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February 29, 2016

Logitech Honored With Eight 2016 iF DESIGN AWARDS

By: John Diew

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia. — Feb. 29, 2016 — Today Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) announced that eight of its products have been selected as 2016 iF DESIGN AWARD™ winners, resulting in five more wins than the year prior. Of the eight wins, UE ROLL was awarded with an iF Gold Award, the iF DESIGN AWARD’s highest honor. This marks the sixth consecutive year that Logitech products have been recognized by the iF DESIGN AWARDS for innovation and excellence in consumer product design.

February 27, 2016

Unboxing & Review: Bitfenix Nova Windowed Edition

By: Low Chern Lin

When you're building a PC on a tight budget, some would disregard the type of chassis they'd get until the end after they have decided on the internal parts. Quite often, they'll be scratching their heads on which to buy with the little budget that's left that they would have to sacrifice quality and design. 

Big thanks to the folks at BitFenix and Inter-Asia Technology for the star of today's article. Let's take a look at BitFenix's take at the budget chassis scene. 
(The Bitfenix Nova retails at RM149)

How Storage Designed for Surveillance Improves the Entire System

By: John Diew

When the first event music, “Video Killed the Radio Star” premiered on MTV in 1981, it started a video revolution. A lot has changed since then, but video’s relevance in our culture, has increased, and our lives and security have come to depend on it. Market research firm IHS estimates that one surveillance camera has been installed for every eight people (about 40M) in the U.S. alone. Stats from 2014 certainly back that up – according to the IHS Video Surveillance Intelligence Service Market Insight report from August 2015, the U.S. was ranked as the second largest market for video surveillance equipment, worth $2.8 billion dollars.

February 25, 2016

4 Steps to Setting Up a Secure, Collaborative File Storage System

By: John Diew

Small businesses often operate in lean teams, with each staff member behaving as a “jack of all trades.” This attitude can be useful for acquiring customers and putting in the extra effort SMBs sometimes need, but it doesn’t work for data management and security. Cyberattacks are not only a risk to large companies like Target or Sony, but are a costly danger to small businesses as well. According to a report by the National Small Business Association, 50 percent of small businesses experienced a cyberattack in 2014, costing an average of more than $20,750.

February 24, 2016

Break Free with Logitech M171 Wireless Mouse

By: John Diew

Break Free with Logitech M171 Wireless Mouse 
Reliable Connectivity with No Wires Attached 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — Feb. 22, 2016 — Today Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) is making it easy to go wireless with the convenience of a new cordless mouse. The Logitech® M171 Wireless Mouse, offers reliable wireless connectivity and long-lasting battery life at an affordable price. This comfortable and attractive mouse unleashes you from tangled cords and helps clear the clutter from your desk.

AMD Expands Low-Power, G-Series Processor Family to Scale Performance, Price, and Power across its Embedded Line

By: Low Chern Lin

February 23, 2016 — At Embedded World today, AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) announced its 3rd Generation AMD Embedded G-Series SoCs and the Embedded G-Series LX SoC, providing customers a broadened portfolio of performance options. The latest offerings expand developers’ ability to scale x86 platforms, starting with the entry-level AMD Embedded G-Series LX SoC, which is pin compatible to the previous generation G-Series SoC devices. Also announced today are two new, higher performing 3rd Generation AMD Embedded G-Series SoCs, codenamed “Prairie Falcon” and “Brown Falcon,” which introduce for the first time pin compatibility for G-Series processors with the higher performance AMD Embedded R-Series SoC.

The new products expand upon the low power capabilities of the award-winning AMD Embedded G-Series SoC platform, bringing scalable performance, power, and price across the CPU, GPU, multimedia, and I/O controller hardware, helping to lower development costs for AMD customers. Together, the new G-Series processors deliver immersive, graphically rich experiences across a broad range of platforms, from entry-level to mainstream gaming, digital signage, imaging, and industrial control. 

