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Win a trip to Hollywood with Cooler Master!

Check out Cooler Master's Power Rangers movie campaign now to learn more.

MSI Gaming GT73VR 6RF Titan Pro Gaming Notebook Review

The portable gaming powerhouse packed with the latest GeForce GTX 1080 desktop grade graphics and 4k resolution.

Cooler Master MasterBox 5 Dual Tone Review

Great features and modularity at smaller size and lower price.

Unboxing and Review: Logitech K380 Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard

It's a pain to get just a bluetooth keyboard for each device. Why not go for one that actually works with multiple device altogether?

Unboxing and Preview: Raijintek Triton 280 Liquid Cooler

This is probably the best AIO we have tested to date.

December 25, 2013

Gamdias Hades Extension Optical Gaming Mouse


Before beginning to read this review article, my teammates and I from Tech Critter would like wish all of our dear readers, a very Merry Christmas! and a Happy New Year 2014!

After an enjoyable experience with the Apollo Optical Extension, I now move on to the Hades Extension Optical Gaming Mouse, there is also a laser version to the Hades but that's another story for another day. 

This is also a product from Gamdias (Thank you Gamdias Malaysia) and as with Apollo, the name Hades also belongs to the Greek God of Death and Riches a.k.a the King of Underworld in Greek mythologies. At RM179 SRP, I'm not too sure about being the king of the underworld but it is rich in features so to speak, rest assured that nothing involves death in my reviews.

December 21, 2013

Gamdias Apollo Extension Optical Gaming Mouse


It's been quite some time Gamdias popped up in the PC gaming industry. Heavilly themed around the Greek gods mythologies, the team managed to bring a unique line of products that is appealing, not only in name but design as well.


Thanks to Gamdias Malaysia, we have the Apollo Optical Extension for a session of unboxing & review. As the name implies, the Apollo features an optical sensor. Now Apollo is the god of music, poetry, plague, oracles, sun, medicine, light and knowledge. Quite a shoe to fill if you ask me, and being priced at RM169 (SRP), lets see if Gamdias manage to fill all the criterias of the Greek gods.

December 20, 2013

Unboxing & Review: Jonsbo QT01



Jonsbo, known for its HTPC chassis since 2010 has officially landed on our shore, making its debut to the Malaysian community with its V series small for factor chassis - full Aluminum chassis with metal brushed texture on its front panel, simple yet elegant and not to mention an attractive price of 289 Malaysia Ringgit. 

The QT01 then make its appearance after a short while as a silent PC chassis with minimalist design and somewhat Jonsbo's already signature metal brushed texture front panel. Priced at 369 Malaysian Ringgit, what does the stunning QT01 offers other than just being a silent PC chassis?

December 19, 2013

Newest BitFenix chassis design offers high-end features for builders on a budget


(BitFenix Design Lab, December 19, 2013) – Today, BitFenix is pleased to release a new case design for first-time users and builders on a budget. Dubbed Comrade, the latest case from the BitFenix Design Lab brings with it premium features and functionality with a price tag that's a friendly as ever. With Comrade, builders who want a stylish yet well-built case can have it all without breaking the bank.


December 17, 2013

SAPPHIRE COOLS HAWAII FOR ENHANCED PERFORMANCE

  Top R9 models with Tri-X cooler, faster clocks and dual BIOS

SAPPHIRE Technology has just announced two new models of its top of the range R9 290 and R9 290X graphics cards. Both models feature the SAPPHIRE exclusive Tri-X triple fan cooler, enhanced clocks and dual BIOS.

December 13, 2013

OCZ Technology Launches New Enterprise-Class Intrepid 3000 Series Delivering Its Fastest and Largest Capacity SATA III SSDs to Date



SAN JOSE, CA – December 12, 2013 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today introduced its next-generation Intrepid 3000 Series of enterprise-class SATA III-based SSDs delivering the industry’s best sustained performance and consistent I/O responses.  As the series supports storage capacities up to 800GB, Intrepid 3 represents OCZ’s highest performing and largest capacity enterprise SATA SSDs to date.  Leveraging the Everest 2 Platform, a combination of the Marvell 88SS9187 controller with OCZ’s proprietary firmware, the new series features advanced flash management and endurance capabilities that extend NAND flash life and enhance drive reliability, all supported by a 5-year warranty.



