Responding to customer demand for low cost, hassle-free printing, Epson has launched its first inkjet photo printer that features an integrated ultra-high-capacity ink tank system in South Africa.
The Epson L800 photo printer is designed to offer reliable, high quality and cost effective colour photo printing.
The L800 is a single function photo printer and is supplied with six individual 70ml Epson genuine ink bottles – black, cyan, magenta, yellow, light cyan and light magenta. The high capacity ink tank is fully integrated into the printer, making it easy to top up the various colours as required. All refills are manufactured by Epson, and each refill comes complete with a unique 13 digit code that ensures its authenticity, giving users the peace of mind that they will indeed benefit from Epson’s superior quality, purpose-made inks.
The L800 features Epson’s Fast Ink Top-up (FIT) technology which minimises ink leakage. This technology includes specially designed air-tight caps and filters, as well as a choke valve that controls the flow of ink to prevent backflow.This also means users can easily and safely transport the printer to wherever they need to work, without hassle.
Users can print high-quality borderless photos up to A4 size, and they can print directly onto printable CDs and DVDs with life-like, long-lasting results. Photo printing can be completed quickly and efficiently: printing a 10 x 15cm photo takes as little as 12 seconds.
Kelvin Reynolds, general manager of Epson South Africa says: “With our new ultra-high-capacity ink tanks, and high-volume ink bottles for easy refills, the Epson L800 prints photos effortlessly, and at an extremely low cost.
It has been a few years since the UltraSharp’s last new breakthrough, but Dell is back with a new 30-inch WQXGA monitor, the UltraSharp U3014. And if you’re in the market for a high-quality, large display, the Dell Ultrasharp U3014 is worth considering
According to Dell, the high-performance display offers detailed images and colour accuracy up to industry standards with its 16:10 aspect ratio and 2560×1600-pixel resolution. Its design features an eco-friendly approach that meets various environmental standards, and it provides ergonomic flexible viewing options. The U3014 also boasts several nice-to-have features and a long list of on-board controls for tuning your image on screen.
The U3014′s matte IPS panel has a very wide viewing angle, which is important for a display of this size
You will most certainly need some help in attaching the heavy monitor to its stand but once you’ve done that, you can connect it to your computer using your choice of DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, or Mini DisplayPort.
Dell typically includes a four-port USB hub on its professional displays. This model sports two downstream USB 3.0 ports on its left side, along with a handy memory card reader, and two more downstream USB 3.0 ports (plus an upstream port) in the back. The display does not have built-in speakers, but you can attach Dell’s optional speaker bar to the bottom of the unit. The display is calibrated at the factory for both colour and brightness uniformity, but the U3014 offers a comprehensive set of onscreen menus if you’d like to make your own tweaks. The panel on which the U3014 is based is a “wide gamut” model, which means it’s capable of delivering more colours than you might be accustomed to seeing.
Create precision work with the high-performance 30″ Dell UltraSharp U3014 monitor offering wide-ranging flexibility, efficiency and factory calibration. Making the jump from a 27-inch display to a 30-inch display is a substantial investment: Dell’s U3014 is much more than the Dell’s 27-inch U2713H or Apple’s 27-inch Thunderbolt displays. According to Dell the U3014 is “coming soon” with a price tag of R14,199.90.But if you need a professional feature set in a very large monitor, The UltraSharp U3014 delivers.
The ASUS VivoBook S200E ‘Netbook’ – Nearly an Ultrabook but Definitely the Cheapest Win 8 Touch Laptop
More and more touchscreen laptops are hitting the South African market and they’re coming in at both ends of the spectrum. The Acer Aspire V5 Touch is a good example of an Ultrabook-alternative with Touchscreen. The ASUS VivoBook series is another.