“The latest AMD Embedded G-Series SoC additions offer our customers a broad range of mainstream embedded solutions, including two that are in the same package as the higher-performance R-Series,” said Scott Aylor, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, AMD Enterprise Solutions. “The new SoCs further our commitment to provide embedded design engineers with an evolutionary path toward the highest levels of power efficient compute and graphics capabilities, and a strong value proposition for a broad range of embedded applications.” 

The new G-Series’ balanced set of peripheral support, performance options, and overall energy efficiency are expected to make an immediate impact with AMD customers and the embedded ecosystem.

“The embedded market is an incredibly dynamic space right now, enabled by more immersive graphics and significant gains in power efficiency and performance,” said Shane Rau, IDC. “The advent of versatile system on chip (SoC) solutions that are pin-compatible across a range of performance and price, coupled with comprehensive embedded software stacks, are giving product engineers a much greater range of choices in building dynamic, graphically rich next gen systems.”

3rd Generation AMD Embedded G-Series SoC
The low-power AMD Embedded G-Series is designed to deliver an immersive, graphically rich experience and smooth system performance, all in a compact, energy efficient SoC with low power consumption and significant memory bandwidth for mainstream embedded applications. With impressive gains in compute and graphics performance compared to the prior generation embedded G-Series, the new additions to the lineup are ideal for thin clients, IP set-top boxes, and TVs, casino gaming, industrial control and automation, digital signage, and communications networks. The new models include “Excavator” x86 CPU cores and 3rd generation Graphics Core Next (GCN) graphics with support for OpenGL ES, OpenCL™, DirectX® 12, and EGL. For greater design flexibility, the new 3rd Generation Embedded G-Series SoCs, and the AMD Embedded R-Series SoC announced last fall are also all pin compatible. 

3rd Generation AMD Embedded G-Series SoC Family key features and specifications: 
  • Up to 2 “Excavator” x86 cores 
  • AMD Radeon™ graphics (up to 4 GCN compute units1) 
  • 4K x 2K H.265 decode (10-bit compatibility on select devices) & multi-format encode & decode
  • Multiple display technology - HDMITM 2.0, DP 1.2, eDP 1.4 
  • 6~15W Thermal Design Power (TDP) 
  • Up to 2 Channels DDR4/DDR3 
  • Integrated AMD Secure Processor
  • 10-year planned longevity

Embedded G-Series LX Family SoC
The Embedded G-Series LX SoC is a new, low-power x86 SoC offering compelling performance for the price with advanced multimedia and display features. It features the “Jaguar” CPU core with support for Error Correcting Memory (ECC) and GCN, as well as support for DirectX® 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, and OpenCLTM 1.2. The Embedded G-Series LX SoC is ideally suited for numerous applications, including retail point-of-sale terminals, digital signage, arcade gaming, and industrial control. The AMD Embedded G-Series LX SoC uses the same FT3b socket as its predecessor codenamed “Steppe Eagle” and provides a higher-performance migration path for AMD Geode™ customers.

G-Series LX key features and specifications:
  • 2 “Jaguar” x86 cores
  • AMD Radeon™ Graphics Core Next (GCN) graphics 
  • Multi-format encode & decode
  • Multiple display technology - HDMITM 2.0, DP 1.2, eDP 1.4
  • 6~15W TDP
  • Single-channel DDR3
  • AMD Secure Processor
  • Industrial temperature - extended temperature SKUs
The first 3rd Generation AMD Embedded G-Series SoCs are available immediately with additional offerings planned in the first and second quarter of this year. The first AMD Embedded G-Series LX products are expected to be available in March.

February 23, 2016

Unboxing & Review: ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual-band Gigabit Router

By: Low Chern Lin

ASUS has set foot in the networking product market for quite a while now and from what we can see, they've been doing surprisingly well despite being a newcomer in the industry during that period of time.

Just today, ASUS announces the availability of its new RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual-band Gigabit Router in Malaysia, aimed to provide a better gaming experience for gamers who needs that smooth and low-latency connection for their games.

