27 May 2020

Fujitsu rolls out new mobile products in Japan

Source: Fujitsu. The LIFEBOOK U7310/D.
Source: Fujitsu. The LIFEBOOK U7310/D.
Fujitsu and Fujitsu Client Computing have launched new mobile products in support of remote work as part of the customers' workstyle transformation.

Nine models of FUJITSU Notebook LIFEBOOK have been launched, together with four models of Fujitsu Tablet ARROWS Tab (Windows tablet), and a model of Fujitsu Workstation CELSIUS all featuring the latest CPUs and the latest operating systems (OS)*.


The 13.3" LIFEBOOK U7310/D, 14" LIFEBOOK U7410/D and 15.6" LIFEBOOK U7510/D models are easy to maintain with replaceable batteries. They also have common port replicators.

The webcams are also equipped with a new privacy camera shutter function that physically covers the camera lens, preventing unauthorised hacking and access. In the ultra-lightweight 13.3" mobile format, Fujitsu has the LIFEBOOK U9310/D, and the convertible LIFEBOOK U9310X/D featuring a 360-degree LCD screen and pen input.

All five LIFEBOOK U series models are equipped with the latest Windows 10 November Update OS and 10th generation Intel CPUs. In addition to the models with conventional security functions, users can also select the Secured-core PC option** which prevents unauthorised external access to BIOS and firmware. The models in this series also support Wi-Fi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax).


With a big screen and the scalability necessary for office demands, the LIFEBOOK E/A series offers a 14" LIFEBOOK E5410/D, as well as 15.6" models LIFEBOOK E5510/D, LIFEBOOK A7510/D and LIFEBOOK A5510/D. All four models feature the latest 10th generation Intel CPUs, a maximum memory capacity of 64 GB, and up to 512 GB of encrypted flash memory (solid state drives). The models also support Wi-Fi 6. In addition, a removable privacy filter is available as an option to prevent information leakage due to third-party snooping.

ARROWS Tab Q series

The ARROWS Tab Q series features Windows tablets for education. The 13.3" ARROWS Tab Q7310/DE and 10.1" ARROWS Tab Q5010/DE are drip-proof*** and prevent water from entering the tablet. Both are equipped with a QR code reader, Function Manager-QR Code Reader****, and use pre-installed video and audio materials. Enterprise customers can consider the 13.3" ARROWS Tab Q7310/DB and 10.1" ARROWS Tab Q5010/DB.


The models are available today in Japan.

Source: Fujitsu. Pricing and availability for Japan.
Source: Fujitsu. Pricing and availability for Japan.

*The Windows 10 May 2019 Update is installed on the CELSIUS M7010.

**Secured-core PC model A PC with a high level of security that meets the requirements of Microsoft's Secured core PC.

***The waterproof function is equivalent to the IPX2 (drip-proof type II) standard.

****Function Manager-QR Code Reader is a proprietary application developed by Fujitsu Client Computing. It supports QR Code Model 2. Auto-reversing code, front/back reversing code, connecting codes and barcodes cannot be scanned. Dirty or distorted QR codes may not be recognised. Also, QR codes may not be recognised in dark places.

26 May 2020

ICBC term deposits offered via Alipay

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank in terms of assets, is now offering three-year term deposit services via Alipay, the digital lifestyle platform.

Alipay and ICBC have been collaborating since 2005 to offer online payment services to users. In January 2020, ICBC launched a one-year term deposit service via Alipay, enabling customers to purchase one-year term deposits directly through the platform. As of May, the bank has witnessed a sevenfold increase in the scale of the service.

The new three-year term deposit service has an annual interest rate of 3.79% and can be found on the Alipay platform under the name of Anxin Cun (Secure Deposits). The font size of the landing page has also been enlarged to ensure the service is easily accessible to elders.

ICBC is accelerating its digital transformation process to integrate more use cases for its users and provide more comprehensive services. In December 2019, ICBC, Alibaba Group and Ant Financial Services Group sealed a partnership to deepen their cooperation in fintech and financial services. Under the agreement, the three parties will work together more closely and improve the quality of fintech offerings by using smart technologies and product innovation.

23 May 2020

Emirates Literature Foundation launches digital discussion series

A new initiative to promote international cultural understanding through the power of books and words has been launched by the Emirates Literature Foundation. Literary Conversations Across Borders will use a digital platform to host Emirati writers and commentators in live discussions with high-profile experts from around the world on critical topics.