December 12, 2013

BitFenix Unveils Flo Headset

BitFenix Unveils Flo Headset

Crystal-clear audio from a premium PC headset design that's made to move


(BitFenix Design Lab, December 12, 2013) – Today, BitFenix is pleased to announce the first member of a brand-new audio lineup to the BitFenix collection -- the Flo™ Headset. Combining studio-engineered sound with signature clean yet modern BitFenix design, Flo delivers the audio you need at the PC and the styling you want on the road.

Kingston Introduces Optional TCG Opal 1.0 Compliant SSD

Customized Feature on KC300 Solid-State Drive Allows Corporations to Manage SSDs

Hsinchu, Taiwan – December 12, 2013 – Kingston, the independent world leader in memory products, today announced a version of its SSDNow KC300 that allows corporations and organizations the ability to manage the drive. The custom Kingston® KC300 SSD is fully compliant with the Opal specification of the Trusted Computing Group (TCG).

The TCG Opal 1.0 compliant KC300 is ideal for companies implementing centralized management software to manage security policies, password recovery, compliance logging, automatic updates and user creation/deletion. The self-encrypting drive provides organizations with strong, easy-to-use and high performance built-in security. The custom KC300 SSD is designed to work with popular enterprise management applications including WinMagic SecureDoc, Wave Embassy and McAfee Endpoint Encryption for PC (EEPC)*.

December 10, 2013

Christmas Comes Early This Year with Intel Malaysia





Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December 10, 2013 – In the spirit of the coming holiday season, Intel Malaysia has today gifted a slew of goodies at a pre-Christmas brunch. Amongst some of the announcements shared at the event were details of the just-launched ‘Trade up my PC’ program as well as the contest winners from its ‘Generation Today’ campaign.

“With the Christmas season just around the corner, it is very likely that most consumers have the latest gadgets and computing devices at the top of their wish lists,” said Sameer Tupaki, Marketing Manager, Intel Malaysia. “There have been many exciting products made available in the market since the launch of Intel’s 4th Generation Intel Core processor family earlier this year. We couldn’t be more excited to share them with our consumers especially through our PC trade-in program.”

December 07, 2013

Cooler Master HAF Stacker 935 - The First Stackable "Mod-Tower"


As a leading manufacturer in CPU coolers, PC towers/chassis/case and more, Cooler Master is a very familiar name to almost every PC users. Among their product line, the HAF series PC cases is an all time favorite. With its impressive high airflow design, modular HDD bay and more features along with all the excellent feedback along the way, the HAF series is definitely something worth to invest for.

In this review and unboxing, we will taking a good view in Cooler Master's latest product in the HAF series product line - the HAF Stacker. Claimed to be the world's first, the HAF Stacker offers a new level of exploration for the end users to build a rig with HAF Stacker to their liking. Priced at 559 Malaysian Ringgit and will soon be available in the Malaysian market, will this new HAF Stacker with its boasted innovative design be a worth to invest for? We'll find in out soon enough after the review.

A Quick Run on Pikom PC Fair 2013



It's Pikom PC Fair 2013 @KLCC again where early technology adopters, students, home users, gamers etc gathered here to hunt for bargain on gadgets, accessories, laptops, printers, storage devices. And of course, gorgeous show girls from the big cheese. Not to mention that you'll also find some ridiculous booths which aren't even related the name of the event too.

December 06, 2013

Intel Malaysia Recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Cost Saving




Team Intel (From left to right): Tan Joo Shiuh (CS Manager), Abdul Rahman Abu Haniffa (Intel SEA Corporate Affairs Director), Amran Md (CAG & Govt Affairs Manager), Robin Martin, Managing Director Intel Malaysia and Azrena Mahmud (CAG – PR & Marketing Manager)

PENANG, December 6, 2013 – Intel Malaysia was recently recognised by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water at its inaugural KeTTHA Industry Awards (KIA) 2013  for outstanding achievements in energy efficiency, conservation and cost saving.

