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Synology Launches DiskStation DS923+ for Small Businesses and Home Offices

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Synology has announced the new 4-bay Synology DiskStation DS923+, the latest in its Plus line of all-in-one storage devices for home office and small business users. Powered by the versatile Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system, the DS923+ delivers comprehensive solutions to protect and manage business data, easily collaborate on documents, access files remotely, and monitor physical assets, all within a compact desktop format. It offers consistent performance out of the box, with the option to easily upgrade networking and further boost data transfer speeds through network cards.

“The DS923+ provides users with impressive performance and capability for its size,” said Michael Wang, Product Manager at Synology. “With the ability to easily scale the storage and networking, it adapts as your needs grow.” The DS923+ can function as the primary storage and data protection solution for homes and small offices, or as an edge node for multi-site deployments.

Capable of storing over 50 TB across its compact 4-bay setup, it can easily be scaled to accommodate over 120 TB across 9 drives with a DX517 expansion unit. Users can further boost performance by upgrading to 10GbE networking and by adding M.2 NVMe SSD drives through the built-in PCIe slot to enable fast caching or create additional all-flash storage pools.

For teams working remotely and businesses operating across multiple locations, site-to-site file syncing enables content mirroring between Synology devices. Synology Drive delivers intuitive file management and sharing, combining convenient remote file access with privacy and 100% data ownership of on-premises storage.

The DS923+ allows users to make use of high-performance local storage while simultaneously reducing their footprint using hybrid cloud technology. Synology Hybrid Share efficiently stores cold data in the cloud and keeps frequently accessed files cached on the device for access at LAN speed.

Ensuring that critical or sensitive data is always protected against modern cybersecurity threats is essential to avoid irreversible loss of valuable information. Synology’s Active Backup Suite allows IT infrastructure, such as Windows and Linux systems, Hyper-V/VMware VMs, and Microsoft 365/Google Workspace accounts, to be safely backed up onto the DS923+ and easily restored when needed.

For increased redundancy, backups and point-in-time snapshots of data stored on the NAS can also be created and sent offsite to another server or cloud service. The device can also serve as a full-fledged video management system with full local data ownership. Synology’s Surveillance Station is a powerful VMS that is currently implemented in and protecting over 500,000 sites. Flexible ONVIF support and more than 8,300 validated IP cameras make deployment simple and easily suited to each location’s requirements.

Surveillance Station makes it easy to set up and manage up to 40 cameras with a modern and customizable interface. For larger or multiple building environments, the option to overlay floor plans and Google Maps or OpenStreetMap maps is available for maximum situational awareness. Important footage can be retained for increased resiliency with support for recording server backup, multi-device management, and even end-to-end encrypted, simultaneous dual recording to the Synology C2 cloud.

The Synology DS923+ is available starting today through Synology partners and resellers worldwide.

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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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Sony Unveils Next-Gen ZV-E10 II Vlogging Camera with New Lens Kit

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Sony Middle East and Africa has launched the ZV-E10 II, the successor to their popular ZV-E10 vlogging camera. The new model builds on the strengths of the original while adding improved performance and features for content creators. The ZV-E10 II boasts a new 26-megapixel sensor and the latest BIONZ XR image processing engine for better image quality. Autofocus and video capturing have also been enhanced, with features like a new vertical format user interface and improved battery life.

The camera offers two key functions for creating professional-looking content: Creative Looks and Cinematic Vlog Setting. Creative Looks provides a variety of presets for different looks, while Cinematic Vlog Setting automatically adjusts settings for a cinematic feel.

Key Highlights:

  1. Upgraded 26MP Exmor R CMOS sensor and BIONZ XR processor
  2. Improved autofocus and video capturing
  3. Cinematic Vlog Setting for Automatic Video Optimization
  4. Vertical shooting mode with a rotating user interface
  5. Upgraded battery for extended recording time
  6. Compact and lightweight design

The ZV-E10 II camera body will be available in selected countries from July 2024. Sony also announced the E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS II lens, a compact zoom lens ideal for the ZV-E10 II. This lens is lightweight, offers good image quality, and features built-in image stabilization. The E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS II will be available in black in selected countries from July 2024.