The series will launch on 30 May 2020 at 17:30 (GST) UAE/19:30 (IST) India, with the intellectual, writer and Indian politician Shashi Tharoor and HE Zaki Nusseibeh Minister of State: Office of Cultural Diplomacy, UAE who will debate how the events of 2020 will change the course of history, for better or worse.

Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation said that the project was timely and that it was important to continue international dialogue during the current crisis. "Having these conversations across cultures strengthens our bonds and brings greater appreciation of the topics that affect us in the world today, no matter where we live," she said.

"We originally planned Literary Conversations Across Borders as a travelling project, taking Emirati authors and experts to book fairs and literary festivals throughout the world. World events have conspired to make that not possible at the moment, however we have grasped the initiative and re-designed it, with discussion being taken into the heart of people's homes, recognising the common concerns, joys and sorrows that affect us all, no matter who we are."

There will be eight sessions in this first series. An upcoming session will feature Jane Goodall, the scientist and environmentalist, in a discussion on 6 June with the UAE Minister of State for Food Security, HE Mariam bint Mohammed Al Mheiri.

On 13 June, Will science be the new religion in the post-pandemic world? will be the question posed in a debate by HE Omar Ghobash Assistant Minister, Office of Cultural Diplomacy and Lesley Hazleton, journalist and author of The First Muslim. They will consider whether an increased appreciation for the factual certainties of science, following the leading role it has played in tackling the pandemic, will have an impact on our belief systems based on the intangibles of faith, hope and trust.

The Emirates Literature Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation which supports and nurtures a love of literature in the UAE and the region through a programme of varied cultural initiatives. Established in 2013 by Royal Decree issued by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VP and PM of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Foundation aims to foster a love for literature, with a focus on the Arabic language.

In line with the National Reading Policy of the UAE, the Foundation has implemented several long-term projects including the School Librarian of the Year Award and the annual Arabic Language Week, as well as conducting year-round student education programmes, book clubs and creative writing courses.

The Foundation is also the governing body of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the UAE's premier literary festival, which will be held 2–6 February, 2021.


The sessions are free to watch but preregistration is required. After the event the session will be hosted on the Emirates Literature Foundation YouTube channel. Full details on the upcoming programme will be available on the Emirates Literature Foundation website

21 May 2020

Worldwild China slated to open in 2022

Source: BENSLEY. Concept images for Worldwild China.

Bill Bensley is currently designing his most ambitious and innovative wildlife conservation concept to date – Worldwild China or more affectionately, The (Luxury) Human Zoo. Worldwild will touch on everything that Bensley is deeply passionate about; sustainability, conservation, wildlife protection, education and unique design.

The concept, scheduled to open in 2022, will prioritise animal welfare while developing a conservation-conscious learning experience for guests and visitors. For the animals, it will be a place for Respect, Refuge and Rehabilitation while for humans, it is being created for Education, Excitement and Experiences.

Bensley's organisation BENSLEY was approached by their client Dinglong in China to design the zoo. Bensley was intrigued - but not being a fan of zoos and after visiting many zoos in China, he turned the concept on its head and proposed a wildlife sanctuary and reserve which dedicated 95% of the land for animals to run free and 5% of the land for people to observe and learn about the animals, but stay confined in luxury hotels. The expected number of guests and visitors each year is up to 10 million.

“It is my dream that the mistreated animals of overpopulated zoos in China could run free there. Of the 60,000 vertebrates worldwide, we are reassigning non-predator animals from less fortunate Chinese roadside zoos to create an ecosystem where they can all thrive. I am planning a wildlife reserve without cages or predators, as that simplifies the equations significantly. Instead of fences, we will use natural barriers to separate species which might not get along: barriers such as rivers, mountains, forests or hahas”, he said. A haha is a recessed landscape design element that creates a vertical barrier while preserving an uninterrupted view of the landscape beyond. The design includes a turfed incline that slopes downward to a sharply vertical face.

Three continents

Set in 2,000 acres in southern China's Guangdong province, the wildlife sanctuary and reserve will have seven luxury hotels with a total of 2,000 rooms. The hotels will be spread across three zones representing the continents of Asia, Africa and Australia.

Asia's hotels will be called Dzong (228,854 sq m, 734 rooms) and Dragon's Nest (38, 893 sq m, 97 rooms) which will be operated by Hyatt. Africa's hotels will be called The Colony Lodge Hilton (211,272 sq m, 850 rooms) and Stone Town Conrad (54,783 sq m, 109 rooms).