December 05, 2013

Armaggeddon Alien Craft IV G17 Gaming Mouse

Armaggeddon's no longer a stranger to the local gaming community, their flashy appearance of their products especially with their line of gaming peripherals have gained quite the number of fans for them. This time, we have their latest mouse, the Alien Craft IV G17.

Aside from their usual flare of flashy LED lightings, high-end laser sensor and on-board memory the G17 also comes in a variety of colours, Armaggeddon Yellow, Comet Red, Cosmic Blue and Galactic Black to choose from. But if it's anything about the G17 to be excited about, it's the ergonomics. I find that is shaped similarly like the Ikari from Steelseries, which I think most will agree, is one of the most comfortable mouse in the market. Retailing at RM269 in the local market makes the G17 almost irresistable. So lets jump right in to the product.

First Looks: Roccat Power-Grid

Introduction

Today we will look at the Roccat Power-Grid software. Truth be told, when I first received news on the Power-Grid, I had no idea what sort of software I am expecting to see and operate. From the brief intro from Roccat above, we get a brief description on what the Power-Grid is all about. So without further ado, let’s see how many cats we can let off the bag, really. :P


December 04, 2013

YTL Comms & Intel Malaysia Collaborate to Help Improve Education in Malaysia


Exchanging of MoU documents between Intel Malaysia & YTL Communications (L-R) Wing K. Lee, CEO, YTL Communications; Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Francis Yeoh, Managing Director YTL Group of Companies; Gregory Bryant, Vice President and General Manager, Intel APAC and Japan; Felix Lin, Director of Product Management, Google
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4, 2013 – YTL Communications and Intel Malaysia today formalized an agreement towards introducing Intel-based integrated 4G laptop and tablet solutions supporting Chrome and Android for the education sector in Malaysia. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)was signed by both organisations to accelerate progress in the 1BestariNet Program. This program, which seeks to deliver a cloud-based virtual learning platform and high-speed Internet connectivity to 10,000 schools nationwide, is supported by YTL Communications and Intel Malaysia.

November 27, 2013

WD® DEBUTS WORLD’S FIRST SSD+HDD DUAL DRIVE



(Kuala Lumpur, 26 November 2013) - WD®, a Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) company and storage industry leader, today announced the release of the WD Black2™ dual drive, a unique storage innovation that fuses a 2.5-inch 120 GB solid state drive (SSD) with a 1 TB hard disk drive (HDD) to offer a powerful dual drive solution. Perfect for consumers and service providers looking to upgrade notebooks, small form factor desktops, and single-slot and all-in-one (AIO) systems with both SSD level performance and HDD capacity, the WD Black2 dual drive connects through a single cable and fits into a conventional 9.5 mm slot. 


WD®INTRODUCES HIGH-PERFORMANCE FOUR-BAY PERSONAL CLOUD STORAGE SYSTEM



(Kuala Lumpur, 22 November 2013)WD®, a Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) companyand a world leader in storage solutions for the connected life, today introduced WD My Cloud™ EX4, a high-performance four-bay network attached storage (NAS) solution for creative professionals, prosumers, workgroups and anyone looking for a reliable way to save, share, backup,stream and manage massive amounts of digital data.

November 22, 2013

SAPPHIRE releases Performance Boost for R9 290! BIOS Flash gives greater headroom for enthusiasts.



SAPPHIRE Technology has just announced that it is releasing a performance enhancing BIOS for the recently introduced SAPPHIRE R9 290 graphics card.

November 16, 2013

Unboxing & Review: Gigabyte Aivia Osmium Mechanical Gaming Keyboard




Most people would associate the brand Gigabyte with graphic cards and motherboards. Well that's part of it... but Gigabyte's product line also includes an array of PC components, peripherals, Laptops, Tablets, Desktop PCs, Network and server devices as well as mobile phones.


Thanks to Gigabyte, we now have the Aivia Osmium, a premium mechanical keyboard catered for gamers. As far as features go, the Osmium has integrated USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 hubs, Cherry-MX mechanical keys, anti-ghosting capability, macro-keys, on-board memory, multiple profiles etc... this looks like a complete package in a single product. But is this the keyboard for you? we'll find out won't we?

