The Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop Packs A GTX 1060 For Just RM5600

Xiaomi took time from talking about its new flagship smartphone to announce a gaming laptop. The Mi Gaming Laptop vaguely resembles a cross between the Razer Blade and Dell Alienware; sporting decent mid-range hardware and should be on the more affordable side of gaming.
Inside the 15.6-inch laptop is a seventh generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and combination of a 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD. Graphics are provided by an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, which firmly puts this on the middle of the gaming laptop scale. It also offers an expansion slot for an additional SSD; which is a nice touch, but not entirely necessary.
Xiaomi will also be offering an entry level version of the Mi Gaming Laptop, one that sports 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD, and a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.

There isn’t much else that’s known about these gaming laptops, but Xiaomi was trumpeting the cooling solution on the machines. According to the company, this will be the coolest running high performance laptops on the market. However, that seems to come at a price in the weight of the device – a whopping 2.7kg for a 15.6-inch display.

The Mi Gaming Laptop may be one of the most affordable gaming machines on the market when it’s released. The GTX 1060 version is set to be sold for 8999 RMB (RM5600), while the GTX 1050 Ti will carry a 5999 RMB (RM3700) price tag. We also understand that it will only be available in mainland China as well.
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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S Unleashed, Featuring Snapdragon 845 And Dual-Pixel Rear Camera

27 March certainly appears to be an auspicious day to launch a new flagship phone, with at least three major smartphone launches taking place today. Kicking things off is Xiaomi, which has just unveiled the new Mi Mix 2S.
Designed as the successor to the Mi Mix 2 which was just unveiled in September last year, the Mi Mix 2S is understandably not a radically new product. The focus remains on the display, now called Full Screen 2.0. There’s no notch here, with Xiaomi managing to make the bezels even slimmer this time around.

Round the back, Xiaomi opts for a full ceramic unibody frame, and available in two colours: Black and White. There’s a special edition Black model as well, with 18K gold trims. The rear camera has been upgraded as well, featuring a dual-camera module that looks similar to the iPhone X.
The Mi Mix 2 is naturally powered by Qualcomm’s latest flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 845. Xiaomi is also very confident of the optimisations made to the Mi Mix 2 with the chipset, scoring 273741 in the popular Antutu benchmark – the highest among Android flagships so far.

The rear camera is one of the bigger upgrades on the Mi Mix 2S. It comprises of two 12MP sensors, one with a wide-angle lens and the other with a telephoto lens – similar to Xiaomi’s previous dual-camera setups.
But the most exciting piece of news for the camera is not the dual camera setup, but rather the technology in the sensor itself. It features a dual-pixel autofocus system, which as we already know from Samsung’s flagship dual-pixel cameras, offers exceptionally fast and accurate autofocus. The individual pixels of the sensor are larger too, at 1.4 micron (the iPhone X only has a 1.25 micron pixel size).

In addition, the Mi Mix 2S camera also introduces a multi-frame noise reduction algorithm, which was made popular by Google’s Pixel smartphones. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S9 flagships also feature this technology to great success.
There’s also AI scene detection, where it can detect and optimise up to six shooting scenarios. As a result, the Mi Mix 2S is capable of capturing some very impressive shots, even in low light. Here are some of the image samples the company shared:

Take amazing action shots thanks to the new camera's fast focus! pic.twitter.com/lplFPFIJXQ
— Mi (@xiaomi) March 27, 2018

Never worry about dim light again with #MiMIX2S! pic.twitter.com/hAheJbQqfg
— Mi (@xiaomi) March 27, 2018

This post is developing as the event takes place. Keep refreshing to see the latest updates!
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Grab The Logitech G610 Orion Brown Mechanical Keyboard For Just RM299

If you’ve ever wanted a decent and reliable gaming-grade mechanical keyboard, you would be hard-pressed to look beyond the Logitech G610 Orion Brown mechanical keyboard. The keyboard first launched in March 2017 last year, and as its namesake suggests, the keyboard comes fitted with Cherry MX Brown key switches.
The keyboard comes with several other features, such as customisable backlighting, easy access media control, as well as Logitech’s own Gaming Software, which allows you to customise the keyboard’s F1 to F12 keys to better serve your gaming experience. It also comes with a “fingerprint-masking matte texture,” as well as a braided cable, and also features a rather minimalist design and dedicated media keys.
First priced at RM499 at its launch, the official Logitech Store in Lazada is now offering a chance for consumers to own the keyboard for RM299 – that’s a whopping RM200 off from the original price. This deal is part of the Lazada’s Payday Sale, which began yesterday and will conclude on 30 March 2018.

