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MWC: Asus unveils AI ZenFone

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Asus CEO Jerry Shen unveiled the all-new ZenFone 5 Series at a special event in the Italian Pavilion at MWC 2018 in Barcelona.

The lineup includes the ZenFone 5Z and the ZenFone 5, exciting high-performance 6.2-inch dual-camera smartphones that are the first ever ZenFone models to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI), and which feature all-screen displays with a 90% screen-to-body ratio in a remarkably compact size that’s comparable to a standard 5.5-inch smartphone. The ZenFone 5Z — which starts at just $499 — is a high-performance version of the ZenFone 5 powered by the latest flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence Engine (AIE), featuring 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for breathtaking performance and accelerated AI experiences. The ZenFone 5 is the first smartphone available worldwide to be powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Mobile Platform.

The ZenFone 5Q (introduced onstage at MWC as the ZenFone 5 Lite, but available in the North America as the ZenFone 5Q) is a stylish 6-inch smartphone featuring a premium true four-camera system, with a high-resolution camera and a 120° wide-angle camera at both front and rear.

“We embarked on the ZenFone project four years ago with the idea to create empowering luxury for everyone to enjoy,” said Mr. Shen. “Today, the ZenFone 5 Series is the most intelligent ZenFone series ever, utilizing advanced AI algorithms and big-data analytics to provide users with a unique slate of intelligent camera, communication and convenience features.”

Joining Mr. Shen on-stage for the announcement, Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon commented, “We are excited to continue to work with ASUS to bring the latest advancements in mobile to consumers with the ZenFone 5 Series. Powered by powerful Snapdragon Mobile Platforms, ZenFone 5Z (Snapdragon 845 with the AIE) and ZenFone 5 (Snapdragon 636) will support superior user experiences that include dual cameras and artificial intelligence.”

Following the press event, OK Go — a multi-award-winning rock band from the US, whose honors include a GRAMMY — performed live at the after party. OK Go has joined in partnership with ASUS to work on the ZenFone 5 marketing campaign.

In addition to the products unveiled on stage, the brand-new ZenFone Max M1 smartphone and the ASUS NovaGo always-connected laptop were also showcased in the demo area.

ZenFone 5Z and ZenFone 5

The ZenFone 5Z is an exciting next-generation 6.2-inch, dual-camera smartphone that comes with a beautiful all-screen display featuring a 90% screen-to-body ratio, packed in a 5.5-inch body size. It’s the first-ever ZenFone model to harness the power of the latest Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with AIE, featuring a 3rd Generation AI platform that includes the Hexagon 685 Vector DSP, Adreno 630 Graphics, and Kryo 385 CPU. The ZenFone 5Z also benefits from the Snapdragon X20 Gigabit LTE modem, delivering speeds that surpass the gigabit barrier for a ‘wireless fiber’ experience, as well as integrated 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® 5 for ultra-low-power wireless earbuds. The high-performance ZenFone 5Z comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, offering breathtaking performance combined with outstanding energy efficiency for long-lasting battery life.

The ZenFone 5 features an exquisitely crafted design, an amazing dual-camera system, and is powered by the latest Snapdragon 636 Mobile Platform. Both the ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 5Z feature intelligent dual-camera systems that adapt and learn, delivering perfect photos every time. Equipped with the latest flagship Sony® IMX363 sensor with large 1.4µm pixels, an f/1.8 wide-aperture lens, a 120° wide-angle secondary camera, four-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) and AI-enhanced camera features — including AI Scene Detection for 16 different scenes and objects, AI Photo Learning, Real-time Portrait and Real-time Beautification — the ZenFone 5Z and ZenFone 5 encourage creativity and free the user to concentrate on the subject rather than the camera.

ZenFone 5Q

The ZenFone 5Q is a stylish 6-inch smartphone featuring a premium true four-camera system with high-resolution and wide-angle cameras at both front and rear. The ZenFone 5Q removes the limits on photographic creativity, with a high-resolution main camera — 20MP Sony at the front, 16MP at the rear — and, uniquely, a secondary 120° wide-angle camera at both front and rear. Unlike rival systems, each camera works independently every time for perfect selfies, group selfies (wefies), landscapes, portraits or groups shots. The 6-inch Full HD+ IPS display has a Full View 18:9 aspect ratio and an ultraslim bezel, making the pocket-friendly ZenFone 5Q as compact as a standard-aspect-ratio 5.5-inch phone. Powered by the Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform, the ZenFone 5Q combines incredible performance, optimized power efficiency and a 3300mAh battery with advanced security and convenience features — including NFC, triple-slot SIM/microSD card holder, rapid face unlock and fingerprint recognition — for a complete smartphone experience.

ZenFone Max M1

The ZenFone Max M1 is the latest model in the new ZenFone Max Series — renowned for its high battery capacities. The ZenFone Max M1 has a 5.5-inch full-view display in an amazingly compact body that’s no larger than many standard 5-inch smartphones, yet comes packed with a high-capacity 4000mAh battery.