Australia will have three hotels: the Waldorf Astoria World Wild (101,044 sq m, 220 rooms) and the Fish River Settlement by Waldorf Astoria (9,570 sq m, 46 rooms). Last but not least is Australia's tented camp, Kamp Koala (10,451 sq m, 28 rooms) which will be a Shinta Mani Bensley Collection Hotel.

Spas and wellness

Each hotel will have a luxury spa and while some of the details are still in the works, they will follow the outlines set in Bill's white paper Sensible Sustainable Solutions and will not be importing products from all over the world, but rather using local techniques and ingredients, infused with the character of each hotel.


Worldwild will have four trains which visit all three continents in the reserve. The three luxury sleeper trains are named the Tasmanian Tiger for Australia, Oriental Expresso for Asia and the African Queen for Africa. Following the head conductor wagon, each train will have five cabin wagons with suites that can accommodate up to 40 guests, a restaurant wagon and an observation wagon.

The fourth train, the Iron Horse, with six wagons, will conduct day tours in all three continents and will wind around the park and take people to eight different whistle-stops. At each stop people will experience an activity, such as a Broadway show, educating them on different aspects of wildlife, environmental protection and sustainability.

“I want to set an example that gives animals the respect they deserve,” said Bensley.


Bensley is known for his storytelling designs and WorldWild will be no exception.  While no two will be alike in terms of architecture or experience, all of them will focus on the animals which surround the hotels, continuing the idea of a human 'zoo'.

Each of the hotels will have a different story – a DNA BENSLEY follows when designing – based on history. The Asian hotels are inspired by Bhutan, Ladakh, Nepal and Tibet, which is reflected in the architecture. In Africa the two hotels are inspired by termite colonies and the cliff homes of the Dogon and Telem people.

The Australian hotels are inspired by the Australia Gold Rush and the many types of people who flocked to the area in the search – from Waldorf himself setting up his second hotel to welcome visitors, to the Fish River settlement (home to convicts and settlers alike, searching for gold) and Kamp Koala, where a naturalist set up camp and welcomed visitors, whom he taught to treat fauna and flora with respect.

Drilling down: Dzong is a monastic fortress inspired by Bhutan, Tibet, Ladakh and Nepal. It tells the story of a lama who found a small cave there hundreds of years ago, and who meditated for 3 years before emerging and gathering a following of monks and then built a monastic fortress and welcomed rescued animals, following the lama's main teaching: to care for the earth and its creatures.

Dragon's Nest is based on a legend about seven Bhutanese gods who were all brothers and rode the skies atop dragons. They chose this peak to settle in and founded Dragon's Nest, with each brother founding either a palace or monastery. The brothers then returned to the skies to watch over their people, speaking to them through the kings and lamas, their embodiments on Earth.

The Colony Lodge Hilton was inspired by termite colonies, and tells the story of an American explorer who found drawings of a termite village for humans – and set about building this extraordinary structure, to the bewilderment of locals. The architecture remains reminiscent of termite colonies, while the interiors tell the story of early explorers to Africa.

Stone Town Stone is inspired by the cliff homes of the Dogon and Telem tribes, who built their homes along cliffs, seeking a safe height to escape flash floods. Stone Town is imagined as an epicentre of the spice trade with merchants and explorers from China, India, Arabia and many parts of Africa making it their home.

The Waldorf Astoria World Wild was opened by Astor ten years after the New York counterpart, following the burgeoning wealth of the gold mines in the British colony. At its peak, it was the grandest dame Down Under, visited by people from far and wide. The war years lay ruin to the main buildings until a renovation in 1968.

Fish River Settlement tells the tale of the most remarkable gold mine in Australia, where the first speck of gold was found in 1823. The local colonial government tried to squash the discovery but failed: settlers, convicts and immigrants flooded to the area to search for gold, creating a village which shared a variety of skills and professions and challenged the authorities to make something of themselves.

Kamp Koala was once the exploration base for Naturalist and Explorer William Bensley, who documented the wilds of Fish River. He worked with the earliest Fish River settlers to teach alternatives to hunting, and preserve the local flora and fauna. His camp grew to 28 tents, all working together to treat the wildlife with the utmost respect, and unlearn the bad habits taught for centuries.

Call for submissions: the Zayed Sustainability Prize

Zayed Sustainability Prize, UAE's pioneering global award for sustainability, invites innovators from around the world to submit entries for the 13th edition of the award. Winners of each category will receive US$600,000 to further implement their sustainability solutions to transform lives around the world.

HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize says: “With a 12-year record of recognising and rewarding excellent solutions, we are confident the Prize will continue to attract more of the world’s most dedicated innovators to submit their entries, in support of resolving the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges.”

“Inspired by Sheikh Zayed’s legacy of commitment to global sustainability and humanitarianism, the Prize also aligns with the emphasis our leadership has given this year to planning, preparing and finding solutions for the next 50 years,” he added.

Accepting entries until 11 June 2020 via its online portal, the Prize received a record 2,373 entries from 129 countries last year. There are five categories – Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools, with innovative solutions in sustainable and humanitarian development recognised across these sectors.

The Prize’s US$3 million annual fund rewards winners US$600,000 in each category. While the scope of the submissions vary, core elements of each entry lie in the innovative ways in which technology, applications and solutions are driving positive transformations of people’s lives.

For the Health, Food, Energy and Water categories, organisations should demonstrate that they are improving access to essential products or services and have a long-term vision for improved living and working conditions. Only small and medium enterprises (SMEs) or non-profit organisations (NPOs) are eligible to take part in these categories.

The Prize has named 86 winners in its history. One of them is water management company, ECOSOFTT, which became the first organisation from Singapore to receive the award when it won the Water category in 2019. ECOSOFTT’s technologies enable water sustainability through total management of the water cycle for living communities, including townships, homes, commercial buildings and villages.

Prior to winning, over 50 projects in five countries gave more than 500,000 people access to clean water. The prize money has allowed the company to reach even more communities. Marcus Lim, Co-Founder and MD at ECOSOFTT, said, “The Zayed Sustainability Prize has gained a reputation for recognising leading sustainability solutions globally. Winning the Prize was an important recognition of our unique and innovative approach to address the challenges communities face on account of water shortage, scarcity and quality.

"It has also helped us to connect with a global network of influencers and innovators that are working towards the Sustainable Development Goals."

This year, the Zayed Sustainability Prize also opens up nominations for potential candidates with its #FindThePioneer campaign – to recognise pioneers who are changing lives in any of the five competition categories. Nominations can be made by tagging the organisation or school in a social media post with the campaign hashtag #FindThePioneer, or emailing the nomination to press@affluencepr.media.
Winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize 2021 will be announced at the annual awards ceremony held during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2021.

Microsoft unveils Surface Go 2 and Surface Book 3

Microsoft has announced that the latest Surface lineup – Surface Go 2 and Surface Book 3 - will be available for preorders starting 21 May 2020 in Singapore via commercial authorised resellers and authorised retailers at a starting price of S$648.

Source: Microsoft. The Surface Go 2 (left) and the Surface Book 3 (right).
Source: Microsoft. The Surface Go 2 (left) and the Surface Book 3 (right).

“We are pleased to bring new Surface devices and accessories to Singapore. In the current environment, our devices are our windows to the world – our office, school, and social space. We want to make sure every person and organisation are equipped with the tools they need to stay connected and productive. Our goal is to design a Surface for every person, every work style and every location, so that it can switch context as quickly as you do to take you from work to play to everything in between,” said Shyamol Bansal, Business Group Lead for Surface & Mixed Reality, Microsoft Singapore.

Designed to provide users versatility and seamless productivity, the new Surface line-up will empower users to work, learn, connect, and play from anywhere.

Surface Go 2

The all-new Surface Go 2 retains the same lightweight, compact design as the original, but now features a larger 10.5” PixelSense display, improved battery life1 and a model that is up to 64% faster in performance than before with new Intel 8th Generation Core M options. Surface Go 2 comes equipped with built-in Wi-Fi, plus optional LTE Advanced2, providing hassle-free, secured connectivity anywhere.

Surface Go 2 also includes Studio Mics, a dual microphone solution to increase voice clarity and reduce background noise for Teams meetings; and a 5 MP front-facing camera that delivers sharp video even in low light. The rear-facing camera also has a new Camera application that allows users to easily scan documents and whiteboards.

Paired with Surface Pen, Surface Go 2 unlocks the power of natural ink for things like drawing diagrams, marking up documents or working through math equations. Users can also personalise their Surface Go with Type Covers and accessories3 in colours such as Platinum, Black, Poppy Red, and Ice Blue.

