June 17, 2016

Dual SIM – a lifesaver

Filed under: News — csadm @ 1:13 pm

Imagine this scenario.

One night you find yourself stranded. You need to make a call. Urgently.

You find out that your preferred network – whether it be bigger, better, friendlier or whatever – is down. No signal. Congested. Lightning strike. Whatever.

In Papua New Guinea there are two mobile networks. Both are notorious for outages on any day of the week and at any time, day or night.

If your phone was dual SIM you could simply and very quickly, urgently, switch to the other network.

Having two SIM cards in one phone is like having a safety net. If one SIM card isn’t picking up a signal, then there is always a chance and hope that the other could.

Got your attention? Good. Now listen up.

Owning a dual SIM card phone is not an expensive proposition. A few articles ago we reviewed the new dual SIM Galaxy S7. It’s a device at the high end of the cost scale.

In this article we are going to look at more affordable alternatives in the latest range of Lenovo Smartphones. After all, this is where the market in Papua New Guinea is at.

In fact, a good description of the PNG market would include the words dual SIM and affordable above any other feature of a phone.

We will look at Lenovo’s three new Smartphones shortly. For now, let’s look at some other advantages of dual SIM.



In case you don’t know by now, a dual SIM card phone is just what it sounds like: it’s a handset with slots or a tray for two SIM cards. SIM cards, as I’m sure you know, are the little cards that give your phone its number and identify you as a subscriber to a carrier when you make a call. You also can transfer your number to another handset just by swapping the card out.

So, as you’d expect, a phone with two SIM cards can hold two numbers and two identities at once. You can make or receive calls and send or receive texts on either number and give each number only to the people that you chose.

In Papua New Guinea there are two mobile networks and they both have different benefits. By having a smartphone that supports two SIM cards you have the freedom of choosing features that work best for you across both platforms. So you can harness the power, allowances and coverage of more than one network.

The only other way to manage two SIM cards is to have two phones. Not only is this an expensive option, but the novelty of carrying two phones quickly wears thin. So it makes common sense to have two SIM cards in the one phone.

Having a dual-SIM smartphone also allows you to use one SIM for your personal needs and the other for, say, your business needs. Work and play – you can have one SIM for work and the other for family and friends – all in the one phone.

Dual-SIM phones are also handy for anyone that travels overseas. A dual-SIM smartphone is an easy way to keep receiving messages from people at home. Purchase a local SIM and pop it in the second tray to avoid nasty international roaming charges when you call people in the country you’re visiting.



China has led the way in dual-SIM phones because the market there is massive, and the market in China demands it. Lenovo, based in Beijing, has been around since the mid-80s, becoming a leader in the personal computer market.

You’ve probably heard of Lenovo through the Thinkpad line of notebook computers. Lenovo now operates out of 60 countries, selling into a further 100 countries. Last year the company was the world’s largest personal computer vendor by unit sales.

Lenovo entered the smartphone market in 2012 and quickly became the largest vendor of smartphones in Mainland China.

Further investment in its products came in May 2012, when Lenovo announced a US$793 million construction of a mobile phone manufacturing and research-design facility in Wuhan, China. The plant is designed to produce 30-40 million phones per year.

So, to put it simply, with Lenovo you have the benefit of sheer numbers and with that comes skill, expertise, credibility and cost efficiency that results in excellent low-cost products.



Launched In October last year the Lenovo A1000 is a low-end dual-SIM smartphone. Because of its low price and dual-SIM capability, it is well-suited to the Papua New Guinea market. It is good for regular browsing with a couple of mobile games and a 4 inch display.

1020201531359PM_635_lenovo_a1000Lenovo A1000 runs Android v.5.o Lolllipop with a chipset of Spreadtrum SC7731 and CPU of Quad core 1.3 GHz Cortex A7. It has an internal memory of 8 GB, RAM of 1 GB, and a microSD slot of up to 32 GB.

