We at Hardsoft are proud to announce that we have successfully secured a lease contract to supply Hasselblad the world’s premier camera manufacture with new Apple Macs’s on our flexible lease option. Hasselblad UK have taken delivery of three highly specified Apple Mac Pros, which are installed at their UK head office in Borehamwood, Herts. Many photographers may well see them as they pop in. Hardsoft have been supplying IT and Photographic products through our Flexi Lease Program for many years. In fact the owner of the Cambridgeshire Franchise , David Hawkins, has fifteen years experience in Architectural photography.As a photographer, keeping up with digital age and the competition is important to stay ahead of the game, but so is hanging on to that hard earned cash. Our Flexi Lease program will not only give the equipment you need today but enable you to maximise your cash flow. HardSoft can provide a bespoke Mac , including the new 12 core Mac Pro with accessories and software such as Adobe, Aperture etc on a three year lease with hardware support and warranty and optional accidental insurance cover
Andrew loves computers and the way the market is evolving to a 'pay as you go' model against the old methodology of CapEx spending. A background of sourcing lease financing for Start Up businesses means he is perfectly place to provide insightful commentary on computing for new businesses.
At the start of the year, it looked like 2017 was set to be a big year for Apple with developments expected to many of their products. These rumours were confirmed during the recent WWDC keynote, as Apple revealed a host of new updates including iMacs, iPads and Mac notebooks. To keep you up to date with both the new releases and the gossip about what’s yet to come, we’ve rounded up the latest news to summarise what we think Apple has planned for the rest of 2017:
In 2016 we had the launch of the iPhone 7 and 7+ which brought with it the somewhat controversial removal of the headphone jack. However the iPhone 7 actually had minimal design changes, which has led many experts to believe that Apple were holding out for some sort of big 10th anniversary launch- enter the iPhone 8.
If the usual Apple schedule is anything to go by, the iPhone 8 will be available this Autumn, although Apple are yet to confirm. One of the main rumours circling the new release is that the home button will be removed to allow for an edge to edge display. What then happens to the fingerprint sensor is unclear, although it’s thought it could be incorporated into the screen itself or that Apple could start to utilise facial recognition technology. It’s also thought the display will be made from a flexible OLED display rather than the LCD panels which are currently used. This would make the phone much lighter. An iPhone 8 could see Apple finally offer wireless charging which is already offered by Android. To top their rivals it’s thought Apple might go one step further and offer long-range charging, meaning that a phone could charge a few metres away from its charging port.
At the end of March, Apple announced the launch of a new iPad. It’s simply called ‘The iPad’ indicating that the Air branding has been dropped, however this is essentially an iPad Air 3 with the same display and camera being used as in an Air 2.
The iPad has the new Apple A9 processor, the same chip as in the iPhone 6. There was also a small update to the iPad Mini made at the end of March, so we could see some more radical developments to this before the end of the year, with potentially a Pro version being announced.
The updated iPad Pro boasts ten hours of battery life and is available in 3 different sizes including the new 10.5 inch model. Users can expect a new 12 megapixel camera with a selfie cam in addition to ProMotion, which can automatically adjust the refresh rate based on what you’re watching.
As there were no rumours of a 2017 refresh, the iMac update has come as a surprise to many. Apple have recently introduced the new 4K 21.5 and K 27-inch iMac models which include a number of great internal changes, such as more powerful graphics and faster storage options than previous generation iMacs.
Pitched as the fastest and most powerful iMac ever built, Apple have teased the release of the new iMac Pro, which is scheduled to be available in December. Integrated into a unique grey body, the new model will feature next-generation Intel Xeon processors for super speedy performance.
After what seems like a fairly long wait (since June 2013 to be exact), Apple have announced that the Mac Pro will be getting a radical makeover in 2018. Whilst no secrets have been revealed, the highly anticipated Mac Pro is said to be for customers who need the highest-end system available.
Despite having only been released at the end of 2016 and proving popular, the MacBook Pro has this year received an update. Although it has maintained the same design, the updated version features a new processor for an extra speed boost.