We're lucky enough to get our hands on the RT-AC88U before the launch and we've already had a pretty good time using it for the past few weeks. With no further adieu, let's check out what we've been experiencing with the RT-AC88U.

(The RT-AC88U will retail at RM1,799 as according to ASUS Malaysia)

ASUS Announces The Availability of RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual-band Gigabit Router in Malaysia

By: Low Chern Lin

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (23rd February 2016) — ASUS Malaysia today announced RT-AC88U, an ultra-fast AC3100-class dual-band 802.11ac wireless router with a four-transmit, four-receive (4x4) antenna configuration.

ASUS Announces The Availability of RT-AC5300 Tri-Band Gigabit Router in Malaysia

By: Low Chern Lin

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (23rd February, 2016) — ASUS Malaysia today announced RT-AC5300, an ultra-high-performance AC5300-class tri-band wireless router, with Broadcom® NitroQAM™ technology that delivers the world’s fastest combined Wi-Fi data rates of up to 5334Mbit/s.

Designed as the ultimate state-of-the-art router for enthusiasts and gamers, the futuristically-styled RT-AC5300 uses a 4x4 (4-transmit, 4-receive) MIMO antenna array on all three bands. Combined with AiRadar universal beamforming and Tri-Band Smart Connect, RT-AC5300 provides outstanding multi-device performance, with super-wide coverage.

For the smoothest-ever online gaming, RT-AC5300 includes an exclusive built-in game accelerator powered by Gamers Private Network® (GPN®) from WTFast®, which significantly reduces ping times and latency for an unrivaled experience in virtually all competitive multi-player online games.

The stunning better-than-wired speeds of RT-AC5300 will be a boon to any gamer needing the freedom and convenience of Wi-Fi, with the reliability and performance normally associated with a wired network.

The world’s fastest Wi-Fi speed, delivered to more devices!
Increasingly, the available wireless bandwidth in a household has to be shared between a large number of Wi-Fi-enabled devices, including laptops, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and smart home devices. To provide additional bandwidth for these multi-device households, RT-AC5300 uses a tri-band AC5300-class design, with two independent 5GHz frequency bands and one 2.4GHz frequency band. 

Broadcom NitroQAM technology boosts the maximum speed of each 5GHz frequency band from the standard 1734Mbit/s to a blistering 2167Mbit/s, and on the 2.4GHz frequency band speeds are increased speeds from 800Mbit/s to 1000Mbit/s for a world-leading combined throughput of 5334Mbit/s — over five times (5X) the bandwidth of a wired Gigabit Ethernet connection. This extreme bandwidth means that the advanced RT-AC5300 provides users with more than enough capacity to deliver low-latency online gaming, smooth streaming of 4K/UHD videos and ultra-fast file sharing to all connected devices.

Enhanced coverage, for every device, everywhere!
For outstanding multi-floor and multi-room coverage, ASUS RT-AC5300 uses eight detachable dual-band external antennas in a 4x4 MIMO array, with ASUS AiRadar universal beamforming providing unrivaled multi-device performance and wireless signal coverage. AiRadar focuses the Wi-Fi signal on a device to improve performance, stability and range.

Built-in game accelerator for smooth, fast online gaming
ASUS RT-AC5300 includes an exclusive built-in client and a free subscription to WTFast that gives users the very best online gaming experience — at no extra cost! WTFast uses GPN, a dedicated global private network, which automatically gives users the lowest ping times and reduced latency — critical network parameters in online games — for smooth, uninterrupted gameplay. 

GPN can reduce average game ping times by 30-60%, lower average speed deviations by 70-90%, and cut bad router hops by 70-90%. By routing gaming data packets automatically via the most efficient internet route, packet loss is reduced, ensuring a responsive and frustration-free gaming experience. GPN supports virtually all competitive multi-player online games, and has optimized settings for many of the most popular titles.

