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HP Launches New Z Series of Desktops

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Bringing new levels of power previously only available in high-end desktop workstations, at NVIDIA’s GTC 2021, HP is announcing significant GPU performance improvements to its entry Z by HP desktop lineup, including HP Z1 Tower G8, HP Z2 Small Form Factor G8, and Z2 Tower G8, to ensure today’s professionals have the right technology and tools to be productive, connected, collaborative, and secure, whether working from home or in the office. Additionally, in order to democratise 3D for entry workflows and bring advanced visualisation to the masses, Z offers the latest technology from NVIDIA and Samsung, brands trusted by the creative community to bring reliability.

Performance is critical for creators to speed up the conversion of ideas into designs and their needs continue to grow with real time engines as design cycle times are reduced. As companies migrate to a more hybrid work model, 77 per cent of IT decision makers agree that this means an increase in security vulnerabilities. The Z entry desktop lineup offers advanced security features, equipping IT departments the ability to keep devices, data, and identities protected.

NVIDIA’s new NVIDIA RTX A4000 and RTX A5000 provide HP Z2 Tower G8 customers the option to configure their Z desktop with the latest generation RT cores, Tensor Cores, and CUDA cores to deliver a powerful desktop experience for designers, engineers, and artists to create the future, without limits. Z by HP is also adding additional Ampere graphics options to the performance desktop line, including the Z4, Z6, and Z8 desktop workstations, for improved performance across segment workflows.

“Remote work is going to continue and employees will have a choice of where to work,” said Bob Pette, vice president of Professional Visualization at NVIDIA. “The new NVIDIA Ampere architecture GPUs with Z by HP desktops will give employees the computing power they need to work from anywhere.”

To further enhance the performance of the Z entry desktop lineup, customers can now configure the Z1 Tower, Z2 SFF, and Z2 Tower with Samsung’s recently announced PCIe Gen4 drives. The latest drives from Samsung offer increased transfer rates, delivering improved bandwidth for even greater performance and seamless workflows for data-intensive users. Customers now get unthrottled storage performance because of innovative thermal solutions designed by Z by HP engineers.

“Today’s rapidly changing work environment has cemented the PC’s role as a critical productivity tool,” said Jaejune Kim, Corporate Senior Vice President of Memory Marketing, Samsung. “With applications growing in complexity and file sizes increasing exponentially, PCIe Gen4 SSDs offer a big step up in performance. We’re proud to partner with HP on the design in of our PM9A1 SSD into HP’s newest performance platforms to maximise the technology benefits for an improved user experience.”

HP Z2 G8 SFF and Z2 G8 Tower:
The Z2 Small Form Factor, the world’s fastest SFF workstation running Autodesk and SolidWorks applications, and the Z2 Tower improves on previous generations with the latest components from NVIDIA, Intel, and Samsung, and continues to be an industry leader in sustainability being part of the world’s most sustainable PC portfolio. To help meet needs of the today’s workforce, the Z2 SFF and Z2 Tower continue to offer increased expandability capabilities with tool-less access in condense and compact desktop footprints.

The Z2 Small Form Factor features up to 11th generation Intel Core and Xeon W processors and up to an NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 GPU to deliver outstanding performance for accelerated ray tracing and AI in a small size with endless options to upgrade. The Z2 Tower is the benchmark in entry-level workstation power for professional creators. With the Z2 Tower, users can now run multi-threaded applications while multitasking by leveraging up to an NVIDIA RTX A5000 GPU and Intel Xeon vPro processors and Intel CPU K-series performance with no throttling in SPECapc for SOLIDWORKS 2021 benchmark in a design engineered to evolve.

The Z2 G8 SFF and Z2 G8 Tower also feature:

  • Unthrottled performance. Z’s industry-leading thermals keep the processor and graphics card cool, so they can run at max performance for extended periods of time.
  • Software certifications. Work with confidence knowing your desktop is certified with leading software applications to ensure peak performance even with complex projects.
  • Thermal management. Innovatively designed to keep hardware components cool and quiet no matter how hard you push it. Have confidence to run your system at max load 24/7.
  • Built to expand. Power to grow. With room to expand and tool-less access, you can add components, upgrade graphics, or add specialised PCIe cards as your needs evolve.
  • Operating system support for the unique needs of the user with a choice of Windows 10 Pro 64 or Linux.