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Gadgets

CMF by Nothing Phone 1 Review: A Budget-Friendly Contender with a Twist

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In a market saturated with high-priced flagships, the CMF Phone 1 by Nothing is a breath of fresh air. Priced at a staggeringly affordable AED 749 onwards, it aims to deliver a compelling user experience without breaking the bank.

Design
One of the CMF Phone 1’s most striking features is its design. Unlike its flashier sibling, the Nothing Phone (2a), it ditches the transparent back with LED strips for a more conventional approach.

However, “conventional” doesn’t equate to boring here. The phone comes in various vibrant, almost playful colours, reminiscent of the early days of mobile phones. This playful aesthetic extends to the unique selling point of the CMF Phone 1: swappable back covers.

The CMF Phone 1 allows users to easily unscrew the stock black back and replace it with other colours such as orange, blue, and light green. This injects a degree of personalisation often missing in today’s homogenised phone market. Build quality feels solid despite the plastic construction, and the phone boasts an IP52 rating for basic dust and water resistance. CMF by Nothing also offers a bunch of other accessories that sweeten the deal. There’s a card case that can take in three credit cards, a kickstand, and a lanyard.

Display and Performance
The CMF Phone 1 sports a large, 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. This translates to a vibrant viewing experience, with excellent contrast levels and sharp visuals for everyday use. Watching videos and scrolling through social media feels fluid and enjoyable.

Under the hood, the phone is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 7300 chipset. While it won’t win any performance benchmarks, it offers sufficient processing power for most daily tasks such as browsing, social media, and light gaming. Multitasking feels smooth, and the phone rarely stumbles during regular use.

Software
The CMF Phone 1 runs Nothing OS 2.6, a near-stock Android experience with a minimalist aesthetic. This translates to a bloatware-free interface that prioritises user experience. The software feels clean and responsive, with subtle animations and a focus on functionality.

Notably, the playful design elements found in the Nothing Phone (2a)’s software, such as the Glyph interface, are absent here. This might disappoint some users who enjoyed the unique character of the Nothing brand. However, the focus on a clean and efficient experience remains a positive aspect.

Camera
The camera system of the CMF Phone 1 is a bit of a mixed bag. The main attraction is a 50MP Sony sensor backed by a depth sensor for portrait shots. In well-lit conditions, the camera captures decent photos with good detail and colour reproduction. Even in low light, the performance is pretty good with the night mode turned on.

The 16MP front-facing camera is adequate for video calls and casual selfies but won’t impress photography enthusiasts. Overall, the camera system is functional but falls short of what some users might expect, even at this price point.

Battery Life and Connectivity
The CMF Phone 1 packs a sizeable 5000mAh battery, which translates to excellent battery life. You can easily get through a full day of moderate use on a single charge and we were able to stretch it to two days on some occasions. The phone supports 33W wired charging, which helps top the battery up quickly when needed.

However, wireless charging is noticeably absent. In terms of connectivity, the phone offers standard options such as dual SIM support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC. Notably, it also boasts 5G capabilities, making it future-proof for next-generation networks.

The Verdict
The CMF Phone 1 by Nothing is a compelling option for budget-conscious users who prioritise a clean software experience, vibrant display, and long battery life. The swappable back covers and the accessories add a unique touch of personalisation, while the overall design is refreshingly colourful and playful.

Ultimately, the CMF Phone 1 succeeds in its core mission: delivering a good user experience at an unbeatable price point. If you’re looking for a powerful flagship killer, look elsewhere. But if you prioritise everyday usability, clean software, and a touch of design flair without breaking the bank, the CMF Phone 1 is a strong contender.

Price: AED 749 onwards

CMF by Nothing Phone 1 AED 749 onwards
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

One of the CMF Phone 1’s most striking features is its design. Unlike its flashier sibling, the Nothing Phone (2a), it ditches the transparent back with LED strips for a more conventional approach.

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