The game accelerator is integrated into RT-AC88U’s easy-to-use ASUSWRT graphical user interface, so it consumes no system resources on the game device. This also means that the benefits can be experienced on any gaming platform — including Windows, Mac OS, Linux and game consoles — regardless of the manufacturer or operating system.

Advanced technologies for enhanced speed, reliability and ease of use
ASUS RT-AC5300 features many state-of-the-art technologies to enhance performance and improve stability even on the busiest networks. 

Tri-Band Smart Connect technology intelligently selects the optimum frequency band for each device, based on the device’s speed, its signal strength, and how busy each band is. This means users never have to decide which band to use, as RT-AC5300 does it all automatically. The result is better range and faster, more reliable connections — all the time!

For advanced users, Link Aggregation (802.3ad) support provides a way of combining two of the Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports into a single ultra-fast 2Gbit/s wired connection (using two network cables). This feature, normally only found on professional-grade network switches, will be of particular interest to users with high-speed network-attached storage (NAS) devices, which increasingly offer 802.3ad support. This means that users can fully exploit the capabilities of the latest NAS devices, for fast device backups and file sharing.

Aerocool presents Dream Box DIY-Kit to unleash your Imagination

By: Low Chern Lin

23.02.2016, Taipei, Taiwan – Aerocool Advanced Technologies, one of world’s leading manufacturers of excellent gaming PC gear, announces the revolutionary DIY kit called “Dream Box” for creative minds, which is available as of today. The product name was committed by users during the last year’s „Free Your Imagination“ contest. This unique DIY kit comes in a box with total of 118 parts, allowing users to build one of the three PC related chassis models straight out of the box.

Aerocool’s new Dream Box allows users to not only create extraordinary PC chassis and bench-tables suiting every user’s unique requirements, but goes beyond that. The possibilities are endless and only limited by one’s imagination. The starter kit includes various components, including aluminum pipes, various connectors with different angles, mounting C-rings for other connections as well as PC related parts such as mainboard-tray, PSU tray and one I/O panel. The Dream Box can be also used for assembling tables, lamps, cup holders or even all kind of toys and useful gadgets. For bigger builds and projects, several Dream Box kits can be combined to achieve the desired goal.

Aerocool supplies a manual to explain the main assembly and explains a basic installation in a video tutorial on the Dream Box website. Interested users can access the online parts catalog, to find out more about each of the parts. Due to the fact, that the largest part of the framework is done using the aluminum pipes, a real sturdy and solid base is achieved. In order to assure high stability, all connected joints are fixed by screws in addition. The framework can endure more stress thanks to this connection and may still be extended or downsized afterwards. The material choice and sturdiness makes the Dream Box a great framework for users with bright ideas seeking a versatile DIY solution.

Users are invited to post their builds on the Aerocool’s Facebook page, which then can be shared with others as a blue-print. The Dream Box DIY kit is available as of today worldwide with a MSRP set at 134,90 EUR for Europa and USD$149,90 for North America (excluding VAT/Tax).

MSI GT72 and GT80 of GTX980 graphics notebooks are VR ready

By: Low Chern Lin

Taipei, Taiwan –As the No.1 in Gaming brand in the gaming industry, MSI is always ahead of others in meeting users’ needs by introducing the most up-to-date solutions and offering the most complete gaming features for extreme gamers. The company stands by the principles of breakthroughs in design, the pursuit of excellence, and technological innovation. 

World’s first VR ready Notebooks with extreme GTX 980 graphics
After an extensive research and hard work, MSI, in cooperation with NVIDIA, released GTX 980 models which support virtual reality gaming. Desktop GeForce® GTX 970 or Mobile GTX 980 graphics are a must condition for VR Ready. They will provide the users with the required graphics processing power, image quality, decreased latency and consistent performance level, all of which are crucial for VR gaming experience. 