Meet the Asus Vivobook S200E that we’ll be reviewing and that is available from WebAntics Online for R4,923.57 incl VAT including delivery to all main centres. Even without touchscreen that would not be a lot. It doesn’t look like a cheap laptop however, with not a lot of plastic (only the bottom cover) and a stylish brushed aluminium finish similar to the (much more expensive) Zenbook series. The net result is that the entire notebook is remarkably rigid and resilient. The build quality is very high: the transition between the different sections is without flaws, the corners are nicely rounded, and the gaps are even and unobtrusive. It is Asus’ best-selling laptop and currently one of the better selling ones at Amazon.com and it is easy to see why
The concept seems simple: use a touchscreen and combine it with Windows 8 so the VivoBook can be used like a tablet, while preserving the advantages of a full-fledged notebook. Dell follows a similar strategy with their XPS 12 though it is clearly in a different league as far as the price point is concerned (over R18,500.00 incl vat)
There is a downside to these new products, and that’s how much they cost. But it’s that way with any new product cycle, and it’s no different with Windows 8 products. The OS has now been out for a number of months, and we are finally starting to see manufacturers bringing more affordable products to market.
At 1.3KG with an 11.6” High Definition 1336×768 touchscreen, Windows 8 and an Ultrabook-like design, you’d be forgiven for thinking the ASUS S200E is an Ultrabook. With full-size VGA, 2 -in-1 card reader, HDMI and 3 USB ports (1xUSB3.0 and 2xUSB2.0) you might even think it has some advantages over Ultrabooks. There are a few downsides though that don’t put it into the ultrabook grade. The processor is an Intel® ULV Celeron® 847 1.1GHz Dual Core Processor and it takes a maximum of 2GB DDR3 memory . There’s no SSD cache, no Ultrabook security features and it only has a 2Cell 5136 mAh 38 Whrs Polymer Battery, giving a maximum possible run time of around 5 hours and 17 minutes.
But isn’t that all you’d expect at this price. Think of this as 70% netbook, 30% touchscreen plaything. Nothing flips out or turns into a stand, but within that standard notebook form you’ll find a fine keyboard/trackpad combo plus all you’ll need for serious work. There’s also sufficient grunt to handle Photoshop, various music apps and the odd bit of light video editing too but don’t plan on running any demanding (3D) applications
In use the Asus has the feel of a premium device, despite an underlying lack of user-friendliness from the Windows 8 desktop (but blame Microsoft for that). The trackpad is a tad unresponsive and there’s a bit of fan noise (more or less inaudible in most environments), but otherwise it all looks and feels like money well spent – which indeed it is. For casual movie viewing the Asus is more than capable enough for an 11-incher. Playback is smooth, but keep in mind that 1080p vids are scaled down to its lower-res HD 1366×768 screen. As for sound, colour us impressed! The VivoBook has the ASUS exclusive SonicMaster technology with Waves MaxxAudio 3 for a more powerful sound and richer bass through the speakers. It most certainly provides the best audio experience in its class, far outshining the competition…and I wouldn’t have expected anything less from ASUS.
Another feature we just couldn’t stop playing with was the Exclusive ASUS Super Hybrid Engine II technology that offers smartphone-like 2-second instant on from sleep or hibernate modes, so you can resume without delay. Open files and tasks are kept safe in memory, plus should the battery drop below 5% charge while you’re away, data gets automatically backed up. Your valuable content is always secure and within reach. Definitely something you”ll find hard to live without once you’ve had it.
The black chiclet-style keyboard is seamlessly integrated into the aluminum chassis, which in turn adds to the impression of high quality. The aluminum keyboard area is also responsible for exceptionally high rigidity - even when firm pressure is applied. With the exception of the arrow keys, which are a bit undersized, the layout is pretty standard and doesn’t take a long time to get used to.
Although the click point could be slightly better defined and the key travel longer, we were happy with the very good feedback and the typing experience overall. The VivoBook does not suffer from the usual issues that plague low-priced notebooks.
