Archive for Październik, 2011

Toshiba launch Touchpoints campaign

By admin, 29 października, 2011, No Comment

“TouchPoints has been created to make consumers fall in love with Toshiba by communicating how our products and technology change lives,” says Richard Bosman, marketing manager for Toshiba Computer Systems Southern Africa.

The campaign is themed ‘Dare To’, challenging consumers to do the things they’ve always dreamed of – and showing them that they will be able to achieve their dreams with the power of Toshiba technology.

The insight that Toshiba is bigger than users can imagine led the creative processes behind the campaign. “Toshiba’s technology touches our daily lives in myriad ways that we’re completely unaware of, from medical imaging to power generation, from illumination to home appliances, and the company’s components play a critical role in mobile communications,” he says.

The company’s tagline line of ‘Leading Innovation’ is true in so many ways: Toshiba introduced the first glasses-free 3D PC with its Qosmio notebook, and it is the only vendor that offers glasses-free 3D, Active 3D and Passive 3D TVs. “The two-minute brand commercial that is currently being flighted in cinemas and on TV has been created to show people just how Toshiba influences their lives, and how it can inspire them to ‘dare to be bigger than they can imagine.’”

This approach marks a departure from Toshiba’s existing messaging which has been heavily focused on products. The new campaign sells the brand first by illustrating Toshiba’s market leadership, and that subsequent product-based advertising will benefit from the halo effect created by the brand communication. “This brand-led strategy reinforces the values and qualities that make Toshiba a premium product,” he says.

The brand commercial shows Tosh, a blue robot introduced as the brand’s superhero in 2010, experiencing Toshiba’s Touchpoints as he navigates through a normal day’s events – and then shaking things up by daring to do things differently in a variety of situations. Toshiba have highlighted the innovation of the brand by portraying the lives of young professionals who are in careers that make regular people stop and dream of the heights that they could achieve. These include ballet dancers, an architect, a medical professional, and Ryan Giggs, one of the world’s most renowned soccer players.

“Tosh’s personality is one of pure optimism, self-belief and energy, and his presence transfers these qualities to the characters whose lives he touches – his presence is a catalyst for positive, daring thought, just as Toshiba’s technology empowers and inspires consumers to soar beyond their limitations by using Toshiba products.

“Tosh himself is the linking device, as he performs outrageous parkour stunts through the city as he peers in on each situation – parkour embodies the spirit of daring and declares by its existence that there are no boundaries,” he concludes.

The commercial is two minutes long, and is shot in 3D, again emphasising Toshiba’s positioning at the forefront of technology.

Paycorp achieves PCI compliance

By admin, 29 października, 2011, No Comment

Paycorp Holdings and its three subsidiaries: ATM Solutions; DrawCard and EFTPOS share a common platform which is connected with the majority of Southern African banks and is active across all major payment streams. As a VISA third party processor and SARB authorised South African System Operator, adherence to and compliance with the requirements of PCI’s Data Security Standard (DSS) ensures that Paycorp Holdings remains a credible and preferred third party processor.

PCI DSS compliance presents many benefits – it certifies that Paycorp Holdings enforces information security best practices and reassures all its clients that payment card data is accepted and processed in a secure manner.  Compliance is an ongoing requirement and an audit is conducted annually to ensure that compliance is maintained.  A regular review of PCI standards, by the PCI Security Standards Council, ensures that improved data security measures are introduced for detection and prevention of fraud.

As a third party processor, Paycorp Holdings underwent an intensive assessment, implementation and alignment process over a two and a half year period and was certified as PCI DSS version 1.2.1 compliant on 12 October 2011.

Paycorp Holdings’ Natasja Jordaan, Programme Manager for the project, explains: “The accurate interpretation of the PCI DSS requirements was crucial in achieving compliance.  Segmenting our network and enforcing a standardised approach for sustainable processes introduced many challenges in mitigating impact to processes and systems, particularly because we have different payment streams which include card acquiring at ATM and POS (Point-of-Sale), as well as card issuing. PCI compliance is now the standard for all new projects to ensure that new systems and processes remain aligned. ” she says.

