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ASUS ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Review: Blazing Speeds, Low Latency

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The ROG Rapture GT-BE98 throws its hat into the ring of premium Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be) quad-band routers, promising top-tier performance, extensive features, and a design that screams “gamer.” But is the GT-BE98 all flash and no frags, or does it deliver the lag-free, feature-rich experience that competitive gamers crave? Let’s find out!

Design
ROG doesn’t shy away from bold aesthetics with the GT-BE98. The router boasts a futuristic, angular design dominated by a large, aggressive vent system. Illuminated ROG logos and customisable Aura Sync RGB lighting further enhance the “gamer cave” vibe.

Functionality is woven into the form. The eight high-gain antennas are strategically positioned for optimal signal distribution. The abundance of ports caters to even the most demanding setups: one 10Gbps for WAN/LAN, one 2.5Gbps for WAN/LAN, one 10Gbps for LAN, three 2.5Gbps for LAN, one RJ45 10/100/1000Mbps for LAN, one USB 3.2 Gen1, and one USB 2.0.

Other physical buttons on the device include WPS, Reset, Power, and LED Control. Inside the box, you get the GT-BE98 quad-band gaming router, an RJ-45 cable, a power adapter, a Quick Start Guide, and a warranty card.

WiFi 7
Wi-Fi 7 takes everything you love about Wi-Fi 6/6E and cranks it up a notch. Imagine wider channels (320 MHz bandwidth) for smoother data flow and a more efficient way to transmit information (4K-QAM). Plus, Wi-Fi 7 introduces a game-changer called Multi-Link Operation. This lets your devices use multiple channels and frequencies simultaneously, boosting speed, and reliability, and reducing that dreaded lag. The result? An unmatched network experience, especially for online gaming. This means lightning-fast connections, near-instantaneous responses, and rock-solid stability.

Security
The GT-BE98 comes equipped with AiProtection Pro, a suite of security features powered by Trend Micro. This includes protection against malware, intrusion prevention, and infected device blocking. Additionally, Lifetime Free AiProtection keeps the router’s security definitions up-to-date, ensuring ongoing protection against evolving threats. Parents will appreciate the built-in parental controls that allow for filtering content and scheduling internet access for connected devices.

Performance
The heart of the GT-BE98 lies in its powerful hardware. A quad-core processor paired with ample RAM ensures smooth operation, even under heavy loads. Supporting the latest Wi-Fi 7 standard, the GT-BE98 unlocks access to the coveted 6 GHz band, offering wider channels and less congestion, compared with the crowded 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. This translates to potentially faster speeds, lower latency, and a more stable connection – crucial factors for online gaming.

The GT-BE9 also comes equipped with ASUS’s AiMesh technology, allowing you to create a mesh network by connecting multiple ROG routers for seamless Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home. Gamers with sprawling residences or those struggling with dead zones will appreciate this functionality.

Furthermore, features such as Game Acceleration prioritise gaming traffic, ensuring that latency-sensitive online games receive the bandwidth they deserve. Similarly, the built-in VPN Fusion allows you to simultaneously run a VPN for specific traffic while maintaining a normal internet connection for other devices. This caters to gamers who might want to use a VPN for privacy while still enjoying lag-free online gameplay.

While raw specifications are impressive, the true test lies in real-world performance. During our tests, we found that the ROG Rapture GT-BE98 is built to deliver on its promises, offering a significant upgrade for gamers seeking a lag-free and ultra-responsive online experience.

Software Suite
The ASUSWRT interface provides a comprehensive suite of controls for managing the GT-BE98. Users can toggle granular settings such as network traffic prioritisation, parental controls, and guest network management. The interface is well-organised and offers helpful information for even novice users.

The Armoury Crate app acts as a central hub for managing all ROG devices. Here, you can customise RGB lighting effects across compatible ROG components, monitor system performance, and access ROG Game First V for further network traffic prioritisation.

Verdict
The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-BE98 is a formidable contender in the premium Wi-Fi 7 router market. It delivers top-tier performance with blazing-fast speeds, ultra-low latency, and extensive features specifically designed to cater to the needs of serious gamers. The powerful hardware, support for Wi-Fi 7, and ASUS’s AiMesh technology create a potent combination for ensuring smooth online gameplay and a strong, reliable connection throughout your home.

Price: AED 3889

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-BE98 AED 3889
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

ROG doesn’t shy away from bold aesthetics with the GT-BE98. The router boasts a futuristic, angular design dominated by a large, aggressive vent system. Illuminated ROG logos and customisable Aura Sync RGB lighting further enhance the “gamer cave” vibe.

