According to market research by IDC, 2020 was the year when Chromebooks outsold Macs posting impressive market share gains. It may come across as a surprise to many, but Chromebooks, which were originally aimed at students and the education sector, gained market share amidst pandemic when most learning sessions moved from classrooms to the secured confines of homes. No wonder many companies have been continuously innovating in the Chromebooks arena, one of which is Acer.
The company recently announced a range of new Chromebooks last month and one of them – the Chromebook 514 – was sent to us for a test drive. Now, this new variant comes packed with an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor running the ChromeOS. The Acer Chromebook 514 also features an aluminum top cover that offers a sturdy look and feels and it accompanies a wide range of features such as conferencing ability, secure cloud technology, and lots more, which makes it ideal for both students and corporate users.
The device offers a display size of 14-inches which also makes it easy to carry around. The display offers a Full HD resolution of 1920-by-1080 pixels, with the touchscreen being optional. The laptop itself comes with a metal frame, a Gorilla Glass-topped touchpad, and backlit keys. While the Chromebook 514 is quite slim and light, it has also been drop-tested and earns military-grade approval for the MIL-STD-810H durability standard.
In terms of connectivity, you get plenty. On the left edge of the laptop, you get two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, an HDMI port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. On the right edge, you get a microSD card slot, a USB 3.0 port, and a Kensington lock. You also get an embedded fingerprint reader located next to the keyboard, which is a quick and secure way for users to unlock and verify their identity without a password. Since the fingerprint’s details are stored directly on the Chromebook itself and not in the cloud, the user’s fingerprints are kept safe.
Under the hood, the Acer Chromebook 514 runs on the 11th Gen Intel Core i5 1135G7 processor, running at a clock speed of 2.4GHz. You also get up to 4GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage space. The Chromebook also supports Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+).
Performance on the Acer Chromebook 514 was quite good. For the most part of your computing needs, such as typing away on Google Docs, filling in spreadsheets, shopping on the net, watching YouTube videos, and so on, the Chromebook 514 should feel absolutely fine. Acer promises around 12 hours of battery life on a single charge – in our tests, we clocked around 7 hours of use, before the Chromebook 514 gave up the ghost.
If you are a student, or someone who requires a laptop for day-to-day computing needs, and does not mind using ChromeOS as their operating system of choice, the Acer Chromebook 514 might appeal to you. For a price of AED 2378, you get a device that offers excellent build quality and good battery life. Since the Acer Chromebook 514 also comes packed with an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor coupled with up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, it is safe to say that its performance will not disappoint.
Price: AED 2378
– Photography by Ranbir Sen
Acer Chromebook 514 AED 2378
Performance on the Acer Chromebook 514 was quite good. For the most part of your computing needs such as typing away on Google Docs, filling in spreadsheets, shopping on the net, watching YouTube videos, and so on, the Chromebook 514 should feel absolutely fine. Acer promises around 12 hours of battery life on a single charge – in our tests, we clocked around 7 hours of use, before the Chromebook 514 gave up the ghost.
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Samsung Intros Family Hub and SmartThings Energy for Next-Gen Connected Living
Samsung Gulf Electronics unveiled the groundbreaking features of the Family Hub Refrigerator, marking a new era in connected and sustainable living, during an exclusive event at Akira Back in Dubai. The refrigerator is equipped with cutting-edge technology, designed to enhance connectivity and entertainment for families right in their kitchens. With AI features that automate meal planning and other daily tasks to deliver a more personalised experience, the Family Hub refrigerator is the industry’s smartest fridge and the future of connected homes. Through the SmartThings App, the Family Hub seamlessly links various smart devices, allowing users to turn the linked devices on/off, adjust settings, coordinate activities, and limit power usage. Moreover, users can listen to music, watch TV, and easily share pictures, videos and handwritten notes among family members right from the fridge’s screen.
DooHee Lee, President of Samsung Gulf Electronics, said, “At Samsung, we believe that connected home technology can transform lives and make them more convenient, connected, and sustainable. With the Family Hub refrigerator, we are transforming the kitchen into a shared, connected experience that goes beyond preparing meals into the new epicentre for the smart home. We have also worked with partners to bring even more experiences directly on the appliance, including online shopping, food recipes, home security and more.”
The Family Hub refrigerator, equipped with 22 apps, revolutionises smart living, offering users a comprehensive home view. The SmartThings Video widget facilitates easy front door monitoring and access to multiple security cameras for a seamless household overview. Enhanced by AI image recognition, the View Inside internal camera lets users check fridge contents on key shelves via their smartphone or home screen. It streamlines shopping by displaying items without opening the door. Users can tag expiration dates, create lists, and set reminders.
