Razer Announces Wolverine Ultimate Controller For Xbox And PC

Razer has announced the new Razer Wolverine Ultimate controller, for Xbox One and PC. The big draw to this controller is the interchangeable thumbstick and d-pad to customise the controller according to the consumer’s preference. Simply swap between optimised thumbstick heights and shapes, and quickly change between a tilting or individual D-Pad button layout.
There are also six extra remappable buttons, which consists of two multi-function bumpers and four multi-function triggers. Map your most used functions in your game to these buttons to own your game (and perhaps the friends you are playing against as well).
Of course this being a Razer product, customisation is not limited to controls. Razer Chroma is supported, and the integrated RGB lighting strip can display up to 16.8 million colours. As usual, this is done through Razer’s Synapse app.
The long three-metre braided cable will give consumers the space and slack to sit back and relax while gaming; and the built-in audio-port supports stereo-out and microphone input so trash-talking can be done with relative ease. The four easy-access buttons also give users quick access to frequently-used functions.
The Razer Wolverine Ultimate is set to be launched in the fourth quarter. It will have a recommended sticker price of US$ 149.99 (or about RM 640).
(Source: Razer)
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Confirmed: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 To Cost RM 3,999 In Malaysia

Update: Samsung has confirmed the Galaxy Note 8 pre-order details. The article has been updated.
Ahead of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 pre-order session in Malaysia which will take place from 5 to 10 September, a flyer regarding it has been leaked online, which Samsung Malaysia has now confirmed. It not only revealed the amount of benefits that will be made available to pre-order customers, but also the retail price for the new smartphone which is expected to be available here in mid-September.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will be priced at RM 3,999. Pre-order customers will also receive RM 321 cash rebate for their Galaxy Note 8, bringing the price down to RM3,678 (an 8% discount). They will also receive a 5,100mAh battery pack, clear cover, and Samsung Protection Plus for their new smartphone. The Samsung Protection Plus is an extended warranty program that covers 1-year extended warranty that covers mechanical and electrical breakdowns, as well as a one-time screen crack replacement for one year.

This pre-order campaign is vastly different to the pre-order campaign run by our neighbours in Singapore. Over there, Samsung is bundling a free DeX Station, as well as a host of vouchers for PC peripherals to complement the DeX Station. After the pre-order campaign, there will also be vouchers and discount bundles for Note 8 accessories as well as PC peripherals.
All things considered, the pre-order for the Galaxy Note 8 makes the smartphone very attractive to own indeed. It is actually even better than that of the RM3,699 Galaxy S8+ pre order in Malaysia, which did not come with a cash rebate (there was a Starter Kit instead). Plus, the extended warranty and screen scrack protection could save users quite a bit in the long run.
Find out more about the Galaxy Note 8 in our coverage below:
Global announcementHands on & first impressionsSpec sheet comparisonCamera comparison: Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy Note 8
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Leak: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 To Costs RM 3,999 In Malaysia

Ahead of Samsung Galaxy Note 8 pre-order session in Malaysia which will take place from 5 to 10 September, a flyer regarding it has been leaked online. It not only revealed the amount of benefits that will be made available to pre-order customers but also the retail price for the new smartphone which is expected to be available here in mid-September.
According to the flyer, Galaxy Note 8 will apparently be priced at RM 3,999. It also stated that pre-order customers will receive a 5,100mAh battery pack, clear cover, and Samsung Protection Plus for their new smartphone.

Pre-order customers will also receive RM 321 cash rebate for their Galaxy Note 8. That being said, it is not clear how or where this rebate can be applied as we not able to obtain further clarification through the leaked flyer’s fine print since its resolution is quite low.
While we still waiting for the official confirmation from Samsung regarding this leaked flyer, it still can be seen as a sign of things to come. At the very least, now you can start prepping your wallet in anticipation of Galaxy Note 8’s release in Malaysia very soon.
(Source: MDROID)
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MSI GT75VR Titan Review: A (Costly) Gaming Powerhouse

MSI’s Titan gaming laptops really live up to their name: they’re huge, powerful gaming machines. While the MSI GT75VR Titan we have here today isn’t quite as big – or decadent – as the MSI GT83VR Titan SLI, it’s still a very capable gaming machine with some neat tricks up its sleeve.
But as is always the case with MSI’s Titan laptops, the GT75VR’s steep asking price really limits its potential customers. However, those who are willing to drop the cash for it will be a very, very happy gamer.
Specifications

Note that our review unit comes equipped with two GTX 1070 GPUs, which is not sold in Malaysia. For our market, only the single-GPU configuration – GTX 1070 or 1080 – is available. To mimic the performance level of our local unit, we disabled SLI on the GT75VR throughout the review.
Design

