Computers

Top 5 things to expect from Computex 2017

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Now that GadgetMatch has confirmed its full participation at Computex 2017, we’re rounding up the biggest announcements we’re expecting at the multi-day tech convention in Taipei, Taiwan.

The event will run from March 30 to June 3, but you can anticipate most of the major news to pop up right before the start until midway through the official dates. Although there’ll be hundreds of brands at the showcase — from the major players to the most obscure startups — these expected launches should be the highlights.

Please don’t hold us accountable if we get a few (or all) of these wrong:

No next-generation ZenFone from ASUS

Despite rumors saying there’ll be a new generation of ZenFones to be announced during Computex, we’ve learned that only the ZenFone AR will be given the spotlight. Yes, it’s the same ASUS smartphone with augmented reality tech we got our hands on at CES last January, but this upcoming announcement will be for its regional pricing and availability.

Having a new ZenFone lineup this soon wouldn’t make much sense either. The ZenFone Live just came out, the ZenFone 3 Zoom is still reaching consumer hands, and the ZenFone AR (which is based on the ZenFone 3 design language) needs to build its own steam. Instead, expect ASUS to show off refreshed notebooks from its Republic of Gamers (ROG) and ZenBook lines like in earlier shows.

More on AMD’s Vega graphics cards

AMD has been feeding us leaks of its next-generation graphics cards bit by bit for the past few months, but with nothing more than possible specs to look at. We might be seeing something tangible at Computex with working units of the manufacturer’s high-end Vega line of GPUs. AMD better hurry, because NVIDIA has been eating up the hardcore gamer segment for a while now.

Another refresh from Acer?

Taipei may be Acer’s home turf, but the Taiwanese company already launched several of its Swift- and Predator-branded notebooks in New York last April. The Swift 1 and Triton 300, in particular, were the showstoppers Acer needed, but that leaves us with the question: What do they have left for Computex?

Notably absent from [email protected] was an update to the Swift 7, still the world’s thinnest laptop. This could experience a refresh. At the same time, we wouldn’t be surprised if Acer uses Computex as a springboard for IFA Berlin in September; IFA 2016, if you recall, became the stage for the humongous Predator 21 X.

Gigabyte and MSI turn up the RGB

Computex has traditionally been known as the breeding ground for PC components and accessories, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see local brands Gigabyte and MSI introduce several new motherboards and graphics cards to keep up. RGB lighting is still considered cool, so expect the pair and all blatant copycats to dish out all the colorful LEDs they can muster.

A possible bombshell from Intel

As surprising as it may be, the biggest announcement could come from Intel. Leaks have shown the chip specialist planning to release its most groundbreaking processor series to date, the Core i9 line. It’s been discussed ever since the first Core i7 launched in 2008, and now we may finally expect something concrete at Computex.

Based on a leaked presentation, the Core i9 series could see a processor with as many as 12 cores and another with as few as only six (still more than any present Core i7). This may seem like overkill considering how great Core i7 processors have been, but the extra compute power will be vital once 8K video and graphics rendering become the norm.

SEE ALSO: GadgetMatch is an official media partner of Computex 2017

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Cameras

Select ASUS laptops come with free Instax cameras

Get a free Instax Mini 9, SQ6 or Mini LiPlay

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Christmas season is the time for creating memories. What better way to capture these memories than with an instant camera?

Instax partnered with ASUS this Christmas to give away free Instax cameras for every purchase of select ASUS laptops. Buyers also get to enjoy bundled freebies along with their free cameras. 

Bundled Instax cameras are the Instax Mini 9 worth PhP 3,999; Square SQ6 worth PhP 7,999; and Mini LiPlay worth PhP 9,999. The Instax Mini 9 is one of the best-selling products in the lineup, while the Instax Square SQ6 is the first analog camera that uses a square film format. Meanwhile, the Instax LiPlay is can convert recorded sounds into a QR code for sharing. They are available with these ASUS laptops:

Zenbook laptops

  • Duo / Pro Duo — Instax Mini LiPlay + ASUS 30th premium freebies + Nereus bag
  • Pro 14/15 — Instax Mini LiPlay + Nereus bag
  • S — Instax Square SQ6 + laptop sleeve
  • Flip 13 / 14 / 15 — Instax Square SQ6 + laptop sleeve
  • 13 / 14 / 15 — Instax Square SQ6 + laptop sleeve

VivoBook laptops

  • S13/ S14/ S15 — Instax Mini 9 + Nereus bag
  • Flip 14 / 14 / 15 — Instax Mini 9 + Nereus bag
  • 14 / 15 — Instax Mini 9 + Nereus bag

Others

  • X series (Intel Core models) — Instax Mini 9 + Nereus bag

To claim the Instax camera and the freebies, buyers must log on to ASUS’ promo redemption site and provide the necessary information. After confirmation, they must pick the freebies at ASUS Philippines headquarters.

Promo runs from November 18 to December 31. It is applicable to all participating ASUS concept stores nationwide and via the official ASUS Philippines digital store. For more information, visit their website or their Facebook page.

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Computers

Dell’s new innovation keeps your monitor and CPU together

Saving space in the work place

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Dell prides itself in being the leader of innovation for the modern computer. Such innovation allows for better and more efficient work spaces in offices. And with their latest innovation, the company hopes to expand the work space by simply cutting the technology down.

The company introduces the Dell OptiPlex 7070 and OptiPlex 7070 Ultra, a desktop machine that cuts all the space in the work place. This desktop computer, coined as a “zero-footprint” computer houses the CPU within the monitor. Dell designed the OptiPlex 7070 to conserve space while you’re working in the office.

It features a relatively compact and flexible design while retaining potential areas for upgrading. The monitor stand houses the components of your PC — including the CPU, RAM, and storage to reduce the space taken up compared to a separate computer unit. According to the company, users can upgrade either the PC or the display — whichever fits their needs more.

In terms of hardware, Dell promises to offer the OptiPlex 7070 with up to an Intel core i7 vPro processor, 64GB or RAM, and 1TB worth of SSD storage. Additionally, users can avail up to 2TB of added storage through an internal HDD flexible for multiple users.

The Dell OptiPlex 7070 is now available, starting at Php 53,500.

 

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Computers

Solar-powered classrooms bridge educational gap in rural communities

Making education more accessible one classroom at a time

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Photos from Dell

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.

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