May 19, 2020

Five laptops worth a second look in South Africa

Acer Aspire TimelineX
Dell Vostro 3700
Lenovo ThinkPad T410s Series
MacBook Pro
Bizclik Editor
4 min
Five laptops worth a second look in South Africa
Whether you’re into big business, small business, or not into business at all, here are five laptops that you should consider buying the next time you are in the market for one. We’ve broken down a few of the top sellers in the industry and any of these laptops would be serviceable options to suit whatever your needs may be.

Lenovo ThinkPad T410s Series
Dubbed the “portable powerhouse”, the ThinkPad T410s Series from Lenovo is a high-performing business laptop that has been designed specifically to meet your business demands. Portability, performance and energy efficiency are key elements that Lenovo considered when designing the T Series Thinkpads. The T410s comes equipped with fast and responsive dual Intel Core i5 processors and Windows 7 Professional 64. The touch pad employs Multi-Touch technology, which gives users a wide library of touch options including scroll, zoom, rotate, select, right-click and page up/down, among others.

Processors: Intel Core i5-520M (2.4 GHz) and Intel Core i5-540M (2.53 GHz)
OS: Windows 7 Professional 32-bit
Hard Drive: 80GB/128/250 available (5,400 RPM)
Additional Features: Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, Wifi, Integrated 2MP Camera, CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive, DVD burner, Blu-Ray DVD.

Dell Vostro 3700
The Vostro 3700 is Dell’s largest laptop and the 17.3-inch screen is a perfect option for business professionals seeking benefits and performance gains that only a widescreen display could deliver. Rivaling the speed and performance of a desktop PC, the Vostro 3700 is an affordable alternative for consumers wishing to take their home computers portable. Users will be allowed to unleash an incredible digital media experience with the Vostro 3700 because it is powered by brilliantly fast Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processors. The Vostro supports all Windows operation systems, but comes equipped with Windows 7 Professional.

Processor: Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processor (3.06 GHz)
OS: Windows 7 Professional
Hard Drive: Up to 500 GB SATA (7,200 RPM)
Additional Features: Gigabit Ethernet, External USB Modem, Wifi, Bluetooth, 2.0 MP camera with digital array microphones, desktop-style keyboard, DVD writer.

Acer Aspire TimelineX
The Aspire TimelineX from Acer can go all day thanks to Intel’s Core processing technology and an LED-backlit display, which allow the TimelineX to average eight hours per battery charge. The power-efficient laptop records 22.2 percent power savings compared with other notebooks. Three versions with different components of the TimelineX are available so that consumers can purchase the laptop that meets their exact specifications. As a company, Acer has long maintained a commitment to conserving power and it ensures that neither speed nor performance will be hindered because of its energy-efficient components. A PowerSmart button located at the top of the keyboard allows users to easily toggle between low and full power.

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo ultra low voltage processor
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium
Hard Drive: Up to 320 GB (5,400 RPM)
Additional Features: Dolby Sound Room audio enhancement, Acer Video Conference, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, Wifi, Microsoft Works 9.0.

Sony VAIO X Series
Tipping the scales at a mere .73 kilograms (1.6 pounds), the VAIO X Series from Sony is the world’s lightest laptop. It’s just half an inch thin, too, but Sony guarantees high-end performance by packing the X Series with some of the best components in the industry. Consumers shouldn’t worry about the X Series succumbing to normal wear and tear easier than other laptops, either. Sony uses a strong carbon fiber casing and a scratch-resistant widescreen display to ensure maximum protection. Wireless mobile broadband technology is built in, so there are no unsightly PC cards or add-ons necessary.

Processor: 2GHZ Intel Processor (533Mhz)
OS: Windows Home Premium 32-bit
Hard Drive: 128GB (5,400 RPM)
Additional Features: Standard (up to 3 hours) and Extended (up to 12 hours) batteries included, 11.1 inch screen, LED backlight, Electro-Static touch pad, Intel High Definition Audio, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter.

MacBook Pro
The latest version of the MacBook Pro uses Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors that are capable of boosting performance up to 50 percent over the previous generation. Using a feature called Turbo Boost, the processors give performance an extra kick for users wishing to run multiple applications (like Final Cut Pro and Aperture 3) at once. The 15- and 17-inch versions have a new energy-efficient architecture that gives users a longer batter life with up to 9 hours in battery life. Users won’t have to sacrifice performance for battery life when it comes to graphics because the MacBook Pro runs discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M processors simultaneously with Intel HD Graphics.

Processor: Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors
OS: Mac OS X
Hard Drive: 250 GB (5,400 RPM)
Additional Features: LED backlight display, Multi-Touch track pad, SD card slot, iPod/iPhone compatible (as always), wireless, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, iMovie, iDVD.

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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