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MWC: HP aims to keep workers on the go

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At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, HP announced a new commercial 2-in-1 detachable notebook along with a range of accessories for its existing devices.

The company said it “continues to deliver stylish and functional devices that empower employees wherever their work takes them” . The new HP Pro x2 612 G2 “is designed to let mobile professionals use applications to automate business workflows while delivering productivity with enterprise-class security and serviceability.”

“As people continue to work outside the office on a more frequent basis, we are delivering devices and accessories that bring traditional PC-based productivity to a more mobile experience in a way that IT can securely manage and service,” said David Rozzio, Managing Director, HP Africa.  “These solutions allow workers to be more productive in a mobile-first environment, enabling a richer experience for workforces across all industries while helping IT realize a lower total cost of ownership with no compromises to security.”

The Pro x2 is a versatile 2-in-1 detachable, featuring multiple modes ideal for commercial use, including presentation mode, inking mode for taking notes, tablet mode for data collection, and notebook mode. The Pro x2 can be configured with a choice of 7th generation Intel processors, to meet a variety of end users’ needs.

HP provided the following information:

The design goals for the Pro x2 were built around mobile productivity, which includes WLAN and optional WWAN, with a fast-charging battery that offers up to 11 hours of battery life. The device’s magnetically attached Collaboration Keyboard features dedicated keys to directly manage voice and video conference calls. For drawing and taking notes, the HP Active Wacom Pen with App Launch combined with the extended 165-degree kickstand make it easy to present and share. The Pro x2 includes a USB-C connection for quick charging and data transfers and USB-A for accessing traditional legacy peripherals.

IT requirements for security, manageability and lifecycle management were also key focus areas for the Pro x2. The device was built from the ground up for secure work environments and includes a built-in smart card reader, a removable SSD, and the HP Client Security Suite Gen3[, along with an optional fingerprint sensor and optional Near Field Communications (NFC). IT lifecycle management includes a removable back cover and enterprise-class serviceability for the display panel, kickstand and other key components, along with dedicated 24/7 commercial support. And the Pro x2 is designed to last for the traditional enterprise 3- to 5-year lifecycle, passing MIL-STD testing for drops, dust, humidity, temperature changes and functional shock.

HP’s x2 and x3 devices are designed with versatility in mind, featuring a wide range of optional accessories to help mobile professionals be productive and remain connected whether they are in the office or on the go. New accessories launching at Mobile World Congress include:

  • HP Pro x2 612 G2 Rugged Case: Ideal for customers in extreme work environments, this case features a 360-degree rotating hand strap, shoulder strap, stylus holder, optional port plugs and is compatible with the Pro x2’s keyboard.
  • HP Elite USB-C Dock: Turn your device into a desktop and connect to multiple displays and devices while charging with this enterprise IT ready dock, compatible with devices like the Pro x2, HP Elite x2 1012 G1, or HP Elite x3 that have a multi-function Type-C™ USB port and devices that support Thunderbolt.
  • HP USB-C Travel Hub: For mobile professionals who need access to additional peripheral ports while on-the-go, this solution delivers pass-through connectivity for displays and USB devices and charging for the Pro x2, Elite x2 or the Elite x3 while the device is being used – with one USB-C cable.
  • HP Retail Case 12: Announced at NRF, this solution combines with the Pro x2 to create a portable solution for store associates to sell and conduct mobile transactions on the sales floor.
  • HP Elite x3 Mobile Scanning Solution: This solution extends the benefits of the HP Elite x3 beyond the mobile professional to mobilize vertical workflows for healthcare, field and retail workers. The integrated barcode scanner can be used to check prices, access inventory and CRM information on the go and then seamlessly transition to the back-office with the ability to dock and connect to a display, mouse, and keyboard for a full PC experience.

Pricing and Availability

  • The HP Pro x2 612 G2 starting at R15 999.00
  • The HP Pro x2 612 G2 Rugged Case, starting at R799.00.
  • The HP Elite USB-C Dock, starting at R1 999.00
  • The HP USB-C Travel Hub starting at R1 499.00

Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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Sports streaming takes off

Live streaming of sports is coming of age as a mainstream method of viewing big games, as the latest FIFA World Cup figures from the UK show. Africa isn’t yet at the same level when it comes to the adoption of sports streaming, but usage is clearly moving in the right direction.

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England’s World Cup quarter-final against Sweden was watched by just under 20 million viewers in the UK via BBC One. While this traditional broadcast audience was huge, it was streaming that broke records: the game was the BBC’s most popular online-viewed live programme ever, with 3.8 million views. In Africa, the absolute numbers are lower but the trend towards streaming major sports events on the continent is also well under way.

According to DStv, live streaming of sports dominates the usage figures for its live and recorded TV streaming app, DStv Now. The number of people using the app in June was five times higher than a year ago, with concurrent views peaking during major football and rugby games.

Since the start of the World Cup, average weekday usage of DStv Now is up 60%. The absolute peak in concurrent usage for one event was reached on 26 June, during the Nigeria vs Argentina game. The app’s biggest ever test was on 16 June with both Springbok Rugby and World Cup Football under way at the same time, resulting in concurrent in-app views seven times higher than the peaks seen in June last year.

The World Cup has also been a major reason for new users to download and try out the app. First-time app user volumes have tripled on Android and doubled on iOS since the start of the tournament.

“While we expected live sports streaming to take off, it’s also been pleasing to see that the app is really popular for watching shows on Catch Up,” says MultiChoice South Africa Chief Operating Officer Mark Rayner. “Interestingly, some of the most popular Catch Up shows are local, with Isibaya, Binnelanders, The Queen and The River all getting a significant number of views.”

With respect to app usage, the web and Android apps are the most popular way to watch DStv Now, with Android outpacing iOS by a factor of 2:1.

“We’re continuing to develop DStv Now, with 4k streaming in testing and smart TV and Apple TV apps on their way shortly,” says Rayner. “The other key priority for us is working with the telcos to deliver mobile data propositions that make watching online painless and worry-free for our customers.”

The DStv Now app is free to all 10 million DStv customers in Africa. The app streams DStv live channels as well as supplying an extended Catch Up library. Two separate streams can be watched on different devices simultaneously, and content can also be downloaded to smartphones and tablets. The content available on the app varies according to the DStv package subscribed to.

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