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Acer Chromebook Vero Debuts for Education Market

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Acer today launched four new Chromebooks to meet the needs of students, teachers, and administrators, including its first Acer Chromebook Vero model designed specifically for the education market. These new models provide the latest in durability, performance, and features, making them a powerful tool for helping educators deliver better learning outcomes.

“As a leading provider of Chromebooks for the K12 education market, Acer knows what students and teachers need to keep the focus on learning – and these new Acer Chromebooks deliver what’s needed and more,” said James Lin, General Manager, Notebooks, IT Products Business, Acer Inc. “Our new Chromebooks provide advances in all the areas that have helped establish them as an essential tool for learning: student-focused durability features, reliable performance and advanced connectivity options to support school technology initiatives.”

All the new Acer Chromebooks are available with Chrome Education Upgrade, which enables IT staff and administrators to manage, deploy and plan for student learning, all while ensuring students are getting the most from the Chromebooks. IT departments can easily conduct admin support, manage devices, and have the new Acer Chromebooks automatically enrolled to their school sites as soon as the end user connects to the internet through Zero-touch enrollment.

All of the new Acer Chromebooks for education have impact-resistant exteriors that meet MIL-STD 810H testing standards to withstand the daily trials of a busy school environment. They feature a reinforced corner design with a shock-absorbent bumper so they are protected from drops as high as 122 cm (48 inches) and can withstand up to 60 kg (132.3 lbs) of pressure. These new durable Chromebooks also feature elongated and widened internal brackets that protect the display, even when they are being mishandled. Plus, the ports have been reinforced with metallic plating to protect them from the wear and tear of frequent student use.

The four new Chromebooks each have a keyboard designed to protect the device from common student accidents. The keyboard is spill-resistant and features a unique drainage system that helps protect the internal components from up to 330 ml of water spills. All four Acer Chromebooks feature a moisture-resistant OceanGlass touchpad, made from ocean-bound plastics, reducing waste while providing a sleek, glass-like texture and responsive tactile feeling.

They also have mechanically anchored keys that are difficult for inquisitive students to remove, but at the same time, simple for IT personnel to repair or replace. The Acer Chromebook 511, Acer Chromebook Spin 511, and Acer Chromebook Spin 512 also feature a new serviceable keyboard that can be completely removed and replaced with the removal of just two screws. Finally, all four new Acer Chromebooks have been certified to meet two leading toy safety standards, the ASTM F963-16 and UL/IEC 60950-1, meaning they’re also safe to share with younger children.

The performance-minded and eco-conscious Acer Chromebook Vero 712 (CV872/T) lets students see and do more. This Chromebook for schools features a 3:2 aspect ratio and 12th Gen Intel Core processor that enables students to do faster coding on their Chromebooks. The productivity-boosting 12-inch HD+ IPS display has a taller 3:2 aspect ratio that provides 18% more vertical space compared to an equally wide display, so more schoolwork, text, maps, and photos can be seen before students need to scroll. The Chromebook’s TÜV Rheinland Eyesafe (Hardware Solution) certified display also reduces harmful blue light while ensuring that users can still enjoy vivid colors when viewing from their devices. Plus, the powerful 12th Gen Intel Core processors let students tackle more advanced schoolwork such as coding and video editing, while also running multiple programs and apps without delays.

Featuring recycled materials, sustainable packaging, and an energy-efficient design, the Acer Chromebook Vero 712 is part of the eco-conscious Vero line that reflects the company’s commitment to sustainability. The new Acer Chromebook Vero 712 utilizes recycled materials in many areas of the product including 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic in the chassis and display bezel as well as 50% PCR plastic in the keycaps. Even the device’s packaging supports the company’s mission to reduce, reuse and recycle with the use of 100% recycled paper pulp.

In addition to the first Acer Chromebook Vero for education customers, Acer has expanded its line of Chromebooks for this market with three updated models: the Acer Chromebook Spin 512 (R856T) convertible with a 12-inch display, Acer Chromebook Spin 511 (R756T) convertible with an 11.6-inch display, and the Acer Chromebook 511 (C736) clamshell with an 11.6-inch display. These three Acer Chromebooks are powered by the latest Intel Processor N100 and N200, and have the option to include built-in 4G LTE connectivity to provide fast, reliable access to educational apps from virtually anywhere. Plus, like the Acer Chromebook Vero, these new Chromebooks also feature recycled materials, sustainable packaging, an energy-efficient design, and EPEAT registration to help schools reduce waste across the lifetime of the device.

The two new convertible models are ideal Chromebooks for blended learning environments as both feature 360-hinges to allow them to be used in a range of settings, as well as Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass touch displays that are scratch-resistant and limit the growth of odor and stain-causing microorganisms. The Acer Chromebook Spin 511 has a compact design with an 11.6-inch HD IPS display in a 16:9 format, while the Acer Chromebook Spin 512 has a productivity-boosting 12-inch 3:2 aspect ratio HD+ IPS display on the (R856T/TN/LT/LTN) with more vertical space so students can view more text, maps, photos, and schoolwork.

Also, both convertible Chromebooks feature an optional USI Stylus that can be charged in the integrated dock, so students can take notes, sketch, write and paint with ease. Both convertible models deliver multi-day 12-hour battery life. The Acer Chromebook Spin 512 also has the same TÜV Rheinland Eyesafe (Hardware Solution) certified display as that of the Acer Chromebook Vero 712 which can reduce harmful blue light while ensuring that users can still enjoy vivid colors when viewing from their devices.

The Acer Chromebook 511 is a tried-and-tested classic clamshell design that is incredibly compact, making it ideal for a wide range of younger students using lab settings and 1:1 programs. The 11.6-inch HD LED-backlit display with IPS technology comes in touch and non-touch options to meet school districts’ ranging needs and budgets. It also provides long battery life of up to 12 hours of use.

Students can connect to the Internet quickly with reliable Wi-Fi 6E. Plus, the four new Acer Chromebooks all feature 720p webcams with Blue Glass Lens and (TNR), providing high-quality video feedback even in low-light conditions. The two convertible models also provide the option for high-resolution world-facing cameras. For privacy, all four new Chromebooks include a webcam shutter. The new Acer Chromebooks will be available with an array of eMMC storage options and up to 8 GB RAM.

All four new Chromebooks are ready to connect to devices, displays, and other peripherals. They each have two full-function USB 3.2 Type-C ports for transferring data at speeds up to 5 Gbps, connecting to an HD display, and can also be used to charge the device as well as other products. They all also feature at least one USB 3.2 Type-A port, while the Chromebook 511, Chromebook Spin 511, and Chromebook Spin 512 also include a MicroSD card reader.

The Acer Chromebook Vero 712 (CV872/T) will be available in EMEA in March, starting at $439.99. The Acer Chromebook Spin 512 (R856T/TN) will be available in EMEA in April starting at $469.99. The Acer Chromebook Spin 511 (R756T/TN) will be available in EMEA in April starting at $439.99. The Acer Chromebook 511 (C736/T) will be available in EMEA in April starting at $389.99.

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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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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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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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