devices can be registered, with 2 able to stream at the same time

For a 14-day free trial, visit www.showmax.com

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Online series wins SA’s Journalist of the Year award

A series of stories on gang warfare in Hanover Park earned Tammy Petersen of News24 the ultimate prize in South African journalism. Here are all the winners of the Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards.

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At the 18th edition of the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards held at Vodacom World earlier tonight, News24’s Tammy Petersen took top honours and the R100,000 grand prize as national winner for her body of work on a gang war series entitled When you live in Hanover Park, you know death. Petersen’s submission was one of over 1,000 entries received from around the country across 12 categories – Investigative, Opinion, Lifestyle, Photography, Sport, Economics, Politics, CSI, Live reporting/ breaking news, Data Journalism, Multi-platform and the Young Journalist of the Year Award. This year’s theme – Connect the Dots – pays tribute to the best-of-the-best of those entries.

Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at Vodacom Group says: “This year has seen extraordinary entries to the 18th Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards. Not all the stories that are national winners were about huge events but also showed the importance of telling the stories of ordinary people. In line with our theme, the dots were indeed connected, and we congratulate all the winners.”

Convenor of the judging panel Ryland Fisher says: “The quality of entries has convinced the judges once again that our industry is in good hands, as far as journalism is concerned, despite the many problems that have beset the industry in recent times. Judging from the entries, South African journalists are determined to fly the flag high for a free, independent, and vigorous media, which augurs well for our democracy. As judges, we can only salute all the entrants for the great work that they submitted. In the end, our industry is probably the biggest winner.”

Judges for this year’s awards are: Ryland Fisher (convenor), Jermaine Craig, Arthur Goldstuck, Albe Grobbelaar, Franz Kruger, Patricia McCracken, Mapi Mhlangu, Collin Nxumalo, Mary Papayya, and Obed Zilwa.

Visit the next page for the full list of winners and their citations.

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