Visa’s Head of Country Risk Management – Africa, Bryce Thorrold, says: “Visa attaches tremendous value to its brand as well its cardholders and the knowledge that all parties involved in transaction processing are collecting data in a responsible manner, provides Visa with peace of mind.   Paycorp Holdings processes a large volume of Visa cards and as one of the largest African payment processors, the security of Paycorp Holdings is a high priority for Visa. We truly appreciate the effort which has been expended to reduce the threat landscape.  With current compliance pressure on large merchants, they are seeking to use compliant service providers and processors going forward.  Visa has set aggressive compliance targets for 2011 and thanks to efforts such as Paycorp’s, expected targets will be met.”

Commenting on the overall benefits of being PCI compliant, Stephen Hochstadter, Paycorp Holdings’ Chief Operating Officer overseeing the risk function, states the fact that they can securely process cardholder information and augment existing banking partnerships is highly rewarding.

“We understand the importance of data protection and that partnering with highly regulated counterparties such as the banking institutions, requires us to comply with best practices remaining a trusted partner. The fact that PCI compliance also ensures alignment to other industry standards such as ISO 27003, KING III, and CobiT is also advantageous. PCI DSS certification has propelled us into a new era of increased protection of customers’ personal data as well as protection against financial losses that arise from security breaches giving Paycorp the ability to maintain customer trust and safeguard reputation.”

Opinion: SAVRALA continues to say ‘No’ to GFIP tolling

By admin, 29 października, 2011, No Comment

By SAVRALA, the Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association

At the Southern African Rental and Leasing Association’s (SAVRALA) AGM held today in Johannesburg, its members, representing over 450,000 vehicles, agreed not to register their vehicles for e-tags until their tolling concerns have been addressed. The lack of clarity regarding the enforcement of tolling, the burden of additional administrative costs on Gauteng road users and the risk posed to road users by cloned registration plates are only some of the outstanding concerns which present yet undetermined consequences to both its members and all Gauteng road users.

SAVRALA welcomes the recent instruction by the Minister of Transport to ‘halt all processes related to the tolling of national roads’. The Minister’s view that the ‘consultative processes should be allowed to take place to offer concerned parties an opportunity to share their views on the toll road program’ is warmly supported and long overdue. The intent, however, to implement tolling in Gauteng, should also be halted.

In addition, the firm statement given this week by the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to his Government to ‘use the resources we have far more effectively’, strongly resonates with SAVRALA’s concerns about the planned implementation of urban tolling in Gauteng. The expected administrative costs, conservatively running into billions, could be replaced almost overnight by an additional fuel levy without any wasteful administrative costs. Funds raised by the fuel levy could be allocated to key national infrastructural projects, such as the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP).

SAVRALA remains ready at all times to engage with SANRAL and the Department of Transport to address the current road infrastructure funding challenges.

The lack of an effective consultation structure between the various transport related stakeholders and Government remains an important opportunity to be fulfilled.

Given the dynamic and fluid nature of the current tolling national debate, SAVRALA’s members will again review their position on the implementation of planned urban tolling in Gauteng within the next month.

Desktop as a Service important for Africa

By admin, 29 października, 2011, No Comment

A technology advancement that is positively impacting businesses on a global scale today is Desktop as a Service (DaaS), and looking at the benefits that such a solution is offering these enterprises, MTN Business believe that DaaS certainly has a place in the African Market.

It has been suggested that in Africa, there are only 3 computers for every 1 000 people – but what if this could change? The reality is that it can and with this, the possibility for DaaS for African businesses becomes viable.

Put simply, DaaS refers to the virtual desktop – a desktop that is hosted in the cloud. The purpose of this model is to provide a full basic desktop environment, including the ability to generate or edit word processing documents or spreadsheets, available to all users at the flick of a switch. DaaS meets some of the biggest concerns that African businesses face today; that of safe, cost effective ICT solutions.

