Google Pixelbook Goes Official: A Premium Convertible Chromebook with Built-In Google Assistant

True to the rumors that we’ve heard, Google was indeed working on a new Chromebook. However, what the company has announced at its special event today is not just another clamshell device though. Instead, it is actually a convertible Chromebook called Pixelbook.
It might not be the first convertible Chromebook but nevertheless, Pixelbook has received the honor as being the first laptop with built-in Google Assistant, complete with integration with the equally new Pixelbook Pen.
Available in three hardware configurtions, the new Pixelbook will be made available in North America and UK starting from 31 Oct with a starting price tag of USD 999 (about RM 4,224) while the Pixelbook Pen can be obtained separately for USD 99 (about RM 419 ).

We don’t expect it to be officially released in Malaysia any time soon though but who knows, maybe Google might have a change of heart in the near future.
(Source: Google)
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Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Unlock the Best of Google’s Services

As expected, Google has introduced its 2017 flagship smartphones, the Pixel 2 and its larger version, the Pixel 2 XL. Featuring all aluminium bodies and OLED displays, the Pixel 2 smartphones unlock an amazing array of new Google technologies.
Google claims that the Pixel 2 are the perfect combination of hardware, software, and artificial intelligence. Let’s start with the hardware. The Pixel 2 is the smaller of the two, with a 5-inch Full HD OLED display. The larger Pixel 2 XL, on the other hand, feature the new 18:9 aspect ratio and a 6-inch panel with a QHD+ (2880 x 1440) resolution.
Both smartphones have an all-aluminium body, save for the top of the back area – it’s made from a gently-curved coloured glass. The fingerprint sensor is still located at the rear, while the top and bottom of the display feature stereo speakers. There is, however, no 3.5mm audio jack. As for the internals, they’re similar to most 2017 flagship phones: Snapdragon 835 processors, 4GB RAM, and a choice of 64GB or 128GB of storage.

As smartphones made by Google, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will run on pure Android Oreo. On the Pixel phones, they feature a new home screen, with a persistent search box – Google says this change was to make search easier to reach (instead of being near the top of the screen). There is also a new Always On Display, which takes advantage of the inherent properties of OLED displays.

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Google Announces Home Mini For A Smaller Home Assistant

Google has announced a smaller version of its home assistant in the Google Home Mini. It’s practically the same as the existing Google Home, albeit in a much smaller shell. A shell that happens to be completely encased in a custom made fabric.
The Google Home Mini incorporates the same Google Assistant. Including the expanded features like Google’s new Voice Match feature for multi-user operations. It also has a touch surface for music controls; despite lacking the solid surface that people are used to.
Google’s presentation took quite a bit of time on the fabric. Informing viewers of the amount of time and effort that went into the design. Saying that it took 157 tries to get even one colour right. Mostly because it would have to allow the LED indicator lights to shine through the material without looking weird.
Naturally, the Google Home Mini is also a speaker. Capable of projecting sounds in a 360-degree arc.

The Google Home Mini is set to be sold for $49 in the US. It goes on pre-order in the US today, with a full release set for 19 October. Google will eventually bring the device to all seven countries where the Google Home is officially available.
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The Best Value For Money Smartphones For Every Price Point

Smartphones are getting more and more expensive these days. There was a time when RM2,499 for a flagship smartphone was considered excessive; today that price is considered fair. That said, you can still find some gems if you look closer – some smartphones offer pretty great value for money.
On top of that, with the increasing frequency of smartphone launches these days, some previous-gen models become genuine steals for their reduced prices. With that in mind, here are some of the best value for money smartphones on Shopee.
Below RM600:
Given its price point, we’re looking at relatively modest smartphones with decent hardware. There isn’t much emphasis on design or materials – just a good price to performance ratio.
Xiaomi Redmi 4A
There are a few smartphones we’ve found with 2GB RAM that’s cheaper than this, but this is the best specced budget smartphone you can find in the market today. Xiaomi features quite prominently in this list, and for good reason. The Redmi 4A has a more powerful Snapdragon 425 chipset, and has 2GB of RAM as well as 32GB of expandable storage. It also has a 5-inch 720p display, and the camera department gets a big jump: 13MP f/2.2 rear and 5MP f/2.2 front cameras.
There’s also a larger 3,120mAh battery, and its MIUI ROM is based on Android 6.0.1.
Click here to buy it on Shopee for RM419!
HTC Butterfly 2