As a gaming brand, it really comes as no surprise that the GT75VR sports a “conventional” gaming laptop aesthetics. The black and red colour scheme is almost synonymous with gaming at this point, and the rear vent design with red accents further drives the point home that this is a gaming machine. Basically, the GT75VR is through and through a gaming laptop.
Open up the GT75VR and you’ll be greeted with the very bright RGB mechanical keyboard. No, it’s not your conventional mechanical keyboard, but it sure is a fantastic one. Although it doesn’t have the long key travel of a standard mechanical keyboard, I got used to the low-profile keys pretty quickly; I’ll elaborate more on this further down this review.

Weighing a hefty 4.56kg and measuring 31 to 58mm thick (it has a wedge design), the GT75VR is not a very portable laptop. Not only does it not fit into most backpacks – it certainly didn’t fit in mine – it’s a heavy machine. Of course, MSI does make good use of the extra weight and thickness, but there’s no denying that this is not a laptop you want to lug around.
Build quality of the GT75VR is also pretty good. Although the bottom chassis is made out of plastic – the palm rest area has a plastic cover too – this laptop feels sturdy and solid. That being said, I don’t quite like the display’s plastic bezels, especially given the high askking price of the GT75VR.

Given its status as a Titan laptop, portability definitely isn’t the GT75VR’s strength, but there are inherent benefits to this. In fact, it may be even worth the sacrifice in portability.
User Experience

First things first, let’s talk about the GT75VR’s low-profile mechanical keyboard. Made in collaboration with SteelSeries, it’s a lot like…a quieter Cherry MX Blue keyboard with less key travel, which isn’t a bad thing at all. There’s more than enough key travel for a comfortable typing experience – the keys are also on the heavier side of things – and I love the fact that it’s not quite as loud as MX Blue switches.
And then we have the trackpad, which is…functional. See, our unit of the GT75VR is an engineering sample, so certain features simply do not work. There’s no two-finger scrolling, pinch to zoom, or any gesture-based actions with the trackpad. Beyond this, however, the trackpad works just fine; it can certainly deliver in a pinch.

Another major highlight of the GT75VR is its display. Although it’s “only” a 17.3-inch 1080p display, it has a high 120Hz refresh rate and a low 3ms response time. To top it off, the GT75VR even comes with Nvidia’s G-Sync technology. Collectively, these three points make the GT75VR very, very ideal for gaming. The high refresh rate lends to a very fluid gaming experience, and needless to say, the GTX 1070 GPU can definitely make use of it.
However, the display isn’t perfect: it’s a TN panel. Although it has better viewing angles than your average TN panel, there is noticeable colour shifting when looking at the display from different angles.

Heat management is pretty good too. In extended gaming sessions, the palm rest area did not get warm at all. In fact, only the keyboard area gets slightly warm. System noise, on the other hand, isn’t quite as good: the GT75VR definitely makes itself heard under stress. That being said, it didn’t bother me quite as much: the speakers drown out the fan noise quite a bit, and the audio quality is excellent.
Packed with Dynaudio speakers, the GT75VR has one of the best audio quality I’ve ever come across on a laptop. It can get loud enough to fill up a medium-sized room with relative ease, and gaming with this laptop gives a very immersive audio experience. Really, this is one gaming laptop I’ll gladly game on without using any external speakers.

The GT75VR is a very pleasant to use gaming laptop. Its low-profile mechanical keyboard provides excellent typing experience, it has an incredible audio system, and its 120Hz display with low response time – albeit it’s only a 1080p display – is a joy to game with. The best part is, I haven’t even gotten to the performance aspect of the GT75VR.
Performance

This is where the GT75VR truly, truly shines. As mentioned, our unit comes with two GTX 1070 GPUs, but we disabled SLI to match the single-GPU configuration of the Malaysian variant. Even with SLI disabled, the GT75VR is still a powerful gaming machine: just look at our benchmark scores below.

All three games we tested on the GT75VR – Witcher 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Doom – ran well above 60fps even at the highest settings. Evidently, the GT75VR can run modern games really, really well, although not all of them are running above 120fps to take advantage of the 120Hz display.
Competition

Retailing from RM13,499, the GT75VR is one of the costliest gaming laptops in the market, especially for a GTX 1070 machine. For the sake of comparison, let’s take one of the most affordable GTX 1070 laptops in the market now: the HP Omen 17.
Priced at only RM8,899, the Omen 17 has similar hardware as the GTX 1070 GT75VR. HP’s offering comes with a 17.3-inch 1080p 120Hz IPS display – unlike the GT75VR’s TN panel – complete with G-Sync technology, a GTX 1070 GPU, a Core i7-7700HQ processor (the very same one powering the GT75VR), same amount of RAM at 16GB, as well as a 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD paired with a 1TB 7200RPM HDD.