The Samsung Food app simplifies cooking with over 10,000 recipes across 32 cuisines, leveraging Food AI technology. The Smart Recipes feature provides a personalised weekly meal planner based on user preferences and fridge contents. Transforming the kitchen atmosphere, the Family Hub refrigerator functions as a virtual jukebox with a 25W speaker. Doubling as a multimedia hub, it mirrors content from Samsung Smart TVs and phones onto its touchscreen. With connectivity for up to 6 screens, users can sync calendars, prepare briefs, stay informed, and effortlessly share media and notes, creating entertaining and connected kitchen experiences.
Samsung also demonstrated how its innovations enable a sustainable, connected future as the world gathers in Dubai for the COP28 climate conference. At the event, Samsung highlighted how its SmartThings Energy platform facilitates a transformative approach to energy conservation, highlighting its potential to bring positive changes to UAE homes by significantly reducing costs and improving quality of life.
SmartThings Energy is a new tool within the SmartThings app that allows consumers to take control of their energy consumption with monitoring, target-setting, and notifications of their Samsung appliances and HVAC systems. The ‘AI Energy Mode’ within the app employs artificial intelligence to optimise energy usage in Samsung products, enabling up to 70% in energy savings.
Advanced algorithms in SmartThings Energy can weigh laundry loads, set defrost cycles, estimate electricity bills, and detect open refrigerator doors or room temperature changes, empowering users to cut costs and reduce consumption. SmartThings Energy is the first platform of its kind to earn ENERGY STAR certification for a Smart Home Energy Management System from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“As discussions continue at COP28, Samsung is proud of our contributions to a more sustainable future for the region. We’re committed to developing eco-conscious products that help our customers conserve energy and build a more sustainable future for their families. From the ENERGY STAR ratings in many of our products to home appliances globally recognised for meeting the most rigorous energy-efficiency standards, we strive to deliver technologies that consumers can confidently use to save energy and reduce their carbon footprint. We are empowering our customers with smart home solutions that are not only innovative but also responsible towards the environment by enabling them to monitor and control their home’s energy consumption and receive tips on how to save energy and money,” President Lee added.
Samsung works with smart home and IoT device manufacturing partners like Aqara and technology integrators such as iSmartHome to craft the ultimate connected home that is safe, personalised and sustainable. The company demonstrated how the Phillips Hue smart lighting, ABB remote-controlled curtains and intelligent AC systems connect with Samsung SmartThings to elevate users’ lifestyles. The entire ecosystem is managed through a simplified interface on the Smart Hub, the new epicentre for the smart home.
SmartThings aligns with the increased interest in smart homes among UAE residents and, more broadly, with the UAE’s vision for Smart Cities. By connecting various devices and appliances throughout the house, Samsung demonstrates how users can create a smart, sustainable lifestyle tailored to their needs. The Smart Home market in the UAE is poised to achieve a robust yearly growth rate of 11.13%, projecting a market volume of $113.8 million by 2028. Today, Samsung has 2.3 million registered SmartThings users in the UAE alone. The trends reflect a surge in the demand for smart home technology, propelled by the nation’s emphasis on innovation and luxury living. Through SmartThings, Samsung enables new experiences, healthier living, better entertainment, and more sustainable lifestyles.
Huawei to Celebrate 10 Years of Tablet Innovation with its Biggest Launch Yet
Huawei has teased its soon-to-be-released products, including the HUAWEI MatePad Pro 13.2”, and announced a new global product launch in Dubai in December. This will be the largest tablet Huawei has released to date, and it signals that the company is doubling down on the tablet category. This is exciting news for all tablet enthusiasts, but the evolution of Huawei’s tablets is also quite fascinating.
A decade of excellence in the tablet market
The global tablet market has been shrinking since 2016, as new large-screen smartphones and lightweight laptops have emerged. Huawei has stayed committed to a market many vendors have left, pursuing high-level innovation and development, and launching a wide array of groundbreaking products to bring a breath of fresh air into the market.
This decade of investment and innovation has led to tens of thousands of patents and numerous cutting-edge technologies that bring powerful productivity tools to tablets for the first time, which makes it possible for Huawei to keep leading the way in light productivity.
Creating brand-new productivity tools
The global shipment of Huawei tablets now exceeds 100 million units—proof of Huawei’s continuous investment in this market. Huawei has always understood the relevance of tablets as an entertainment device. That’s why the company equipped its MediaPad M series tablets with high-end audiovisual features, which received widespread positive feedback from users, and helped boost the tablet market.
As the times changed, Huawei recognised the demand for mobile office and productivity tools, and added new features like “App Multiplier” to its MediaPad M6 and “Multi-Screen Collaboration” to its MatePad Pro 10.8”. These features set a new benchmark for productivity on the go. The MatePad Pro 11” also came with innovative apps like PC Application Engine and HUAWEI Notes, which enhanced these capabilities even further.