The beauty of finding good deals is discovering hidden gems like these. The HTC Butterfly 2 is a few years old now, but its depreciation in value is faster than the depreciation in hardware.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor was a flagship-class chipset, and you get a 5-inch Full HD panel Super LCD panel as well as a 5MP selfie camera. The only drawbacks are the 2GB RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, and a somewhat small 2,700mAh battery, but for this price range, that’s more than acceptable.
On top of that, you get a dual-camera setup long before it was cool: the HTC Butterfly 2 has a 13MP rear camera with a 2MP depth sensor, which allows you to refocus images using the Duo Camera software.
Click here to buy it on Shopee for RM525!
Xiaomi Redmi 4X

This isn’t the first Xiaomi phone in the list, and it sure as hell isn’t the last. The Redmi 4X is basically one tier above the Redmi 4A, which comes at a rather small RM130 increase.
For that price jump, you get a better Snapdragon 435 chipset with 3GB of RAM, a 13MP f/2.0 camera with PDAF, a much larger 4,100mAh battery, a fingerprint scanner, and a metal body, too. Other notable specs include a 5-inch 720p display, 5MP f/2.2 front camera, dual-SIM 4G, 32GB expandable storage, and MIUI 8.
Click here to buy it on Shopee for RM549!
Samsung Galaxy J3 Pro

Samsung’s newer models in the J series don’t quite offer the same levels of hardware against the Xiaomi phones at this price point, but the J3 Pro is an interesting model to consider.
It runs on an Exynos 7570 quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, as well as 16GB of expandable storage. The Galaxy J3 Pro packs a modest 5″ 720p TFT display, but makes up for it with a metal body, 2.5D glass display, and even a 13MP f/1.9 rear camera. It also runs on Android 7.0 Nougat and Samsung’s own UX which comes with Dual Messenger support, letting you use two social media accounts simultaneously on the same phone.
And, Samsung Malaysia is offering an extended warranty (1+1 year) as well as a one-time screen replacement warranty for every purchase of the Galaxy J3 Pro until the end of October 2017.
Click here to buy it on Shopee for RM575!

RM600 – RM1,000
This is easily one of the hottest and most highly-contested price point in the Malaysian smartphone market. From the models seen here, it can easily be noted that their price-to-performance ratio is exceptionally high – the set of hardware you get for the price you pay makes these phones some of the best value smartphones you can find.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (4GB/64GB)

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 was a huge success among Malaysians, and the Redmi Note 4 proved to be just as popular. For the Malaysian market, the Redmi Note 4 comes in two flavours: 3GB RAM/32GB storage and 4GB RAM/64GB storage. While the 3GB RAM option is pretty solid at RM679 today, the 4GB RAM is really worth the additional RM140 or so.
For just RM815, you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor paired with 4GB RAM, a 5.5-inch Full HD display, a 13MP f/2.0 rear camera with PDAF and dual-tone flash, a 5MP f/2.0 front camera, a massive 4,100mAh battery, a fingerprint sensor, and a metal body – amazing value for money.
This is, for most of us in the team, the best value for money smartphone you can find in Malaysia, until…
Click here to buy it on Shopee for RM815!
Xiaomi Mi A1

…this came along.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 may be pricier than the Redmi Note 4, but the new additions make it really sway in our favour. It runs on a similar Snapdragon 625 chipset as the Redmi Note 4, and the same 4GB RAM and 64GB expandable storage configuration. It also has a similar 5.5-inch Full HD display, a rear fingerprint sensor, and a smaller 3,080mAh battery.
But here’s where Xiaomi mixes things up. The Mi A1 sports a dual-camera setup at the back, featuring two 12MP sensors which allow for 2x optical zoom and Portrait Mode, features which are previously reserved for high-end smartphones.
Not to forget, this is also an Android One device, which means it runs on stock Android instead of MIUI (except for the camera app). For a phone you can get for under RM1,000, this is pretty unprecedented.
Click here to buy it on Shopee for RM965!
Huawei P10 Lite

The most affordable of the Huawei P10 series just got a lot more affordable. The P10 lite carries over the sleek good looks of the Huawei P10 in a more budget friendly setup.
With a Kirin 655 octa-core processor with 4GB RAM, the P10 Lite is a perfectly capable mid-range smartphone. It has a 5.2-inch Full HD display, 32GB 32GB of expandable storage, 12MP rear and 8MP front-facing cameras, as well as a 3,000mAh battery. It also has a glass back and a rear fingerprint sensor.
Click here to buy it on Shopee for RM999!

