Acer launches ‘Swift 5’ laptop in India with 14.9 mm thickness at Rs 79,999

The laptop is 14.9-mm thin and sports a 14-inch FHD display with narrow bezels and Acer “Color Intelligence” technology

Expanding its popular “Swift” series, Taiwanese hardware and electronics brand Acer on Wednesday launched “Swift 5” in India for a starting price of Rs 79,999.

Weighing only 970 grams, the device features 8th-Generation Intel Core processor and will be available at Acer exclusive stores and other retailers, the company said in a statement.

“We are ecstatic with the newest addition ‘Acer Swift 5‘ to our range of ‘Swift’ series laptops in India. This is another record breaker by being one of the lightest laptops at 970 grams,” said Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO and Consumer Business Head, Acer India.

The laptop is 14.9-mm thin and sports a 14-inch FHD display with narrow bezels and Acer “Color Intelligence” technology that optimises screen colour, brightness and saturation.

It also has Acer “TrueHarmony” with Dolby Audio Premium technology that provides powerful audio while Skype for Business certification ensures video conferencing and Cortana integration.

The device runs Windows 10 platform and comes with 8GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SDD storage and battery back-up of up to eight hours.


Apple reportedly planning to release cheaper MacBook Air this year

MacBook Air, launched with the aid of then Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco in 2008, has now not been updated on the grounds that 2015

Apple is reportedly making plans to release a greater affordable version of the thirteen-inch MacBook Air within the 2nd quarter of 2018, the media suggested.

Apple is likely to launch a new MacBook Air “with a lower charge tag” at some point of the second quarter of 2018, that means we have to see it faster in preference to later, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities was quoted as saying to 9to5mac on Saturday.

The analyst expects the more affordable MacBook Air will assist push MacBook shipments up via 10-15 in line with cent this year.

MacBook Air, launched with the aid of then Apple CEO Steve Jobs on the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco in 2008, has not been up to date considering that 2015 as Apple has shifted attention in the direction of the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook pro.

The thirteen-inch MacBook Air, a popular choice for university college students, is presently offered starting at $999 for 128GB of PCIe-based totally storage, a 1.8GHz twin-core i5 processor, and 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM.

The device remaining saw a minor update at the global builders conference (WWDC) in June 2017, with a barely faster processor, and 8GB of RAM as a default.

Kuo says that KGI is “advantageous” on shipments of AirPods and predicts the refreshed version will come in the second

half of of the yr, using strong 12 months over yr boom.

similarly, Kuo predicts on the entry-level 6.1-inch model of iPhones this 12 months.

Kuo additionally notes that call for for HomePod has been “mediocre” to date.

basic, demand for the clever speaker primarily based on “transport time” is “impartial”, the record stated.

Reliance Big TV offer: 500 channels free for 5 yrs, HD ones for 1 year

The effectively free offer on Reliance Big TV DTH is valid starting today, March 1, 2018

Anil Ambani-owned direct-to-home service provider Reliance Big TV is now offering free access to up to 500 channels at a zero effective cost, along with one year of free subscription to premium channels.

To avail of the Reliance Big TV set-top box at effectively zero cost, you need to book the DTH from the company’s official portal by paying a booking amount of Rs 499. Another sum of Rs 1,500 needs to be paid once the DTH is delivered, for installation and other services.

However, the total sum of Rs 2,000 is refundable after successful completion of three years in the form of recharge.

According to terms and conditions of the offer, you need to do a monthly recharge of Rs 300 from second year onwards for two consecutive years. At the end of three years, the company would refund a sum of Rs 2,000 in the form of recharge.

The offer comes bundled with free access to up to 500 free-to-air channels for five years and one year of free subscription to paid channels.

“Today, Reliance Big TV is going to mark the beginning of a new dawn in the way Indians have been accessing entertainment on their TV sets. Starting from today, entertainment comes effectively free of cost, with the latest offer by Reliance Big TV. Now every Indian household can enjoy home entertainment & students can have free of cost access to education content with HD HEVC set Top box,” said Vijender Singh, Director, Reliance Big TV in a statement.


Asus challenges iPhone X with all-screen, AI-powered Zenfone 5, Zenfone 5z

The Zenfone 5-series boasts artificial intelligence capabilities, which, unlike some of the other phones, are not limited to camera but have access to display, ringtone, battery and live videos too

Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Asus on February 27 showcased the Zenfone 5zand Zenfone 5 at the Mobile World Congress. The smartphones are identical in looks and have similar features. However, these identical twins are powered by different breeds of processors and have different RAM configurations to differentiate.

The next-generation Zenfone-series boasts artificial intelligence capabilities, which, unlike some of the other phones, are not limited to just camera but have access to display, ringtone, battery and live videos as well.

Apart from the AI capabilities, the Zenfone 5z and Zenfone 5 have 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio, thanks to their 6.2-inch fullHD+ screen covering almost the entire front. The 19:9 aspect ratio leaves just a small notch on top to accommodate an 8-megapixel camera, earpiece and sensors – just like in Apple iPhone X but smaller.

On the back, the smartphones sport a dual-camera set-up, which features 12MP and 8MP shooters.

The primary 12MP sensor boasts f/1.8 aperture and the 8MP sensor features 120-degree wide-angle lens. Both, front and rear cameras are backed by AI for automatic scene selection and portrait photography, and machine learning to improve the output by learning usage patterns.

The Zenfone 5z and Zenfone 5 sport 2.5D curved glass on the front and back, supported by a metal chassis that holds them together seamlessly. The Zenfone 5z houses Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip (SoC), 6GB RAM and host of storage options starting from 64GB. The Zenfone 5, on the other hand, uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor, 4GB RAM, and comes with 64GB storage in base model.


