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ECS Launches the new LIVA Z Mini PC

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Elitegroup has launched the new LIVA Z Mini PC, a fully functional computer that fits in the palm of your hand.  Its launch touches upon the idea of having an easy to carry, lightweight, and power-saving computing solution. Its powerful performance and upgradeable flexibility makes it a great choice as a high quality full desktop alternative.

The new LIVA Z is designed to “simplify the complicated”.  It is equipped with the latest Intel 14nm Apollo Lake quad core processors offering 30 percent better CPU performance and 45 percent better graphics performance than its predecessor Braswell chips. It enables hardware-accelerated playback of HEVC/H.265 4K ultra HD video from hardware decoding of HEVC and VP9 codecs. It also boasts lower power consumption and noise-free enjoyment while playing YouTube videos and media, keeping the operation much cooler and quieter.

In addition, LIVA Z comes with dual-channel DDR3L memory, each slot supports maximum a capacity of 8GB memory, a total maximum capacity of 16GB in dual-channel mode.  This gives you fast and efficient performance for daily multitasking computing. Native M.2 support gives LIVA Z the speed and performance you crave in a compact PC, giving you data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbit/s – making it the perfect choice for an operating system or application drive.

In terms of storage and expansion, LIVA Z offers dual 2.5″ HDD/SSD drive bays; expansion is made possible via SATA 6Gbps interface so you can enjoy both high speed data access as well as large storage capacity. With Windows 10 OneDrive offering, these files can be synced among multiple devices such as smart phones, tablets, and mini PCs so you could even have a reliable cloud storage solution to keep your data safe.

Other notable features from LIVA Z include USB 3.0 Type-C, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11AC / BT 4.0, COM Port as well as I/O ports. Moreover, It can be VESA-mounted on the back of a display too.  So, you can create your own custom all-in-one PC for a tidy, clutter-free environment. Health Winston, Director, Intel Desktop Chipset  and Customer Marketing, said, “The Mini Socket Technology Extended (Mini-STX) platform brings the performance and the configuration flexibility of traditional tower desktops to mini PCs. The LIVA Z from ECS is a great example of cooperation between Intel and ECS to drive innovative solutions on Desktop.” Compared with a mid-size and full-size ATX tower PC, LIVA Z enables the further reduction of power consumption, which leads to outstanding performance and longer usage times.”

Furthermore, LIVA Z offers expansion capability and I/O Flexibility to enhance overall system performance compared to ARM-based mini PCs since it designed for a variety of demanding applications and is an excellent choice for industrial and commercial applications which include, Industrial Control, Digital Signs, Interactive Kiosks and education applications.

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Audio Devices

Sonos Ace Headphones Review: A Stylish Entry with Excellent Performance

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Sonos, the renowned home audio brand, took a bold step into the world of personal audio by introducing the Sonos Ace headphones. This premium, over-ear wireless headphones boast a sleek design, active noise cancellation (ANC), and the promise of signature Sonos sound.

Design and Comfort
Sonos doesn’t disappoint when it comes to aesthetics. The Ace headphones exude a minimalist elegance. Available in black and soft white, they feature a matte finish with metallic accents. The build quality feels substantial, with a mix of plush memory foam earcups and a sturdy, lightweight frame. These headphones are comfortable to wear for extended periods, thanks to the generous earcup padding and a well-distributed weight balance.

Controls and Functionality
Sonos opts for physical buttons over the now-commonplace touch controls. A multi-function “Content Key” on the right earcup handles playback, volume, and track skipping. A separate button cycles through ANC modes and voice assistant activation. The buttons offer a satisfying tactile response, a welcome change from the finicky nature of touch controls.

The Sonos app, though not as feature-rich as some competitors’ offerings, provides basic controls such as ANC adjustments and a five-band EQ, which allows for some sound customisation. One notable feature is multipoint Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to connect to two devices simultaneously. This is a convenient feature for users who switch frequently between phones and laptops.

Sound Quality
The Sonos Ace delivers a pleasant listening experience. The sound signature leans towards the warm side, with a satisfying bass presence without overwhelming the mids and highs. The instruments are well-defined, and the vocals come through clearly. For audiophiles, the Sonos Ace offers an outstanding soundstage.