Surface Book 3

Providing users the power of a desktop, the versatility of a tablet, and the freedom of a light and thin laptop, Surface Book 3 is available in 13” or 15” sizes. Surface Book 3 15” will deliver up to 50% increased performance than its predecessor and up to 17.5 hours of battery life4. The device has a crisp, high-DPI PixelSense Display, smooth, precise trackpad, comfortable keyboard, and the performance of an Intel 10th Generation Core CPU and choice of NVIDIA discrete GPU. DPI stands for dots per inch. The higher the DPI number, the more detailed the image.

For gamers, Surface Book 3 15” has a NVDIA GeForce GPU with enough power to play the top Xbox Game Pass5 for PC titles6 at 1080p in a smooth 60 frames per second. The option of NVIDIA Quadro RTX 30007 is also available to meet the needs of commercial customers.

Surface Dock 2

This docking station that helps users expand their workstation with a simple magnetic click. The dock delivers faster charging, higher data transfer rates and enterprise management tools.
In addition to Surface Dock 2, a new, multi-port Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub will be available to offer users more ways to connect to networks, displays and USB-C accessories.

PC accessories

Source: Microsoft. The Microsoft Ergonomic Desktop.
Source: Microsoft. The Microsoft Ergonomic Desktop.

The Microsoft Ergonomic Desktop reduces fatigue and delivers exceptional comfort and control with a split keyboard design featuring a cushioned palm rest and an ultra-precise mouse with cushioned thumb rest.

The Microsoft Bluetooth Desktop will provide users a full-sized keyset in a slim and modern design and a compact, stylish mouse that fits comfortably in your hand.


The new lineup will be generally available from 18 June 2020 for Surface Go 2 and 23 June 2020 for Surface Book 3. The family of devices and accessories will be available in the following configurations in Singapore:


Suggested retail price (S$)

Surface Go 2

Intel Pentium Gold, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB eMMC^


Intel Pentium Gold, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD


8th Gen Intel Core m3, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, LTE


Surface Book 3 (13.5”)

10th Gen Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD
Intel Iris Plus Graphics


10th Gen Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q Design w/4 GB GDDR5 graphics memory


10th Gen Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q Design w/4 GB GDDR5 graphics memory


10th Gen Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD*
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q Design w/4 GB GDDR5 graphics memory*


Surface Book 3 (15”)

10th Gen Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD*
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q Design w/6 GB GDDR6 graphics memory*


10th Gen Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q Design w/6 GB GDDR6 graphics memory


10th Gen Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q Design w/6 GB GDDR6 graphics memory


Surface Dock 2

Surface Dock 2


^eMMC storage technology is slower than SSD storage technology.

*Only available via the Microsoft Store.

Surface Go 2, Surface Book 3, Dock 2 and accessories are available for preorders starting 21 May 2020 in Singapore via the following commercial authorised resellers:

JK Technology
AsiaPac Distribution; and
UIC Asian Computer Services and

Authorised retailers:

Best Denki 
EpiCentre @ ION Orchard
Gain City 
Harvey Norman
Lazada-Microsoft flagship store
Pacific Bookstore
Shopee-Microsoft authorised official store and the
Microsoft Store.

1 Up to 10 hours of battery life based on typical Surface device usage. Testing conducted by Microsoft in February 2020 using preproduction software and preproduction configurations of Surface Go 2. Testing consisted of full battery discharge with a mixture of active use and modern standby. The active use portion consists of:

- A web browsing test accessing eight popular websites over multiple open tabs,

- A productivity test utilising Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook, and

- A portion of time with the device in use with idle applications.

All settings were default except screen brightness was set to 150 nits with Auto-Brightness disabled. Wi-Fi was connected to a network. Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage and other factors.

2 Service availability and performance subject to service provider’s network. Contact your service provider for details, compatibility, pricing, SIM card, and activation. See all specs and frequencies at Surface.com.

3 Sold separately

4 Surface Book 3 15” connected to keyboard base: up to 17.5 hours of battery life based on typical Surface device usage. Testing conducted by Microsoft in April 2020 using preproduction software and preproduction configurations of Surface Book 3 15” Intel Core i7, 256 GB, 16 GB RAM. Testing consisted of full battery discharge with a mixture of active use and modern standby. The active use portion consists of:

- A web browsing test accessing eight popular websites over multiple open tabs

- A productivity test utilising Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook, and

- A portion of time with the device in use with idle applications.

All settings were default except screen brightness was set to 150 nits with auto-brightness disabled. Wi-Fi was connected to a network. Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage and other factors.

5 Subscription required

6 Xbox Wireless controller pairing available on 15" model. It is not available on the 13.5" model.  

7 Available for commercial SKU only