RM1,000 – RM1,500
Xiaomi Mi Max 2

Essentially, the Mi Max 2 is a larger Redmi Note 4. You get the same Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB expandable storage, but with a massive 6.44-inch Full HD display as well as an equally huge 5,300mAh battery.
Besides that, a full metal unibody enhances the device’s aesthetics and feel, while the 12MP rear camera has larger individual pixels for better low light performance.
Click here to buy it on Shopee for RM1,008!
Honor 8

Another example of a previous-gen device that’s still solid today. The Honor 8, released in 2016, still boasts powerful hardware – and for its price today, makes for a pretty good deal.It is powered by a Kirin 950 octa-core chipset with 4GB RAM, while the 32GB of internal storage can be expanded via microSD cards. The Honor 8 also features a 5.2-inch Full HD IPS panel, a 3,000mAh battery, an 8MP front camera, and finally, a dual 12MP f/2.2 rear camera setup.
Click here to buy it on Shopee for RM1,299!
Huawei Nova 2i

Why a dual camera when you can go quad-camera? Just launched in Malaysia very recently, the Huawei Nova 2i packs a really strong punch with its hardware package and price.
For just RM1,299, the Nova 2i features a Kirin 659 octa-core processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB expandable storage, while a new 5.93-inch 2160 x 1080 FullView 18:9 display makes its Huawei debut here. The quad-cam setup consists of a 16MP + 2MP rear and a 13MP + 2MP front camera setup; in both cases, the 2MP sensor is used to measure depth and distance. A 3,340 battery, rear fingerprint scanner, and a dual-SIM slot rounds up the impressive specs list.
Click here to buy it on Shopee for RM1,299!
Apple iPhone 6 32GB

If you want to experience iOS, this is a good place to start. Apple’s iPhone strategy is to allow its older iPhone models to trickle down the price range, making them attractive introductory devices to the iOS ecosystem.
Its specs is naturally modest, with an A8 dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM, but iOS is an efficient platform. The 8MP iSight rear camera and 4.7-inch Retina display are no longer class-leading, but this is the most affordable iPhone in the market today.
Click here to buy it on Shopee for RM1,339!
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)

In terms of hardware, the Galaxy A7 (2017) certainly isn’t as impressive as the others in this price range (only 3GB RAM?!), but Samsung adds some useful features on this device.
For instance, this is the only smartphone in this list (at this price range) that offers IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. It also has a 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, which is a Samsung specialty, as well as a unique 16MP f/1.9 front and rear camera sensors. Rounding up the specs list is a Samsung Exynos 7880 1.9GHz octa-core processor, and fast charging via USB Type-C.
Click here to buy it on Shopee for RM1,449!

RM1,500 – RM2,000
This used to be one tier below flagship level, but with premium smartphones now zooming past the RM3,000 mark, you could only find some flagship-level features on phones at this price point. Nevertheless, as we said, a closer look will yield some interesting propositions…
OnePlus 3T

OnePlus shares a similar philosophy of offering premium specs at low prices, and its previous flagship, the OnePlus 3T, is a good testament to that. It was one of the first smartphones with 6GB of RAM, while the rest of the spec sheet makes it an excellent good upper mid-range model.
The OnePlus 3T features a Snapdragon 821 processor with 6GB RAM, 64GB of non-removable storage, a 5.5-inch Full HD display, 16MP rear and front camera sensors, a 3,400mAh battery with Dash Charge, and runs on OxygenOS.
Click here to buy it on Shopee for RM1,719!
Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Yes, we know this phone is already two years old and pretty long in the tooth, but if you need a phone with a stylus and does not set you back RM3,999, this is the phone for you.
Powered by an Exynos 7420 processor with 4GB of RAM, the Galaxy Note 5 also sports a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display, 32GB of expandable storage, and a 3,000mAh battery – and the S-Pen, of course.
Click here to buy it on Shopee for RM1,730!
Honor 8 Pro

It may be a refreshed variant of the Honor 8 from last year, but this upgrade is pretty significant. There’s a new, faster Kirin 960 octa-core chipset with 50% more RAM at 6GB, a larger and sharper 5.7-inch 2560 x 1440 IPS display, and a 4,000mAh battery that’s roughly 30% larger than its predecessor.
Add in an 8MP seflie camera and a dual-camera setup (12MP + 12MP) at the rear, and you’ve got a pretty fantastic package for its price.
Click here to buy it on Shopee for RM1,999!