That being said, the GT75VR does sport an RGB mechanical keyboard – the Omen 17 only comes with a standard laptop keyboard. Then again, you’ll be paying RM4,600 more just for the keyboard, although you are getting superior audio quality too – at the cost of portability.
Aside from the Omen 17, the Alienware 17 is a rather interesting competition too. Much like the Omen 17, even the Alienware 17 packs very similar hardware as the GT75VR. It features a Core i7-7700HQ processor paired with 16GB of RAM, a GTX 1070 GPU, 256GB of PCIe SSD with a 1TB 7200RPM HDD, and it even comes with Tobii Eye-tracking technology.

However, the RM10,699 base model of the Alienware 17 only comes with a rather average 17.3-inch 1080p IPS display, but this can be easilyupgraded to a 1440p TN panel with 120Hz refresh rate on Dell’s online site. The grand total? Only about RM11,521. That’s still considerably less than the GT75VR’s RM13,499 starting price.
Of course, as it is the case with the Omen 17, the Alienware 17 doesn’t come with a mechanical keyboard like the GT75VR. I’m inclined to say MSI’s offering has better audio performance too, but I can’t exactly vouch for this: I haven’t personally tried the Alienware 17.
Conclusion

The MSI GT75VR Titan is a powerful, very capable gaming laptop with a sweet audio system. But as capable as it is, consumers will have to shell out a small fortune for it, and considering the fact that you can get a similarly-equipped gaming laptop for much less, the GT75VR is hard to recommend.
That is not to say the GT75VR is a bad gaming laptop. In fact, that’s far from the truth: its mechanical keyboard is superior to a conventional laptop keyboard in every way, it can play modern games with maxed out graphics settings with relative ease, and its 2.1 Dynaudio speakers are downright impressive.
But the real question is: how many consumers are willing to spend at least RM13,499 for the GT75VR? It’s a very good gaming laptop, that’s for sure, but it doesn’t offer very good value for money.

Photography by Leon Lam.

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Audi uses VR to train their logistics employees

Just like how UPS uses virtual reality to train their trainee drivers, Audi is also turning to the wearable technology but in their packing logistics arm. No longer does one require to go to a specialised location to undergo training when a full VR setup can fit into a suitcase. The program makes it fun for employees to learn the packing process for CKD Logistics (CKD = completely knocked down). The exercises are designed like a video game and the equipment is quick and easy to set up anywhere.
The VR program is targeted to make it fun for employees to learn the packing process for CKD Logistics (CKD = completely knocked down). The exercises are designed like a video game and the equipment is quick and easy to set up anywhere.
Using the VR goggles, employees will see a realistic and real life simulation of a typical work station of Hall L in the Ingolstadt Logistics Center. Using the controllers in each hands, they have to grasp and move virtual images of the work equipment such as containers or components into the cardboard boxes. The key is to help them get used to the necessary hand movements required for employees in the logistics packing plant.
Just like a video game, the VR training has various levels of difficulty. A trainer is also available to support employees at all times where they can use an associated app on their mobile tablet to follow the training process.

The new training program also overcomes language and distance barriers: various language versions can be run with little effort, so that Audi employees can now also train with Spanish or English instructions. This also functions across locations: an employee in Ingolstadt Logistics can work virtually in the Audi plant in San José Chiapa, Mexico, and vice versa. Programmers used existing 3D data from the plans for Audi plants for the realistic depictions of the various locations.
“The response of the employees to the virtual training is extremely positive,” said Project Head Mirko Göres from Brand Logistics Information Process Planning. “After a six-month pilot phase, two process training programs are now in permanent use in CKD Logistics. We are now working with the training center in Ingolstadt and the Neckarsulm and Ingolstadt Plant Logistics to develop three additional VR training programs on the topics of pick-by-light, pick-by-tablet and pick-by-voice.” In addition, the Audi locations of San José Chiapa and Brussels will be more involved in the project in the future.
Virtual reality is used by Audi in numerous areas of the company – from Sales and Technical Development to Production. For instance, the first Audi dealers are already offering the “Audi VR experience” during customer consulting in their dealerships. With this, prospective buyers can configure their virtual dream car and examine a lifelike replica down to the smallest detail.
[Source: Audi]

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The Boring Company gets to tunnel in California

The Boring Company, founded by the owner of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, has won the approval to start digging underneath the streets of California. If you are wondering what the Boring Company is, it isn’t what you think. Whilst people think that in order to solve traffic problems, autonomous vehicles and ride sharing may help reduce that. Musk, on the other hand, thinks that he can solve that problem by digging a series of tunnels under normal roads.
Currently, the Boring Company is operating out of SpaceX grounds in California and all of the tunnels that they have been digging and testing were all done within their own private grounds. Now they are prepared to venture further. The test tunnel is purely for testing only and the Boring Company aims to test the basics of facilities in the tunnel. After testing, the city council can request for the tunnel to be filled up.

