Computers

Solar-powered classrooms bridge educational gap in rural communities

Making education more accessible one classroom at a time

Photos from Dell

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GadgetMatch is founded on the premise of making life better and easier through technology. For many of us who get caught up in emails and social media in our day to day, it’s easy to forget how technology changes lives.

It teaches new skills, builds self-confidence, and brings new job opportunities especially to rural communities; but that’s easier said than done. High costs and complex societal challenges hampers not just access to technology in developing countries, but human progress as well.

There are companies like Dell Technologies who make it a point to harness its resources and global reach to make technology more accessible. In areas where access to consistent energy and technology are scarce, Dell has partnered with Computer Aid International to create Solar Learning Labs. 

These labs are solar-powered and created by converting old shipping containers. The classrooms are filled with Dell Wyse Thin Client workstations managed by an air-cooled PowerEdge server. Up to 20 students can use a classroom at a time.

Reusing and converting what is otherwise considered waste is inline with Dell’s use of circular economy concepts. Relying on solar panels to generate electricity makes the containers self-sufficient. They can also be placed even in the most remote locations because of their size. They help deliver sustainable and affordable connectivity to schools.

A commitment to advance education

EMEA Strategic Giving Manager Houcine Faik says Dell is committed to enabling and empowering communities with technology, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s core to its business.

The goal is to help increase the exposure of entire communities to digital skills, particularly in developing countries where many students and schools still struggle to access reliable technology, infrastructure, and electricity.

The initiative first kicked-off in Lagos, Nigeria in 2013. Since then, Dell has already funded 18 labs in six countries around the world including South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, Mexico, and Colombia.

More than 10,000 students have benefited from the project during school hours. The labs are also open to other members of local communities even after school.

Faik tells Gadgetmatch that they chose South Africa to start expanding the program by leveraging a crowd-funded approach. The average number of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) jobs in South Africa increased by 26% over the last decade.

There is also a national commitment to improving ICT for education in schools, but a shortage of training capacity and equipment.

Expanding to more countries

For now, Dell is focusing their efforts in scaling the Solar Learning Labs in South Africa, and then Latin America. “Based on the success in these locations, we’ll then look to expand to other regions,” shares Faik. By enabling crowd-funding, Dell hopes to open up the opportunity to partner with others to make scaling the project easier.

While there are no plans of expanding to Asia just yet, Dell recently released its full 2030 Progress Made Real plan. This outlines the company’s goals of creating a lasting, measurable impact on people and the planet over the next decade.

One of Dell’s 2030 commitments is to advance the health, education, and economic opportunity of 1 billion people. Using the company’s expertise and technology, it can help 1,000 nonprofit partners digitally transform to better serve their communities.

With its 2030 vision now set, Dell hopes to create a total of 100 labs by 2030. If you are interested in helping fund a Solar Learning Lab, visit solarlearninglabs.org.

Computers

Lenovo Legion 5, Legion Tower 5i coming to Philippines

IdeaPad Gaming 5i is coming too

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Last April, Lenovo revealed its latest additions to the Legion lineup. The Legion 5 is a gaming laptop featuring the latest Intel and AMD processor. Meanwhile, the Legion 5i is a desktop that aims to provide the best performance for gamers. All these are coming to the Philippines, along with the budget contender IdeaPad Gaming 5i.

To celebrate the arrival of new Legion computers, Lenovo is offering a promo this July. Customers pre-order any of the three new PCs from June 26 to July 11 will receive Legion accessories worth up to PhP 10,000. These new PCs are also entitled to an extended three-year warranty and support from Lenovo.

Legion 5

Legion 5 is Lenovo’s latest Legion line-up for the budget-conscious gamers. Despite its budget proposition, it didn’t skip on features. The base model has an AMD Ryzen 4800H processor coupled with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. It packs some serious graphics capabilities with its NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060. The 15.6 FHD display features a 120Hz refresh rate and 1ms response times for buttery-smooth gameplay.

Every pre-orders for the PC comes with a free Recon gaming backpack (worth PhP 2,995), M300 gaming mouse (worth PhP 1,495), K300 gaming keyboard (worth PHP 2,495), and H300 gaming headset (worth PHP 2,995). Legion 5i starts at PhP 52,995.

Legion Tower 5i

Gamers looking for their first gaming rig should look no further than Legion Tower 5i. This gaming desktop is built to satisfy the needs and demands of the most demanding gamers. Lenovo packed the latest 10th-gen Intel Core processors on this rig and configured it for up to 64Gb of memory and 2TB of SSD storage. Powering this PC is an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER graphics card built to handle the most graphically intensive games and apps.

