Colorful Showcases Its Cryptocurrency Mining Motherboard

Graphics card manufacturers aren’t the only ones who are starting to release more and more products for the digital currency mining market. Colorful, a China-based motherboard manufacturer, has also joined in on this “cryptocurrency bandwagon” by introducing its latest motherboard called the H81A-BTC V20.
When it comes to design, the Colorful H81A-BTC V20 motherboard features a rather bland look. The motherboard comes in an all black colour scheme – that’s it. You won’t find any flamboyant features like RGB elements and mean-looking heatsinks with this motherboard. Speaking of which, do keep in mind that this motherboard only supports Intel’s older LGA1150-compatible Haswell CPUs.
Specification-wise, the Colorful H81A-BTC V20 is equipped with two DDR3 RAM slots with dual-channel support (up to 1600MHz). Expansion slots, however, is the main priority for digital currency miners. Thankfully, the H81A-BTC V20, has plenty of PCIe slots. More specifically, the motherboard is equipped with one PCIe 2.0 x16 slot and five PCIe 2.0 x1 slot.
Aside from detailing the specifications of its newest motherboard, Colorful has made no mention of the pricing and date of availability of the H81A-BTC V20 motherboard. That said, being a motherboard that’s targeted primarily at cryptocurrency miners, we do expect the H81A-BTC V20 to come with a relatively affordable price.
(Source: TechPowerUp via Colorful)
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Apple BeatsX Earphones Review: Audio Freedom At a Price

Ever since I begun going to the gym regularly, I’ve also started looking for the best pair of wireless earphones to work out with. I’ve gone through some solid ones, but I may have found the ideal pair for me. Enter the Apple BeatsX wireless earphones.
What Is It?

The Apple BeatsX are a pair of wireless earphones utilising Apple’s latest W1 chip. The company’s new chip helps improve connectivity and efficiency for longer hours of music listening. Apple is promising 8 hours of continuous audio playback and they’re not far off from their promise. But, we’ll get into that later.
Are They Any Good?

From my experience, one of the major problems with wireless earphones is connectivity. In previous reviews, I’ve found that some pairs intermittently disconnect even when in range – and in the middle of a workout that can be quite off-putting. If you’re going to get rid of wires from your earphones, the wireless connection should always be working flawlessly.
Thankfully, the Apple BeatsX does just that. Once you’ve paired it with your iPhone, it connects automatically each time you turn the headphones on. A pop-up will also appear on your phone to show you it’s connected, along with the BeatsX’s battery level.
Speaking of battery life, Apple promises eight hours of audio playback on the BeatsX. During my time with it, I got around 7-7.5 hours of use, which is still really good for wireless earphones.

The Apple BeatsX’s in-ear tips fit very well for me. The earphones are very natural to put on and even without the wingtip, the earphones stay snugly in place. Because the Flex-Form cable hangs around your neck, it lifts a little of the weight off the earphones. After a while, you won’t even feel it your neck. I’m also happy to report that the earphones stayed in the ears while running on the treadmill.
Like some other premium earphones in the market, Apple also made the ends of each earbud magnetic. That way, when you’re not using it, it acts as an accessory and prevent them from falling off. It’s a pretty nice feature to have.

The Apple BeatsX also performs very well in terms of audio quality. They get pretty loud without distortion, and being someone who loves lots of bass, they’re awesome for EDM tracks when running. And, despite the BeatsX not having active noise-cancelling (ANC), sound isolation is commendable.
There’s also an integrated microphone on the Apple BeatsX. Apart from letting you take calls, it also lets you communicate with Siri. That being said, the earphones don’t have the capability of listening to “Hey Siri”, so you would need to hold a button on the controls to activate voice commands. Regardless, it’s a nice feature to have to carry out voice commands without taking your phone out.

Charging the Apple BeatsX is also pretty easy. Just plug in any Lightning cable and you’re good to go. There’s a very useful Fast Fuel feature, where a five minute charge could give up to two hours of playback.

The accessories that come with the Apple BeatsX are also pretty complete. There are different sized earbuds, wingtips, Lightning cable, and a rubber pouch to keep everything in.
The Bad Stuff. Tell Me.

Apple’s placement of the RemoteTalk console could be improved, as it’s positioned rather awkwardly close to your ears. It might be a little uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it pretty quickly.
The only time you will ever see your BeatsX’s battery level is when your phone receives the “connected” pop-up. If you don’t get the pop-up, the only other way to see the battery level is via the Today View, and viewing the Batteries Widget (which you’ll need to add).

Surprisingly, the Apple BeatsX also does not have sweat and water resistance. That said, I’ve been using these during my gym workouts and for running – they work fine so far. However, I cannot guarantee that it will be like this is the long run.
Being an Apple accessory, the Apple BeatsX does not have support for Android devices. This automatically rules itself out for customers who are using an Android smartphone.
Last but not least, at RM600, the Apple BeatsX earphones are on the more expensive side of the spectrum.
Should I Buy It?