Says Johnny Aucamp General Manager: Strategic Relations and Business Development Africa at MTN Business; “Considering the low PC stats per user in Africa, such a technology model can be considered perfect for businesses operating in this region. Traditional desktop PCs today remain an expensive capital outlay for businesses, especially from a services point of view. In fact, according to a study undertaken by Gartner, on average, companies spend up to $7 000 per PC per year on operating costs, where 77% of this is on service and support alone. With DaaS these costs concerns can be significantly reduced without business growth being affected.”

Furthermore, DaaS also allows employees to have access to work documents via other mobile devices, providing convenience and strategically aligns with the current mobile trend that Africa is and will continue to experience.

To explain this further, let’s look at a 24 hour call centre as an example. Currently, every employee that works in the call centre, regardless of their different shifts, requires a PC to be able to access their work and get the job done. This means that if there are 100 employees, 100 PCs are required. However, out of these 100 employees, let’s say 70 work the day shift – that means that 30 computers are not being used during the day. With DaaS, the 24 hour call centre would only need 70 PC’s, as DaaS allows those employees who work the night shift to access their work from any PC, and therefore could use 30 of the 70 computers used during the day, to be able to get their work done. In essence, the call centre would not need 30 computers, which can be a large cost saving. And this is just one example.

Concludes Aucamp; “Although stats show that Africa still has the lowest Internet access penetration in the developing world of only 9.6%³, much is currently being done from a technology implementation and infrastructure perspective to change this. While Africa is considered to not yet have the full IT infrastructure required for DaaS to be 100% operational and beneficial to businesses, many cities do have the necessary redundancy to see immediate savings on the continent. As the continent continues to evolve, the potential for DaaS increases and when the continent is ready, businesses should be ready to embrace the DaaS revolution.”

SA consumers enjoy rich internet experience

By admin, 29 października, 2011, No Comment

Rapid growth in broadband penetration is starting to transform the way that South Africans use the Internet, with consumers beginning to use richer services and applications more extensively than they did two years ago

That’s the word from Tim Walter, Executive Head of Marketing at Nashua Mobile. He says that the Internet is no longer just about Web browsing, online banking and email – consumers are also starting to download media, share videos, and play more games online.

The reason for this is that years of deregulation and infrastructure build-outs have started to bear fruit for the technology industry. All of a sudden, there’s plenty of international bandwidth from the new undersea cables that have landed over the past two years, more national fibre links, and fiercer competition for the consumer’s spend.

Walter says that the arrival of the first uncapped broadband ADSL accounts in 2010 marked the beginning of South Africa’s shift from expensive, scarce bandwidth to more affordable high-speed connectivity. Mobile broadband services have also advanced in recent years, with prices dropping rapidly, and operators stepping up their rollout of HSPA+ and other high-speed data services.

Today, South Africa has 3.7 million broadband subscribers, of which 2.6 million use mobile technologies, according to research from PricewaterhouseCoopers Southern Africa.

However, Walter notes that most Internet users in South Africa are still predominantly middle-class, urban and older than 35 years of age. That means there is still plenty of scope for broadband services to be extended to people with less disposable income.

“Urban users have the pick of the best services – Wi-Fi, ADSL and HSPA+. Many use ADSL at home for entertainment and mobile broadband from their smartphones, tablets and notebooks on the road,” Walter says. “The challenge is to extend these services to more people.”

Walter says that Telkom is stepping up ADSL rollouts with a view to reaching more people. But in the longer term, it will be high-speed mobile technologies such as long term evolution (LTE) that will move the market.

LTE offers download speeds of at least 100Mb/s and uploads of at least 50 Mb/s, as well as lower latencies. It will be key to bringing richer services such as video to parts of the country with poor or no fixed-line infrastructure. South African operators such as MTN are currently piloting LTE services, with a view to rolling them out as soon as they can access the spectrum they need to do so.

Concludes Walter: “With the rapid improvement of South Africa’s broadband infrastructure and a decline in prices, we can expect to see a number of innovative services starting to reach the market. Video-on-demand, for example, is on the horizon. South Africa is slowly beginning to enjoy access to the same services Internet users in other parts of the world already take for granted.”