It also features a sleek and minimalist chassis with a Legion LED logo on the front. Gamers don’t have to complain about ports since it has USB-C, USB-A, audio combo jack, and even an Ethernet port.

Lenovo is bundling the K500 gaming keyboard (worth PhP 3,995) and the M500 gaming mouse (worth PhP 2,995) on every pre-orders. The Legion Tower 5i exclusively available on Legion concept store at SM North EDSA and all VillMan and Complink stores nationwide. The baseline model will retail for PhP 72,995.

IdeaPad Gaming 5i

Meanwhile, those looking to dabble into PC gaming can get their hands-on on the IdeaPad Gaming 5i. Every pre-orders of the PC comes with an IdeaPad gaming backpack (worth PhP 1,995), IdeaPad Gaming M100 mouse (worth PhP 1,295), and K300 gaming keyboard (worth PhP 2,495). The best part about the PC is its low price: it starts at PhP 46,995.

What do you get for the price? Lenovo packed competitive specs for the IdeaPad Gaming 5i.  There’s an Intel Core i7-10750H processor inside, along with 8GB of memory and 1TB HDD or 512GB SSD. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 or 1650Ti provides decent graphical performance for the PC. Dolby Audio and 120Hz refresh rate deliver enjoyable gameplay on the 15.6 FHD laptop.

You can now pre-order these PCs and learn more about the bundled Legion accessories at this website. You can also follow Lenovo Legion on their Facebook account and website.

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Computers

Acer announces new & improved Predator desktops and displays

Expanding the entire portfolio by adding a complete setup to build around

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Apart from the improved gaming laptops, Acer also unveiled exciting Predator desktops and peripherals. These desktops and peripherals are both a mix of new and improved models dedicated to bringing the best gaming experience. They’ve even dedicated this lineup to any and all types of gamers and content creators alike.

The powerful desktop builds

One of the new builds Acer introduced is the Acer Nitro 50, which combines practicality and performance. It comes with up to the latest Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA RTX 2060 SUPER GPU, providing much needed gaming power.

It also comes with up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM for more optimal performance across the board. It even comes with a whopping 7TB of storage, split across a 1TB SSD and two 3TB HDDs. All that storage fit for all kinds of games!

From L to R: Acer Predator Orion 9000, Acer Predator Orion 3000

Along with the new Nitro 50, Acer released refreshed versions of their Acer Predator Orion 9000 and Acer Predator Orion 3000.

In the Predator Orion 9000’s case, it now comes with the latest Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition and dual NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti SLI GPUs inside. This alone already promises stellar gaming performance across the board. Meanwhile, the Predator Orion 3000 comes with up to the latest Intel Core i7 processors and an NVIDIA RTX 2070 SUPER inside.

Sleek and fast gaming monitors

No desktop is complete without the proper display for the best gaming experience. Acer unveils two new monitors that will surely provide the details you need to remain in the game. There’s the Acer Predator X25, a 24.5-inch FHD display with a whopping 360Hz refresh rate.

This display supports NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology, allowing you to play seamlessly without any experience of image tearing. It also comes with technologies that will adjust the brightness and color temperature depending on your environment.

From L to R: Acer Predator X25, Acer Predator XB3

Your other option is the Acer Predator XB3, which actually comes in four different sizes. Even in different sizes, the Acer Predator XB3 monitors all come with a 240Hz refresh rate and a resolution up to 4K UHD.

These displays also come with a wide 178-degree viewing angles, while maintaining crisp and bright images during gameplay. It also includes light sensors with various technologies that adjust to the gamer’s needs and wants in terms of design.

Most of these will come out during Q3 2020 to early Q4 2020. As of writing, pricing and availability for the Acer Predator X25 have yet to be announced. For the rest, pricing is as follows:

  • Acer Predator XB3 Series:  starts at US$ 429.99
  • The Acer Predator Orion 3000: starts at US$ 999.99
  • The Acer Predator Orion 9000: starts at roughly US$ 3,154.53 (EUR 2,799)
  • Acer Nitro 50 Desktop: starts at US$ 799.99

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Apps

WWDC 2020 Highlights

iPhone widgets, macOS Big Sur redesign, Apple Silicon, and more

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A lot of things happened during Apple’s WWDC 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Apple made this an online-only event.

There are a lot of announcements including the new iOS and iPadOS home screen widgets, macOS redesign, new watchOS features, and more. If you missed the chance to watch the whole 3-hour keynote, we made it shorter for you.

Watch our highlights video here.

 

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