Despite the high asking price, you can’t really go wrong with Apple’s BeatsX wireless earphones. There are other earphones out there that are more affordable that may get the job done, but I’ve not yet actually found any major issues with these headphones so far. The Apple W1 chip works wonders in terms of connectivity and battery life and that alone is justifiable of its purchase – if you own an iPhone, of course.
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DxOMark: OnePlus 5 Camera Performance Better Than iPhone 7, Similar to Huawei P10

DxOMark has always been a form of benchmark for phone makers to gauge the camera performance of their mobile devices, and OnePlus is no exception. After some teasing from the young Chinese company, we finally know the OnePlus 5‘s DxOMark score: it’s rated higher than the iPhone 7, and it performs similarly to the Huawei P10.
With an overall score of 87, the OnePlus 5 beats the iPhone 7’s score of 86 just slightly. More interestingly, the OnePlus 5 is rated similarly to the P10, Samsung Galaxy S6 edge, as well as the Sony Xperia XZ; all of which received a score of 87 too.

According to DxOMark, the OnePlus 5 offers accurate white balance regardless of lighting conditions, “fast and smooth” autofocus performance, good deal preservation, and vivid colour reproduction. However, the site also note that the OnePlus 5 occasionally has ghosting effect in outdoor conditions, along with some lost of fine details in low light conditions.
Video performance of the OnePlus 5, on the other hand, is pretty good too. Stabilisation isn’t an issue – despite the lack of optical image stabilisation – autofocus is still fast and accurate, and target exposure is good too.

The OnePlus 5 may not have a class-leading camera – in DxOMark’s rating, anyway – but it’s certainly a capable shooter. If you’d like to check out DxOMark’s full review of the OnePlus 5’s camera performance, you can do so here.
(Source: DxOMark)
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Samsung To Overtake Intel As World’s Largest Semiconductor Manufacturer

It looks like Intel is set to be be dethroned from being the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer – a title it has held for the past 26 years. Samsung Electronics is expected to overtake Intel in the semiconductor business in terms of quarterly revenue. This, of course, is due to the increase in demand for memory chips from the Korean manufacturing giant.
For those who aren’t aware, Samsung isn’t only producing smartphones, it also supplies DRAM and NAND storage chips as well – these are used on storage devices like SSDs. Knowing how the demand for memory chips are almost always increasing, it’s unsurprising then to see Samsung doing very well in the semiconductor business.

Intel, on the other hand, does not manufacture DRAMs. That said, the company does manufacture NAND memory, which it uses on its Optane SSDs. Despite this, Intel still remains a small player in the flash memory market. Another factor that gives Samsung the edge is the fact that it manufactures products that are not only for smartphones, but PCs as well. Intel products, meanwhile, have always been largely aimed at the PC market.
NH Investment & Securities Analyst, Peter Lee, mentioned that “from the second quarter, Samsung will become No. 1 in market share due to the recent increase in data centers and demand for solid-state drives.” The Korean manufacturing giant is also expected to rack in an operating profit of US$11.4 billion for the period of April to June. This translates to an increase of about 67% when compared against last year’s earning.
Regardless, it remains to be seen whether Intel has something up its sleeves to regain its title as the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer. For now, it looks like that throne will belong to Samsung.
(Source: Reuters, ExtremeTech)
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Motorola Sets an Event for 25 July; Likely Launching New Phone

After unveiling the Moto Z2 Play, many are anticipating the launch of Motorola’s next flagship smartphone, the Moto Z2. Well, we may see just that at the end of this month: the company just sent out invitations to an event on 25 July.
Set to take place in New York City, Motorola remains pretty vague on what we can expect to be unveiled at the launch event; only the hashtag #hellomotoworld is shown in the invite. More likely than not, it should be a global launch event for a new smartphone.

Looking at recent Motorola-related leaks in the past, the company may be introducing the new Moto X4 in New York. Of course, there’s always a chance the Moto Z2 will be announced there too, but we reckon there’s a higher chance it’s the Moto X4’s global launch event.
In terms of specifications, the Moto X4 is comfortably a mid-range smartphone. It’s believed to be packing a Full HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chipset paired with up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage – expandable with a microSD card – and a 3,000mAh battery. Oh, the X4 is also rumoured to feature a dual-camera system and an IP68-rated aluminium chassis.

