ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 Notebook To Launch On 22 October

ASUS will finally be bringing in the TUF Gaming FX505 gaming notebook in Malaysia. The notebook is expected to officially launch on 22 October 2018, which less than two weeks from now.
The notebook sports a design and hardware that remarkably similar to the brand’s ROG Strix HERO II gaming notebook, which we reviewed back in September. Aesthetically, the FX505 sports a 15.6-inch Full HD NanoEdge display. Additionally, the display also has a 144Hz refresh rate and a 100% sRGB colour gamut.

Specs-wise, the FX505 we saw comes equipped with an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750H, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 discrete GPU, and a PCIe NVMe x2 SSD. In terms of memory, the model in question had 8GB of DDR4 RAM, but ASUS said that can be increased to a maximum of 32GB.
For ports, the FX505 seems comes with a RJ45 LAN port, a HDMI port, one USB 2.0 port, two USB 3.0 ports, and a headphone and microphone combo jack. Oddly enough, the notebook doesn’t seem to have either an USB Type-C port of SDCard reader.

The ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 will launch with two colour schemes: Gold Steel, and Red Matter. At the time of writing, ASUS did not provide an official pricing, but it did state that the notebook will have a starting cost below RM5000. In any case, we’ll just have to wait until the launch date for ASUS to make the revelation.
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ASUS To Launch The ROG Phone On 22 October 2018

If you’re one of the few people looking forward to getting your hands on the ASUS ROG Phone, we’ve got some good news for you. ASUS will be bringing its gaming smartphone to Malaysia within the month.
Specifically, ASUS will be officially launching the phone this coming 22 October 2018, and the brand will be bringing in two SKUs of the phone. The first variant will come with 128GB of internal storage, while the second variant’s internal storage will be rated at 512GB. Besides the difference in storage capacity, both SKUs retain identical hardware.

ASUS first announced the ROG Phone earlier in the year during Computex 2018. To recap, the phone runs on a souped up Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC that runs at a frequency of 2.96GHz. Other specifications include 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and a 6-inch 18:9 Full HD+ AMOLED Display that runs at a refresh rate of 90Hz and has a 1ms response time.
The phone also comes with a fingerprint sensor, and a dual 12MP+8MP main camera array, while the front-facing camera is dependent on an 8MP sensor. Powering up the phone is a 4000mAh battery that supports ASUS’ HyperCharge technology. Allowing for the phone to be charged quickly while still keeping its overall temperature cool.

As a gaming, the ROG Phone also comes with a pretty vast selection of gaming accessories, such as a detachable gamepad and the TwinView Dock that provides the phone with an extra 6-inch display. As well as an additional 6000mAh battery, bringing the phone’s total battery capacity 10000mAh when in use.
At the time of writing, ASUS was reluctant to reveal the official pricing of the ROG phone. However, sources are suggesting that the phone’s price is likely to start from RM3499 for the baseline 128GB model. While the 512GB variant will set users back RM3999. Guess we’ll have to wait and see what ASUS has to say on the launch date.
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MobiLimb Adds A Finger To Your Smartphone

There are some days when all you just to do is to flip the bird (i.e. give the finger) to the person on the other side of the screen. On that note, the MobiLimb was designed specifically for that purpose – to give you the ability to literally poke someone with a prosthetic digit attached to your phone.
The accessory, if you could call it that, is the brainchild of Marc Teyssier and a group of French researchers. It’s powered through the microUSB connector on your typical smartphone, and features several servos that are powerful enough to pull itself from across the table, smartphone in tow. An Adruino microcontroller controls the servos, reading commands sent from the smartphone.
Researchers envision the MobiLimb to be an extension of users over the internet to send gestures and taps to a second party. It can also be used as a notification alert, as the finger can tap the table if a notification comes in or even move when another user sends a command.
The internals of the MobiLimb.
The robotic finger is creepy, but it does represents a new method of haptic interaction on line between two or more people. Right now it is only a research project, but in the near future it could be a new form of long distance communication that involves, quite ironically, touch.
(Source: SlashGear)
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Gigabyte RTX 2080 Gaming OC White 8G Leaked