The primary camera of Lenovo’s A1000 is a 5 MP 2592 x 1944 camera with LED flash. It also has a front-facing camera. Its camera specs are not above those of other phones but if you’re main focus isn’t on the camera but on the overall functionality, this Lenovo smartphone is a good deal.

The phone comes with a WiFi hotspot feature like higher phone models. It uses a microUSB v2.0 connector and a Li Po 2000 mAh battery.

Lenovo A1000 comes in two simple colors, black and white.



Lenovo A6020 is also known as Lenovo Vibe K5 and was released only a few months ago with features that will appeal for those that enjoy music and entertainment.

Lenovo-A6020-Plus-Dual-Sim-Mobile_1130193_a6553db0d58ec05595c73d5d56faf064Design-wise, it has an all-aluminium back with four rounded corners. It has a 5-inch full HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 415 processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal storage – and that is expandable via a handy microSD card slot.

It also features an Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system, a 13 MP rear camera with autofocus plus LED flash, a 5 MP front-facing selfie camera, and a removable Li-Ion 2,750 mAh battery capable of achieving over 15 hours on 3G. Another outstanding feature is its dual speaker with Dolby Atmos technology.

The A6020 has features that are as good as any other smartphone, once again with the standout features being low-cost, high quality and dual-SIM.



The Lenovo A7020 is right up there as one of Lenovo’s flagship smartphones, still at a fraction of the price of Samsung or Apple.

If you are into watching videos on your smartphone, then this is definitely the right phone for you. Encased in light metal, this eye-catching smartphone has a vibrant 5.5 inch FHD display, enhanced Dolby Atmos audio, and advanced digital sound technology.

As well as impressive memory and storage, the A7020 has smooth Octa-core processing and a large battery – giving you more time for your movies.

Presenting movies, games, and images in Full HD at 403 pixels per inch, the Lenovo A7020 smartphone offers a real feast for the eyes. The stunning 5.5 inch display also has 178 degrees of wide-angle viewing, ideal for sharing with friends and family.

9585787043870Propelled by the Octa-core processor and with up to 2 GB of RAM, the A7020 performs exceptionally – with seamless multitasking, smooth multimedia, and responsive gaming.

Experience rich, powerful audio that flows all around you with Dolby Atmos. In addition, the A7020 is configured with a 3-mic system and cutting-edge Wolfson audio technology. So everything from video chats to voice recordings sound crisp and clear.

Adding a simple-yet-essential layer of protection, it also has built-in fingerprint reader to prevent unwanted access to your personal data.

A 13 MP auto-focus rear camera with LED flash lets you capture great photos and videos; while an 8 MP camera at the front can help make your selfies stand out from the crowd.

Just in case there’s not enough space for all your music and digital life, you can expand the phone’s storage by a further 128 GB with a microSD card.

Wrapped in a sleek platinum silver or champagne gold color metal casing, the Lenovo A7020 looks as good as it performs. Once again with the added benefit of dual-SIM capability.

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June 3, 2016

Hewlett-Packard: A Technology Success Story Part 2: The Future is Here

Filed under: News — csadm @ 12:41 pm

This is the second of a two-part article on Hewlett-Packard as we celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary of HP Labs – the research and development (R&D) division of the multinational giant that is currently guiding the company into the future.

According to HP Labs’ website: “To celebrate our 50th year, we are bringing a renewed openness to HP Labs. As part of Keep Reinventing, we are looking at new ways to share the mind-bending technology we are creating in HP Labs that will transform businesses and lives – technologies such as 3D printing, immersive computing, hyper mobility, Internet of Things, smart machines and more.”

OK. Let’s look at some of these technologies starting with 3D printing.


3D printing promises to transform how we make, obtain, and interact with everyday objects and to drive a third revolution in high volume, customized, just-in-time manufacturing.

Already we have heard of everything from office units to human spare parts being made by 3D printing. The technology’s potential is still far from being fully realized.

The challenge now is to increase the range and quality of 3D printed materials and print them through a robust, high speed, and highly efficient process.

