Computers

HP’s new line puts premium on office productivity

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When people talk about the future of technology, a lot of things come to mind. It might be flying cars, hover boards, hologram computers, or even life-like robots. And while these ideas seem to be getting closer to reality, we’ve still got a long way to go to get there.

HP, on the other hand, has a more grounded vision of the future — more specifically, the office of the future.

Earlier this month in Singapore, HP announced a host of new devices meant for enterprise users, specifically products designed from the ground up to be more efficient, secure, and built for collaboration.

From a tech innovation standpoint, none of these new products are necessarily groundbreaking, but they could just be what we need.

Don’t be too quick on thinking these devices just belong in an office, HP assures us that these products were made with its everyday consumers in mind, whether it be the average Joe looking for a daily driver, or the small business looking to set up its first computer. The brand believes the unique features it puts in its products are a differentiator from competitors rather than a feature the customer actually pays for.

Letʻs take a look at some of the products and services HP introduced in its live office showcase, and how they fit into its vision of the future.

HP ELITE X3

While Windows 10 for mobile hasn’t really caught on for most consumers, HP is targeting those who would want to be able to efficiently work with their files on a mobile device. With the Elite x3 smartphone, just connect it to a monitor and itʻll power up a close-to-desktop experience — a Windows 10 mobile function more popularly known as Continuum.

HP also introduced a case for the Elite x3 with a built-in barcode scanner, which is a mobile scanning solution enabling users to check product prices and other related information on the fly.

HP ELITE SLICE

Another device announced was the HP Elite Slice, a clever approach to the modular PC. With different modules that snap on top of each other, this may be one of the cleanest implementations of adding capabilities to an already existing desktop system I’ve ever seen. A wireless charging cover for your phone, a speaker module, and an optical disk drive are some of the existing slices available, all of which could be installed in a couple of seconds. With this much flexibility paired with its compact size, I can see how this could become the centerpiece of every desktop system in an office.

HP Z2 Mini

Similar to the proportions of the HP Elite Slice, the HP Z2 Mini is a workstation-class PC packing an NVIDIA Quadro graphics card in a tiny package. It was shown powering six high-resolution monitors side by side during the showcase, all of which were shown running various tasks from media playback to 3D animation. NVIDIA Quadro cards are known to be great for digital design software but fall short in gaming when compared to their consumer-friendly GeForce counterparts.

OTHER DEVICES

HP also announced a slew of new laptops across its entire range. The HP Elitebook series comes with a function that reduces 95 percent of visible light coming from the display at angles beyond 35 degrees at a press of a button; this is helpful in cases where you wouldnʻt want the person beside you on the plane or bus ride to be snooping into what youʻre working on.

Other devices consist of 2-in-1 convertibles, flip-outs, and even a detachable point of sale system. Who knows, the next fast food establishment you go to might be the one coming to your table to take orders.

All its new devices come with different security solutions. Some of these include the ability to always boot the device on its last good state; BIOS level security to make sure your computer is protected from the moment itʻs turned on; multi-factor authentication that requires a passcode, fingerprint, and face scanning; and many more.

The gadgets also come with features for collaboration, such as Bang and Olufsen-powered speakers, noise cancellation software, and various wireless solutions for better communication across team members.

While prices and availability arenʻt available in all regions at the moment, HP will be rolling out the devices across Asia in the following months.

SEE ALSO: HP spices up its Spectre x360 and Envy 13 notebooks

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Computers

ASUSPRO D340MC is designed with budget-conscious workers in mind

Prioritizes security and endurance

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ASUSPRO is known for producing reliable laptops, but did you business-grade desktop computers are part of its portfolio, too?

The D340MC is an example of this, and it delivers on several fronts. It may seem like a standard boxy PC at first, but most of the features are on the inside.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; this is how it looks:

It definitely has a strong presence on any desk

Check out that port selection and DVD drive

The keyboard and mouse are part of the package

There’s lots of ventilation for cooling

Here’s a closer look at its ports

It’s easy to upgrade as needed

This is certainly a no-frills, get-the-job-done type of PC. Fortunately, it comes with good specs to show off: an Intel Core i7-8700 processor, up to 32GB of memory, 1TB of HDD storage, and a simple GeForce GT 720 graphics card to get you going.

But should really interest you are the reliability and endurance. The company claims the unit goes through rigorous quality tests in diverse environments, uses solid capacitors to lengthen lifespan, and produces little noise thanks to the thermal design.

The ASUSPRO D340MC starts at around US$ 600, but with its upgradability, it’s easy to give it more power when needed.

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Computers

Microsoft says you need a real computer, not an iPad

‘Don’t run out and buy an iPad’

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You’re probably familiar with Samsung teasing Apple and its iPhones through humorous commercials. But did you know Microsoft does the same against iPads?

Like Sammy, Microsoft loves to promote its products while humiliating those of close competitors. The latest attempt comes with this short holiday ad for the Surface Go.

Check it out:

The very first line — “Grandma, don’t run out and buy an iPad” — is already a clear dig at Apple. The little girl’s lyrics continue with, “It was fine when I was six, but now I’m 10. My dreams are big so I need a real computer to do all the amazing things I know I can.”

Yes, a real computer. If you’ve been following Apple’s promotions for the recently launched iPad Pro, you’d know that they tout it as a laptop replacement in a sense. Consumers and techies have since been debating whether the claims are true or not.

Well, Microsoft doesn’t think so, and instead believes that you need a Surface Go to cater to all computing needs. It runs desktop-class Windows 10 and is quite flexible productivity-wise when used together with the stylus and keyboard.

It seems like Microsoft’s goal here is to take away some of Apple’s strong younger market for iPads. Kids traditionally choose an iPad because of its portability, ease of use, and strong library of apps.

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Computers

Samsung 860 QVO SSD offers up to 4TB storage for your laptop

Available beginning January 2019

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Solid-state drives (SSD) have always been the faster storage option compared to hard disk drives (HDD), but it was only recently when SSDs caught up in terms of storage capacity. Samsung in particular is pushing for more digital space in its latest model, the 860 QVO.

Using a high-density 4-bit multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash architecture, this SSD is able to go up to 4TB in capacity, which is great for a mainstream product.

Samsung claims 550MB/s read and 520MB/s write speeds for the 860 QVO, thanks in part to the integrated Intelligent TurboWrite technology and MJX controller.

Because of its 2.5-inch form, it’ll fit perfectly inside any laptop or desktop setup.

The Samsung 860 QVO will go on sale beginning January 2019 with a starting price of SG$ 299 for the 1TB variant. You may also spend SG$ 659 for the 2TB model or SG$ 999 for the top-end 4TB model.

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