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Acer Launches Two Convertible Chromebooks for the Education Sector

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Acer debuted two new convertible Chromebooks to meet the needs of students and education customers: the Acer Chromebook Spin 512 (R853TA) and Acer Chromebook Spin 511 (R753T). The new Chromebooks feature the latest Intel Pentium Silver or Celeron processors and durable designs that make them ideal for the school environment, including such features as a MIL-STD 810H rating, a tamper-resistant keyboard, and Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass display. The Acer Chromebook 512 further includes an antimicrobial coating that protects its keyboard, touchpad and palm area.

“Whether learning from home or in a classroom setting, students need a reliable Chromebook that will keep them connected and ready to engage,” said James Lin, General Manager, Notebooks, IT Products Business, Acer Inc. “The new Acer Chromebooks provide the consistent performance, connectivity and durability features students need to help them succeed in their education.”

Antimicrobial Displays in Two Different Sizes
The new Chromebooks both feature an Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass touch display, which is a tougher cover glass made possible by an antimicrobial compound that resists the growth of odor and stain-causing microorganisms. It is scratch-resistant and ideal for students who share it in different environments throughout the day. The Acer Chromebook Spin 511 has a compact form factor and an 11.6-inch HD IPS display in a 16:9 format. The Acer Chromebook Spin 512 has a productivity-boosting 3:2 aspect ratio HD+ IPS display that provides 18 percent more vertical space compared to an equally wide display. As a result, students can view more text, maps, photos, and schoolwork before needing to scroll.

Durability Features Designed for Busy Students
Both the new Acer Chromebook Spin 512 and Acer Chromebook Spin 511 have been made to be durable. The military standard (MIL-STD 810H4)-tested, the impact-resistant body stands up to daily wear and tear. The shock-absorbent bumper and reinforced design protect the device from drops as high as 122 cm (48 in) and up to 60 kg of downward force. Widened brackets provide additional support to help protect the panel, while the I/O ports have been reinforced with additional metallic plates to ensure they stay in place, even with frequent rough use.

Additionally, the Acer Chromebook Spin 512 includes a BPR & EPA-compliant silver-ion antimicrobial agent in the coating on the keyboard and surrounding surface that is proven to show a consistently high microbial reduction rate against a broad range of bacteria under the JIS Z 2801 and ISO 22196 test protocol. Both Chromebooks feature mechanically anchored keys that are difficult to remove and easy to replace, ideal for education settings. The quickly serviceable keyboards are spill-resistant with a gutter system that routes up to 330 ml of water away from internal components to be drained out the bottom of the chassis. The touchpads are also moisture-resistant, maintaining high standards of quality control.

Finally, the new Acer Chromebooks have been certified to meet two leading toy safety standards, the ASTM F963-16 and UL/IED 60950-1, meaning they’re also safe to share with younger children.

Performance-Minded and Convertible
Powered by the latest generation Intel N4500 and N5100 Processors, both of the new Acer Chromebooks empower students with the capability to handle multiple tabs and demanding apps at once. The Acer Chromebook Spin 512 and Chromebook Spin 511 provide long battery life of up to 10 hours, providing all-day support for students.

The new Acer Chromebooks both have 360-degree hinges that make four different usage modes possible, enabling students to do more with their device. Plus, they have up to an 8MP MIPI world-facing camera to capture images and also an 88-degree wide-field-of-view HDR webcam for online classes and chats. For privacy, the device includes a physical shutter that can be closed at any time. The new Acer Chromebooks will be available with up to 64GB eMMC storage and up to 8GB RAM.

Quick and Convenient Connectivity
Students will have a fast and reliable Internet connection on the new Acer Chromebooks, each outfitted with Intel Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax MU-MIMO connectivity. Both Chromebooks also have two full-function reinforced USB 3.2 Type-C ports, which can be used to charge the device as well as other products, transfer data at speeds up to 5Gbps and connect to an HD display. Two reinforced USB 3.2 Type-A ports and Bluetooth 5.1 are also included.

Easy to Deploy, Manage, and Keep Safe; Google Play Support
IT administrators will find it easy to make updates, configure apps, utilize extensions and policies, and more with the web-based management that makes the new Chromebooks easy to deploy and manage. A Kensington lock slot allows them to be secured to wireless carts or in labs.

Students stay safer, as Chrome OS is automatically updated and guards against ever-changing online threats such as viruses and malware. Parents can install the Family Link app on Chromebooks, making it easy to set digital ground rules as their kids explore the internet. Family Link allows parents to simply set daily screen time limits, customize the list of websites and apps their children can use, and even manage their children’s Google account or remotely lock supervised accounts on the Chromebook, if necessary.

The Acer Chrome OS devices support multi-user sign-in, so each student can simply log onto their unique account where their projects, Gmail, and other information are kept safe, even if the Chromebook is lost or stolen. Storage on Google Drive protects files, documents, and photos safely in the cloud, and ensures that the most current version is always available. Additionally, Zero-touch enrollment enables IT departments to drop ship the Chromebooks, automatically enrolling them into school administration as soon as a student connects to the internet.

Accessibility settings sync across any Chrome OS device, so as students switch between shared devices or log in at home with their G Suite for Education account, their accessibility settings automatically update. The new Acer Chromebooks will fully support Google Play at launch, so students will have access to Android and Chrome web apps for learning, research, fun, and more.

Price and Availability
The Acer Chromebook Spin 512 (R853TA) will be available in EMEA in Q4 2021, starting at EUR 399.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 511 (R753T) will be available in EMEA in Q4 2021, starting at EUR 369.

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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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