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USB 4 to double bandwidth for Type C

USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has announced the publication of the USB4 specification, a major update to deliver the next-generation USB architecture.

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The USB4 update complements and builds upon the existing USB 3.2 and USB 2.0 architectures. It is based on the Thunderbolt protocol specification recently contributed by Intel Corporation to the USB Promoter Group. It doubles the maximum aggregate bandwidth of USB and enables multiple simultaneous data and display protocols.

The development of the USB4 specification was first announced in March 2019 by the USB Promoter Group. It is now officially published by USB-IF and available for download at www.usb.org.

Key characteristics of the USB4 solution include:

  • Two-lane operation using existing USB Type-C cables and up to 40Gbps operation over 40Gbps certified cables
  • Multiple data and display protocols that efficiently share the maximum aggregate bandwidth
  • Backward compatibility with USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3

As the USB Type-C connector has evolved into the role as the external display port of many host products, the new USB specification provides the host with the ability to optimally scale allocations for display data flow. 
Even as the USB4 specification introduces a new underlying protocol, compatibility with existing USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3 hosts and devices are supported; the resulting connection scales to the best mutual capability of the devices being connected.

The upcoming USB Developer Days 2019 in Seattle and Taipei will include detailed technical training covering the USB4 specification and the latest for USB Type-C, USB Power Delivery, and new USB-IF branding strategies.

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New Acer TravelMate convertible coming

The Acer TravelMate Spin B3, which features a flip-over screen and an 11.6″ screen, will launch in April.

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Acer has announced a convertible TravelMate Spin B3 device, intended for the education market. The 11.6-inch notebook comes with enhanced performance and has a sturdy design to protect it from knocks.

The TravelMate Spin B3 features the latest Intel Pentium and Celeron processors, intended to give students the power they need for classroom work. The laptop also complies with the MIL-STD 810G military standard, meaning that it’s strong enough to survive bumps and accidental spills. A pressure-resistant top cover, shock-absorbent rubber bumper and reinforced corners all add to the durability of the device. The notebook can also get students through the school day (up to 12 hours of battery life) on a single charge.

The TravelMate Spin B3 adapts to the demands of a school day via four usage modes: students can write essays in clamshell mode, watch videos or lectures in display mode, make space on a desk in tent mode when they need to work by hand, and make use of tablet mode when they need to write by hand in maths or art class, for example. An optional world-facing camera above the keyboard allows students to capture photos and videos in tablet mode. It includes Wacom AES technology to provide a natural writing experience, and comes with a dockable stylus.

There is an optional battery indicator light on the front cover which enables teachers to see which students’ laptops are low on battery. The devices have anchored keys that are difficult to remove and an easy-fix keyboard, making it convenient for the school’s IT technician to repair.

The laptop comes with: Ethernet, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, an HDMI port and on select models, a fully-functional USB Type-C port that allows for charging, 5GB/s data transfer and connection to external displays.
The TravelMate Spin B3 will be available in April, starting at R4000.

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Samsung to release Galaxy Note10 Lite in SA

The Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite, unveiled at CES 2020 two weeks ago, will be released in South Africa next month.

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Samsung has unveiled the new Galaxy Note10 Lite at a preview event in Johannesburg. Building on the legacy of the Galaxy Note series, this Lite model brings key premium features like the latest camera technology, signature S Pen, immersive display and a long-lasting battery, at a more accessible price point. The Galaxy Note Lite is positioned between the Galaxy A Series and Samsung’s flagship devices. It will be launched in South Africa in February, with a recommended retail price of R12,999.

What’s different from the Note10?

The Note10 Lite drops support for wireless charging, waterproofing, and a curved screen. Other than that, it’s a very capable device at a far lower price

“The Galaxy Note devices have met consumer demands around the world and has proven to be popular in South Africa,” said Justin Hume, director of integrated mobility at Samsung South Africa. “These devices represent our continuous effort to deliver industry leading innovations, from performance and power to intelligence and services. The Galaxy Note10 Lite will make the experience more accessible to South Africans.”

To read the full breakdown of device specifications, click here.

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