Avira AntiVir 2012 now available

By admin, 29 października, 2011, No Comment

Companies of all sizes have come to appreciate the efficient, powerful protection afforded by Avira’s AntiVir range of products. Now, existing and new customers can enjoy the professional security for workstations, file, Web and mail servers that only Avira can provide, with numerous enhancements in the new 2012 version.

“A clean interface, a shortened installation process and faster operation are only a few of the striking usability enhancements the new product boasts,” explains Lutz Blaeser, MD of dedicated Avira distributor Intact Security. “The heightened user experience reflects equally important upgrades to the core protection technology beneath the surface. Version 2012 combines solid performance with the power to outsmart malware that hides from traditional detection mechanisms.”

The 2012 version has given security a makeover, with a clean, simple and attractive user interface. The key enhancement lies in the increased stability and reliability of the software, as all components have been hardened in order to resist against targeted malware attacks which are more and more aggressive. This includes, but it is not limited to, the ability to function without many registry keys, better protection against process termination, component deletion and many others. The repair functionality for various malware families has also been improved.

Installation has been simplified, and the new version offers better protection as all components have been hardened to outfox new forms of malware that escape traditional virus scanning methods. In addition, the repair technologies have been updated to provide the most effective removal of malware – and any traces it leaves behind.

“With AntiVir 2012, less is more,” says Blaeser. “The products and components have been given new names that are easy to understand and better reflect their functionality, and the default settings are the optimum protection settings for almost everybody. You don’t need to be a computer expert in order to secure your machine with confidence. If relaxed permissions lead to higher risk of infection, the ‘Fix It Now!’ button instantly reverts your settings to the recommended protection levels.”

The software has been designed with default configurations to make installation easier, to keep the user safer, and to take the guesswork out of remaining secure. A streamlined two-click install process and automatic resolution of software conflicts during installation ensure that installation couldn’t be simpler, and a one-click “Fix Problems” button simplifies the solution of any issues that might endanger users’ computers.

Version 2012 is lean on system resources, allowing faster scanning and less waiting while your computer boots up. The System Scanner has been optimised to run quietly in the background without slowing down normal activities, but can also be set to low priority mode; this reserves more system resources for video editing and other high-memory applications.

The presentation and game modes are configurable, allowing users to choose to suspend update notices and other nonessential messages while viewing presentations or using other full-screen applications. Updates and other notifications can be selectively allowed if desired. Users can also choose to suspend update notices and other nonessential messages while playing games and watching movies.

“You get anti-virus engineered to minimise system impact, use minimum memory and processing power to scan traffic, email, files and archives in real-time, and includes automatic updates,” adds Blaeser. “If you forget to renew your license, your computer may be at risk for infection. We’re making it more convenient to keep your protection current with the addition of an automatic renewal option for real ‘set and forget’ protection.”

And while assistance shouldn’t be necessary in an ideal world, if things don’t work the way they are supposed to in the real world, Avira will provide help. Avira 2012 boasts Live Customer Support for all premium products. If users run into any problems, they can connect directly with a technical support engineer who will fix the problems in real time over the Internet using the new Team Viewer feature.

Blaeser adds that the IPv6 protocol, the emerging standard for internet addresses, is now fully supported. “Avira products are developed and maintained with a long-term view. This approach provides our business customers safety for their investment and planning. Avira supports all operating systems, and with the addition of the IPv6 protocol, the 2012 version ensures that all businesses can rest assured that their security is doing its job – now, and in the future.”

Helios Towers Africa shortlisted for three AfricaCom awards

By admin, 29 października, 2011, No Comment

Helios Towers Africa is a contender to win Best Pan African Initiative, Best Cost Efficiency Initiative for Africa and Best Network Improvement.  The AfricaCom conference awards aim to recognise and reward excellence in the African telecommunications market.

Charles Green, CEO of Helios Towers Africa, said: “We are delighted that our success in pioneering the tower sharing model across Africa has been highlighted by AfricaCom.  We aim to deliver more affordable and accessible communications across the continent, and it is encouraging to see the value of this work being acknowledged.  We look forward to the announcement of the winners in November.”

