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MWC: Huawei’s MateBook matches up to MS Surface

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At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Huawei launched the MateBook, a 2-in-1 device that seems to be in direct competition with the Microsoft Surface but which is backed by Microsoft as it runs Windows 10.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Huawei launched its new MateBook, a 2-in-1 device that appears to compete directly with Microsoft’s Surface. However, Microsoft is backing the device fully, since it also runs on Windows 10. Huawei defines it as “a mobile productivity tool that seamlessly integrates mobility, high efficiency, work and entertainment”.

“With this landmark device, Huawei is demonstrating our industry-leading design and manufacturing expertise by bringing a beautifully crafted flagship product to market that is redefining the new style of business – connected computing across all devices in almost every scenario,” said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “Huawei has successfully channeled its comprehensive experience and excellence in building premium mobile products into the needs of the modern business environment by introducing a highly efficient device, seamlessly capable of integrating work and entertainment functions.”

Huawei provided the following information:

Starting at $699/€799, the MateBook is answering the demand for portable, stylish smart devices that allow users to stay connected in any setting. Designed as a total solution for consumers who enjoy the flexibility of a convertible device, the MateBook is a premium product that perfectly balances mobility, productivity and design.

With the MateBook, Huawei is continuing its strategy of partnering with the most innovative market leaders.

Built to operate on Windows 10, the MateBook also delivers the best of the legendary productivity tools and features offered by Microsoft Corp., including its latest browser, Microsoft Edge and the Cortana digital personal assistant.

“Our collaboration with Huawei offers consumers a new way to experience Windows 10 on a beautifully designed device,” said Peter Han, Vice President, Worldwide OEM Marketing, Microsoft Corp. “Huawei appreciates how consumers want to interact with devices, and is bringing a fresh perspective to this space. Our relationship with Huawei is a great example of the growing ecosystem of premium portable Windows 10 devices.”

The device features a 6th Generation Intel Core m-series processor to handle the most rigorous business demands in a stylish, thin and lightweight fanless design.

“This is an exciting time for Huawei to enter the market with its powerful new MateBook,” said Kirk Skaugen, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Client Computing Group, Intel Corporation. “By designing with the Intel Core m processor, Huawei is delivering a premium 2-in-1 experience that offers a compelling combination of mobility combined with full PC productivity. We are thrilled to extend our partnership with Huawei in this growing 2-in-1 market.”

Combining the mobility of a smartphone with the power and productivity of a laptop, the MateBook is designed with simplicity in mind. With minimal embellishment and a sleek appearance, the device is made of high-quality aluminum unibody that is both elegant and sophisticated. The MateBook features a strong protective body to withstand the rigors of an on-the-go lifestyle, and its slim profile and ultra-low weight of just 640g makes it ideal to take anywhere.

The MateBook keyboard case is made of environmentally friendly, soft PU leather, the perfect choice to match style with functionality. The durability of the keyboard case also provides an ideal level of protection. The keyboard features a 1.5mm keystroke and a chiclet keycap design, which allows for larger key surfaces to minimize typing errors. The built-in touchpad uses multi-touch technology that supports smooth and precise finger movements, combining comfort and utility.

The MateBook’s 12-inch IPS multi-touch screen is further enhanced by an ultra-narrow frame and a screen-to-body ratio of 84 percent. The screen boasts a resolution of 2160×1440 and a 160-degree wide angle for an immersive experience. The color gamut reaches an impressive 85 percent, capable of displaying true-to-life colors.

To ensure the MateBook delivers optimal performance as a mobile device, battery life and power were a top priority throughout the design process. Its 33.7Wh high-density Lithium battery provides enough power for nine hours of work, nine consecutive hours of Internet use and 29 hours of music playback. The device also features Huawei’s exclusive power-saving technology to meet the needs of business users. The MateBook’s battery can attain a full charge in just two-and-a-half hours. When there is not enough time for a full charge, the device can power up to 60 percent battery strength in just one hour.

When only a hand-written note will do, the accompanying MatePen stylus offers 2,048 levels of sensitivity, perfectly capturing users’ subtle and diverse pen-tip actions with zero delay. For advanced business functions, MatePen supports graphics and mathematic functions, and can be used as a laser pointer for delivering presentations.

The MateBook provides security while maintaining quick access through the fingerprint recognition feature that supports 360-degree sensitive identification for fewer authentication failures. It takes only one touch to unlock the MateBook’s screen – the fastest fingerprint recognition in the industry.

Additionally, the MateBook features a Wi-Fi mobile hotspot for users to stay connected when a traditional Internet connection is not available. Other features that ensure an efficient mobile experience include a seamless data transfer capability that allows drag-and-drop document transfer to and from Android smartphones.

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SA startups in Visa final

Leading fintech companies from the Sub-Sahara Africa technology startup community have made it to the finals of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative.

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Among the 12 chosen, from the 238 total entries, South African startups Howler and FinChatBot will compete against innovators from across Sub Sahara Africa for a chance to secure funding of up to US$50,000 to develop their ideas when the initiative concludes in Johannesburg on July 24. 

Fintechs in Africa are making incredible strides; not only to bring more convenience to consumers, but also to enable people who would not otherwise have access to financial services or even a way to connect to the formal banking system. Venture funding for African startups jumped by 51% to $195 million in 2017 and fintech in Africa is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years as it continues to disrupt the traditional financial sector. With a clear goal of reducing reliance on cash, building digital payment based economies and increasing financial inclusion, Visa is committed to fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and driving innovation in its payments landscape. 

The Sub Saharan Africa edition of the Visa’s Everywhere Initiative challenged local fintech startup to deliver solutions based around three real life business challenges: 

  • How can startups leverage Visa Developer APIs to either:  Enable smaller merchants to accept payments in-store digitally OR Provide a safe and secure solution for online merchants to drive eCommerce and reduce cash on delivery?
  • How can startups use Visa’s APIs to leverage mass reach and social media partner platforms like Facebook to help businesses operating in fast-paced consumer centric environments improve cash flow and receive payments? 
  • How can startups leverage technology to provide services that are functional for illiterate customers to provide them with secure transaction experiences that build and enhance their confidence in the banking system?. 

Entrants were asked to submit ideas to leverage Visa’s network and technologies to resolve against at least one of the challenges. One winner per brief will be selected, with each receiving funding of US$25,000. Winners will be invited to a working meeting with Visa and may be presented with the opportunity to create a prototype. Visa will then select one overall winner to receive an additional US$25,000.

Geraldine Mitchley, Senior Director – Digital Solutions, Sub-Sahara Africa, Visa, said: “We are delighted with the response to our Visa’s Everywhere Initiative and the quality of submissions we received is an indication of the region’s rich talent pool and innovative spirit.”

“Launching this innovation program in the region has been an exciting time for the Visa SSA team, and the takeup reflects Africa’s enthusiasm to develop and pioneer solutions to the continent’s challenge – particularly in the payments technology space. I would like to congratulate the finalists and  wish them luck as they enter the final stretch.  When they come together for the final, they will not only have the chance to turn their ideas into reality, but also potentially help shape the future of payments in the region.”  

Howler which enables cashless transactions and end-to-end ticket handling for consumers and event organisers is competing in the first challenge and FinChatBot, which aims to automate part of customer services for financial service providers through AI-powered conversations is competing in the third challenge. 

The SSA edition of the Visa’s Everywhere Initiative will wrap up on July 24 in Johannesburg, with each finalist having an opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of expert judges from Visa and the payments industry. 

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entries via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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