At the same time, Shopee is also having a sale on the very same keyboard, but at a slightly better price of RM275. Do note, however, that this bargain is part of the e-commerce’s Shocking Sale flash sales, which will expire at 4pm today. Additionally, the listing on Shopee includes free shipping to anywhere in Malaysia, while the listing on Lazada will include a shipping cost of RM1.50.
Last but not least, the Logitech G610 Orion Brown comes with a standard two-year warranty. Once again, you’d be hard-pressed to find a mechanical keyboard of this caliber at such an affordable price.
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LG V30+ Could Make Its Debut In Malaysia Soon

LG Mobile doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to releasing products into Malaysia in timely manner and it is rather unfortunate that this trend is still happening in 2018. However, this depends on whether the company will actually release the LG V30+ into our market which has been appeared on SIRIM’s database recently.
Built with a 6-inch OLED FullVision display which also has a native QHD+ (2880 x 1440) resolution, 538ppi pixel densitry, and HDR support, the V30+ is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor alongside 4GB of LPDDR4x RAM. Originally launched in August last year during IFA 2017, the only factor that differentiate the V30+ and V30 is its 128GB storage which is double the amount that was equipped into V30.

Photography-wise, the V30+ depends on a set of 16MP f/1.6 and 13MP f/1.9 cameras on its back with the latter being a wide-angle camera while there is also another 5MP f/2.2 camera on its front. The phone which is designed to withstand water and dust according to IP68 standard is also equipped with 3300mAh battery.
While the phone might not be fresh out of the oven, you are still looking at a rather premium device right here. Hence, we expect that the price for V30+ in Malaysia will not be far off from its launch price tag in Singapore which was SGD 1098 (about RM 3257).

We’ll keep you posted once we heard any updates from LG Mobile regarding the Malaysian release of V30+ but for the meantime, don’t forget to check out our hands on with its twin, the V30 right here.
(Thanks for yet another excellent tip, KevinNgTK!)
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Pokemon Go Is Introducing Daily Quests; Hints At Introduction Of Mew

Pokemon Go is still introducing a daily quest system under the guise of “Pokemon research”. This gives players the chance to earn additional experience points and special item drops, and also hints at the chance to encounter the legendary Pokemon Mew.
The game will introduce two types of research. Field Research involves walking around accomplishing regular gameplay tasks like catching specific Pokemon types, spinning Pokestops, and battling gyms. Special Research is still unclear, but seems to be more of a random quest that appears once certain milestones are achieved.

Niantic is saying that there is no limit the number of research tasks that can be accomplished in a single day; allowing people to grind for bigger rewards. Which is a step away from the daily quest system that usually appears in other free-to-play games.
This is not even close to the PvP and trading system that players have been asking for since the beginning of the game, but it’s not an entirely bad idea. Having additional in-game goals may help the longevity of the game by giving people something to work towards. And it’s certainly more engaging that the daily bonus for catching and spinning Pokestops.
[Souce: Pokemon Go Live]
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AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Benchmarks Appear In French Tech Magazine

Official benchmark results of the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X have appeared in French tech magazine, CPC Hardware. The pages show a CPU that is about on par with the Ryzen 7 1800X in terms of gaming performance, but far ahead in synthetic tests.
In its synthetic portion, the Ryzen 7 2700X reportedly showed a 14% improvement over its predecessor in HEVC to H264 encoding, Mathematica, PovRay, Blender, 3DSMax, and Corona. The gaming portion showed a smaller improvement, with a difference of just 4%. The games that CPC used to gain the results included GTA V, GRID AutoSport, Battlefield 4, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

One major drawback that CPC Magazine was quick to point out was its increased power consumption; on a full load, the CPUU reportedly consumed 142.6W of power, compared to the Ryzen 7 1800X’s 129.4W of power. Having said that, it looks as though the Ryzen 7 2700X also has a much smoother turbo acceleration and deceleration compared to previous generation Ryzen CPUs.
CPC Magazine stated that they had tested the CPU using an A320 motherboard, meaning that the CPU would not have XFR2 support. Which in turn suggests that the full potential of the CPU couldn’t be testing. It’s difficult to say how much more performance having an XFR2 motherboard would get, but these numbers are a good baseline for which to gauge the worth of the Ryzen 7 2700X.
(Source: Reddit via Videocardz)
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Google Apps Are Slowly Being Blocked From Uncertified Android Devices

Google appears to be clamping down on uncertified builds of the Android OS. Developers are reporting that they are unable to log in to Google accounts while using unverified firmware; a move that appears to force OEMs to provide a more consistent Android experience.
Developers on unverified versions of Android have reported that they are unable to sign into Google’s services through their devices. Instead, all they get is a warning message explaining what needs to be done.