MSI GT series of GTX 980 graphics VR Ready gaming notebook models approved by NVIDIA are the following:
  • GT72S 6QF Dominator Pro and GT72S 6QF Dragon Edition (29th Anniversary Edition);
  • GT72S 6QF Dominator Pro G Heroes Special Edition; 
  • GT80S 6QF Titan SLI 29th Anniversary Edition; 
  • GT80S 6QF Titan SLI Heroes Special Edition.
The formal product list updated is in the link below:

Many of the VR products used MSI gaming notebooks as demo at CES 2016
The notebooks were presented at CES2016 and were successfully tested using VR technology at different booths. MSI has produced world’s first notebook with VR display.

The visitors got to experience UA Health Box, a product representing a new concept of healthy lifestyle supported by MSI GT72 and GT80 series.

Also, MSI notebook was a part of the Intel booth presentation of HTC VIVE and provided the greatest support with smooth running and minimum latency. The Taiwan VR company 3Glasses also used MSI gaming notebooks for their VR products live demo, which shows that MSI powerful gaming notebook is the world’s best notebook to support the highest performance demand and the most stable performance present at VR developing and VR demonstration.

Andy Tung, the president of MSI Pan America, commented on the MSI’ new step in the world of technology: "VR has traditionally been reserved for desktops, but NVIDIA has given notebooks such as the MSI GT72 Dominator and GT80 Titan / SLI with GeForce GTX 980 the necessary punch to bring virtual experiences to life while on the go. NVIDIA's GeForce GTX GTX 980 VR Ready badge makes identifying VR capable machines easy and guarantees a fantastic and immersive gaming experience."

February 22, 2016

HTC Reveals Complete Consumer Edition Vive System at Mobile World Congress 2016

By: Low Chern Lin

Barcelona, Mobile World Congress, February 21, 2016 – HTC, a pioneer in innovative, smart technologies, in partnership with Valve®, today unveiled the consumer edition of its ViveTM virtual reality system. Continuing to build upon the Vive’s exhaustive list of features, this complete Vive system, powered by Steam®VR, introduces yet another new technological innovation – Vive Phone Services – once again setting a new standard in virtual reality. 

Enabling you to stay connected to the real world, without exiting the virtual world, Vive Phone Services demonstrates the ability to combine both realities without losing touch of either. By allowing you to receive and respond to both incoming and missed calls, get text messages and send quick replies and check upcoming calendar invites directly through the headset, it creates a hybrid reality opening up a whole new world of possibilities for both consumers and businesses. 

Taking Vive one step further, with refreshed branding and an updated headstrap, the Vive consumer edition builds upon the innovative features that were introduced into the Vive Pre. These include updated wireless controllers with haptic feedback and dual stage triggers, a front facing camera that blends physical elements into the virtual world, a redesigned headstrap that offers greater stability and balance and an improved visual system with brighter displays to give a deeper sense of immersion. 

Priced at US$799, for a limited time the consumer edition will also ship with two fully-fledged VR experiences to get you started in the VR world:

  • Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives, by Owlchemy Labs: In a firmly tongue-in-cheek world where robots have replaced all human jobs, step into the ‘Job Simulator’ to learn what it was like 'to job'. 
  • Fantastic Contraption, by Northway Games in collaboration with Radial Games: Imagine walking around a grassy island floating in the sky, building a machine the size of a horse with your own hands, and then watching it roll out into the world.
But it’s not just about gaming. In addition to these launch titles, HTC is working with developers to foster the creation of content that spans multiple sectors including entertainment, retail, education, design, healthcare and automotive. 

“From the beginning, Vive has been at the forefront of virtual reality, with HTC pioneering several ground breaking technologies,” comments Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO, HTC. “Since announcing Vive this time last year, we have worked tirelessly with Valve to deliver the best VR experience on the market, winning multiple awards and receiving critical acclaim from media, consumers and the industry. With the Vive consumer edition we are now able to realize our ultimate vision; bringing Vive into homes around the globe so that people can experience immersive virtual reality in a away that fires the imagination and truly changes the world.” 