Helios Towers Africa will be leading a session on tower sharing at the AfricaCom conference in Cape Town.  The award winners will be announced at the conference on 9 November 2011.

Evolving Networks provide bonded ADSL

By admin, 29 października, 2011, No Comment

Robust Details are a UKAS accredited product certification body, specialising in approving new robust details as a method of satisfying building regulations.

When it came to a new internet connection for their offices, Robust Details had a demanding set of requirements.  In addition to needing the service guarantees that come with a leased line or Ethernet service, resilience and delivery times were also critical factors.

With a crucial project to roll out, Robust Details needed their new internet connection up and running within 15 days, putting traditional leased line solutions out of the running.  As a new local infrastructure was being built, it was also crucial that IP settings – once in place – were not changed.

This combination of factors, whilst not being an unusual set of requirements for businesses, left Robust Details with a problem.  Leased lines take 90 days to install, so how to proceed?

Working through one of their trusted partners, Evolving Networks were approached and delivered the answer.  By supplying a bonded ADSL & Ethernet service it would be possible to deliver a connection within 15 days, and to then supplement the link – without the need to change any local settings or IP Addresses – with a 10/100mbps Ethernet service.

As well as delivering a resilient internet connection of 11mbps upload & 15mbps download, Robust Details were provided with multiple IP ranges which meets the customers need for Integrated Lights Out (ILO) to each server on site, this is in case of a firewall failure.

Evolving Networks are very pleased to offer quick delivery connectivity solutions with easy to install equipment.  Commenting on the solution Jamie Cobb, of Evolving Networks said “Robust Details wanted fast, resilient connectivity and they wanted it deployed very quickly.  That’s what Evolving Networks do.  We delivered a service within 15 days so the customer could get working, we then added Ethernet to the mix, delivering a truly bonded service that is resilient across different technologies”.

Jasco Carrier Networks provides MCC Contracts with voice and data comms

By admin, 29 października, 2011, No Comment

Jasco Carrier Networks has supplied a complete ICT solution, incorporating local WiFi networks, a mixture of microwave, DSL, and fibre access into MPLS for voice and data solutions with cloud computing services providing the related reliability, scalability and SLA to the MCC Group’s Contracts division, enabling enhanced voice and data communications at remote mine sites, as well as between these sites and MCC headquarters. The cost savings are significant, but it’s the reliability and flexibility of the Jasco Carrier Networks solution that is making all the difference in terms of meeting not just communication but enterprise reporting, governance and regulatory requirements.

MCC Contracts, the opencast contract mining division of the MCC Group of Companies, was conceived in the mid 1980′s through a need to achieve better utilisation of the Plant Hire fleet in the midst of an economic downturn.

Today it is positioned at the forefront of the surface contract mining industry and is regarded as the market leader in terms of capability and expertise. It currently operates in South Africa, Mozambique and Namibia, mining in excess of 17.5 million tons of waste and ore a month on its various mining contracts.

Says Wynand Koekemoer, database administrator at MCC: “Our challenge was to put a modern information and communication network in place across our numerous remote sites. These are usually temporary (3-5 years) ‘container’ cities with ‘hard park’ areas for storage of mining and plant equipment.

They are harsh environments that are usually off the commercial telecoms grids. We thus primarily used cell phones with 3G connectivity to talk to one another on site, to call head office and to send data. It proved an expensive, unreliable and slow solution, especially with regards to data.

“At a few sites we did install a cabled network, but they too are costly, time consuming to install and maintain, and certainly not mobile. Numerous redundant points developed as we expanded the network to accommodate movement around the site and, of course, there is the ever-present danger of the network being damaged by heavy equipment.”

Other drivers for a more reliable communications system included the need to input data timeously to a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to be implemented by MCC for informed decision-making, as well as meet regulatory requirements with regard to human resource reporting and health and safety standards. In addition, the massive trucks and other plant equipment used on site have maintenance schedules that are vital to maintain.