HP Z1 G8 Tower:
The Z1 G8 is HP’s most affordable pro-certified Z desktop, built to handle design editing, and even gaming. Now offering the latest pro-grade performance with up to an NVIDIA Quadro P2200, this SolidWorks and AutoCAD-certified desktop is perfect for 2D/3D design and drafting workflows. Additionally, users can choose to configure the Z1 G8 with NVIDIA GeForce graphics up to an RTX 3070 for VR and software development work. For powerful performance on complex multithreaded threaded applications, the Z1 G8 offers the latest Intel Core vPro processors.

Pricing will be available closer to the availability of the products.

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Gadgets

Long Term Review: Huawei nova 8

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Huawei’s new nova 8 was launched in the UAE in August 2021 and the company promptly sent us a device for a long-term review. We have been using the Huawei Nova 8 for the past two months and the overall experience has been so awesome, that we even forgot it didn’t come with GMS pre-installed!

The nova 8 is a beautiful device, both inside and outside. The phone uses a curved glass design while retaining the physical buttons on the side for functionality and aesthetics. The curved edges from the front and back perfectly fit into the metal mid-frame, making it feel smooth and sleek.

On the right edge of the device, you will find the volume and the power buttons, while the left edge is flush. On the bottom edge, you will find the USB-C charging port, a speaker grille, and a noise-cancelling microphone. On the top edge, you will find the dual-SIM tray and another noise-cancelling microphone.

Inside the box, you get the Huawei nova 8, a SIM ejector tool, a clear jelly case, a USB-C charging cable, and the compact 66W supercharger. The nova 8 has also gone through a series of aesthetic changes. While the nova 8i looked more like Huawei’s Mate series, the nova 8 comes with a large camera module that sits on the top left corner on the rear of the device.

The unit we received for this review is the Gold Blush colour variant priced at AED 1799. On the front, you get a 6.75-inches Full HD OLED Edgeless display that offers a resolution of 2340-by-1080 pixels, a 90Hz refresh rate, and support for HDR10. On the top in the middle of the screen, you will find a cutout that houses a 32MP selfie shooter.

Turn the phone around and you come face to face with Huawei’s quad-camera Nebular Camera System. Now, this setup includes a 64MP HD Main Camera, 8MP Ultra-Wide angle Camera, 2MP Macro Camera, and a 2MP Bokeh Camera. Huawei says that the nova 8 uses a 4-in-1 light fusion technology, which makes it easier for people at all skill levels to take pictures in crystal-clear quality.

Indoor Shot Sample

The phone also comes with a Super Night Mode that makes photos sharper and brighter. The Huawei nova 8 also makes wide-angle photos look more natural with its 120° Ultra Wide Angle Camera and anti-distortion AI algorithm. The Bokeh Camera creates natural Bokeh effects for portraits, while the Macro Camera takes up-close shots in clear and minute details, with a focus distance of just 4cm.

Then there’s a Dual-View video feature that helps vloggers record HD 1080p videos in a playful way. In this mode, the display splits in two, with one showing a close-up shot captured by the Ultra-Wide Angle Camera, and the other displaying the whole picture shot by the Main Camera. This mode is great for shooting events or locations, such as visiting a park or zoo.

Outdoor Shot 1

Outdoor Shot 1

The 32MP front camera also offers a Super Night Selfie 2.0 mode, which uses the phone’s AI algorithm to removes flares reflected from glasses. The phone also supports Huawei’s Multi-screen Collaboration feature. Using this feature, the nova 8 can be connected with a PC to form a “Super Device”. Once connected, you can open up to three windows on the PC and the PC can access mobile files, while the smartphone can function as the PC’s thumb device, making cross-device file management easier than ever.