Pricing, Updates and Availability
The Vive consumer edition will be available to pre-order from 29th February, with pre-order fulfilment and full commercial availability starting in early April. Priced at US$799, the Vive is the first complete VR solution, including two wireless VR controllers, room scale movement sensors, and an HMD featuring a built in camera and phone, plus the two VR titles. The integration of SteamVR into the bundle ensures that all Vive equipment is kept up-to-date with the latest features.

February 20, 2016

HTC One A9 Lands in Malaysia, Retails for RM 2,299

By: John Diew

Last October, HTC announced the new addition to its One family - HTC One A9. Despite it's controversial design resemblance to the Apple iPhone 6, HTC carried on with the One A9 release and it finally reached Malaysia.

February 18, 2016

New Western Digital Prosumer NAS Storage Gives Creative Pros The Power To Multitask and Easily Share Files

By: Low Chern Lin

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 18 February 2016 – Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC), a world leader in connected storage solutions, today updated its prosumer solutions with My Cloud EX2 Ultra, a high-performance, two-bay network attached storage (NAS) system. The My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS is designed from the ground up for creative professionals and prosumers that need to automatically sync content across computers, easily share files and folders and enjoy multiple backup options so they can create their own personalized digital library with ease.

“We know our My Cloud users, especially creative professionals, need comprehensive solutions as digital storage needs continue to soar as well as the need for ongoing streaming capability,” said Jim Welsh, executive vice president, WD Branded Products. “With the My Cloud EX2 Ultra, creative professionals are able to combine high performance with multi-tasking optimization and data protection to create a NAS system that simplifies their workflow and provides peace-of-mind.”

My Cloud EX2 Ultra has been upgraded with a powerful 1.3 GHz dual-core processor enabling users to get ultra-fast transfer rates for high performance and smooth video streaming. Users also have access to 1 GB of DDR3 memory, allowing them to multitask with ease and leverage applications for HD media streaming, surveillance and much more. Several data management and security features allow users to select a preferred method for managing and protecting their movies, photos, music and digital files. Drive management options include RAID 0, RAID 1; JBOD and spanning mode, while data protection options include NAS to NAS, USB, cloud or LAN/WAN backup. The My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS comes preconfigured in RAID 1 mode to help protect data right from the start and is easily configurable into other data protection modes. 

High Capacity and Ultimate Reliability
From unpopulated to 12 TB capacities, the My Cloud EX2 Ultra provides several capacity options for customers to choose from. Additionally, customers can attach compatible USB 3.0 hard drives to the USB expansion ports on the My Cloud EX2 Ultra to instantly expand their storage capacity. The populated My Cloud EX2 Ultra features the award-winning WD Red® hard drives, specifically built for NAS systems to provide non-stop performance within 24x7 environments. WD Red drives are powered by NASware™ 3.0 technology, improving drive reliability and minimizing data corruption in the event of a power loss or disruption.

Easy Sharing with Anywhere Access
With simplified file and folder sharing, users can send customized, private links that allow recipients read/write access to particular files on the user’s My Cloud EX2 Ultra. Whether on a photo shoot, or editing at home, saving creations at full fidelity and sharing with your entire network is a breeze. The My Cloud EX2 Ultra features an intuitive dashboard, so user accounts can be created, features customized and storage can be monitored with ease. With web access, or the My Cloud mobile app, users can access their media and manage users from any internet connected device. With WD Sync™, users can automatically synchronize their media and files across their computers and their My Cloud device with the confidence that their computer content is up to date and accessible from all devices.

Advanced Features 
My Cloud EX2 Ultra includes advanced data serving options including an integrated FTP and WebDAV server, backup server, P2P download server and Microsoft Active Directory support. Additionally, users can download and run a host of third party apps, including, Plex®, Milestone Arcus™ surveillance, aMule, Icecast, Joomla!®, Anti-Virus Essentials, WordPress®, SqueezeCenter, and more. Users can also stream videos and photos to connected TVs, media players, gaming consoles and other DLNA®/UPnP® devices with the included Twonky 7.2 DLNA-certified 1.5 media server, and built-in iTunes® support. 