For the complete features of the Aivia Osmium, head on to www.gigabyte.com

Unboxing



The retail packaging of the Osmium is a huge glossy box, much bigger than any keyboard boxes I have seen ... it's heavy as well. The front features the keyboard in a dark background and you can see that this is the Cherry-Mx brown version with white LED illumination (There is another with Cherry-Mx red with blue LED illumination).


The back of the box is covered with key features of the AIvia Osmium. One thing is for sure, Gigabyte went all out for this keyboard, even the box is premium!




Opening up the box reveals the Osmium mechanical keyboard protected in soft foam on all sides. A keycap puller and 4 replacement keycaps is also included on one side along with an instruction manual. No driver CDs in here so users are to get the Aivia Ghost driver software off from Gigabyte's website.

Outlook


The matte black finish on the Aivia Osmium definitely looks and feels great, comes with a large-removable wrist rest. Heavier than most keyboards I have known, it's solidly built and flexing it seemed futile to me.


The cable is probably the thickest I have seen on a keyboard, nicely sleeved but due to it's thickness, it's not the most flexible cable around so you might have to figure out a way to route it nicely so that it doesn't get in the way.




This later on breaks to 4 smaller cables that consists of the Microphone and Headphone 3.5mm jacks, a USB2.0 and a USB3.0 headers that will power the keyboard and enable the ports found on the keyboard to work. Personally, I couldn't ask for a better way to connect audio passthroughs, especially when one have a very good sound card in their rig. I also like how they were protected with plastic caps, ensuring that the contact points does not get scuffed or dusty during transport.


At the top-left, you'll find the 5 dedicated macro keys with two scroll-wheels which controls the brightness of the white LEDs and volume. These were well made and the tactile feedback from them is just nice so that one could be however precise with their brightness and volume adjustments.


While on the opposite end, you'd find the large profile switch, a god-sent feature absent from many gaming oriented keyboards. We'll take a closer look at this feature later on.


Right behind and at the side of the profile switch lies the headphone and microphone jack, USB3.0 and USB2.0 ports.


On the opposite side, is a nicely etched "Ghost" logo.


As depicted at the front of the packaging, every key on the this AIvia Osmium mechanical keyboard has a Cherry-Mx brown mechanical switch. Taking off the keys with the key cap puller will reveal the switches; this also allows for customisation should you wish to replace any key caps.


Flipping to the underside of the Aivia Osmium, you would see that instead of the usual two elevation tabs, we have four; offering a greater levels of adjustment for the users for that ultimate comfort. all of the tabs have high quality, non-slip rubber pads that keeps the Aivia Osmium firmly planted to the table.



Plugging in the Aivia Osmium, the white LED is strikingly bright, ensuring even the blindest of bats know which keys is which on the keyboard. I like how they manage to have all the optional symbols and media controls on the key caps lit by the LED so that non-touch typist like myself would be able to continue working in the darkness. Just a reminder, this can be adjusted by scrolling down the scroll wheel at the top of the keyboard or even turned off completely by pressing on it.


Pressing on the profile changer will allow you to cycle between profiles depicted in 5 different colours of Blue (Default) Green, Red, Purple and Teal. This means that I don't have to go into the driver software to switch profiles making full use of the on-board memory to store my profiles. I'll elaborate more on the profiles in the Driver section.


Placing it along with my Logitech G510, the Aivia Osmium is noticeably shorter so it should be able to fit onto more desks. Although I might miss the LCD panel on the G510, a trade-off that's probably worth it.

Drivers

The Aivia Ghost driver software will allow users to set custom functions onto the macro buttons across 5 different profiles. With the on-board memory, you could then use these custom settings on another PC without having to install the driver again. And if you've looked into my article on Homebrew Tips & Tricks : Typing Faster, you'd have guessed that the macro buttons are a boon already.


Upon launching the Aivia Ghost, you would be greeted by a grid like layout with three tabs at the top. Clicking on the grids will launch the corresponding tasks or select the said Gigabyte peripheral. As you can see, I only have the Osmium as a recognized peripheral.