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Toshiba Demos Nearline HDDs with Massive Capacity of Over 30 Terabytes

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Toshiba Electronics Europe GmbH announces that Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation (Toshiba) has successfully achieved storage capacities of over 30TB with two next-generation large-capacity magnetic recording technologies for hard disk drives (HDDs): Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) and Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR). The demonstration drives represent a major milestone in the advance towards commercial products based on each of these emerging recording formats.

HAMR boosts writing capabilities by locally heating the disk material with a near-field laser. Toshiba achieved 32TB on 10 disks using Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) – a technology that partially overlaps data tracks to increase the areal density and overall storage capacity per disk. Toshiba plans to start shipping test sample HDDs[2] of 28 – 30TB with HAMR technology in 2025. The other technology is MAMR, which uses microwaves to enhance magnetic recording capabilities.

Toshiba was the first to demonstrate its effectiveness and started mass production of first-generation drives in 2021. Toshiba achieved 31TB capacity by stacking 11 disks, using SMR technology, and improving signal processing. These new achievements were made possible through years of close collaborative work with Resonac Corporation, an HDD media manufacturer, and TDK Corporation, an HDD head manufacturer.

Toshiba and its working partners are committed to continue developing both HAMR and MAMR technologies in order to provide higher capacity HDDs to meet the growing storage demand of the cloud and data centres. As Larry Martinez-Palomo, Vice President, Head of Storage Products Division at Toshiba, explains, “Toshiba is concurrently advancing the development of future generation high capacity HDDs using both HAMR and MAMR technologies. Mass production of hard disk drives incorporating HAMR will commence after the validation phase is completed. In the interim, Toshiba will continue to satisfy the demand for high-capacity, high-reliability storage devices with hard disk drives employing the field-proven MAMR technology.”

At ISC High Performance 2024, May 12th to 16th in Hamburg, Germany, Toshiba and its partners discussed with experts, how its hard disk drive technologies and enterprise portfolio are streamlined to meet the needs of large and fast online backend storage. On the stand (G02), there were live demos showing the astonishing performance of Toshiba’s HDD MG Series.

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Artificial Intelligence

ASUS Launches the new Vivobook S 15 (S5507) Copilot+ PC

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ASUS today announced a new generation of AI-powered computing at its online-only Next Level. AI Incredible. launch event, dedicated to the launch of the ASUS Vivobook S 15 (S5507). Powered by the Snapdragon X Elite, the device is the company’s first Copilot+ PC, with Windows AI features and a collection of exclusive ASUS AI apps that aim to improve the user’s work and play.

“As ASUS embarks on this journey, marked by the launch of our first AI PC, we stand at the beginning of a new era of personal computing.” ASUS Co-CEO S.Y. Hsu said, speaking at the event, “The launch of our first ASUS Copilot+ PC powered by Snapdragon X Elite is an important milestone for us, and we believe that these devices are the future of consumer PCs and will drastically change the way we will work, study, create, and play.”

The event featured speakers from Microsoft and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., as it followed an earlier event by the former, in which Microsoft officially unveiled the full scope of new Windows experiences and standards for PCs to attain its ASUS Copilot+ PC. The event was broadcast via the company’s social media channels and can be rewatched on the official ASUS YouTube account.

“It’s an exciting time to be in devices, and collaborating with partners like ASUS allows us to bring innovative hardware that unlocks AI software to life for our customers. Our deep engineering collaboration has been instrumental in delivering cutting-edge technology to consumers. With the launch of ASUS’s Vivobook S 15, we are bringing the power of Copilot in Windows, Recall, and Cocreator, showcasing the potential of on-device and cloud-based AI working together to enable individuals and organizations to achieve more,” stated Mark Linton, VP Device Partner Sales at Microsoft.

“I am thrilled that Qualcomm and ASUS are working together to bring industry-leading innovation to consumers and enterprises, and our latest collaboration is the best yet,” said Cristiano Amon, president and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “Performance is reborn with Snapdragon X Elite, and we look forward to collaborating with ASUS to put incredible innovation like the ASUS Vivobook S 15 in the hands of users.”

