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MWC: Huawei debuts new laptop and tablet

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Huawei has unveiled its MateBook X Pro and MediaPad M5 Series at this year’s Mobile World Congress which boast new generation processors, faster graphics cards, longer lasting batteries and a richer sound to boot.

Both the Huawei MateBook X Pro and Huawei MediaPad M5 blend crisp and clear displays, powerful hardware updates and intelligent software advances:

Huawei provided the following information:

·         Huawei MateBook X Pro:

The Huawei MateBook X Pro is an ultra-slim, yet full-featured 13.9-inch notebook with an all-new 3K touch-enabled HUAWEI FullView Display and 91 percent screen-to-body ratio. Powered by an 8th Generation Intel Core i7/i5 processor, a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU with 2GB GDDR5 and a long-lasting 57.4Wh (Typical Capacity) battery – the Huawei MateBook X Pro is one of the lightest and most powerful notebooks on the market. The Huawei MateBook X Pro features Dolby Atmos Sound System and custom speakers that deliver breakthrough, immersive audio for sound to flow above and around you, making you feel like you’re inside the action.

·         Huawei MediaPad M5 Series:

Ergonomically designed with a 2.5D glass screen and 2K HD, ClariVu 5.0-enhanced display, the sleek and powerful 8.4-inch and 10.8-inch tablets feature speakers tuned by Harman Kardon. Huawei Histen technology provides immersive 3D audio and fully supports Hi-Res audio for exceptional sound quality. The 10.8-inch Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro comes with an ultra-precise Huawei M-Pen featuring 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity to make note-taking effortless.

“Today’s consumers want more: they expect their technology to be both powerful and adaptable – and Huawei is committed to creating devices that not only meet these expectations, but create experiences that make everyday computing extraordinary,” said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “The Huawei MateBook X Pro and HUAWEI MediaPad M5 Series are at the forefront of a new generation of mobile computing that empowers every aspect of your life.”

Huawei MateBook X Pro

The Huawei MateBook X Pro is the first notebook to feature Huawei FullView Display. The 13.9-inch 3K notebook featuring an all-new 10-point touchscreen has a 3000 x 2000 pixel resolution and is set at a 3:2 aspect ratio, perfect for content creation. Its stylish metallic body design is crafted with perfect diamond cutting and sandblasting finishing to create an ultra-slim body that is just 14.6mm thin and weighs 1.33 kg, making it comfortable to carry. The Huawei MateBook X Pro is available in two iconic colours: Space Gray and Mystic Silver.

The premium design of the Huawei MateBook X Pro is matched by its performance. Featuring a powerful 8th Generation Intel Core i7/i5 processor and a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU with 2GB GDDR5, it is one of the most powerful and lightweight notebooks on the market. The Huawei MateBook X Pro features Dolby Atmos Sound System – breakthrough, immersive audio with Dolby Atmos and custom speakers. A 57.4Wh (Typical Capacity) battery and Huawei’s low power consumption design provide up to 12 hours of 1080P video playback, 14 hours of regular work or 15 hours of web browsing.

Huawei has applied many of its innovative smartphone technologies to the Huawei MateBook X Pro to create effortless and intuitive user experiences. Pioneered by Huawei for the Huawei MateBook Series, the Huawei MateBook X Pro features the super-fast power button 2.0 which enables login in just 7.8 seconds from power off, and 6.6 seconds from hibernation. In addition, the Huawei MateBook X Pro features the world’s first recessed camera which discreetly sits on the keyboard – to activate it, all users need to do is press it and it will pop up, ensuring privacy when it’s not being used. This contributes greatly to the perfect experience of FullView Display. A multi-purpose adapter supports USB-C fast charging widely used in smartphones, meaning users only need to bring one charger when travelling for even greater portability. By developing a high-speed transport protocol, Huawei Share enables users to exchange photos and files quickly, easily and safely, without USB compatibility problems. The Wi-Fi transfer speed is up to 20Mbps, 100 times faster than that of Bluetooth.

Huawei MediaPad M5 Series

The Huawei MediaPad M5 Series is the world first tablet featuring a 2.5D glass screen for outstanding viewing experiences and great hand-feel. Both the 8.4- and 10.8-inch tablets take the iconic design of the Series to the next level with a sleek metal uni-body and U-shaped antenna design that is ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing. They are available in two colors: Champagne Gold and Space Gray.

With the Huawei MediaPad M5, users can take a world of immersive entertainment experiences with them wherever they go. The 2K and ClariVu 5.0-enhanced display captures even the subtlest details while intelligent algorithms ensure videos stay crisp and clear. The MediaPad M5 comes with two speakers on the 8.4-inch version and four speakers on the 10.8-inch version, tuned by Harman Kardon and Huawei Histen for immersive 3D sound. The support from Hi-Res audio when listening through headphones allows music to be experienced the way artists intended.

The Huawei MediaPad M5 is powered by a Kirin 960 Series processor for peak performance whether gaming, browsing the web or catching up on emails. EMUI 8.0 ensures a clean and user-friendly experience. A long-lasting battery – 5,100 mAh for 8.4-inch and 7,500 mAh for 10.8-inch – is augmented with Huawei QuickCharge technology.

Android has been optimized for productivity on the 10.8-inch Huawei MediaPad M5 with a ‘Desktop View’ experience that improves navigation for productivity-related activities. This includes a Taskbar and easy access to files for sharing and editing. The 10.8-inch HUAWEI MediaPad M5 also features ‘Pogo Pins’ that allow a keyboard to be connected, improving productivity even further.

