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The iPod returns with a new model

Apple returns with a new iPod, getting its first refresh in 4 years, and aims to cater to those who want to run apps, but without a mobile connection.

Click below to read more about the new iPod Touch.

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It’s 2019, and the iPod is back. Why would Apple refresh this seemingly dead product? 

The iPod is targeted at a very specific audience: most likely kids who want to run apps, and parents who don’t want to connect their child to a mobile network. One could ask: hold on, why wouldn’t a parent just get their child an iPhone and just not insert a SIM card? The iPod Touch is much cheaper than an iPhone, with pretty much the same features and performance.

The iPod was Apple’s former cash cow until the iPhone was released in 2007, absorbing the music playback features into a smartphone.

The latest iPod touch comes with much-needed enhancements to power, capability, and communication. It features an A10 Fusion chip, which brings improved performance in games, and for the first time on an iPod, immersive augmented reality (AR) experiences and group FaceTime.

“We’re making the most affordable iOS device even better with performance that is twice as fast as before, Group FaceTime and augmented reality starting at just $199,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Product Marketing. “The ultra-thin and lightweight design of the iPod touch has always made it ideal for enjoying games, music and so much more wherever you go.”

The iPod touch comes in a new, larger 256GB capacity, giving plenty of space to download music for offline listening through Apple Music or Spotify Premium.

iOS is the world’s largest gaming platform, and with three times faster graphics, games on the new iPod touch run smoother and look more sharp and detailed. Later this year, gamers can look forward to Apple Arcade, a game subscription service with over 100 new and exclusive games with no ads or additional purchases, and the ability to download games for offline play. Apple Arcade will complement the already enormously popular catalogue of free games on the App Store. 

The iPod Touch starts at $199 for the 32GB model, $299 for the 128GB model, and $399 for the 256GB model. It is available in six finishes; space grey, white, gold, blue, pink and (PRODUCT)RED. It will be available later this year.

Product of the Day

IFA 2019: Dell puts 10th gen Intel Core in laptops

Ahead of IFA, Dell has announced its consumer portfolio with new form factors and the addition of 10th Gen Intel Core processors to its current XPS and Inspiron portfolio. It is likely that the devices will go on display at IFA 2019 in Berlin at the beginning of September.

Click below to read more about the updated portfolio.

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Dell says its latest consumer portfolio refresh can deliver performance gains needed for compute-intensive, demanding, multi-thread workloads, while still handling 4K content efficiently. In doing so, Dell says it gives heavyweight performance in a thin, light and portable design.

XPS 13

The refreshed XPS 13 will be available in the USA on 27 August, along with some of the models housing Intel 10th Gen Core U series processors, while i7 hexacore models will be available in October.

With the new Killer AX1650 (2×2) built on Intel WiFi 6 Chipset, wireless connectivity is three times as fast as the previous generation. Along with Dell CinemaColor, Dolby Vision and an optional 4K Ultra HD InfinityEdge display, the XPS 13 will remain eye candy for those glued to their screen. 

The XPS will be available with either Windows 10 or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the latter serving as the foundation of the XPS 13 developer edition, now in its 9th generation. Ubuntu versions also mean lower cost due to not having to pay for Windows bundled with the computer. 

Inspiron 14 7000

With the latest 10th Gen Intel Core processors, Dell says it is putting premium materials and performance to its Inspiron line with the introduction of the new Inspiron 14 7000 ultralight laptops. Weighing under 1.1 kg, this impressively portable design was achieved through introducing a lightweight yet durable magnesium alloy chassis.

It features a new lid-open sensor, Connected Modern Standby and fingerprint reader built into the power button. The system signs on securely and starts in a flash. The stylish laptop features all-around narrow borders with 100% sRGB colour coverage, great for mobile multitasking.

For more specs, details, pricing and availability, follow Gadget on Twitter.

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Acer’s latest Chromebook means serious business

The latest Acer Chromebooks for business have arrived in South Africa. BRYAN TURNER reviewed the Acer Chromebook 715.

Click below to read the review.

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The Chromebook market has been perceived as very consumer-focused, until the recent introduction of management tools for Chrome OS.

To complement these corporate management tools, Acer has released the Chromebook 715, aimed at the business person that works in the cloud, in South Africa.

The unit we reviewed contained an Intel Core i5-8250U, 16GB of RAM, and 128GB of eMMC storage. All of this was housed in a sturdy aluminium body. 

On the left side, the computer features a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer, a standard USB Type-A port, and a headphone jack, while on the right it has a Kensington Lock, another USB Type-C port just for connectivity and a microSD card slot. 

When open, the narrow bezelled 15.6″-inch display has a Full HD resolution for crisp lettering in documents. The wide colour gamut also ensures that colours are accurately represented on screen. 

The keyboard features a first for Chromebooks: a num-pad. This is especially useful for those working with spreadsheets on Google Sheets or Excel Online, or accountants working in web apps like Xero.

The overall design of this computer shows the professional look Acer was going for with a business-facing Chromebook. It has a grey aluminium body, which looks heavy, but comes to a mere 1.8kg. It’s much lighter than it looks for an almost 16″ laptop.

The performance is great and switching between web apps is fast. This is thanks to the embedded i5 processor, which doesn’t make as much of a noise as its Windows counterparts.

The computer isn’t for the “slashie”: those who run their personal and business lives on the same device. As a result, games don’t run on the computer because it doesn’t run applications. This asserts the device’s status as a purely business-focused device.

Apart from the hardware features, the computer is handled via the lightweight Chrome OS. 

Chrome OS is Google’s answer for those who only work with web apps, and don’t want their computer’s performance hindered by unnecessary apps. With the increasing power offered from web apps, the computer application as we know is likely to disappear eventually. 

With Google’s Apps for Work platform, the Chromebook lends itself to the same admin management tools that exist on other platforms. 
The integrated 45 Wh battery may seem small but operates for around 9 hours, thanks to the lightweight software and good battery management.  

Overall, for those who want a no-nonsense approach to computing, the Acer Chromebook 715 may be their best next device. However, its pricing at R7,999 may deter those who would expect to pay less.

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