Gigabyte’s upcoming RTX 2080 OC White 8G graphics card has apparently been leaked. The leak was first reported by folks at VideoCardz, who mentioned that this version of the graphics card is almost identical to the RTX 2080 Gaming OC—which originally comes in black.
When it comes to design, the RTX 2080 OC White 8G graphics card comes with an all white cooler shroud, with three ‘black’ open-air WindForce 3X cooling fans. The aforementioned tech site stated that this graphics card is 2.5-slot high and is fitted with 6+8-pin power connectors. Given its rather thick build, one should first ensure that there’s enough room in their system to be able to fit this massive graphics card.
Image: VideoCardz
Since the Gigabyte RTX 2080 Gaming OC White 8G is indeed based on Nvidia’s RTX 2080, it will indeed be equipped with the Turing TU104-400(A) GPU, which has 2,944 cores, 84 texture mapping units, and 64 render output units. The memory clock speed of this graphics card, according to VideoCardz, is rated at 14,000MHz. Base and boost clock speeds, however, were not detailed.
Unfortunately, the potential release date and other key features of the Gigabyte RTX 2080 Gaming OC White 8G were not leaked. That said, we do expect this graphics card to be made official sometime in the coming weeks.
(Source: VideoCardz)
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The National-Level 5G Trials To Commence In Putrajaya And Cyberjaya This November

Malaysia is set to embark on its first national-level 5G trials this coming November. Set to run in Putrajaya and Cyberjaya, the trial is to see how well is the new technology in delivering the promised high-speed connectivity over the air.
The two locations were chosen as the two cities are fiber-ready and infrastructure needed to set up the 5G network is already in place. According to Gobind Singh Deo, The Minister of Communications and Multimedia, multiple parties will be involved in the test, including telcos, researchers, governmental bodies and other related parties.
The speed test results from the 5G demo by Celcom and Ericsson in May 2017.
5G differs from 4G as it uses shorter radio waves to deliver higher speeds over the air. A drawback of the shorter waves is that it will have some problems penetrating structures. Testing building penetration is one of the key points of the upcoming 5G trials in the two chosen locations.
The test will commence from 1 November for one year. The result of the test should help the government in planning 5G deployment in Malaysia. As of now, we do not know when commercial deployment will commence – we may see it happen after 2020 or later.
(Source: Bernama)
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Realme 2 and Realme 2 Pro Hands On: Taking A Shot At The Mid-range Market

After establishing itself in India, Realme has now begun its expansion into other markets including Southeast Asia. Malaysia is part of the expansion as well even though the company which is a sub-brand of OPPO has yet to reveal its plan for our market.
Being such a young brand in the industry, the company only has a handful of products at the time being. Among them is the Realme 2 and Realme 2 Pro which made its regional debut during a launch event in Jakarta yesterday.
After the launch event, we took some time to mess around with the two phones to get a feel of what they’re like in our hands.
Realme 2
The Realme 2 is as per what we have said before: its resemblance to OPPO A3s is rather uncanny. It’s certainly nice to hold in your hand, and since it’s pretty light, you can certainly hold it on your hands for extended periods of time. However, the native resolution on its display is only HD+.

Being a midrange phone, it is not surprising that the Realme 2 comes with a Micro-USB port. While the USB Type-C is getting more and more common, having a Micro-USB port certainly makes it easier to get a replacement charging cable if you lost the one that came in the box. And in what seems these days as a massive bonus, the 3.5mm jack sits right next to the USB port.
Round the back, the diamond-cut design makes it so that each ‘cut’ reflects light like an individual piece of glass. This makes for quite the spectacle when you’re twisting the phone around under a bright light, but beyond that, there’s no real merit to this cosmetic quality. It’s a novelty, sure, but any beauty points it brings to the table is sure to get stale quickly.

Round the back, the fingerprint sensor sits at the stereotypical spot. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – it’s a tried-and-tested spot to place it after all. But up top, we see a characteristic that is sadly not going anywhere any time soon – the camera bump. While it doesn’t protrude as badly as most others, it’s still a cause for concern.
These days, phones with such a bump will sometimes come with a soft case in the box, so that the camera doesn’t turn into a scratched mess whenever you put the phone on a table. Let’s hope it’s the same with the Realme 2 when it comes to our shores.