The ASUS S200E is by far the cheapest touchscreen Windows 8 laptop on the market in South Africa right now. If you’re looking for a ‘new-age’ netbook alternative or an entry level portable, ultrabook-alternative, you’ll certainly be very happy with this as your purchase
While many cameras now pack Wi-Fi connectivity for the wireless sharing and transferring of captured images, those owning cameras without such capabilities need not necessarily have to shell out cash for an entirely new camera to get wireless connectivity. Transcend has announced a new range of Wi-Fi SD memory cards that add wireless capabilities to SDHC-compatible digital cameras, along with a companion app for iOS and Android devices that allows users to browse the contents of the card, instantly view images on their mobile device as they are taken, and share content online.
While smart-cameras and Wi-Fi add-ons are all the rage at the moment, wireless SD cards like those from Eye-Fi have been giving humble connection-challenged cameras a welcome wireless boost for several years. Unfortunately, they’ve traditionally been expensive, have somewhat limited capacities and have not been the quickest SD cards out there.
The Wi-Fi SD memory cards from Transcend feature a SDHC Class 10 speed rating to ensure fast read and write speeds, and are available in 16GB or 32GB capacities. Though the Eye-Fi Pro X2 was recently upgraded to Class 10 (the majority of wireless SD cards are only Class 6), its capacity still maxes out at 16GB.
In Direct Share Mode, the card activates its own wireless signal to allow peer-to-peer connections between a camera and a mobile device, while Internet Mode sees the card connect to the internet via a hotspot – either that of your smart-device or an external one.
The accompanying free-to-download Wi-Fi SD App then automatically organizes the data on the card into a simple file system which is easy to navigate. The app can be used to browse photos, watch videos, download content, and share shots via email or to Facebook. Wi-Fi-enabled computers can also be used to access the card’s contents via a web browser.
Another useful feature of the app and card is Shoot & View, whereby images can instantly be displayed on the screen of your iOS or Android device as they are taken by the camera. Images can then be downloaded to local memory and manipulated with other apps and shared online.
The cards will set you back R627.91 Incl VAT and R856.44 Incl VAT for the 16 and 32 GB units respectively. A full list of compatible cameras is available on the Transcend website and the apps can be downloaded for free from the App Store, Google Play, or, for the Kindle Fire, from the Amazon Appstore.
The Transcend Wi-Fi SD cards are now available for delivery to your door in South Africa from WebAntics Online.
Coming up to a a third of the way through 2013, we’ve seen countless Windows 8 devices — Ultrabooks, convertibles and hybrids, – but to date there are only a few in the hybrid category running Ultrabook-grade processors. Samsung now have their entries into the market: the ATIV and ATIV Pro Smart PC. These 11.6-inch hybrid’s come with either an Atom-powered or Core i5 CPU and include Samsung’s prolific S-Pen to appeal to productivity-minded users.
Each device features a detachable keyboard-docking system that allows users to easily switch between a clamshell notebook PC and a tablet PC form factor. Both the ATIV and ATIV pro PCs run Windows 8 (32 bit and 64 bit, respectively), with full Windows 7 compatibility.
The Samsung ATIV Smart PC features an 11.6 inch, 5-point multi-touch, 1366 x 768 LED display; an Intel Atom processor; USB 2.0(Smart PC); mHDMI; miniSD and two extra USB 2.0 ports on the keyboard, and a battery life of up to 13.5 hours
The ATIV Smart PC Pro has an 11.6 inch, 10 point multi-touch, Full HD (1920×1080) LED display, runs with an Intel Core i5 chipset, and replaces the USB port for USB 3.0 and can run up to 8 hours.
The ATIV Smart PC Pro’s design is almost identical to the ATIV Smart PC’s; the only difference is the inclusion of vents to accommodate the Core i5 CPU, plus a different keyboard dock. It’s clad in black plastic, with a subtle brushed texture on the back providing the only flourish. At 850 grams and 1.27cm thick — 1.59 kg and 1.98cm thick in clamshell mode — this isn’t the slimmest slate, but those dimensions do allow for a USB port. Still, an 11-inch tablet is on the large side, and it definitely feels more natural to use the PC Pro as an Ultrabook.