The tunnel will run 13 metres under the surface, below public roads and utilities. One key point to note that it will not be dug underneath and residential or commercial properties. According to a report by The Verge, The Boring Company still needs to acquire an “encroachment permit” before it can dig the test tunnel.

Whilst the good folks over in the US is building tunnels which wouldn’t disturb the lives of the folks in the city of Hawthorne, California, the authorities instead decided to block off certain roads in Bandar Utama to build elevated roads as a bypass for traffic to smoothly flow through.
Which would you prefer? Tunnels or overpasses?
[Source: The Verge & The Boring Company]
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Half Life 3 Storyline Released By Former Half Life Writer

This may be a false alarm, but the story for Half Life 3 has been leaked. A former Valve employee, Marc Laidlaw, who wrote the entire Half Life series has posted what he claims to be the storyline for the long awaited game.
It’s difficult to say if this is the real deal, although it has been verified that Laidlaw did actually post the story on his personal blog. That blog has been taken down by now; possibly due to the sudden influx of traffic from the news. Fortunately, the entire story has been mirrored to GitHub.
Laidlaw later claimed that the story is simply a work of fanfiction; although it’s difficult to believe the claim. Especially since he was responsible for the rest of the game series, and had recently left Valve.
Still, this shows that Valve had at least explored the idea of creating Half Life 3 (or Half Life 2: Episode 3). It’s a mystery as to why the company has been sitting on the game. Although the popularity of Dota 2 may have something to do with it.
[Source: Github, MarcLaidlaw]
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Moto X4 Specifications Confirmed by The FCC

The Moto X4 has been completely revealed by the American FCC. The upcoming device from Motorola has not even been officially announced yet, and there’s no release date either. That said, Lenovo is supposed to be holding an event at IFA 2017; but Motorola may not be along for the ride.
The 5.2-inch AMOLED Full HD (1080 x 1920) display is covered by Gorilla Glass 3; meanwhile underneath the hood is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 octa-core processor, 4GB of LPDDR4X RAM, 64GB of internal storage (which can be expanded via microSD, up to 256GB), a 3000mAh battery and Motorola’s Turbo Charging technology. Plus, the phone is supposed to be both water and dust proof.
The three colours for the Moto X4
At the front is a 16MP wide-angle selfie shooter, while the rear lies a pair of 12MP camera sensors. It combines an RGB sensor with a black & white sensor to help capture better image quality in most lighting situations. The black & white sensor also gives it true monochrome photo capture capabilities.
The phone will be available in Sterling Blue, Gold and Super Black, with a European sticker price of 350 Euros (approx. RM 1,764). Of course, the FCC certification doesn’t include a price tag for the US; since it’s not necessary for regulations.
(Source: PhoneArena )
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Would You Pay RM 5,000 For The Apple iPhone 8?

Bad news everyone. The upcoming Apple iPhone 8 may be the most expensive of the range so far. A new report has emerged that Apple is set to price the upcoming iPhone at US$ 999, or about RM 4,740. The report states that this is for the base 64GB model.
The New York Times reported that the price is being considered, as the upcoming phone is said to feature some radical design feature such as OLED screen and a bezel-less display, which we have seen leaked here.
As reported earlier, Apple is rumoured to be launching three models at the same time – the iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus and iPhone 8. This is thanks to the iPhone’s 10th anniversary this year, marking a decade of iOS smartphones on the market.
64GB will be the base model of the iPhone 8, with models with larger storage of 128GB and 256GB expected. Apple usually charges US$ 100 per storage bump, so we may see a US$ 1,299 (or about RM 5,550) top-tier model in the works.
The rumoured bezel-less iPhone 8 front display
Other features said to be coming with the new model includes wireless charging and facial recognition. While the inclusion of these new technologies will be good for consumers, we are a bit wary of the purported price of the upcoming model.
September is what the market is saying as the launch window for the new iPhone 8, so stay tuned as we bring more information on Apple’s latest smartphones as it is revealed.
(Source: 9to5mac , The New York Times )
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Camera Comparison: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+