Motorola has unveiled a number of mid-range smartphones this year, and it seems like the Moto X4 will continue that trend. We’ll find out just what the new Moto X device has to offer come 25 July 2017.
(Source: The Verge)
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Steam Is Testing Streaming To Samsung Smart TVs

Valve has begun the beta test for streaming games from PC to Samsung TVs. The idea is that there is now an app that allows selected Smart TVs to mimic the Steam Link, allowing users to play PC games in the living room without any additional setup.
Only United States residents are currently allowed into the current test, and then it is limited to Samsung Smart TV built in 2016 and 2017. The US only test makes sense, as the setup only supports Steam Controllers for now; which are not widely available outside the country.
The idea is relatively simple, and has been a feature through Steam Link for a couple of years now. Games are processed and rendered on the nearby PC, and then everything is streamed to the TV for the player to enjoy. In this case, all it does is remove the need for an additional piece of hardware for the process to happen.
Valve is saying that the final launch will allow for games to be played in 4K at 60 fps. Graphics are limited to 1080p and 30 fps for the beta period. Support for additional game controllers will also be added at a later date; since not everyone owns – or wants to use – a Steam Controller.
[Source: Steam]
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PlayStation Experience Coming To Kuala Lumpur This August

After the appearance of this particular teaser few days ago, we have now finally know what PlayStation has planned for 5 August 2017 in Kuala Lumpur. Just moments ago, Sony Interactive Entertainment Hong Kong Limited Singapore Branch (SIES) has announced that the inaugural edition PlayStation Experience South East Asia (PSXSEA) will take place on that very day.
Based on the annual PlayStation Experience event that was organized by SIE in United States since 2014, gamers can expect to check out some of the games that were announced at the recent E3 2017. Among titles that have been confirmed so far are:

Detroit: Become Human
Everybody’s Golf
Far Cry 5
Gran Turismo Sport
Knack 2
No Heroes Allowed! VR

According to SIES, more titles will be announced as we get closer to the event. Furthermore, the company will be inviting developers and representatives to talk about their new titles at PSXSEA.
Developing…
(Source: PlayStation Asia – 1, 2)
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Colorul Showcases Its Cryptocurrency Mining Motherboard

Graphics card manufacturers aren’t the only ones who are starting to release more and more products for the digital currency mining market. Colorful, a China-based motherboard manufacturer, has also joined in on this “cryptocurrency bandwagon” by introducing its latest motherboard called the H81A-BTC V20.
When it comes to design, the Colorful H81A-BTC V20 motherboard features a rather bland look. The motherboard comes in an all black colour scheme – that’s it. You won’t find any flamboyant features like RGB elements and mean-looking heatsinks with this motherboard. Speaking of which, do keep in mind that this motherboard only supports Intel’s older LGA1150-compatible Haswell CPUs.
Specification-wise, the Colorful H81A-BTC V20 is equipped with two DDR3 RAM slots with dual-channel support (up to 1600MHz). Expansion slots, however, is the main priority for digital currency miners. Thankfully, the H81A-BTC V20, has plenty of PCIe slots. More specifically, the motherboard is equipped with one PCIe 2.0 x16 slot and five PCIe 2.0 x1 slot.
Aside from detailing the specifications of its newest motherboard, Colorful has made no mention of the pricing and date of availability of the H81A-BTC V20 motherboard. That said, being a motherboard that’s targeted primarily at cryptocurrency miners, we do expect the H81A-BTC V20 to come with a relatively affordable price.
(Source: TechPowerUp via Colorful)
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You Can Now Catch Pikachu Wearing Ash’s Hat For a Limited Time on Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go turns one this week, and to celebrate, developers Niantic is offering yet another special Pikachu that can be caught in the wild. For a limited time, all Pikachu and Pichu hatched and discovered in the wild will don Ash’s iconic cap.
In its latest blog post, Niantic also shared some impressive stats one year on from the game’s launch. Even though the current number of active players has significantly dropped from the heady 65 million at its peak last year, millions around the world still play the game actively. During that time, players have caught over 125 billion Pokemon.
The new gym revamp, launched some weeks back, is now also open to all Trainers from level 5 and above – allowing early gamers to catch up to the game with the opportunity to catch some high-level Pokemon.

Niantic has also introduced a limited time purchaseable item called the Anniversary Box. Again, it appears to be aimed at lower-level players to get more items to help them in their journey. The Anniversary Box consists of six Incubators, six Max Revives, two Premium Raid Passes, and 20 Ultra Balls, and costs 1,200 Pokecoins (the in-game currency).
And of course, there’s the new Ash Hat Pikachu event. Similar to the Christmas hat and party hat Pikachu events in the past, all Pikachu and its evolutions caught or hatched will be wearing Ash’s hat. These Ash Hat Pikachu are now available now till July 24.
(Source: Pokemon Go)
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AOC And Porsche Design Team Up For Shiny New Monitors

AOC has teamed up with Studio F. A. Porsche (also known as Porsche Design) to produce a pair of monitors. These are created with aesthetics in mind and only have a single cable out the back. This is supposedly the pinnacle of monitor design.
The idea is that multiple cables look unsightly, and there is elegance with only just one being fed out the back of the stand. This particular cable still leads to a brick that holds the ports for the power supply and HDMI. That’s all you’re getting from the two monitors.

For the monitors themselves, these are a 24- and 27-inch Full HD IPS displays. They aren’t particularly impressive when it comes to the specifications either. After all, they are still being manufactured by a company that targets the budget and midrange market. Nor are they being marketed as gaming or professional monitors.
For now the 24-inch PDS241 is being sold for $199, while the 27-inch PDS271 is being sold for $249.
[Source: The Verge]
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