Connecting the tablet to the included dock is extremely easy and intuitive, as it should be: simply center the tablet over the keyboard and let the latch system work its magic. You won’t have to feel around too much for the device to lock into place. When the slate is docked, its hardware Windows 8 button is mostly obscured, and the glossy finish surrounding the 11.6-inch display contrasts strongly with the matte plastic of the keyboard deck. It’s not a sloppy look, but it definitely feels a bit mismatched, like the keyboard dock could be from a third-party vendor.
Samsung offers the S Pen as an alternative input option, and there’s thankfully a small built-in slot for storing it. The Wacom-certified digitizer registers 1,024 degrees of pressure, which contributes to a great drawing and note-taking experience on the 11.6-inch display. This S Pen is shorter and stockier than the versions made for the Note I, II and 10.1, and it offers a very comfortable grip.
A number of pre-loaded programs tie in with the pen’s functionality; essentially, the S Pen suite has been ported over to Windows 8. S Note includes several templates and handwriting recognition, while Mini S Note simply offers different pen options and a grid-style notepad. Fresh Paint, as usual with Win8 machines, is also pre-installed.
The ATIV Smart PC Pro is a well-executed Windows 8 hybrid, with capable Core i5 performance and a comfortable keyboard and S Pen to see you through both work and play. The touch experience is excellent, but the overall size seems to be just a bit too large for comfortable use as a tablet. The ATIV performs well as a tablet, however, and the touchscreen is responsive and gorgeous. But the overall awkwardness because of the size makes it less than optimal.
Using the Samsung ATIV Smart PC leaves me with mixed feelings. The touch experience is excellent, but the overall size seems to be just a bit too large for comfortable use as a tablet. The ATIV performs well as a tablet, however, and the touchscreen is responsive and gorgeous. But the overall awkwardness because of the size makes it less than optimal.
Can we get a show of hands as to who’s interested in the upcoming budget-friendly ASUS MeMO Pad? Great. This post is for you
Asus has launched a new Android tablet: the 7-inch MeMo Pad. The Asus MeMo Pad was unveiled back in January, but until now we weren’t sure whether it would ever become available in SA. Thankfully, we’ve now learnt that both WiFi and 3G 7-inch versions of the MeMo Pad will be available to buy in South Africa from the end of March 2013 and we’ve given you some info on the WiFi version that we got to play with.
Despite being the manufacturer behind the remarkably successful Google Nexus 7, Asus has decided to go it alone with a new 7-inch tablet. The Asus MeMo Pad predictably runs Google’s Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS but rather than give the likes of the Apple iPad Mini or the Kindle Fire HD a run for its money, Asus has decided to go down the budget route.
Asus made it clear that the ME172V will not be a gaming or graphics powerhouse, stating “Our focus for this device is on delivering excellent performance per watt and a smooth and fluid user experience at an extremely affordable price, NOT on winning benchmarks.”
Naturally, ASUS is quick to point out how the MeMo Pad’s relatively small chassis “fits perfect in your palm,” as well as showing off how effortless it is to stay in the social loop with video calling capabilities.
The tablet is listed at R2,199.99 Incl VAT and, as you would expect, the on-board specs won’t have the other 7-inch models running for the hills just yet. There’s MicroSD storage (expandable by up to 32GB), but Asus has also thrown in 5GB of Life Time Webstorage Space - along with a barrage of pre-installed apps. The likes of Asus Studio photo editing, SuperNote Lite and BudyBuzz may note be the elite of Android tablets, but confirms this tablet’s place as a second or third string device.