With the MatePad Pro 12.6”, Huawei brought a design that exudes a unique look and feel, and the MatePad Pro 11” came with a hidden floating antenna that helped improve the signal performance. The display and audio capabilities on Huawei tablets have also seen significant upgrades over the years to provide a whole new level of immersion. All these show Huawei’s consumer-orientated approach to product innovation to provide easy-to-use yet powerful functions.
Breathing new life into a stagnant PC market
Huawei’s PCs are no less impressive than its tablets, offering a rich set of features. Huawei’s PC division has leveraged the company’s experiences in other consumer product domains and the ICT industry to create a unique product lineup.
Huawei has married breathtaking aesthetics with groundbreaking technologies, such as SuperTurbo, HUAWEI Metaline Antenna, minimalist design, smart interactions, and ultimate performance. Unlike traditional PCs, Huawei laptops manage to pack such a broad array of capabilities into portable, streamlined bodies.
Huawei’s success in the tablet and PC markets owes a great deal to the company’s user-centric approach and commitment to excellence across the board—from craftsmanship to technologies to ecosystem construction. This enables Huawei to gradually become a leader in both the tablet and PC industry.
As Huawei celebrates the tenth anniversary of its tablets, the upcoming HUAWEI MatePad Pro 13.2” is a testament to its legacy, featuring many of the innovative technologies that will shape the future of the tablet market.
GameSir Intros G8 Galileo Mobile Gaming Controller
GameSir has announced the official release of its latest innovation, the GameSir G8 Galileo, a next-generation Type-C wired mobile gaming controller destined to redefine excellence and provide out-of-this-world gaming experiences. Compatible with all controller-supported games across Android and iPhone 15 series devices, the GameSir G8 Galileo boasts an incredible combination of world-class connectivity, seamless software customization, and unstoppable gameplay; empowering users, enhancing their capabilities, and elevating mobile gaming to never-before-seen levels with host of cutting-edge features.
“We’re thrilled that the GameSir G8 Galileo is now available for gaming enthusiasts to purchase,” said Betta Core, CEO, GameSir. “Mobile gaming is a true phenomenon of our time and as popularity soars, demands increase and technological advancements open up new possibilities, nothing gives us more satisfaction than introducing innovations that enable gamers to explore unchartered potential and revel in gaming experiences that go above and beyond. The GameSir G8 Galileo is the gateway to precisely that – and we’re looking forward to seeing the reaction and reception from gamers far and wide in the weeks ahead. The fact that the time has finally come for the gaming community to share the power this controller provides is very exciting.”
Those purchasing the GamerSir G8 Galileo can expect a console-controller-grade mobile controller with console-sized sticks and buttons for exceptional comfort and unparalleled control during extended gameplay. Whether navigating treacherous terrain or taking precise shots, the G8 Galileo guarantees performance with expert precision and maximum comfort, while a movable Type-C port is installed for a dependable, constant connection to gaming devices, delivering unmatched smoothness and reliability.
Another standout feature is GameSir Hall Tech for elevated gameplay. GameSir precision-tuned Hall Effect analogue triggers offer unparalleled smoothness and responsiveness, giving a competitive advantage in any game, backed up by GameSir Hall Effect sensing sticks that deliver 360° seamless pinpoint control, providing the precision and durability that mobile gamers demand alongside super-smooth stick control for reduced stick grinding and extended usage time.
Amongst its many prominent features for redefined excellence, the GameSir G8 Galileo comes with two additional back buttons designed for pro-level mobile gaming. With these, users can map their in-game actions on the go, loading up their favourite button mappings with or without software during gameplay – with mappings instantly programmable and synced in real-time. Thanks to pass-through charging, the GameSir G8 Galileo also ensures gameplay remains uninterrupted, thereby ensuring opponents are conquerable without missing a single moment of the action as the controller charges during play.
What’s more, the GameSir G8 Galileo is purposefully designed for universal compatibility, featuring an extendable bridge and sufficient rear space to be compatible with a wide range of phone models. It’s the perfect choice for mobile gamers seeking adaptability, ensuring a seamless gaming experience. Additionally, interchangeable magnetic detachable faceplates elevate the GameSir G8 Galileo to match the unique style of its user; laser-engraved texture grips and high-saturation fluorescent ink buttons offer a blend of style and substance; and the GameSir App takes the customization and fun of the GameSir G8 Galileo to the next level.
Through the app, users can create personalized controller profiles by mapping buttons, fine-tuning the D-pad diagonals, and adjusting sticks and trigger zones. The GameSir G8 Galileo is available at gamesir.hk and GameSir AliExpress now for $79.99.
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