ASUS Vivobook S 15 is the company’s first Copilot+ PC, and with the efficient power and built-in AI engine of the Snapdragon X Elite Platform, users can enjoy hardware-accelerated AI functions and incredible performance and efficiency as a result of the custom-integrated Qualcomm Oryon CPU. With up to 18 hours of battery life2, enjoy uninterrupted productivity. Featuring a stunning 3K 120 Hz ASUS Lumina OLED display, Harman Kardon-certified audio, and a sleek 14.7 mm-thin, 1.42 kg-light body, it’s built for effortless mobility.

ASUS Vivobook S 15 is the first next-gen ASUS Windows Copilot+ PC, introducing the latest Windows AI tools. Powered by the Snapdragon X Elite with built-in Qualcomm Hexagon NPU, it boasts a remarkable 45 TOPS Neural engine for swift on-device AI processing. Storage options include up to an ultrafast 1 TB PCIe 4.0 SSD, with memory configurable up to 32 GB of 8448 MHz LPDDR5X RAM.

Next-gen AI-powered enhancements include Windows Studio Effects and an ASUS AiSense IR camera. The presence-detection capabilities of the camera enable Adaptive Dimming — which dims the screen when the user looks away — and Adaptive Lock, which automatically locks the laptop when the user moves away and unlocks it when they return. Additionally, the ASUS Vivobook S 15 is also the first device to feature the company’s exclusive AI app, StoryCube, It’s the smartest, most convenient, and most powerful way to manage all digital assets, using AI assistance to sort, edit, manage, and export captured raw files.

Leveraging this powerful hardware, ASUS Vivobook S 15 integrates advanced features such as Windows Studio Effects, which enhances lighting and noise removal during video calls in portrait mode, and ASUS AiSense Camera with AI-powered Security, enabling the adaptive lock feature to auto-lock when the users walk away and auto-unlock upon their return, as well as auto-dimming when the user looks away. Furthermore, it incorporates Live Captions for accurate real-time subtitles and Cocreator empowers users to transform sketches into finished artworks. These innovative technologies not only enhance security and privacy but also elevate the audiovisual experience and unlock creativity.

Built for effortless portability, the ASUS Vivobook S 15 stands out with a 14.7 mm ultra-slim and 1.42 kg light all-metal design, which redefines elegance with its minimalist aesthetics. The premium CNC-engraved logo adds a touch of class, while the versatile tapered unibody design ensures strength and stability. The high-capacity 70 Wh battery offers up to 18 hours of uninterrupted productivity or entertainment, with support for fast charging and ASUS USB-C Easy Charge for convenient charging from almost any source.

The premium styling includes a single-zone RGB backlit keyboard, allowing users to personalize styles that perfectly match their personality and mood. ​A dedicated Copilot key enables users to dive into Windows AI-powered tools in just one second, and the super-large, super-smart touchpad offers effortless navigation and an expanded workspace. Via intuitive gestures, users can seamlessly control various tasks, from adjusting audio to optimizing screen brightness or managing video playback.

Equipped with a comprehensive set of I/O ports, the ASUS Vivobook S 15 is configured for seamless on-the-go connectivity. It has two USB4 ports that support fast charging, 4K external displays, and up to 40 Gbps data transfers, along with two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, an HDMI 2.1 port, a microSD card reader, and an audio combo jack to elevate the user experience. Thanks to WiFi 7, enabled by the Qualcomm FastConnect 7800 system, the ASUS Vivobook S 15 delivers blazing speeds up to 5.8 Gbps, outpacing WiFi 6 by 4.8 times, ensuring seamless streaming, effortless task completion, and lightning-fast downloads.

ASUS Vivobook S 15 offers a premium audiovisual experience for productivity, creativity, or entertainment, featuring an expansive 15.6-inch 3K 120 Hz ASUS Lumina OLED display that delivers refined specular highlights and extraordinary shadow detail, all in vivid, true-to-life colour. This class-leading display has an ultra-wide 89% screen-to-body ratio, a 0.2 ms response time, a cinema-grade 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut and is VESA DisplayHDR True Black 600 certified. It also offers TÜV Rheinland-certified low blue-light levels for enhanced eye care, and the display itself is protected by our exclusive ASUS OLED Care system to significantly reduce the risk of burn-in.

Complementing this stunning display is a powerful Harman Kardon-certified audio system with immersive, multi-dimensional Dolby Atmos sound. In short, the unveiling of the new ASUS Vivobook S 15 marks a significant leap forward in AI-powered computing. With the device, ASUS reaffirms its commitment to innovation without compromise and with speakers from industry giants like Microsoft and Qualcomm Technologies, this event showcased the collaborative efforts driving technological advancement. As the industry embarks on this new era of computing, ASUS continues to lead the charge, delivering excellence in both form and function.