The open source nature of Android allows, in theory, just about anyone to build their own version of the operating system. Which is pretty much why every manufacturer has an in-house variation.
However, these manufacturers are expected to comply with a set of rules set out in the Compatibility Definition Document, and then pass a Compatibility Test Suite. Doing so will allow them to pre-load Google’s app suite into the device. Of course, until recently, failure to comply would simply result in nothing bad actually happening. Aside from users having to sideload the apps instead of having them pre-installed.
This move seems like a better method of exercising some control over Android, while still allowing developers and OEMs to continuing with their own customisation work. It would also clamp down on less scrupulous manufacturers who take liberties with the security of their operating system.
On the other hand, it is going to be a whole lot more troublesome for those who prefer to install the own ROMs. Seeing that every new build will have to be registered separately; not to mention the 100 device ID limit on registration.
[Source: XDA Developers]

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Foxconn Announces Acquisition Of Belkin And Linksys

Foxconn’s ambitions to become something more than just an Apple supplier have taken a big step. The company has announced the acquisition of popular accessory maker Belkin for US$866 million (RM3.35 billion).
The deal will see Foxconn Interconnect Technology (FIT) take over Belkin and all of its brands, including Linksys, Wemo, and Phyn. Providing it with a large portfolio of consumer products. An important move as Foxconn has designs on entering the smarthome market.
“FIT is excited to acquire Belkin and its capabilities in the premium consumer products space,” said Sidney Lu, CEO of FIT. “Integrating Belkin’s best-in-class capabilities and solutions into FIT, we expect to enrich our portfolio of premium consumer products and accelerate our penetration into the smart home.”

Belkin is expected to continue operating as usual; aside from now being a subsidiary of FIT – which is itself already a subsidiary.
We’re unlikely to see many changes on that front, but this announcement yet another sign that Foxconn is ready to diversify its business. All that remains is to figure out what the end game really is.
[Source: Belkin]
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vivo V9 Officially In Malaysia: A Mid-Range Full Screen Phone with AI-Driven Cameras and More

As promised, vivo today has officially launched its brand-new V9 smartphone in our market. Malaysia is yet another market throughout the world that have received the new device after Thailand and India last week.
Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626, the V9 also features a 6.3-inch 19:9 IPS display with full HD+ resolution (2280 x 1080) alongside 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. Together with a 3260mAh battery and , the phone is also pre-installed with Funtouch OS 4.0 that is based on Android 8.1 Oreo.

One of the most touted feature on the new V9 is its selfie camera which features a 24MP 1/2.8-inch sensor together with a f/2.0 lens. On its back, there is also a 24MP f/2.0 main camera that has been paired with a 5MP depth sensor which helps deliver the bokeh and refocus features on V9.
At the same time, vivo has also implemented plenty of features into the new V9 that are said to be powered by artificial intelligence although whether they are true AI applications, that is still up for debate. Among them is the new AI Face Beauty which apparently able to automatically deliver the most appropriate beautification for users based on their age, gender, and lighting as well as skin texture and tone.

The AI Face Beauty feature was apparently refined through the usage of a database that contained millions of facial images. Other than that, the rear camera of V9 also features a function called AI HDR which detects and analysis the backlight condition in order to adjust users photo accordingly.
The V9 also comes with what vivo called as the AI Attention Sensing which would able to detect if you are looking at the phone and subsequently reduce the volume of the phone’s notifications, calls or alarm in order to tone down the distractions that users might face while using the phone. The AI Face Access on V9 apparently has been improved as well.

Another AI-driven feature that vivo has equipped into V9 is called AI Smart Engine. While most V9’s AI functions are related to its camera, the AI Smart Engine on another hand keep track of the phone’s behavior over time in order to optimize its performance and endurance.
For gamers, V9 has been equipped with an updated version Game Mode which help users avoid interruption from messages, calls, and notifications while they are playing games. The update provides a new Picture in Picture mode to V9 which allows users to use selected messaging apps without leaving their game sessions in addition to the specially designed Gaming Keyboard that only uses a portion of the screen.

Given the popularity of karaoke-like apps among users as of late, the V9 also features a mode called Pocket Karaoke which users can activate if they want to hear their own vocals through earphones. In terms of availablity, the new Vivo V9 is now available for pre-order throughout Malaysia for RM 1399 and will be released into the market at the end of this month.
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Catan VR Allows People To Play Settlers of Catan In A Virtual Room

Settlers of Catan is expanding into the VR space with the aptly named Catan VR. Klaus Teuber, inventor of the original Catan, even chipped in to design this particular port.
As like any other Catan game, Catan VR sees the player building settlements and trading for resources to collect the most points to win the game. In fact, the mechanics of the game are largely unchanged; mostly due to the elegant simplicity which made the original a best seller. Being played in virtual reality allows players to customise the room; with set locations depicting Catan, Japan, or a few other options.

This isn’t the first digital port of Catan either, with the game already available on Steam and mobile devices, albeit without the VR aspect. Publisher Asmodee has been pushing to adapt other successful boardgames to the digital space as well, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see more adopt the VR approach. Especially since Ticket to Ride would be amazing with proper graphics.

Catan VR requires either the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR or Oculus Go to play with up to four players. Players can also play against AI players if they want to. Catan VR is now available on the Oculus Store for US$14.99 (RM 59) and on the Gear VR store for US$9.99(RM 40).
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