Diamonds in the rough

There are so many smartphones out in the market today that it can be really difficult to spot a good one at the right price. But as we’ve shown in this extensive list, there are smartphones out there with great value for money.
As you can see, the list above was compiled from what we found on Shopee, which offers a Lowest Price Guarantee program that covers hundreds of smartphones on the e-commerce site. Shopee is so confident that any product with the Lowest Price Guarantee is the lowest among all e-commerce websites, it will offer 120% of the price difference back to you if a lower listing is found on other e-commerce sites. All products listed here is covered by the Lowest Price Guarantee.

That’s not all. Shopee is also offering RM100 off any RM1,500 on Lowest Price Guarantee items using the code LOWYAT100. Simply enter the code at checkout to enjoy the voucher and enjoy more discounts on the value for money smartphones.

Disclosure: This article was sponsored by Shopee Malaysia.
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Samsung HMD Odyssey Goes Official: A Premium Windows Mixed Reality Headset

Last year, Microsoft has announced its partnership with major OEMs including Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo in order to help the company push Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) to the masses. Now, there is another company that has joined the mix as well: Samsung, with the official unveiling of HMD Odyssey.
In general, there are couple of factors that made the new Odyssey slightly different from previous WMR headsets that have been announced before. For example, it is equipped with a pair of OLED displays instead of LCD.

Not only that these OLED display are larger in size at 3.5-inch as compared to previously announced WMR headsets, their resolutions are also higher at 1600 x 1400 each. That being said, their refresh rate are still the same at 90Hz.
Meanwhile, the Odyssey also offers higher degree field of view at 110 which put it on the same level as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. It also features integrated AKG headphones and dual array microphones which could might give it slight advantage over other WMR headsets.

Given the platform, the Odyssey also utilizes inside-out tracking just like other WMR headset out there. Shipped together with a pair of WMR Motion Controllers, the headset can be obtained in United States at USD 499 (about RM 2,110) this coming November although it is not known at the moment whether Samsung is willing to release the headset in Malaysia or otherwise.
(Source: Microsoft – 1, 2 / Samsung)
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The Doogee Mix 2 Borrows Many Ideas From Many Competitors

Doogee has revealed the existence of a new Mix 2 smartphone. The company has moved surprisingly quickly to push out this particular device; as the Doogee Mix has only recently been released in Malaysia.
The Doogee Mix 2 brings to the table a curved, 18:9 ratio edge-to-edge screen that’s becoming more popular these days. It also borrows the quad camera configuration from the Huawei Nova 2i; with two sitting at the rear, and two acting as the selfie shooters.
The front camera features dual 8MP sensors; one of which is the dedicated wide-angle sensor for group selfies (their words, not ours). The main cameras, meanwhile, are a 16MP/13MP combo capable of a 2x optical zoom.
The two 16 megapixel + 13 megapixel sensor on the Doogee Mix 2
On the subject of screens, the 5.99-inch display on the Doogee Mix 2 features a FHD+ (or 1080 x 2160 pixel) resolution, unlike the 720p display of the Doogee Mix.
Underneath the possible all-glass build is MediaTek’s Helio P25 processor, paired with 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB of internal storage. Plus, the phone gets a huge 4060mAh battery that should last the whole day on a single charge, if not more. Charging meanwhile is done through a USB Type-C connector, but no mention of any fast charging capabilities. Sadly, Doogee took away the 3.5mm audio jack from the Mix 2.
The Doogee Mix 2 is set to arrive sometime in November. We may see it on Malaysian store shelves as well by early 2018, if not earlier.

(Source: Doogee )
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Rumour: Intel’s Coffee Lake Desktop CPU Availability May Be Scarce Until 2018

It looks like the recently announced iPhone X isn’t the only product that’ll likely be hampered with scarce availability this year. A report has emerged from folks at SweClockers claiming that Intel’s upcoming Coffee Lake desktop-grade processors may be hard to obtain until at least early 2018 as well. For those who aren’t aware: Intel’s Coffee Lake processors are due for release on 5 October 2017.
According to SweClockers, Swedish retailers have told the tech site that the availability of Intel’s Coffee Lake desktop processors will be low and may remain so for a number of weeks / months. Unfortunately, the tech site made no mention of the reasoning behind the scarcity of the upcoming processors from Intel.