Realme 2 Pro

Moving on to the Realme 2 Pro, the user experience is pretty much the same as the Realme 2. It handles the same and feels very similar in hand although there is still one major difference between them: the teardrop-shaped display notch.
Since it’s smaller, it felt rather less in-your-face and at the same time, the screen does look marginally better than Realme 2 as well. This likely due to the fact that because it’s a Full HD+ display.

The familiar Micro-USB port and the 3.5mm jack can be found at the bottom of the phone, alongside a fingerprint sensor that is located on the phone’s back. It’s also more circular, which is aesthetically more pleasing in my opinion.
But more egregious than before is the camera bump. While the one on the Realme 2 was just a slight bump on an otherwise flat surface, the one on the Realme 2 Pro is pretty noticeable. Without fancy design on its back, the phone looked rather stale when viewed from certain angle although this is less apparent on the Blue Ocean and Ice Lake version of the phone.
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The Google Home Hub Is A Google Assistant With A 7-Inch Display

It looks like earlier reports about the Google Home Hub were confirmed today during Google’s earlier event. The device features a 7-inch touch display, laid out horizontally and attached to a base (which is also its speaker) that is wrapped in a very pretty looking cloth-like material.
As many would expect of the device, the Home Hub is designed to act like a personal assistant to its owner. Of course, this is all done via the the on-board Google Assistant, which enables the Home Hub to perform a variety of tasks. Such as addressing the user’s question by pulling related material directly from the internet, to playing a YouTube video that shows you how to make your favourite dish.

One thing about the Home Hub is that it doesn’t have a built-in camera at the front. This is a deliberate move by Google, and it was done in an effort to create a device that users would feel comfortable placing in the “private spaces” of their homes. Without the worrying needlessly if the device’s security has been compromised.
In place of a camera, Google has equipped an Ambient EQ light sensor that automatically adjusts the display’s brightness based on the lighting in the room. This allows the Home Hub to display your photos (taken from Google Photos, naturally) at brightness level that suits the time of day. Rather than just leaving at a set brightness level, which can be quite distracting.

Moving on, the Home Hub can also act as a central node of a connected home. This means that users are able to control the majority of their smart appliances and home entertainment devices. Provided that these devices are compatible with the Home Hub. That really shouldn’t be an issue though, considering Google says that its product is compatible with over 10000 types of smart devices, made by more than 1000 brands.
As an example, some of these devices includes a thermostat from Nest, smart lightbulbs from Philips’ Hue range, and even a virtual TV remote from Vizio. But that’s not all: Google has also created a Home app for mobile, which essentially gives you the same controls as the Home Hub. Allowing you to control your device while away from home.

The Google Home Hub will first be sold in the US, Canada, and the UK. Users in the regions can pre-order the device from the Google Store starting today. The device will then be physically available for purchase on 22 October 2018, and will retail for US$149 (~RM619).
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Google Pixel Stand: A Qi Wireless Charger Designed for Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

It is common for manufacturers to announce a new set of accessories when they launched a new smartphone. The same case applies to Google too as the company has also launched the new Pixel Stand alongside the official unveiling of Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL earlier today.
In general, the Pixel Stand is Qi wireless charger that is designed to bring Google Assistant experiences to users while their Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL being charged regardless in landscape or portrait position. For example, users can set to have the Do Not Disturb mode to be turned on automatically when they docked either of the devices on the Pixel Stand at night.

The Pixel Stand’s Sunrise Alarm also includes ambient lighting that is based on the sunrise by gradually turning brighter before users’ morning alarm goes off. It can also turn Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL into some sort of Google Photos interactive slideshow as well as a Nest Hello video doorbell display.
In a way, the Pixel Stand helps turn Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL into a sort of smart display or hub powered by Google Assistant. Of course, there is always the new Google Home Hub which was also announced today for those who prefer to have a dedicated smart display or hub for their home or premises instead.