With its expanded viewing area, compact size, dual rear cameras (one wide-angle), and convenient fingerprint-based unlocking, the ZenFone Max M1 offers a class-leading combination of features designed to encompass all life’s adventures. The ZenFone Max M1 has the stamina to go the distance, and lets photo-lovers see the bigger picture with a wider range of creative options — all in a stylish metallic-finished design that’s ergonomic and comfortable to hold.

ASUS NovaGo

The ASUS NovaGo is the world’s first Gigabit LTE-capable laptop designed for truly connected mobility, providing users with an always-on, always-connected experience. This ultrathin and light convertible laptop is powered by the Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform, and features a Snapdragon X16 Gigabit LTE modem for download speeds up to 3-7 times faster than average broadband speeds, and has integrated 2×2 11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 support. It has up to a 22-hour battery life with over 30 days of modern standby. Quick-charge functionality gives the NovaGo up to five hours of battery life from a 15-minute charge.

The NovaGo is a new breed of laptop designed for the tech-savvy user who is aware of the new and exciting always on, always connected possibilities. It provides familiar Windows experiences plus new features such as Windows Ink, Windows Hello and Cortana with blazing-fast connectivity and exceptional on-the-go power efficiency.

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Legion gets a pro makeover

Lenovo’s latest Legion gaming laptop, the Y530, pulls out all the stops to deliver a sleek looking computer at a lower price point, writes BRYAN TURNER

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Gaming laptops have become synonymous with thick bodies, loud fans, and rainbow lights. Lenovo’s latest gaming laptop is here to change that.

The unit we reviewed housed an Intel Core i7-8750H, with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It featured dual storage, one bay fitted with a Samsung 256GB NVMe SSD and the other with a 1TB HDD.

The latest addition to the Legion lineup has become far more professional-looking, compared to the previous generation Y520. This trend is becoming more prevalent in the gaming laptop market and appeals to those who want to use a single device for work and play. Instead of sporting flashy colours, Lenovo has opted for an all-black computer body and a monochromatic, white light scheme. 

The laptop features an all-metal body with sharp edges and comes in at just under 24mm thick. Lenovo opted to make the Y530’s screen lid a little shorter than the bottom half of the laptop, which allowed for more goodies to be packed in the unit while still keeping it thin. The lid of the laptop features Legion branding that’s subtly engraved in the metal and aligned to the side. It also features a white light in the O of Legion that glows when the computer is in use.

The extra bit of the laptop body facilitates better cooling. Lenovo has upgraded its Legion fan system from the previous generation. For passive cooling, a type of cooling that relies on the body’s build instead of the fans, it handles regular office use without starting up the fans. A gaming laptop with good passive cooling is rare to find and Lenovo has shown that it can be achieved with a good build.

The internal fans start when gaming, as one would expect. They are about as loud as other gaming laptops, but this won’t be a problem for gamers who use headsets.

Click here to read about the screen quality, and how it performs in-game.

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Serious about security? Time to talk ISO 20000

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By EDWARD CARBUTT, executive director at Marval Africa

The looming Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act in South Africa and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) have brought information security to the fore for many organisations. This in addition to the ISO 27001 standard that needs to be adhered to in order to assist the protection of information has caused organisations to scramble and ensure their information security measures are in line with regulatory requirements.

However, few businesses know or realise that if they are already ISO 20000 certified and follow Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s (ITIL) best practices they are effectively positioning themselves with other regulatory standards such as ISO 27001. In doing so, organisations are able to decrease the effort and time taken to adhere to the policies of this security standard.

ISO 20000, ITSM and ITIL – Where does ISO 27001 fit in?

ISO 20000 is the international standard for IT service management (ITSM) and reflects a business’s ability to adhere to best practice guidelines contained within the ITIL frameworks. 

ISO 20000 is process-based, it tackles many of the same topics as ISO 27001, such as incident management, problem management, change control and risk management. It’s therefore clear that if security forms part of ITSM’s outcomes, it should already be taken care of… So, why aren’t more businesses looking towards ISO 20000 to assist them in becoming ISO 27001 compliant?

The link to information security compliance

Information security management is a process that runs across the ITIL service life cycle interacting with all other processes in the framework. It is one of the key aspects of the ‘warranty of the service’, managed within the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The focus is ensuring that the quality of services produces the desired business value.

So, how are these standards different?

Even though ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 have many similarities and elements in common, there are still many differences. Organisations should take cognisance that ISO 20000 considers risk as one of the building elements of ITSM, but the standard is still service-based. Conversely, ISO 27001 is completely risk management-based and has risk management at its foundation whereas ISO 20000 encompasses much more

Why ISO 20000?

Organisations should ask themselves how they will derive value from ISO 20000. In Short, the ISO 20000 certification gives ITIL ‘teeth’. ITIL is not prescriptive, it is difficult to maintain momentum without adequate governance controls, however – ISO 20000 is.  ITIL does not insist on continual service improvement – ISO 20000 does. In addition, ITIL does not insist on evidence to prove quality and progress – ISO 20000 does.  ITIL is not being demanded by business – governance controls, auditability & agility are. This certification verifies an organisation’s ability to deliver ITSM within ITIL standards.

Ensuring ISO 20000 compliance provides peace of mind and shortens the journey to achieving other certifications, such as ISO 27001 compliance.

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