They make look similar, but there is one major new feature on the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 that differentiates it from the company’s previous flagship (the S Pen notwithstanding). The new dual-camera setup is a first for Samsung smartphones, but is it worth upgrading if you’re already using the Galaxy S8? These image samples could help you decide.
The Galaxy Note 8 comes with a new dual-camera setup that consists of two 12MP sensors; one has a standard wide-angle lens while the other is a telephoto lens that allows for 2x optical zoom. In an industry first, this telephoto lens also has optical image stabilisation, which combined with f/2.4 aperture promises to yield better results than the other smartphone with a similar setup, the iPhone 7 Plus.
Not only that, the 12MP main sensor has the same dual-pixel technology that was first introduced in the Galaxy S7 that until today, has the best autofocus speeds on any smartphone. Theoretically, that should mean that image quality should not only be on par with the S8, but offer more flexibility with the new Live Focus feature.
We took both devices out for a quick photo walk around New York after the launch event yesterday, and here are some of the shots. Note that the Galaxy Note 8 unit that was provided to us is a test sample for internal training, which has the same hardware but may run on older software than the one that will ship on retail units.
The first image on each sample is taken with the Galaxy Note 8, and the one after is shot on the Galaxy S8+.
Click on each image for full resolution.
Day shots
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (1x zoom)
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (2x zoom)
Samsung Galaxy S8+
They may be different modules, but Samsung has done a great job of maintaining the characteristics of the S8+ camera on the Note 8. Colour reproduction and detail preservation are virtually the same.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy S8+
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy S8+
Both cameras have a similar f/1.7 aperture on the main sensor, so the depth of field effects are the same on both images here. Once again, colour reproduction is excellent and accurate on both images.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy S8+
A slight hint of warm tones on the Galaxy Note 8 picture, with the S8+ having more true to life colours.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy S8+
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy S8+
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy S8+
Night/low-light shots:
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy S8+
This was shot indoors, but with a fair amount of natural light coming in. Both cameras, with OIS and f/1.6 lens, break no sweat.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (1x zoom)
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (2x zoom)
When zooming to 2x, the camera software determines if the lighting condition permits using the telephoto lens; if not, the camera resorts to 2x digital zoom using the main sensor. This is the same solution as the iPhone 7 Plus, and in this case, optical zoom was used.
Samsung Galaxy S8+
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (1x zoom)
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (2x zoom)
Samsung Galaxy S8+
It is easy to take for granted just how good the Galaxy S8+ camera is in low light. The Multi-Frame Processing algorithms is similar to the Google Pixel’s HDR+ mode, resulting in low-light images that are perfectly exposed. It looks to be the same case on the Galaxy Note 8.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy S8+
The Galaxy S8+ slight over-exposes the shot, resulting in some very light loss of detail on some parts of the shoe’s cloth upper. It’s barely visible, though, so it shouldn’t really be seen as a bad point.
Live Focus Mode (Portrait Mode)
Since the Galaxy S8+ does not have this mode (there is a Selective Focus mode but it shoots at a different focal length), we will not make comparisons between the two phones here. Here are three sample shots using Live Focus on the Note 8, with the depth of field slider set to about 75% on all three.

Since the depth of field effects are simulated, the results can be a little mixed when there are objects in different lengths from the camera. In this case, the woman in red is in a “twilight zone”; the same goes for the other man in sunglasses behind the subject in green – some parts are blurred more than others.

One of the rare occasions where the crowd in Times Square thinned out, with a clearly defined foreground subject. The software does a really good job of isolating the subject. Also, because the Note 8 allows you to edit the level of bokeh, you can isolate the subject even more than this – though it borders on looking a little unrealistic.

Here’s a Live Focus sample image of the same flower photo shown earlier. Again, the slider was set to about 75%, which seems like a good balance with the bokeh effects.
Final Words

We must stress again that the Galaxy Note 8 unit provided to us before the launch event was an internal training and testing sample, which is not running on retail-level software. Actual image output may differ slightly on the retail units.
That being said, the Galaxy Note 8’s dual-camera setup retains the best parts of a Samsung smartphone camera, with lightning fast and accurate autofocus thanks to dual-pixel technology. The secondary sensor complements the main sensor very well indeed – the inclusion of OIS and a brighter f/2.4 aperture makes it perform well in low-light situations when needed.
Samsung has been a game-changer in smartphone photography since the introduction of the Galaxy S7, and from the looks of it, the Galaxy Note 8 will not disappoint at all. Personally though, unless you really need a dual-camera smartphone to shoot in portrait mode, it might be a better idea to hold on to that Galaxy S8 and see what other magic Samsung can conjure for the Galaxy S9.
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