Selecting the profiles tab will reveal a small line of selectable 5 colours which denominates the 5 different profiles that is available to you. Below that, you'd notice that the grid content has changed to represent the 5 macro keys. Clicking on any one of them will allow you to customise the corresponding macro keys.



You will see 2 types of customisation, Basic and Macros. As it's naming scheme proposes, the basic customisation will allow you to assign mouse clicks, launch simple applications or browser navigation. The Macros customisation is a little more advanced than that as you would be able to set custom combinations of key presses and/or mouse commands to a single button; to top it all off, you may have up till 100 of these macro settings at your disposal. This means that you have a choice of up to 500 different combinations that you could set on the 5 macro buttons. It suddenly occurred to me that the Aivia Osmium is in need of more macro keys, having so many options to customise seems pointless with only 5 keys to assign to, probably the best would be to enable all the keys to be programmable?


Clicking edit on any of the macros will bring you to the customisation module. You could start right away recording your favourite combination or you could choose to import a macro that you previously have. The process is quite intuitive and easy to learn, even if you made a mistake, you could always erase it and insert a new one.

Renaming the macros you've set is also possible at the top, that way you'd know what the macro does without having to retrace the commands that you've just set. Just remember to click on save before exiting the module lest you want that 20-hit combo on one button to be lost, this will automatically set the macros to the corresponding button you accessed the module with.


Backing out of the macro recording module and selecting the settings tab will give you further 2 options.


Under the profile settings, you will be able enable or disable any of the 5 profiles and breathing effects. Clicking the default switch at the top will enable every profiles.


Selecting the on board memory buttons simply will ask you if you want to clean the memory, means resetting everything to factory settings, also means that you will lose all custom settings that you have made.

Usage & Testing

Only a few minutes after placing the Aivia Osmium on my table, the family is liking it. Typing experience is overall nice and responsive thanks to the subtle feedback on the Cherry-Mx Brown(s). Key-presses are smooth but slightly louder than those of the membrane keyboard; still it's fairly quiet compared to the Armaggeddon Stealth Raptor MKA-7 that I reviewed recently. Just for the record, all keys registered when I pressed 10 keys at once, good anti-ghosting over USB2.0 don't you think?

On the gaming front, I fired up Mass Effect 3 multi-player and later on Grid2 followed by Torchlight 2 just to cover a few types of games (FPS/TPS, SIM racing & RPG). All commands entered are registered without a problem, half-pressing a key will still register in Grid2, while I could fire multiple skills via the macro buttons, didn't really need to look at the keyboard at all as the layout is fairly familiar... well almost, reaching for the macro keys at the top is the only stretching you'll do anyway. The large profile switch on the right hand is well implemented, pressing it allows me to cycle between the different settings between the games I play, though at the moment I admit I might not be using the profiles too much as the Aivia Osmium only allows 5 keys to be programmable.

On both occasions, the wrist-rest provided is very comfortable. Despite it being plastic all around, the detachable wrist rest is of decent quality and provided good support throughout the usage of the Aivia Osmium. If you have seen my review of the Armaggeddon Black Hornet MKA-3, you'd know that I don't usually have wrist rests, but this one makes the cut as with the one packed together with the Aivia Osmium.

Conclusion

The Aivia Osmium is a great mechanical keyboard, one that I'd personally recommend to my peers. It's solidly built, feels great to type and game on, very responsive as well with good anti-ghosting capabilities.

Pros:
  • Solid construction 
  • Matte black & fingerprint proof 
  • Multiple height / level adjustment 
  • Built-in USB2.0 and USB3.0 Hubs 
  • Comfortable wrist rest 
  • Tactile scroll wheels (LED and Volume) 
  • All keys illuminated adequately 
Cons:
  • Cable is thick and rigid. 
  • Only 5 Macro keys 
The Aivia Osmium gets the Tech-Critter Silver and Recommended product award! Gigabyte managed to do so many things right with the keyboard but ever so slightly short of the Gold. This is a keyboard that I'd gladly pay RM470 for. My only concern is routing the thick and quite rigid cable that comes out of the top and of the limited programmable buttons. Probably in the next iteration of the Osmium we'll see an improvement.