In 2010, the company started looking for a data-to-site connectivity solution with VoIP capability. “VSat, ADSL and fibre were all costly, represented a business risk and were certainly not mobile,” notes Ben Steyn, Executive Head of Sales at Jasco Carrier Networks. “MCC Contracts wanted a rugged, transportable solution that it could easily set up and expand as needed, then reconfigure and re-use when it broke up one site and set up another. We responded to a request for solution proposals and our offering was selected.”

Says Koekemoer: “Jasco Carrier Networks’ solution design was better, as was the quality of the solution, and it could be centrally managed which is important to us as we do not always have ICT skills at remote sites to fix, manage and service technology. In addition, Jasco Carrier Networks’ has a partnership with Vodacom Business which offered a back-to-back SLA for established infrastructure into the cloud and to head office – this promised the kind of reliability we wanted. While service providers deployed high-sites that would have provided some of the connectivity we needed, fourth-parties were responsible for their maintenance. The Vodacom SLA is with Vodacom, not a fourth party.”

To connect all MCC’s mining sites for voice and data connectivity Jasco Carrier Networks proposed a wireless network connecting the site offices, workshops and portions of the pits using microwave transmission. All WiFi computers, phones and company issued cell phones connect via a SIP client to the network, which comprises Tropos and Aruba WiFi equipment for, respectively, external and internal WiFi networking. This allows for onsite connectivity. To conduct inter-branch calls, MCC would make use of the MPLS VPN. This VPN will also facilitate MCC’s need for any-to-any data connectivity to all the other mining sites.

Explains Steyn: “The MPLS VPN has the ability to carry both voice and data traffic, prioritising the voice traffic and breakout centrally though the Vodacom Business Softswitch to the various Voice Service Providers.

“The benefits of the Tropos equipment are its intelligent carrier class WiFi Access Points and ruggedised weather proof boxes that are designed for outdoor use. It also uses a technology called Predictive Wireless Routing Protocol, or PWRP, (metro-mesh), that can scale to thousands of nodes to provide wide range coverage with routing overheads never using more than 5% of available network bandwidth. And Tropos is also completely redundant (fully meshed) and stable.  Aruba, on the other hand, offers high scalability with a programmable overlay that facilitates evolutionary change. It can be centrally managed and has automated RF management.”

The first implementation phase, which took approximately four months, saw six MCC Contract sites enabled, with VSat temporarily installed at two sites, awaiting microwave links. First ‘go-live’ was in March and April 2011. Says Steyn: “These implementations entailed setting up WiFi for voice and data at each site, with the voice breakout for headquarters and the sites via the Vodacom softswitch. The data requirement was for access to the ERP system at head office to facilitate HR and financial reporting, among others. We did a full site inspection for each installation and made use of our in-house radio planner and engineers to optimise the network design.”

There are three handset solutions: a ‘desk phone’ which allows for VoIP calls on the network (cost free), a ruggedised mobile WiFi phone which is also on the WiFi network, and the Nokia E 52 phone with its built-in SIP client. “The Nokia phones are issued to users with the SIP configuration allowing for VoIP calls to any other SIP enabled devices on the network as well as GSM calls. In all, at completion of phase two of the initiative when 10 sites will have been commissioned, almost 200 users will use these onsite WiFi networks,” notes Steyn.

Says Koekemoer: “Cell phone costs, while not yet fully assessed, have dropped between 30% and 70% for various users. We have come a long way from using bare basics for communications to having a full, well planned, functional system in place. We are very pleased with the performance of the Jasco Carrier Networks team. They are committed – they not just listened to us, but went into the field to fully understand our mode of operation, our problems and frustrations.”

Acer Debuts Aspire S3 ultrabook

By admin, 29 października, 2011, No Comment

Acer has announced its first Ultrabook, the Acer Aspire S3. The S3 integrates the best features of notebook and mobile devices, offering users powerful performance for digital creation, in addition to ultra-fast responsiveness and interaction for content consumption, enhancing the freedom and overall computing experiences of users on the go.

“The Aspire S3 is truly designed to meet notebook users’ needs, combining essential features of the smartphone and tablet PC, such as fast startup and Internet connectivity, with long battery life. Matched with its slim form, the Aspire S3 will provide a fresh experience and set a major milestone in the history of Acer’s notebook development,” said Celeste Gibbens, Marketing Manager for Acer Africa.

