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Acer Launches its First Sustainable Notebook Called Aspire Vero

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During their annual Global Press Conference which took place on Thursday, May 27, 2021, Acer Group announced that it has joined the RE100 initiative and has pledged to achieve 100% renewable energy use by the year 2035. In line with this, Acer declared its mission to help tackle environmental challenges through its new “Earthion” platform which unites the strengths of its employees and supply chain partners and expands the circle of the impact of its sustainability efforts.

These strengths and efforts were further exemplified by the launch of Aspire Vero notebook, Acer’s first sustainability-focused notebook under the Earthion platform which sets a benchmark for sustainable product design. “I am so touched to see Acer employees and partners come together, knowing that they have the ability to make decisions to protect our environment for future generations,” said Tiffany Huang, Co-Chief Operating Officer, Acer Inc. “We already have the commitment of AUO, Compal, Innolux and Quanta, and look forward to welcoming more partners to join the Acer Earthion mission to speed up the development of green designs and processes and support our goal of 100% renewable energy for a sustainable planet.”

Acer has a long history of being committed to enhancing energy efficiency. Since 2008, it has adopted the CDP’s global disclosure system to manage the environmental impacts of its supply chain and even expanded the system to two tiers of supplier engagement. In 2012, Acer began setting carbon reduction targets through energy management and green energy use, taking 2009 as the baseline year. Through constant efforts and drive, the Acer Group, including its global operations and subsidiaries, successfully achieved its 2020 target of reducing its carbon emissions by 60% worldwide.

Setting a new commitment to source renewable energy for all of its energy use by 2035, Acer also announced that it has joined RE100, a global corporate renewable energy initiative that brings together hundreds of large and ambitious businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity. Green energy has been utilized by various Acer operations since as early as 2013, with some locations even installing solar panels to generate their own solar power. In 2020, the Acer Group achieved 44% renewable energy use.

“I am delighted to welcome Acer to RE100. By committing to 100% renewable electricity by 2035, Acer joins over 300 of the world’s leading businesses committed to driving market change,” said Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group. “This sends a powerful message that renewable electricity makes good business sense, and we encourage others to follow”.

Acer decided to take its environmental commitments further with Earthion, a platform that combines the strengths of the company, its supply chain partners, consumers (channels), and its employees. “Earthion” is a blend of the words “Earth + Mission,” and is the name Acer has created to represent its mission to help tackle environmental challenges through innovative and integrated solutions. The driving force behind Earthion is each member’s belief that its mutual collaboration can effectively create a positive impact on the environment.

Earthion’s primary topics of focus are:

  1. Energy – using 100% renewable energy, as a goal
  2. Product Design – green innovations
  3. Packaging Design – using less packaging and more recycled materials
  4. Production – minimizing impact on the environment
  5. Logistics – leaving a smaller carbon footprint
  6. Recycling – recycling, reusing, and repurposing resources

Acer Earthion is the culmination of several years of efforts and will continue to evolve. The initial idea was to do more as a responsible company and corporate citizen, and fight against both the increasingly urgent impacts of climate change and the digital divide. This idea led to the birth of Project Humanity, a company-wide initiative to raise awareness of intensifying global issues and to encourage each Acer employee to contribute toward positive changes. Project Humanity began at the individual level, seeking to inspire employees to propose new ideas in their professional capacity and also collectively contribute to the goals of reducing, reusing, recycling, and repurposing.

In 2020, all of Acer’s notebooks have adopted recycled paper for packaging, and these environmentally friendly designs have saved 8,750 kg of paper pulp and cut down on the usage of 20 million plastic bags. From Acer’s internal recycling activities, over 50 metric tons of batteries were recycled and remanufactured into new ones. More than 75% of Acer employees across 50 countries participated—driven from their hearts. With Earthion, this initiative has expanded again: Acer seeks to share this culture with its partners and suppliers, creating a single overarching platform and creating an even larger circle of impact.

Today, the company has a clear goal of utilizing clean energy and sustainable materials, culminating in a concerted effort with its suppliers and partners to build its Earthion platform, starting with the Aspire Vero, a sustainability-focused notebook. The first product within the Earthion platform, Acer’s Aspire Vero is a step towards reimagining what the computer manufacturing process looks like. Post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic is used throughout the device’s chassis and keyboard caps.

Eco-friendly packaging takes this a step further: the Aspire Vero ships in a box made from 80-85% recycled paper pulp, and plastic bagging for adapter protection is reduced by using paper sleeves instead. Furthermore, the laptop bag and the sheet between the keyboard and screen is made with 100% industrial recycled plastic. This emphasis on sustainability carries over to the design language, too. All graphics on the shipping box are printed with soy ink, and the notebook itself contains no paint on the chassis, reducing the impact on the environment. It is held together by easily accessible, standardized screws for a simpler disassembly process.

The notebook stands out with unique yellow and volcano grey accents on its bumpers, and the text on the R and E keys have been inverted, calling out the 3 Re’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. Behind all of this is an attractive and impressive computer. The latest 11th Gen Intel Core processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics lets it power through daily productivity tasks and more, while up to 1 TB of M.2 SSD storage gives users plenty of space to store music, movies and files. This display features a lifting-hinge design that slightly elevates the notebook when opened, allowing for a more ergonomic typing experience, while AI noise suppression offers clarity during video calls. The notebook also comes with Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+), a USB Type-C port, two USB 3.2 ports and an HDMI 2.0 port for video-out.

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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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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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