Unveiled this month, the latest operating system from Apple includes tons of improvements, both big and small, and is expected to be released this Autumn. New features include a more ‘lifelike’ Siri voice, as well as the ability for Siri to answer follow-up questions. To name just a few of the many adaptations, the Control Centre has had a re-design with a big focus on 3D Touch interactions, maps have been updated, and a new app store has been introduced.
Mac OS High Sierra
Another exciting development to be revealed this month, macOS High Sierra is Apple’s latest operating system. With an all-new filing system, High Sierra promises to deliver advanced technologies for graphics, video and storage.
If you are an Apple product fan and want to get your hands on the latest technology, Hardsoft is here to help. Our Apple products are available to rent with a range of packages available. To find out more, get in touch with us today.
As an Apple Authorised Seller we are able to centrally register the Macs and iPads we lease to customers with Apple, which helps them with the management of their assets. Apple’s Device Enrolment Programme (DEP) an efficient way to deploy Macs, iPads and other iOS devices which you have leased across a business or school. The DEP allows you to choose to supervise from a distance any iOS devices owned by your business but used by your staff, whether they’re office based or work remotely. This higher level of management allows you to add restrictions, such as turning off Game Center and iMessage and blocking certain apps from the device. With the Device Enrollment Program, large-scale deployments of iPad and Mac are seamless. Your devices are configured through a management solution, and users are guided through the activation process with the built-in Setup Assistant. You can streamline setup by specifying that certain steps in Setup Assistant be skipped — such as screens for Apple ID, passcode, or terms of service.
Through the Device Enrollment Program, businesses can choose to supervise corporate-owned iOS devices over the air and the supervision of this provides a higher level of device management customising configurations and features specific to your school or business.
What can I do with DEP?
Configuring DEP allows you a number of options:
- Force the device to enroll with an MDM such as AirWatch
- Select which MDM group devices should be a part of initially
- Disable users ability to un-enroll from the MDM manually
- Place device in supervised mode
- Restrict device from pairing with macOS computers
- Disable sending diagnostics information to Apple
- Display personalised contact information for support
In addition, you can add a Mobile Device Management (MDM) profile for each device. The MDM allows the centralised control and deployment of software. Using an MDM gives you the ability to configure access to corporate services, account setting, and even which apps can be used. This removes the need to deploy your devices manually and means that your staff can get working as soon as the device is turned on. There is no need to have someone from your IT team physically set up each device individually.
This is only offered by Apple Authorised Sellers or direct from the Apple Store. HardSoft have provided roll outs to such organisations as the Marie Curie cancer charity as well as Dee Valley Water.
If you lease from HardSoft, with a minimum of 15 users, we use the Airwatch MDM software solution – which costs 80p per week extra on a three year lease. The Benefits of an MDM solution are massive but if you want to know more take a look at the FAQs below, or give our sales team a call on 020 7111 1643 and they will be happy to talk you through why DEP and MDM make sense for your business or school. Ask for a free Demo on Airwatch.
FAQ’s on the Apple Device Enrolment Program
Does HardSoft manage the whole DEP process? Not entirely. HardSoft role in the device enrolment process consists of order management functions, such as providing device serial numbers or IMEI numbers, creating a customer’s DEP Customer ID, providing our DEP Reseller ID, and a few other order details. Further actions in the programme — such as claiming and assigning devices in the DEP website and or to MDM servers — are the responsibility of the customer.
What resellers, distributors or carriers are eligible to support Device enrolment for their customers? Any Apple Authorised Reseller such as HardSoft, or Telecoms carrier, such as O2, EE is eligible to participate in the programme.
Can adding devices into the DEP resolve issues with the new law General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? No though DEP is the first stage in adding a Mobile Device Management Solution such as Airwatch that would conform. The new GDPR law states you must implement “appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk, including…encryption of personal data” (Article 32, Security of processing). In the event of a data breach, the organisation is not required to inform individuals of the breach if measures that “render the personal data unintelligible” were in place, including encryption (Article 34, Communication of a personal data breach to the data subject). GDPR is a concern to all Companies with the potential for heavy fines. Mobile devices such as iPads ‘roaming;’ the country with Data on are a hole in an IT security set up that needs addressing.
