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ASUS Unveils 2022 Expert Series and the “World’s Lightest” 14-inch Business Laptop

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ASUS has unveiled the 2022 Expert series, a broad portfolio of business products that delivers the ultimate reliability, flexibility, and enterprise-grade security. The comprehensive range includes the new ExpertBook B9 (B9400CBA), the world’s lightest 14-inch business laptop; ExpertBook B7 Flip (B7402FBA), the latest 14-inch 5G Flip laptop in the series; and ExpertBook B3 Detachable (B3000), the first Expert-series detachable notebook, which can be used in landscape or portrait orientation.

New flagship ExpertBook laptops, ExpertCenter configurable desktops, mini PCs, workstations, and all-in-one AiO PCs offer productivity in sleek and flexible packages, providing the high-performance experience and durability needed in every workplace — whether in the boardroom, the office, the classroom, on-the-go, or in retail and healthcare environments. ASUS Computer International President Steve Chang said, “The workplace has changed, and it’s up to business owners, executives, educators, retailers, and other workers to decide its future. These users are forging a new future of work, and they need tools that work invisibly, reliably, and seamlessly day after day. ASUS is known for innovating highly reliable and durable devices for the consumer and gaming markets. Now, with the Expert-series portfolio, we are setting a new standard for the commercial PC market to enable businesses to define their new work style — whatever that might be — with elite performance, premium craftsmanship, durability, and enterprise-grade tools.”

ExpertBook B9
ExpertBook B9 (B9400CBA) is an ultraportable powerhouse that doesn’t compromise quality and performance for size, enabling effortless mobile working and uninterrupted collaboration. The lightweight magnesium-alloy chassis weighs only 880g, with the superior-quality forged magnesium-lithium lid and reinforced construction built to pass military-grade endurance standards and stringent ASUS torture tests.

Despite a slim design, ExpertBook B9 packs up to 16 hours of battery life and offers high-performance computing that will enable executives, hybrid employees and travelers, and other business users to meet the demands and daily wear-and-tear of the changing workplace. The laptop has EPEAT Gold certification and sustainable packaging.

ExpertBook B7 Flip
ExpertBook B7 Flip (B7402FBA) is the ultimate tool for mobile and flexible working, with outstanding performance and Intel vPro support. With up to 11 hours of battery life and optional 5G, ExpertBook B7 Flip enables businesses to work anywhere and any way they want with a high-speed, personal secured network to reduce interruptions and risks associated with using public WiFi networks.

ExpertBook B7 Flip has a magnesium-aluminum alloy design that is light and thin yet durable, with the ErgoLift hinge enabling it to flip by 360° so it can be used as a traditional laptop configuration, as a tablet, or anything in between. The hinge is tested for more than 30,000 open/close cycles. The laptop features a 16:10 touchscreen, magnetic ASUS stylus, the exclusive ASUS NumberPad, biometric login including facial login and fingerprint sensor, and ASUS PrivateView mode — which fades the screen at a 45° viewing angle — along with comprehensive I/O connectivity including support for up to three external displays.

ExpertBook B3 Detachable
ExpertBook B3 Detachable (B3000) features one of the most agile designs on the market, with up to 21 hours battery life for full-day productivity. The dual-orientation design with a woven fabric ExpertStand and the quick-connect, detachable ExpertBoard keyboard suit many ways of working from anywhere, enabling users to shift from horizontal to vertical configuration in seconds, and from tablet to laptop.

ExpertBook B3 Detachable is the first Windows laptop powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 compute platform with a fast-charging garaged stylus. For video conferencing, ExpertBook B3 Detachable includes ASUS Two-Way AI Noise-Cancelation technology, a 5 MP front-facing camera with innovative 3D noise-reduction (3DNR) technology, and a 13 MP world-facing camera that eliminates up to 94% of the random noise that naturally affects any camera, especially in low-light conditions.