The ASUS Vivobook S 15 is available for pre-order on the ASUS eShop from May 21st to June 19th, with an exclusive ASUS deluxe package for early buyers. Starting June 20th, the Vivobook S 15 will be available at leading retailers and the ASUS eShop across the UAE and GCC countries. Prices start at AED 5,499.

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Artificial Intelligence

Lenovo Unveils New Yoga Slim 7x and ThinkPad T14s Copilot+ PCs

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Lenovo has launched the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7x and Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 6, its first next-generation Copilot+ PCs powered by Snapdragon X Elite. As the PC industry enters a new phase of the artificial intelligence era, Lenovo is poised to offer new levels of personalization in personal computing across its PC portfolio. Intelligent software-powered local processing of tasks, and increased productivity, creativity, and security, these Copilot+ PCs combine to deliver a whole new experience in PC interaction. Lenovo is expanding its already comprehensive portfolio of AI-ready devices, software, and optimized services with two new laptops for consumers and business users—the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7x and the Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 6.

Powered by Qualcomm Technologies’ new Snapdragon X Elite processor featuring the 12-core Qualcomm Oryon CPU, Qualcomm Adreno GPU and a dedicated Qualcomm Hexagon NPU (neural processing unit), the new laptops deliver leading PC performance per watt with the fastest-to-date AI NPU processing up to 45 trillion operations per second (TOPS). With the latest enhancements from Microsoft and Copilot+, users can now access Large Language Model (LLM) capabilities even when offline, offering seamless productivity and creativity.

The latest Lenovo laptops allow users to tap into the extensive Copilot+ knowledge base, empowering them to explore endless creative possibilities. By leveraging generative AI and machine learning, Copilot+ assists in composing compelling text, crafting engaging visuals, and streamlining common productivity tasks. With the ability to work offline with the same fluidity as online, the Yoga Slim 7x and the ThinkPad T14s Gen 6 set new standards in AI PC innovation, promising a futuristic and streamlined user experience for end users.

“As we enter the beginning of the AI PC era—a once-in-30-years inflexion point in the market—we are proud to offer one of the widest portfolios of AI-ready devices, AI-enabled solutions, and AI-optimized experiences to customers worldwide and bring AI to all,” said Luca Rossi, President of Lenovo’s Intelligent Devices Group. “The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7x and ThinkPad T14s Gen 6 are the newest members of Lenovo’s portfolio of devices that harness the new power of AI including multiday battery life and faster, more secure client-based processing that delivers to users the ultimate in personalization and control, unleashing their unlimited potential for creative expression and unparalleled productivity.”

“The synergy between Lenovo and Microsoft is a testament to our shared vision of innovation and excellence. Our partnership has been instrumental in pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, delivering cutting-edge technology that empowers both individuals and organizations to achieve more. With Lenovo’s introduction of the Copilot+ PCs, Yoga Slim 7x and ThinkPad T14s Gen 6, we are setting a new standard for AI-enhanced computing, offering unparalleled experiences that are both intuitive and transformative. Lenovo’s commitment to quality, combined with Microsoft’s AI prowess, ensures that our customers have access to the most advanced and reliable solutions on the market,” stated Mark Linton, VP Device Partner Sales, Microsoft Corp.

With the AI-powered Lenovo Yoga Slim 7x, creators can spend less time editing, rendering, and processing, and more time on creating, no matter where on the road they are. The Hexagon NPU in the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7x’s Snapdragon X Elite processor provides creators with onboard access to features such as text-to-image, advanced photo and video editing functionalities, text creation and editing feedback as well as many more functions that free up time that is better spent ideating new creative endeavours. Additional smarter user experiences include advanced camera and call quality and functionality, lossless hi-definition audio, 4K streaming, faster internet connectivity and enhanced security.

This means that while the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7x can handle even complex tasks at speed, it is also extremely power efficient when processing loads dip, translating into up to multi-day battery life from the 70Wh battery so the ideas never have to stop flowing. The Lenovo AI Core also works in tandem with the Snapdragon X Elite processor to intelligently determine the exact user scenario, dynamically adjusting power and efficiency depending on the task at hand. This means access to powerful AI-enabled features in a thin portable, device that is ready to go whenever and wherever creativity strikes.