What customers are eligible to sign up for the device enrolment program? DEP is available to qualifying businesses. Generally, a client with 10 or more mobile devices feels the benefit. The device enrolment service of Apple School Manager is available to state, independent, primary and secondary schools, colleges and eligible educational organisations…
What does the customer need to provide to Apple to enrol devices? We require the customer’s DEP Customer ID (Apple will provide this to the customer after on line registration), the HardSoft DEP ID, the device IDs of the devices sold (serial numbers or IMEI numbers), and a few details about the order, such as delivery date.
Does HardSoft specify in the terms of sale that the device must be removed from device enrolment when the customer no longer owns it? No but the Apple device enrolment terms agreed to by the customer at sign up require a customer to remove devices that they no longer own from their DEP. Be aware that any devices lost, stolen will need removing.
Is there a charge to participate in Apple device enrolment? Apple does not charge customers to participate in DEP or the device enrolment service or Apple School Manager scheme. An MDM solution such as Airwatch would be at extra cost.
Can HardSoft help by enrolling devices into Device enrolment? Unfortunately no. End users must enrol in DEP or the device enrolment service of Apple School Manager and accept the terms and conditions themselves. Customers who request HardSoft to perform additional integration or management services (such as an MDM) can latterly create an admin account within their DEP portal or Apple School Manager portal to add and manage these services on the customers behalf.
Could customers create their own API? Organisations should be able to develop functional integration with Apple’s device enrolment APIs using two or three developers in about 10 weeks. Alternatively an off the shelf solution should be considered. HardSoft offer VMWare Airwatch.
While modern portable systems pack a nice punch and feature high-end graphics solutions sometimes it’s just not enough, as Apple users know only too well. That’s where external graphics cards come into play and for all the creatives out there something exciting is happening – Sonnet has announced the release of their eGFX Breakaway Box! The eGFX Breakaway Box supports any Thunderbolt compatible PCIe card, with 40 Gbps of bandwidth and a full PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, there’s plenty of power to share giving you the flexibility to add whatever you want to boost your capability without any degradation of speed – which was an issue for the previous Sonnet box.
The Sonnet eGFX bundled with the AMD Radeon RX 580 is VR ready for new OSX High Sierra. This is the recommended spec as per the Developer Kit for AR/VR at this summers WWDC. Though Apple didn’t mention the word Sonnet by name at WWDC it was apparent from their images that this was the chosen solution. Cost is £5.50 per week when added onto your lease for a new Mac from HardSoft.
Everyone who loves Apple knows that being unable to increase your capacity can be frustrating, and in the past any attempt to add to it externally has often come at the cost of the speed of your device. But with the arrival of the latest eGFX Breakaway box you can now be free from the constraints of your in-built system and go crazy with your creativity, especially as everyone moves towards VR (Virtual Reality), or AR (Augmented Reality) as our friends at Apple like to call it.
The Breakaway Box supports every other Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe card, regardless of the card’s length or width—its single x16 PCIe 3.0 slot easily accommodates full-length cards such as the RED Rocket-X or AVID Pro Tools|HDX.
The Breakaway box connects through a single 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port and whilst using a single port removes the daisy-chained setup options, it does offer the connected graphics card it’s full bandwidth. Delivering the full PCIe 3.0 x16 speeds with 2750MB/s available bandwidth. it allows you to take full advantage of the external graphics cards. It is in fact over double the performance of a Thunderbolt 2 generation.
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box -350watt by itself at £2.80 per week in the UK to lease over three years or €3.25 to EU customers. All plus VAT
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box -350watt- with AMD Radeon RX 580- 8GB (Part of Apple Developers kit for VR) at £5.50 per week on a three year business lease and €6.40 to EU/Irish customers.
