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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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Get your passwords in shape

New Year’s resolutions should extend to getting password protection sorted out, writes Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET Southern Africa.

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Many of us have entered the new year with a boat load of New Year’s resolutions.  Doing more exercise, fixing unhealthy eating habits and saving more money are all highly respectable goals, but could it be that they don’t go far enough in an era with countless apps and sites that scream for letting them help you reach your personal goals.

Now, you may want to add a few weightier and yet effortless habits on top of those well-worn choices. Here are a handful of tips for ‘exercises’ that will go good for your cyber-fitness.

I won’t pass up on stubborn passwords

Passwords have a bad rap, and deservedly so: they suffer from weaknesses, both in terms of security and convenience, that make them a less-than-ideal method of authentication.  However, much of what the internet offers is independent on your singing up for this or that online service, and the available form of authentication almost universally happens to the username/password combination.

As the keys that open online accounts (not to speak of many devices), passwords are often rightly thought of as the first – alas, often only – line of defence that protects your virtual and real assets from intruders. However, passwords don’t offer much in the way of protection unless, in the first place, they’re strong and unique to each device and account.

But what constitutes a strong password?  A passphrase! Done right, typical passphrases are generally both more secure and more user-friendly than typical passwords. The longer the passphrase and the more words it packs the better, with seven words providing for a solid start. With each extra character (not to mention words), the number of possible combinations rises exponentially, which makes simple brute-force password-cracking attacks far less likely to succeed, if not well-nigh impossible (assuming, of course, that the service in question does not impose limitations on password input length – something that is, sadly, far too common).

Click here to read about making secure passwords by not using dictionary words, using two-factor authentication, and how biometrics are coming to web browsers.

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Code Week prepares 2.3m young Africans for future

By SUNIL GENESS, Director Government Relations & CSR, Global Digital Government, at SAP Africa.

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On January 6th, 2019, news broke of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to announce a new approach to education in his second State of the Nation address, including:

  • A universal roll-out of tablets for all pupils in the country’s 23 700 primary and secondary schools
  • Computer coding and robotics classes for the foundation-phase pupils from grade 1-3 and the
  • Digitisation of the entire curriculum, , including textbooks, workbooks and all teacher support material.

With this, the President has shown South Africa’s response to a global challenge: equipping our youth with the skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in the 21st century digital economy.

Africa’s working-age population will increase to 600 million in 2030 from a base of 370 million in 2010.

In South Africa, unemployment stands at 26.7 percent, but is much more pronounced among youths: 52.2 percent of the country’s 15-24-year-olds are looking for work.

As an organisation deeply invested in South Africa and its future, SAP has developed and implemented a range of initiatives aimed at fostering digital skills development among the country’s youth, including:

AFRICA CODE WEEK

Since its launch in 2015, Africa Code Week has introduced more than 4 million African youth to basic coding.

In 2018, more than 2.3 million youth across 37 countries took part in Africa Code Week.

The digital skills development initiative’s focus on building local capacity for sustainable learning resulted in close to 23 000 teachers being trained in the run-up to the October 2018 events.

Vital to the success of Africa Code Week is the close support it receives from a broad spectrum of public and private sector institutions, including UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.

SAP’s efforts to drive digital skills development on the African continent forms part of a broader organisational commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 4 (“Ensure quality and inclusive education for all”)

A core component of Africa Code Week is to encourage female participation in STEM-related skills development activities: in 2018, more than 46% of all Africa Code Week participants were female.

According to Africa Code Week Global Coordinator Sunil Geness, female representation in STEM-related fields among African businesses currently stands at 30%, “requiring powerful public-private partnerships to start turning the tide and creating more equitable opportunities for African youth to contribute to the continent’s economic development and success”.

Click here to read more about the Skills for Africa graduate training programme, and about the LEGO League.

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