The ANC is excellent, effectively blocking out low-frequency noise such as aeroplane hum and traffic rumble. Call quality is also very good, with the built-in microphones doing an adequate job of picking up your voice during calls.

Battery Life and Connectivity
Sonos boasts a stellar battery life of 30+ hours with ANC turned on. This is a major plus for frequent travellers and long listening sessions. The headphones use Bluetooth 5.3, offering a reliable connection with minimal latency.

A unique feature of the Sonos Ace is its potential integration with the Sonos ecosystem. The app allows you to switch seamlessly between the headphones and your Sonos home speakers. This functionality is currently limited, but future updates could unlock features such as using the headphones as surround sound speakers for your Sonos home theatre setup.

Verdict
The Sonos Ace headphones are a solid first entry into the wireless headphone market. They boast excellent noise cancellation, a comfortable design, and long battery life. The sound quality is quite good, too. The potential for deeper integration with the Sonos ecosystem is intriguing, however, the hefty price tag might deter some budget-conscious consumers.

If you’re a Sonos loyalist looking for a pair of stylish headphones with excellent ANC and good sound quality, the Sonos Ace is a compelling option, especially if the promise of future ecosystem integration appeals to you. The Sonos Ace headphones are a promising debut with a clear focus on comfort, noise cancellation, and design. They offer a well-rounded listening experience with the potential for exciting future developments within the Sonos ecosystem.

Price: AED 2099

Sonos Ace Headphones AED 2099
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The Sonos Ace delivers a pleasant listening experience. The sound signature leans towards the warm side, with a satisfying bass presence without overwhelming the mids and highs. The instruments are well-defined, and the vocals come through clearly.

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Gadgets

Apple Detects Spyware Targeting iPhones in Multiple Countries

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Apple has issued a second spyware attack warning to iPhone users in 98 countries, raising concerns about the growing threat to mobile security. This follows a similar alert in April targeting users in 92 countries.

While specific details about the latest attacks remain under wraps, the alert serves as a stark reminder of the evolving threat landscape. India is one confirmed country where users received the notification.

Spyware, a particularly invasive type of malware, can grant attackers complete access to an iPhone, including encrypted messages, audio, and video. The notorious Pegasus spyware from NSO Group is a well-known example.

“Apple detected that you are being targeted by a mercenary spyware attack that is trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID -xxx-,” Apple wrote in its new spyware alert.

Adding to the concern, researchers recently revealed the return of LightSpy, a “particularly dangerous” campaign capable of pinpointing a target’s location with “near-perfect accuracy.”

The worrying aspect of these attacks is their ability to exploit “zero-click” vulnerabilities, meaning infection can occur without any user interaction, such as opening a malicious link or attachment.

This highlights the importance of remaining vigilant and following Apple’s security recommendations, which may include updating your device to the latest iOS version.

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Gadgets

Acer Launches Chromebox Mini

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As the digital landscape evolves, businesses are increasingly seeking ways to engage with audiences. Digital signage and interactive kiosks are at the forefront of this trend, with the market expected to reach $30.56 billion by 2028. Acer addresses this demand with mini-PCs designed for digital signage and kiosks. Their Chromebox Mini CXM1 is a secure and reliable mini-PC that can drive up to three displays simultaneously. It’s compact, silent, and features the latest connectivity options like Wi-Fi 6E and Gigabit Ethernet.

Powered by ChromeOS, the Chromebox Mini CXM1 offers fast deployment, automatic updates, and long-term support. Additionally, the cloud-based Google Admin console allows for remote management and customization. The Chromebox Mini CXM1 complements Acer’s existing line-up of digital signage solutions, including Large Format Displays (LFDs). Acer offers LFDs in various configurations, from high-resolution 4K displays to interactive whiteboards. These LFDs seamlessly integrate with the Chromebox Mini CXM1 using a VESA mounting kit.

Acer’s large format displays are designed for consistent performance and stunning clarity. They cater to various needs, including promotional signage, education, and corporate collaboration. With robust management tools and automated security, Acer displays require minimal maintenance, allowing businesses to focus on creating engaging content. Acer’s Chromebox Mini CXM1 and LFDs provide businesses with a comprehensive suite of tools for impactful advertising, information sharing, and customer interaction.

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