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box -550watt- with Geforce GTX 1080Ti -11GB at £9.70 to add to a Mac lease or €11.25 to EU and Irish leasing business customers
You can lease the Sonnet eGFX 350 with the Geforce GTX 1080TI at £9.70 per week plus VAT on a bundle offer with a three year Flexi Lease. The Geforce GTX 1080ti features 11GB of GDDR5 ram and has a blistering CPU speed of 1582GHz. It has three mini display ports and we can offer adapters for your screens. The ‘350’ version means the card can be no more powerful than 350 watts. Other Sonnet peripherals for the Mac are available to lease and prices are based on a three year lease and includes three years warranty .
If you need an even better Graphics card for your Mac then we can offer alternatives but we would need to match your choice of card and may need the 550 watt version on the eGFX box. This offers 550 watts of power to the graphics card. This box is more expensive than the 350watt version. The eGFX Breakaway Box 350 has 8-pin plus one 6-pin auxiliary power connector and supports graphics card needing 300 W or less. It provides 15W of upstream power. The eGFX Breakaway Box 550 has DUAL 8 pin power connectors supporting up to 375W of juice, and provides 87 Watts of power upstream. It could actually charge your MacBook.
So who is excited about this new arrival and the possibilities it opens up? We certainly are! If you’d like to find out more about the eGFX Breakaway Box and how it can help improve your life, get in touch with our great sales team on email@example.com or call 020 7111 1643. HardSoft offer flexible leasing of high end Mac systems to creative users and are Apple Authorise. The Sonnet eGFX fits perfectly into our portfolio and yet again the high pricing of Apple based products means leasing becomes the obvious choice to lease these.
If you are considering buying IT equipment, such as tablets or laptops, for your school, you’ll be looking for the best deal for your funds. You may be surprised to learn that leasing is actually cheaper than buying and there are more advantages to leasing too. Such as:
- It frees up your capital – when you lease your IT you don’t have to use your capital funds as a lump sum to purchase them, or upgrading at a later date. Being able to spread the cost enables you to use your funds elsewhere and payments can be deferred to suit your needs.
- It comes with technical support – you will have access to our technical support team throughout the period of your lease. Our technicians are trained to an extremely high standard with expert authorisation and knowledge on both Apple and PC platforms. We are available to assist you with synchronising and maintaining your devices from the moment they are delivered.
- Free training is available – if you or your staff require training on your Apple iPads or laptops, or need some advice on the best apps to use in education, one of our qualified trainers will come to your school and deliver a program of training – FREE of charge – which will be tailored to your needs. This can cover iPad basics, right through to specifics of education related apps, Once your trainer has visited you, they will continue to work closely with you in order to ensure your iPads are fully utilised in the classrooms.
- Accidental Damage Insurance – each lease to a school has specialist comprehensive insurance cover. This means that any Apple iPad or Windows device you have which is accidentally damaged, will be fixed or replaced at no cost to your school. It costs around £150 to repair the screen of an iPad which has been dropped, but with our insurance you are covered and will NO excess to pay.
- You get a full 3 year warranty as standard – all Apple iPads that you lease will come with a 3 year warranty so that you’re covered. Should you have an issue with an iPad, we will swap it for a replacement to ensure you have the minimum of down time at no additional cost to your budget.
- Renewal and Upgrade at the end of lease – at the end of our normal 3 year lease term we will provide you with the option to return the iPads you have and cancel the original lease, provided that you take out a new lease on the latest iPads. You can keep the original iPads if you choose to do so, however there is a small fee payable in order to do this.
Here at HardSoft we offer operating leases to schools which are recommended by the Department for Education. When you choose to lease from HardSoft you will be benefiting from the experience an expertise of an IT company with 30 years of trading and dealing in finance.
- Organise paperwork
- Supply your equipment
- Install the equipment and train staff as necessary
- Provide expert technical support for the duration of the lease
- Manage any incidents of broken, damaged or lost equipment
If you think that leasing IT equipment would make sense for your school, give our Head Office education team a call on 020 7111 1643, they will be happy to advise and arrange a quotation for you tailored to your requirements.