For HP Labs many of the answers are in Thermal Inkjet technology, as well as their deep understanding of chemistry, materials science, and the precision placement of liquid agents for faster and higher-quality printing.


HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printer

HP continues to add to the body of knowledge through ongoing research, broadening the range of materials that can be used to print in 3D, establishing techniques for printing a single object from multiple materials, grades, and colors, and developing novel methods for printing items that vary in electrical conductivity, stiffness, strength, transparency, friction, wear, texture, and more – and all at industry-leading speed and cost-efficiency.

Because HP’s technology is so similar to that used by their traditional thermal inkjet printers, this means that color precision can virtually be just as good as we are used to seeing on their other machines. It doesn’t only apply to coloring though. It also applies to the fusing and detailing agents that may be laid down. Remember, these agents are what mix with the materials that are placed on the print bed, meaning that if HP’s R&D department can come up with some creative chemical mixtures, the ability to change properties mid-print could be astonishing.

If you are familiar with 2D printing, you know that a pixel is a single dot on an image. These are seen on printed objects as well as display screens. A 3-dimensional pixel is called a voxel (short for volumetric pixel), and HP’s technology has the ability to print at the volumetric level. This means different colors and potentially properties for each individual voxel.

A second area of investigation is enhancing the software and algorithms that provide print system optimization and control, and that enable process modeling and prediction. HP is also developing new file formats to allow the efficient storage and processing of 3D print files as they progress through the production pipeline so as to ensure that part specifications are retained from design to final printing.

In addition, HP are at the forefront of establishing effective digital rights technologies and standards for the management, transfer, and authentication of 3D print files. These will build trust, enable branded revenue streams, ensure supply chain security, and offer post-hoc forensic tracing wherever needed.



Immersive technology refers to technology that blurs the line between the physical world and digital or simulated world, thereby creating a sense of immersion.

The potential perils of immersive technology have often been portrayed in science fiction and entertainment. Movies such as The Matrix raise questions as to what may happen if we are unable to distinguish the physical world from the digital world.

HP has unveiled a powerful and innovative new immersive computing platform today that comes with Windows 8.1 and a Natural User Interface (NUI) experience that lets you physically interact with the digital world.

One of HP’s immersive technologies is called Sprout which has a unique desktop All-in-One form factor that includes a vertical 23-inch 20-point multi-touch display and a 20-point capacitive touch mat that lets you capture, create, move, and manipulate digital content with your hands.



HP Sprout: all-in-one desktop solution

It also includes a capture and projection system – the Sprout Illuminator – that combines multiple devices such as a scanner, a depth sensor, high-resolution camera, and projector into a single system. It has a HP DLP projector built right in. It has a four-camera sensory system that includes a high resolution camera with up to 14.6 megapixel resolution and the Intel RealSense 3D Camera for instant capture of 2D and 3D objects. This system can capture and project dimensional images – which is very cool stuff indeed.

It also includes Adonit Jot Pro stylus with incredible accuracy with a magnetic attachment that allows for easy storage on the Sprout by HP monitor.

So let’s take someone who does a lot of work with 3D models for example, or simply wants to try their hand at working with 3D content. With HP’s Sprout, this person could take a physical model, or any physical object, they may have created and use the Sprout Illuminator to capture it using HP 3D Snapshot. They could manipulate the 3D image within HP’s Create app or transfer to a 3D modeling application where they could edit the image further. They could even project this 3D image with the Sprout Illuminator or collaborate in real time with friends or colleagues from anywhere, via HP MyRoom.

On the inside, Sprout by HP is built for performance. It comes powered by a 4th generation Intel i7 Processor, 8GB of memory, and NVIDIA graphics. It also has plenty of storage with 1TB. By the way, we are not talking about the future. The future is already here. HP Sprout hit the markets late last year.



This is where it all comes together. The internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data.

According to HP IoT is the evolution of machine-to-machine (M2M) technology and is the interconnection of devices and management platforms that collectively enable and protect the “smart world” around us. IoT has the potential to automate decision-making and be a catalyst for innovative products and services. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020.

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