The 7-inch screen has a 1,024 x 600 pixel resolution with 10-finger mult-touch and a 140-degree viewing angle. That’s an angle not up to IPS standards, so expect a less capable panel. Maxing out at about 350 candelas per square meters, the ME172V’s brightness does however get fairly high.
A few more details
The tablet includes a 1-megapixel camera on the front with a f/2.0 aperture and is capable of 720p HD video capture at 30fps. Other features include 1GB of RAM, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a headphone jack, microphone, a Micro-USB port, and a gyroscope. Asus puts battery life at 7 hours, and at 358 grams, the tablet should feel pretty light in your hands.
There will be no shortage of budget tablets in 2013 and it’s nice to see that one of the most capable Android tablet manufacturers won’t be left in the cold. At R2,199.99 Incl VAT for the WiFi model and R3,090.99 Incl VAT for the 3G model, the ME172V makes for a compelling alternative to the Nexus 7 as long as resolution and gaming aren’t high on your priority list. The MeMo Pad comes in a choice of white, grey or pink but for the time being, South Africa will only be getting the grey model.
The conclusion? It’s still pretty meh. But you know, it’s meant to be a budget device, and will compete wonderfully against poorer Chinese “No name” proposals.
Microsoft has officially launched it’s latest version of Office 2013, bringing along a new yearly subscription-based model.
Along with Office 2013 comes a new way to experience and pay for the popular suite: a new subscription version called Office 365. Though Microsoft Office 365 has been in public beta for over a year, this release marks the rental suite’s formal debut. For around R700.00 a year, users can access Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, and Publisher on up to five different devices – including tablets and Macs – at the same time. Microsoft sweetens the deal even further by offering 20GB of SkyDrive online storage and 60 minutes of international calls for Skype users.
There are three main options for Microsoft Office 365, dependent on your organisations size and requirements: Office 365 Home Premium, Office 365 University and Office 365 Small Business Premium. Office 365 is a lot like Google Drive, which saves all of your work in the cloud and gives you access to all of your work no matter where you are. In other words, you’ll never have to worry about leaving that important file on your home computer again.
For users who hate the idea of a subscription model for software, Office 2013 is also available in the traditional pay-once-and-install format. Office Home & Student 2013 is available for R934.34, Office Home & Business 2013 for R2148.85 and Office Professional 2013 for R3789.63. The least expensive version, Home & Student, does not include Outlook, which may entice email fanatics to upgrade to Home & Business or take a second look at Office 365 Home Premium, which includes access to the email.
Microsoft Office 2013 including other Microsoft software titles are available from WebAntics Online Shopping Store.
Featuring a stunning design, brilliant display with reduced reflection, faster processors and an innovative new storage option called Fusion Drive, the new Apple iMac is the most advanced desktop Apple has ever made. The 21.5-inch iMac and the 27-inch iMac will be available for order through the WebAntics Online Store and will begin shipping towards the end of January 2013.
iMac 2012: Size and build
The biggest feat of engineering change rests with the incredibly svelte display, which measures 5mm at its thinnest edge. Used in high-performance engineering, Apple has employed ‘Friction-stir welding’ to create the super-thin, single piece of aluminium that surrounds the LCD screen. However, while Apple claims that 40% of volume has been shaved off from the previous generation, the footprint depth of the whole unit is 6.9-inches – half an inch less than that of the iMac 2011.
iMac 2012: Screen
Those with narrow desks might find that the 21.5-inch LED-backlit screen is pressing up against their face, which is apt considering that Apple has actually brought the (non-Retina) 1920×1080 res, IPS LCD, 2mm closer to your nose.
Slap a new coat of anti-reflective ‘plasma deposition’ tech on the cover glass and you’ve got the most glare-free display we’ve ever seen on a desktop. Colours are full and vivid, blacks are full. It’s a real showcase piece.
iMac 2012: Performance
Despite the trimming, Apple has managed to up the performance. Supplied with OS X Mountain Lion, one of the models on offer has a 2.9GHz quad-core i5 processor at its centre with 8Gb of 1600GHz DDR memory, a 1TB Fusion Drive (more on that below) and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics chip. Resource-hungry software, graphically demanding tasks and polygon-shifting games all motored along without a glitch.