Exclusively available with the 10.8-inch Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro is a Huawei M-Pen featuring 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity to make note-taking more realistic, easier and effortless.

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Money talks and electronic gaming evolves

Computer gaming has evolved dramatically in the last two years, as it follows the money, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK in the second of a two-part series.

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The clue that gaming has become big business in South Africa was delivered by a non-gaming brand. When Comic Con, an American popular culture convention that has become a mecca for comics enthusiasts, was hosted in South Arica for the first time last month, it used gaming as the major drawcard. More than 45 000 people attended.

The event and its attendance was expected to be a major dampener for the annual rAge gaming expo, which took place just weeks later. Instead, rAge saw only a marginal fall in visitor numbers. No less than 34 000 people descended on the Ticketpro Dome for the chaos of cosplay, LAN gaming, virtual reality, board gaming and new video games. 

It proved not only that there was room for more than one major gaming event, but also that a massive market exists for the sector in South Africa. And with a large market, one also found numerous gaming niches that either emerged afresh or will keep going over the years. One of these, LAN (for Local Area Network) gaming, which sees hordes of players camping out at the venue for three days to play each other on elaborate computer rigs, was back as strong as ever at rAge.

MWeb provided an 8Gbps line to the expo, to connect all these gamers, and recorded 120TB in downloads and 15Tb in uploads – a total that would have used up the entire country’s bandwidth a few years ago.

“LANs are supposed to be a thing of the past, yet we buck the trend each year,” says Michael James, senior project manager and owner of rAge. “It is more of a spectacle than a simple LAN, so I can understand.”

New phenomena, often associated with the flavour of the moment, also emerge every year.

“Fortnite is a good example this year of how we evolve,” says James. “It’s a crazy huge phenomenon and nobody was servicing the demand from a tournament point of view. So rAge and Xbox created a casual LAN tournament that anyone could enter and win a prize. I think the top 10 people got something each round.”

Read on to see how esports is starting to make an impact in gaming.

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Blockchain unpacked

Blockchain is generally associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but these are just the tip of the iceberg, says ESET Southern Africa.

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This technology was originally conceived in 1991, when Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta described their first work on a chain of cryptographically secured blocks, but only gained notoriety in 2008, when it became popular with the arrival of Bitcoin. It is currently gaining demand in other commercial applications and its annual growth is expected to reach 51% by 2022 in numerous markets, such as those of financial institutions and the Internet of Things (IoT), according to MarketWatch.

What is blockchain?

A blockchain is a unique, consensual record that is distributed over multiple network nodes. In the case of cryptocurrencies, think of it as the accounting ledger where each transaction is recorded.

A blockchain transaction is complex and can be difficult to understand if you delve into the inner details of how it works, but the basic idea is simple to follow.

Each block stores:

–           A number of valid records or transactions.
–           Information referring to that block.
–           A link to the previous block and next block through the hash of each block—a unique code that can be thought of as the block’s fingerprint.

Accordingly, each block has a specific and immovable place within the chain, since each block contains information from the hash of the previous block. The entire chain is stored in each network node that makes up the blockchain, so an exact copy of the chain is stored in all network participants.

As new records are created, they are first verified and validated by the network nodes and then added to a new block that is linked to the chain.

How is blockchain so secure?

Being a distributed technology in which each network node stores an exact copy of the chain, the availability of the information is guaranteed at all times. So if an attacker wanted to cause a denial-of-service attack, they would have to annul all network nodes since it only takes one node to be operative for the information to be available.

Besides that, since each record is consensual, and all nodes contain the same information, it is almost impossible to alter it, ensuring its integrity. If an attacker wanted to modify the information in a blockchain, they would have to modify the entire chain in at least 51% of the nodes.

In blockchain, data is distributed across all network nodes. With no central node, all participate equally, storing, and validating all information. It is a very powerful tool for transmitting and storing information in a reliable way; a decentralised model in which the information belongs to us, since we do not need a company to provide the service.

What else can blockchain be used for?

Essentially, blockchain can be used to store any type of information that must be kept intact and remain available in a secure, decentralised and cheaper way than through intermediaries. Moreover, since the information stored is encrypted, its confidentiality can be guaranteed, as only those who have the encryption key can access it.

Use of blockchain in healthcare

Health records could be consolidated and stored in blockchain, for instance. This would mean that the medical history of each patient would be safe and, at the same time, available to each doctor authorised, regardless of the health centre where the patient was treated. Even the pharmaceutical industry could use this technology to verify medicines and prevent counterfeiting.

Use of blockchain for documents

Blockchain would also be very useful for managing digital assets and documentation. Up to now, the problem with digital is that everything is easy to copy, but Blockchain allows you to record purchases, deeds, documents, or any other type of online asset without them being falsified.

Other blockchain uses

This technology could also revolutionise the Internet of Things  (IoT) market where the challenge lies in the millions of devices connected to the internet that must be managed by the supplier companies. In a few years’ time, the centralised model won’t be able to support so many devices, not to mention the fact that many of these are not secure enough. With blockchain, devices can communicate through the network directly, safely, and reliably with no need for intermediaries.

Blockchain allows you to verify, validate, track, and store all types of information, from digital certificates, democratic voting systems, logistics and messaging services, to intelligent contracts and, of course, money and financial transactions.

Without doubt, blockchain has turned the immutable and decentralized layer the internet has always dreamed about into a reality. This technology takes reliance out of the equation and replaces it with mathematical fact.

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