Ultra-long unplugged freedom via instant on and connect

Modern notebook users want to maximize their time and effort wherever they go. The Aspire S3 helps them make the most of their time via two new innovations: Acer Green Instant On, which delivers ultra-fast responsiveness, energy efficiency and enhanced power management; and Acer Instant Connect, which provides access to the Internet in just 2.5 seconds ,   — four times faster than conventional connections — so users can go faster for better productivity and infotainment enjoyment. There’s no compromise.

Acer Green Instant On provides two sleep modes from which the Aspire S3 responds with surprising speed: From Sleep the Aspire S3 will resume in a mere 1.5 seconds,2 and from Deep Sleep it resumes in 6 seconds.2 With these energy-conscious innovations, the Aspire S3′s battery life lasts up to 50 days ,   — even longer than regular mobile phone batteries!

Ultra-slim in an aerodynamic metal design

For easy-to-carry convenience, the Aspire S3 measures 1.3 cm thin and weighs less than 1.4 kg (3 lbs.).  It’s also equipped with a full-size Acer FineTip chiclet keyboard, designed for comfortable use and maximum productivity. All-day usability is assured by a super-lightweight, high-density battery that delivers up to 7 hours  of juice. The aerodynamic design of the Aspire S3 features a strong and lightweight aluminum/magnesium alloy chassis, and a lid with a fingerprint-free metal finish that feels as smooth as silk.

The 13.3″ ultra-thin HD LED display adopts an open cell design to conserve materials by using the lid and bezel to form an aluminum frame for the screen. This creates a super-slim yet protective profile and reduces the energy required during manufacture as compared to conventional panel designs.

Innovative airflow design enhances comfort

The Aspire S3 features a vent-free bottom so the notebook rests comfortably on the user’s lap. Warm components are smartly placed away from the palmrest and touchpad area, so users won’t feel any heat discomfort. Further innovation is offered via a new airflow design that dissipates warm air from the rear of the notebook, preventing air from blowing towards the user’s hands. Finally, the fan motor is optimized to enhance efficiency and lower power consumption to help increase system battery life.

Uncompromising performance for content creation and enjoyment

The Aspire S3 features the latest 2nd generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors for full computing and digital creation capability, and a choice of 240 GB SSD or 320/500 GB HDD with embedded SSD  for ultra-fast access and ample media and data storage. Packing professionally-tuned Dolby Home Theater v4, the Aspire S3 delivers vibrant, cinema-style surround sound and enhanced dialogue quality for optimum listening experiences. Standard HDMI output is also included for connecting the Aspire S3 to popular HD peripheral devices for high-def digital/video playback and extension. Furthermore, users can quickly and easily share data or download photos from their digital cameras using the 2-in-1 card reader that supports SD Cards and MultiMediaCard.

On-the-go users can keep in touch with friends and colleagues with high-clarity video conferences thanks to the integrated Acer Crystal Eye 1.3 megapixel camera and microphone — with superior Wi-Fi connections guaranteed by Acer InviLink Nplify 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi CERTIFIED technology.  Wireless convenience is enhanced by the addition of latest-generation Bluetooth 4.0+HSR technology with lower power consumption.

“We are very happy to see the formal launch of the Acer Aspire S3, Acer’s first Ultrabook, and to be one of the leading time-to-market partners to place an Ultrabook in the market. The features of the Aspire S3, powered by 2nd generation Intel Core processors — including instant on, instant connect, long battery life, and its elegant slim and light design — will satisfy many users’ desire for a free and easy life on the go,” added Gibbens “As the only Ultrabook with an HDD option, the Aspire S3 offers the computing power and storage needs of a notebook, along with the mobile communication advantages of the smartphone and tablet PC. It’s a major breakthrough in notebook design and will surely fortify our notebook competitiveness in the ICT market.”

Pricing and Availability

Priced from R9 999.00, the Aspire S3 will start to roll out in South Africa in November, and is expected to become Acer’s star product during the fourth quarter.

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