It’s not revolutionary (similar technology appears elsewhere), but it’s more proof that Macs continue to compete with PCs on any level. However, something had to give and, for the first time in the iMac’s 15-year history, there’s no optical drive.
For some, this will be a necessity and a sour point. For others, they won’t be able to remember the last time they put a CD or DVD into a computer. Apple clearly wants you to ditch physical media, but still offers its USB SuperDrive (R899.00) and still supports Remote Disc.
iMac 2012: FusionDrive
Combining HDD and SDD drives to perform power-specific tasks isn’t anything new but, in typical Apple fashion, the fiddly management is taken out of your hands. To put it plainly, the 1TB Fusion Drive is, essentially, a partition that uses SSD for things like loading apps quickly and accessing frequent files, while the HDD stores archive material and less-used software.
The clever part is how, depending on what you do and use, the Fusion drive will continually fine-tune its operation to give you the fastest computing experience possible. It sounds like a fragmentation nightmare, but seems to work a treat. Oh, and it only works with Mountain Lion.
iMac 2012: Connections
Connectivity wise, the iMac is bestowed with four USB 3, two Thunderbolt, SD, Ethernet and headphone sockets. All of which are located at the back. There’s no FireWire but new dual-array mics for improved background noise elimination – effective in Face Time and Skype calls – and down-firing speakers, which impressed us in terms of high/mid clarity, if not a little bass flat.
iMac 2012: Verdict
The iMac 2012 is superbly crafted, highly-capable and with a screen to die for. Owners of 6th-gen iMacs need not apply, nor do PC fans that equate power to price. But, for anyone requiring the best-looking desktop on the market, which is also highly capable, meet your new best friend.
iMac 2012 release date: Available to pre-order now in South Africa from WebAntics Online
Windows 8 was released, so it’s no wonder to see Windows 8 hardware available on the market, and speaking of which, we’ve been told about some special hardware from Dell South Africa that will enhance your Windows 8 experience.
If you don’t own a touchscreen monitor, the Dell TP713 wireless touchpad might add some interactivity to your Windows 8 experience. Dell TP713 comes with slim design and it supports multitouch, so you can use up to four fingers on its glass surface. Thanks to its large surface, you can swipe, draw, tap and scroll on the entire surface, from edge to edge.
The Dell TP713 wireless touchpad comes with USB RF nano dongle that is used for quick and easy setup, and at the same time, it allows you to use the touchpad from up to 32 feet distance. Dell TP713 touchpad uses two AAA batteries, and they can provide you with enough power for three months or use.
Dell TP713 wireless touchpad will work perfectly with Windows 8, and as for the price, this touchpad is priced at R636.12 Incl VAT and is available locally from WebAntics Online Shopping Store.
What you get for that startlingly low price is a 7-inch 1.3GHz quad-core processor running the very latest version of Android: Jelly Bean. And now you’ll no longer need to be tethered to a Wi-Fi signal to watch YouTube clips of a dog playing the piano on the 1280 x 800 resolution 7-inch screen.
“It’s clear that the 3G enabled Nexus 7 has been designed to really go the distance, with both powerful specs and a powerful battery life. Alongside a super-fast processor and the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean software, we’re confident this tablet will deliver the ultimate Google experience”.
If you’re still not convinced on the merits of Google’s Nexus 7 over the likes of the Apple iPad Mini or the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, then check out Google’s complete lowdown.
WebAntics Online is an authorised Asus reseller for South Africa. If you have any questions about the Nexus 7, just drop us an email at email@example.com or contact us at (011) 839-0716 and we’ll get you answers that you need fast.