Since it is a Qi charger, the Pixel Stand is actually compatible with any devices that support the wireless charging standard although the personalized Google Assistant experiences can only be utilized through Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Price-wise, the Google Pixel can be obtained for USD 79 (about RM 329) although its actual release date is not known at this moment. Then again, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will be making their way into the market later this month.
(Source: Google – 1, 2 )
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The Google Pixel Slate Is A Detachable Chrome OS Tablet That Starts At US$599

Besides announcing the Home Hub and its new flagship Pixel 3 smartphone series, Google had also announced the Pixel Slate. A new high-end tablet running on the search engine’s Chrome OS.
Spec-wise, the Pixel Slate can be fitted with a baseline Intel Celeron CPU for those looking for most bare bone of experience with it. Naturally, Google does offer a higher-specced variant of its tablet too; it can also house an Intel 8th generation Core i7 mobile CPU, with as much as 16GB DDR RAM and a internal storage capacity of 256GB.

For physical security, the Pixel Slate’s side power button also doubles as a fingerprint sensor. On top of the Titan security software that is installed on it.
It’s 12.3-inch display is also a thing of wonder, built using what Google calls “polycrystal and silicone” materials to produce a display that is “faster and more efficient than a traditional LCD display”. Other features of the Pixel Slate include 8MP sensors – both for the front and main cameras. As well as front-firing stereo speakers.

There’s also a detachable keyboard cover that transform the Pixel Slate from tablet into a notebook. The keys on the cover are circular, and Google says that typing on it will be a quiet experience. Oh, it’s also backlit, which adds another level of style to it.

The Google Pixel Slate is slated (no pun intended) to go on sale first in the US, Canada, and the UK before the year is out. It will have a starting price point of US$599 (~RM2490) for the model with a Celeron processor, while the model with top-tier hardware will set consumers back a whopping US$1599 (~RM6647). Keep in mind, these prices are for the tablet alone, and is not inclusive of the detachable keyboard.
On that note, the keyboard will be sold separately for US$199 (~RM827). the Pixelbook Pen, which made its debut last year, will also be sold separately from the Pixel Slate for US$99 (~RM411). Sadly, it is very unlikely that the Pixel Slate and its accessories will be coming to our shores.
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Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL Are Finally Official

The device has been leaked in so many ways and was already even on sale in Hong Kong much earlier than it should but nevertheless, here we are. Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have finally made official by the search engine giant at the Made by Google 2018 launch event in New York.
For starters, the Pixel 3 is equipped with a 5.5-inch Full HD+ OLED display while the Pixel 3 XL comes with 6.3-inch Quad HD+ OLED display. Both devices also feature the flagship-level Qualcomm Snapdragon together with 4GB of RAM.

In a rather interesting decision by Google, the company has implemented two cameras on the front of these phones. Both cameras do come with the same 8MP sensors but one of them is equipped with a f/2.2 97-degrees lens for wide-angle shots while the other one comes with a f/1.8 75-degrees lens that is meant for general usage.
On their back, Google continued to utilize a single camera setup. Both Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are equipped with 12.2MP sensor alongside f/1.8 lens as well as both optical and electronic image stabilization.

Power-wise, the battery capacity on both Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL is rather puny by today’s standard though at 2915mAh. Despite that, Google claimed that they can still achieve an all-day battery life with the help of the AI-powered Adaptive Battery feature. Not only that, they come with an 18W charge that able to deliver 7 hours of usages through just 15 minutes of charging.
Price-wise, the Pixel 3 64GB goes for USD 799 (about RM 3317) while the 128GB can be obtained for USD 899 (~RM 3733). On another hand, Pixel 3 XL with similar storage space arrangements will be available for USD 899 and USD 999 (~RM 4148) respectively.

Both models will be released in the United States on Oct 18 while markets outside US will receive it in November. However, we can assure you that neither of these devices is officially coming to Malaysia anytime soon.
While you shouldn’t give up hope that one day the Made by Google team will finally notice our market but for the time being, your best shot at getting them is by purchasing them at any of the 13 countries that are part of Pixel’s official markets. Either that or give a call to your favorite parallel importers.
(Source: Google – 1, 2)
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