That said, it seems that Intel may have seen this “issue” coming. Coffee Lake CPUs were originally only expected to be released in 2018, but Intel pushed the launch date earlier possibly to reduce AMD’s surge in the CPU market with its Ryzen processors. Pushing the launch date several months earlier may have caused problems with production and meeting demands from consumers.
Of course, we do suggest our dear readers to take this rumour with a grain of salt, as it only came from one source. However, if this rumour were to be believed, then consumers may have to wait for a few months before being able to buy Coffee Lake CPUs. Let’s hope that won’t be the case here in Malaysia.
(Source: SweClockers, TechPowerUp)
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Riot Games To Release League of Legends World Championship Touch ‘n Go Card Soon

The League of Legends (LoL) World Championship 2017 might be taking place in Beijing, China but that doesn’t stop Riot Games from celebrating the occasion with fans in Malaysia. Hence, this special edition LoL World Championship Touch ‘n Go (TnG) card might be something that would interest LoL fanatics out there.
Alongside similarly themed EZ-Link card for Singapore market, these cards were revealed by the General Manager of Riot Games for Malaysia and Singapore, Benjamin Pommeraud in a recent tweet. If you look closely, you would noticed that the cards come with country-specific designs.
LoL’s previous custom payment game, in collaboration with Digi.
In its response to our enquiry, Touch ‘n Go Sdn Bhd has confirmed that the LoL Worlds card is indeed an official TnG card that was produced through the company’s custom card program. That being said, we were also told that it is up to Riot on how or when it is going to release the card to the masses.
Even though Benjamin didn’t reveal any details regarding the card’s roll out into our market, Garena – Riot’s partner in Malaysia – has said in its reply to our questions that more details regarding the special edition card will be revealed very soon. So, stay tuned for further updates.
(Source: Benjamin Pommeraud)
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WhatsApp Released Its Own Set Of Emoji That Looks Like Apple’s

WhatsApp has finally released its own set of emoji, but the emoji set is far from unique and heavily resembles of Apple’s emoji set. So why is it that WhatsApp is creating its own emoji set?
Apple’s emoji set have been used in WhatsApp for awhile now on all of their platforms. WhatsApp is most likely trying to set themselves apart from other competitors, which explains why they are releasing their own emoji set.
A similar approach is done by Facebook and Twitter, where both companies are using its own custom emoji within the app.
Here are some of the new emoji set available on the latest beta release. At first glance, the emoji set might still look very similar to the ones on Apple. So here is a side-by-side comparisons in courtesy of Emojipedia.

Side-by-side differences are very clear for some emojis, but otherwise its all very close to what we are all used to. Which is the usual Apple emoji set, so its safe to say it wont cause too much of a shock once these emojis roll out to the public.
WhatsApp’s new emoji set will most certainly create some buzz once the update starts rolling out to the public.
[Source – Emojipedia]
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Yahoo Revises Number Of Compromised Accounts In 2013 Breach; Now Says Everyone Was Affected

New forensic evidence has resulted in Yahoo revising the number of accounts compromised in a 2013 cyberattack. According to the company the attackers managed to steal login information from all three billion Yahoo mail accounts registered to the service at the time.
The company, which is now owned by a Verizon parent company known as Oath, had originally believed that one billion user accounts were stolen in the cyberattack four years ago. We now know that the real damage is much worse than the initial estimate, as everyone on the service has had their users names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, passwords stored using the MD5 cryptographic hashing algorithm, and security questions and answers.
Yahoo says that no passwords were stored in plain text format. However, the MD5 hashing used to protect the passwords is considered to be extremely weak and could be easily decrypted by brute force methods. In other words, it may not be plain text but that’s not going to stop anyone from reading the passwords.

This 2013 attack is separate from another attempt made in 2014. The later cyberattack had apparently only succeeded in stealing passwords from 500 million accounts. Which is comparatively mild compared to the damage already done.
The one billion compromised accounts had already put this particular attack as one of the worst ever suffered by any company. Increasing the number to three-fold only makes things worse for Yahoo. Although, it probably has less to worry about now that it has been bought over by Oath.
It may be a bit too late for people to change their passwords at this point, but there’s a lesson about reusing passwords to be learnt here. Of course, two-stage authentication help minimise the damage done by data breaches and really should be enable where available.
[Source: Yahoo]
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