JioPhone gets Facebook as its first third-party app; rollout begins today

The app has been designed from scratch to work on KaiOS, the default operating system that comes loaded with the Reliance JioPhone


Reliance JioPhone , India’s first 4G-enabled feature phone, is all set to receive the Facebook app officially on February 14. The app has been designed from scratch to work on KaiOS, the default operating system that comes loaded with the Reliance JioPhone.

“We are excited about our partnership with Jio and the opportunity to provide the best possible Facebook experience for millions of people using JioPhone. Working with partners like Jio, we want to make sure everyone, everywhere has the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of being connected,” said Francisco Varela, vice-president of Mobile Partnerships, Facebook.

From today, the existing and new customers of JioPhone could download the Facebook app from JioAppStore. The app supports timeline view, push notifications and video playback capabilities.

For a non-touch device, the Facebook app on JioPhone supports cursor function to access News Feed and photos.

“JioPhone is the world’s most affordable smartphone built with transformational technology especially for Indians to migrate from a feature phone to a smartphone. As promised, JioPhone will be home to the world’s leading applications, starting with Facebook. Jio, the world’s largest mobile data network, is built to empower every Indian with the power of data and JioPhone is an integral part of this Jio movement,” said Akash Ambani, director, Reliance Jio.

The JioPhone will come with pre-loaded Jio apps for messaging and entertainment. The phone can be connected with television sets via TV Cable accessory for watching live TV using the Jio TV app.


iPhones and children are a toxic pair, say two big apple investors

A leading activist investor and a pension fund are saying the smartphone maker needs to respond to what some see as a growing public-health crisis of youth phone addiction

Two activist shareholders want Apple to develop tools and research effects on young people of smartphone overuse and addiction

The iPhone has made Apple Inc. AAPL 1.14% and Wall Street hundreds of billions of dollars. Now some big shareholders are asking at what cost, in an unusual campaign to make the company more socially responsible.

A leading activist investor and a pension fund are saying the smartphone maker needs to respond to what some see as a growing public-health crisis of youth phone addiction.

Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or Calstrs, which control about $2 billion of Apple shares, sent a letter to Apple on Saturday urging it to develop new software tools that would help parents control and limit phone use more easily and to study the impact of overuse on mental health.

The Apple push is a preamble to a new several-billion-dollar fund Jana is seeking to raise this year to target companies it believes can be better corporate citizens. It is the first instance of a big Wall Street activist seeking to profit from the kind of social-responsibility campaign typically associated with a small fringe of investors.

Adding splash, rock star Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, will be on an advisory board along with Sister Patricia A. Daly, a nun who successfully fought Exxon Mobil Corp. over environmental disclosures, and Robert Eccles, an expert on sustainable investing.

The Apple campaign would be unusual for an activist like Jana, which normally urges companies to make financial changes. But the investors believe that Apple’s highflying stock could be hurt in coming decades if it faces a backlash and that proactive moves could generate goodwill and keep consumers loyal to Apple brands.

“Apple can play a defining role in signaling to the industry that paying special attention to the health and development of the next generation is both good business and the right thing to do,” the shareholders wrote in the letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. (more)


Honor View10 review: A smartphone that aces the mid-tier flagship race

Priced Rs 29,999, the Honor View10, with the company’s latest Kirin 970 processor boasting a neural-processing unit for artificial intelligence wizardry, comes with 6GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei unveiled the Mate 10-series, powered by its flagship artificial intelligence-based Kirin 970 system on chip, in its home country last year. Like the previous Mate-series devices, the Mate10-series phones were released in only a handful of markets – and the price-conscious Indian smartphone market was not one of them.

However, Huawei’s online sub-brand Honor has launched in India the View10, an affordable version designed on the footprints of the Mate 10-series, at Rs 29,999. The View10 is Honor’s third launch at this price – the Honor 8 and Honor 8 Pro were the previous two.

The Honor View10 features the company’s latest Kirin 970 processor, which boasts a neural-processing unit for artificial intelligence wizardry. The phone comes with 6GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage packed inside a sturdy metallic body reminiscent of the Honor 8 Pro. The key attraction of the device is its dual-camera set-up on the back and the futuristic 18:9 aspect ratio screen.

Business Standard reviewed the View10 to test the phone’s hardware and software prowess, besides the overall smartphone performance. Here are our observations:

Design and display

Despite a 5.99-inch screen, the View10 is narrower than the Honor 8 Pro, which had a 5.7-inch screen; in terms of height and thickness, it has retained the dimensions of the predecessor. The screen has been stretched to fit the 18:9 aspect ratio which leaves limited space for bezels. The screen resolution has been reduced from quadHD (1440 x 2560) in the Honor 8 Pro to fullHD+ (1080 x 2160) in the View10. That does affect the pixel counts of the otherwise capable display.

Talking of the overall design, the front is now dominated by the 18:9 aspect ratio screen and a fingerprint scanner embedded under the home key, which is placed on the limited bottom bezel space. While the front sees a major improvement and looks better, the back looks a tad bland, reminiscent of the Honor 8 Pro design. The protruding camera lenses, coupled with prominent antenna lines on top and bottom, temper the overall design theme.


Honor has a history of using dual-camera set-ups; it is among the first few smartphone manufacturers to introduce the concept in mobile phones. Besides, the company has a dedicated series of smartphones – the P-series – that boasts industry-first dual-camera set-up co-created in partnership with imaging experts ‘Leica’. (more)