Every business has different needs and each is charting its own path in today’s hybrid, remote and in-person workflows. ExpertBook laptops, ExpertCenter desktops, mini PCs, workstations, and ExpertCenter AiO PCs support the future of work with reliable, durable designs delivering high-performance computing with up to 12th Generation Intel Core i7 processors; Intel vPro support; enterprise security and features for collaboration; EPEAT and Energy Star certifications; ASUS Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation for clear voice communications; a physical webcam privacy shield; and support for the latest Intel WiFi 6E connectivity to level-up video conferencing. To propel small businesses, educators, and enterprise users as they navigate busy, challenging workdays, the comprehensive Expert portfolio provides:

  • Durability and reliability: Expert-series products are designed to deliver ultimate reliability, sturdy craftsmanship, reinforced construction, and sustainable materials, creating products that surpass both stringent ASUS durability tests and MIL-STD 810H US military standards to withstand hours and days of constant use. Robust, enterprise-grade security features support seamless operation and protect users’ priceless work and data, featuring TPM 2.0 security, a Kensington Lock slot, a physical webcam shield, and more.
  • Flexibility and agility: The Expert series includes configurable laptops, desktops, workstations, and AiO PCs, giving businesses the durability, computing power, and reliability they need for non-stop daily use and team collaboration, and any future work. For returning to the office or home office, businesses can choose from an array of ExpertBook laptops and ExpertCenter desktops, workstations, mini PCs, or AiO PCs, and they can equip their team with ExpertBook B9, ExpertBook B7 Flip or ExpertBook B3 Detachable laptops for mobility and hybrid working.
  • Simple manageability:Remote management tools including ASUS Control Center, Intel vPro processors, and the MyASUS app make the Expert series easy for businesses to manage and maintain for the entire workforce, wherever they may be.
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Gadgets

HONOR Unveils AI-Powered HONOR 200 Series at Dubai Launch Event

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HONOR unveiled its highly anticipated HONOR 200 Series at a spectacular launch event recently. The series boasts two new smartphones, the HONOR 200 Pro and HONOR 200, designed to revolutionize smartphone photography with advanced AI features.

The launch event, themed “HONOR AI World,” showcased the power of AI in portrait photography. Guests experienced interactive zones and a dedicated shooting booth, highlighting the HONOR 200 Series’ innovative camera capabilities. HONOR executives highlighted the brand’s impressive regional growth, boasting a 154% year-over-year revenue surge in 2023 and a strong 90% growth in the first half of 2024. Notably, the premium segment witnessed a remarkable 544% growth, reflecting HONOR’s strategic expansion and growing consumer preference.

The event also featured Dr. Ghalib Al Shammari, Chairman of The Saudi Society for Artificial Intelligence and Smart Systems. He shared his vision for AI’s transformative impact on society, aligning perfectly with HONOR’s mission to create a new intelligent world.

Features of the HONOR 200 Series include:

  1. Triple 50MP AI Portrait Camera: Capture exceptional detail and clarity with a powerful camera system featuring three 50MP lenses (main, telephoto, and selfie).
  2. Blazing-Fast Charging: The HONOR 200 Pro boasts the revolutionary 100W HONOR SuperCharge, allowing a full charge in just 41 minutes. Additionally, the Pro version offers 66W Wireless HONOR SuperCharge for ultimate convenience.
  3. Unmatched Performance: Equipped with the cutting-edge Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 AI Chipset, the HONOR 200 Series delivers seamless graphics and real-time responsiveness.
  4. Intelligent User Experience: MagicOS 8.0 empowers users with a range of AI-powered features, including AI-empowered Magic Portal, Magic Capsule, and Magic Ring (on the Pro version) for streamlined digital interactions.
  5. Eye-Catching Design and Comfort: The HONOR 200 Pro features a sleek, nature-inspired design and comes in three stunning colours: Ocean Cyan, Moonlight White, and Black. Additionally, the HONOR 200 boasts a 0-Risk AI Eye Comfort Display, minimizing eye strain with advanced technologies.
  6. Powerful New Tablet: HONOR also showcased its latest tablet during the event, featuring a large 11-inch display, long-lasting battery, and ample storage.

The HONOR 200 Pro is available for pre-order at AED 2499 with exciting free gifts worth AED 1696, including a HONOR CHOICE Watch, Earbuds, Backpack, and 12-month screen protection. The HONOR 200 comes in Moonlight White, Emerald Green, and Black, with prices starting at AED 1599 (12GB+256GB version). Purchases include free gifts worth AED 1496, including HONOR CHOICE Earbuds, MOECEN Band, Backpack, and 12-month screen protection.

This launch marks a significant step forward for HONOR, solidifying its position as a leader in AI-powered smartphone technology.

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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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