Outdoor Shot 2 (1X)

Outdoor Shot 2 (1X)

Under the hood, the phone is powered by the Kirin 985 5G processor. You also get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space. No provision for expandable storage is included in the nova 8 though. The nova 8 runs on EMUI 11, which is based on Android 10. The phone does not come with GMS pre-installed, though you do get Huawei’s AppGallery for all your app needs.

Outdoor Shot 2 (Wide Angle)

Outdoor Shot 2 (Wide Angle)

You also get Petal Maps for navigation, Petal Search to search and install apps, Huawei Health, Huawei Music, Huawei Video, and lots more. We found Petal Maps to be a great alternative to Google Maps and the directions and routes were very accurate every time we used them.

With Petal Search and AppGallery you can install almost any app you ever wanted to use on the nova 8. The phone also comes with a 3800mAh battery that supports supercharging at 66W, which can reach from 0% to 100% battery capacity in less than 35 minutes.

Night Shot

Night Shot

In terms of performance, the Huawei nova 8 delivers. Multi-tasking through multiple open app windows worked like a charm. We also used the multi-screen collaboration feature by pairing the nova 8 with the Huawei Matebook 14, and everything felt butter smooth. Gaming sessions turned out to be very good, thanks to the nova 8’s solid specs.

The camera on the nova 8 is something to look out for – it performs brilliantly. Whether it is indoors or outdoors, the camera performed quite consistently. The focusing is quite fast, which is a welcome addition, considering situations when you do not want to miss a great moment. The selfie camera also performed very well.

The Huawei nova 8 is priced at AED 1799, which puts it right at the top in the mid-range smartphone section. However, what you get at a mid-range price point are lots of premium bells and whistles. The overall design is eye-catching, the specs are top-notch, the camera performance is excellent, and the overall UI experience is really very good.

If you are into content creation such as vlogging and want to start off with a solid mid-range smartphone, available at an affordable price point, you can’t go wrong with the Huawei nova 8.

Price: AED 1799

Huawei nova 8 AED 1799
  • Final Rating
3.5

Summary

Under the hood, the phone is powered by the Kirin 985 5G processor. You also get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space. No provision for expandable storage is included in the nova 8 though. The nova 8 runs on EMUI 11, which is based on Android 10. The phone does not come with GMS pre-installed, though you do get Huawei’s AppGallery for all your app needs.

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Gadgets

GITEX 2021: Toshiba Gulf FZE to Highlight Surveillance, Enterprise HDD and KIOXIA SSD Storage Solutions

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Toshiba Gulf FZE will be offering a complete 360 of Data storage solutions for Consumers and Enterprise at Hall 4, Stand H4-B2 at GITEX 2021 held at DWTC from 17th to 21st October 2021. On display will be Toshiba range of Storage products and KIOXIA (formerly Toshiba memory) NAND Flash memory products.

Visitors to Gitex can view a wide range of innovative hard disk drive (HDD) products to meet the varied demands of the diversified storage marketplace. Products displayed will include high capacity power-efficient storage for Cloud Data Centers, capacity and performance HDDs for Enterprise IT, client HDDs for PC/Desktop, and specialty drives for Surveillance, NAS systems, set-top box video, gaming, and external storage for Windows and Mac PCs.

The 18TB MG09 Series Hard Disk Drives, 3rd-generation 9-disk Helium-sealed design, and innovations in energy-assisted recording helps customers achieve new levels of storage density and power efficiency. With 12.5% more capacity than prior 16TB models, 18TB MG09 CMR drives are compatible with the widest range of applications and operating systems.

For KIOXIA various flash memory such as NAND flash, BiCS FLASH and Solid State Devices (SSD) will be displayed. Flash memory has become a standardized memory device and KIOXIA, the inventor of flash memory, has carved out a path to a new era in which we are able to carry videos, music, and data with us wherever we go.

Kioxia puts great emphasis on retaining the same excellent quality, performance, and reliability standards, that consumers are used to expecting from the formerly known Toshiba Memory product line-up, dedicated to the development and production of innovative class-leading flash storage solutions.