Starting at just 1.28kg and as thin as 12.9mm, the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7x is as portable as it is powerful. Creations made on the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7x are brought to life on the device’s vivid 14.5” 16:10 3K 90Hz 1000nits peak brightness PureSight OLED touch panel with both 100% sRGB and P3 colour gamut support as well as TUV Rheinland Low Blue Light support. The FHD MIPI IR Webcam means clearer visuals on video calls and features four Voice ID microphones for clearer conversations. Audio likewise sounds out with lifelike clarity thanks to Lenovo Premium Suite’s superior four-speaker sound system. The Premium Suite keyboard features 1.5mm key travel on each dish key. The addition of the new Yoga coating with longer-lasting anti-oil properties improves typing feel and comfort, while the up to 135x80mm trackpad means more precision when on the go.

The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7x is also resource-efficient in its design and packaging, with no plastic in the packing material. The device comes in boxes made from FSC™-certified paper and other controlled material and uses dry-pressed paper pulp as cushioning, and the included system bag is made of rapidly renewable bamboo fibre. Lenovo also includes a CO2 Offset Service as part of this device purchase. This service helps offset the estimated CO2 emissions associated with the customer’s device across its average lifecycle by purchasing offset credits to support verified CDM, Gold Standard, Climate Action Reserve, and United Nations climate action projects aimed to help reduce CO2 emitted in the atmosphere.

The Yoga Slim 7x also qualifies for Lenovo Premium Care service, the advanced support service that provides personalized hardware and software assistance from expert technicians with fast repairs when needed. The ThinkPad T14s Gen 6 is Lenovo’s first commercial next-generation Copilot+ PC and marks a significant leap in the realm of AI-powered PCs for commercial use. With an advanced Snapdragon X Elite processor on board, equipped with an integrated Adreno GPU and on-device AI engine, the ThinkPad T14s Gen 6 promises a superior user experience that sets a new benchmark in both performance and efficiency for Windows business laptops.

The integrated 45 TOPS NPU delivers supreme on-device AI capabilities focused on enhancing productivity and facilitating seamless creation processes. The Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 6 allows users to explore endless creative possibilities with new creative tools. Copilot+ assists in streamlining common productivity tasks through the power of generative AI and machine learning, and with seamless integration across Microsoft 365 applications work efficiency becomes akin to having a personalized AI-powered assistant at the user’s fingertips.

Equipped with up to 64GB high-speed LPDDR5x memory and housed in a sleek 14” ultrathin form factor with narrow bezels, the ThinkPad T14s Gen 6 exudes professional sophistication. Users will experience outstanding video collaboration with the convenient communication bar housing an FHD+IR MIPI camera featuring a physical camera shutter for privacy. Users can stay connected with Wi-Fi 7 and optional 5G sub 6 capabilities6, ensuring constant connectivity wherever they go, and can benefit from a 58Wh battery to enjoy multi-day battery life using the more energy-efficient low-power display panel.

Through a long-standing three-way collaboration, Lenovo, Qualcomm Technologies, and Microsoft have curated an extensive list of more than one hundred enterprise software applications from Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) optimized for native functionality on Windows powered by Snapdragon. With a forward-thinking approach and focus on mission-critical areas such as device management, collaboration, productivity, and chip-to-cloud security, the collaboration actively partners with cutting-edge commercial value-added software companies such as DynamoAI, that utilize AI technology designed to drive superior efficiency and protection4.

Safeguarding organizations’ devices and data continually and protecting privacy in the AI era is critical. The ThinkPad T14s Gen 6 helps manage and minimize risks at each endpoint with robust ThinkShield security features and solutions that prioritize protection without compromising efficiency. Software partners like SentinelOne, for example, enable enterprises to deliver a robust, multi-layered defence against ransomware. Furthermore, ThinkShield offers AI-powered threat detection with a secured boot process and self-healing firmware delivering a solid foundation for overall system security working in collaboration with the Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit with Microsoft Pluton solution.

Leveraging Lenovo’s extensive expertise in delivering ARM-based ThinkPad laptops for enterprise use, the ThinkPad T14s Gen 6 stands out with its array of scalable security features, customization and deployment services powered by Lenovo TruScale. This empowers IT Administrators to strategically manage the deployment of next-generation AI PC devices across their fleet with precision and confidence. These services are designed to safeguard sensitive information and provide the flexibility and control essential for meeting specific business needs for larger-scale deployments.

The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7x will be available starting June 2024, with an expected starting price of €1599 (inc. VAT). The Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 6 will be available starting June 2024 in the UK and Germany, with the rest of EMEA available from August 2024, with an expected starting price of €1769 (excl. VAT).

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