Santosh Varghese, Vice President, Toshiba Gulf FZE said, “With our competence and experience combined with our value chain of highly driven and proven channel partners and distributors, we look forward to the visitor response to our new products at Gitex 2021. Our 18TB MG09 Series delivers new levels of storage density and power efficiency to our cost-conscious cloud-scale and storage solutions customers and it is compatible with the widest range of applications and operating environments.”

Also highlighted at GITEX will be Canvio portable storage lineup with new applications and designs, adding new Canvio Flex and Canvio Gaming models along with new colors and textures. The next generation of Canvio designs delivers seamless portability, high storage capacity, and broad compatibility for various USB devices. It meets the evolving needs for storage solutions suited for a broad range of users, including multi-platform users, gamers, business professionals, outdoor photographers, and students. There’s a model that fits everyone’s needs.

Toshiba Gulf FZE will be in Hall 4, Stand H4-B2 at GITEX 2021. Activations on the stand include a photo booth competition where winners can walk away with attractive prizes.

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Audio Devices

Review: Sennheiser CX True Wireless Earbuds

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Sennheiser has entered into the affordable wireless earbuds category with the launch of the new CX True Wireless earbuds. This pair of wireless earbuds are part of the company’s CX range and are a bit similar-looking to the CX 400BT. However, one area where it differs is the fact that the company has equipped each bud with its own homemade TrueResponse transducer.

While the earbuds lack active noise canceling (ANC) feature, they do impress with the sheer quality of audio they offer. In terms of size, the earbuds do feel a bit bulky, but they are quite lightweight nevertheless. They also fit snuggly into the ears and do not slip out even during an intense head-banging session!

Sennheiser also offers a Smart Control App that lets you control, personalise, update and configure the Sennheiser CX True Wireless earbuds or any Sennheiser headphone, headset, or soundbar for that matter. Through the Smart Control App, you can also adjust the EQ to your liking. The earbuds support wireless connectivity through Bluetooth 5.2, along with aptX for lag-free connectivity with Android smartphones.

The charging case of the CX True Wireless is also very similar to those that accompany the CX 400BT. While the earbuds offer a battery life of up to 9 hours, you do get two additional full charges in the case, making it a total of 27 hours of battery life.

Once out of the box, you do need to perform a firmware update, which then provides you with a touch-sensitive interface on each of the earbuds to customise the commands. You can use it to control audio, answer calls or even launch your phone’s assistant.

The earbuds also come packed with dual microphones, which optimizes voice pick-up for calls and voice assistant access even when using just one earbud. Each earbud can also be used individually via a simple ‘role switching’ feature. Using the Smart Control app, you can allow the Sidetone feature to enable their own voice to be heard during calls.

The Sennheiser CX True Wireless earbuds are also IPX4 rated – so you don’t need to worry about sweat or splashes of water. During our tests at a consistent volume level of 70dB, the earbuds offered a total battery life of 8 hours and 27 minutes, before they needed a recharge.

Audio quality was fantastic – it offered very nice and deep bass, very natural-sounding mids, and very clear highs. The quality of audio on calls was also very impressive. The earbuds fit very comfortably into the ears and you really do get a very tight seal to eliminate outside noise to some extent.

While the CX True Wireless is available in both matte black and matte white for a price of AED 549, it does not accompany any bells and whistles such as ANC, wireless charging, and so on.

What it does however offer is a comfortable fit, excellent audio quality, and very good battery life. If you are looking for an excellent pair of wireless earbuds and do not really care about the bells and whistles, the Sennheiser CX True Wireless earbuds could very well turn out to be a great choice.

Price: AED 549

Sennheiser CX True Wireless Earbuds AED 549
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

While the earbuds lack active noise canceling (ANC) feature, they do impress with the sheer quality of audio they offer. In terms of size, the earbuds do feel a bit bulky, but they are quite lightweight nevertheless. They also fit snuggly into the ears and do not slip out even during an intense head-banging session!

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