Price and Availability
My Cloud EX2 Ultra will be available at select retailers in March and is distributed by Eternal Asia (M) Sdn Bhd in Malaysia. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is RM 799 for the diskless My Cloud EX2 Ultra, RM 1,559 for 4 TB, RM 2,199 for 8 TB and RM 3,049 for 12 TB. The WD My Cloud mobile app currently is available for download for free from the Apple App StoreSM and Google PlayTM. My Cloud EX2 Ultra comes with a two-year limited warranty on the diskless device and a three-year limited warranty on the pre-configured devices.

My Cloud EX2 Ultra is compatible with Windows® 10, Windows 8, Windows Vista®, OS X® El Capitan™, Yosemite™, Mavericks™, Mountain Lion™ as well as DLNA®/UPnP® enabled devices. 

Cooler Master Announces the Arrival of Xornet II in Malaysia

By: Clement Thien

Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA – Cooler Master, a leading manufacturer of desktop components and peripherals, launched the Xornet II, a unique ergonomic design renowned as one of the best claw grip designs (Spawn/Xornet) for FPS and RTS gaming. Designed for total control it is powered by an improved optical sensor, on-the-fly DPI settings, a full 16.8 million color illumination (RGB) scroll wheel supported by easy-to-use software, and Lift Off Distance tuning and calibration. The Xornet II stands out among the competition as a comfortable, accurate and affordable weapon to add to your arsenal.

“The Xornet II fits your hand like a glove. We kept the small, lightweight design of its predecessor that our fans have come to love and packed it full of improved features,” said Leo Cheng, Product Manager at Cooler Master. “The Xornet II is built for gamers who choose to battle it out using a claw grip style.” 

Ergonomic Design with Precision Optical Sensor featuring 3500 DPI for Flawless Control and Speed
The ergonomic ring finger rest and anti-slip rubber sides for your thumb on the Xornet II results in a claw grip mouse that you can use in total comfort for hours at a time. It uses an Avago 3320 optical sensor which is flawless for control and speed. Prepare for any situation thanks to 3 preset DPI controls (500 - 3500) that can be changed on-the-fly. Go from performing surgery with a shotgun at 500 DPI to lightning fast flick shots at 3500 DPI. Or find the perfect DPI setting to match your play-style by opening up our new easy-to-use software. An RGB LED in the scroll wheel quickly lets you know your current DPI setting. You can also adjust the LOD, change RGB color settings, and program buttons all through the easy-to-use software. 

Now Play Anywhere: Intelligently Positioned Responsive Buttons and Adaptive Control with Lift Off Distance (LOD) Tuning
Xornet II comes with a unique feature that allows you to tune the sensor to any surface and change the LOD with or without software. So no matter where you choose to play whether switching mouse pads, playing on different surfaces like wood, cloth, or silicon, Xornet II can always be calibrated and tuned to perfection. Seven programmable buttons including two side thumb buttons are put in a prime useful and practical position. The highest grade Omron switches give you crisp, solid feel, and they are durable enough to last up to five million clicks. The large, rubberized scroll wheel offers notched resistance that is needed for accurately scrolling through weapons in a FPS. 

Pricing & Availability:

The Xornet II is now available at local retailers, priced at RM 159.

February 12, 2016

Unboxing & Preview: AcBel iPower 90m 600W Power Supply

By: Low Chern Lin

AcBel Polytech, a well known OEM manufacturer that makes the power supply unit for many famous brands i.e: Dell, HP, Acer, etc. Due to the lack of exposure in the PC DIY scene, AcBel power supply unit is known only by experienced enthusiasts in the tech community. Not knowing there is actually some pretty kickass value-oriented ones in the AcBel power supply unit lineup, a majority of those who is more exposed to the well-known brands will think that AcBel only produces power supply unit that output just suffice for the low-end PC.

We'll be checking out the AcBel iPower 90m 600W 80 plus gold rated power supply unit today, courtesy of Cudo Technologies. Retailed at RM419, the AcBel iPower 90m 600W is one of the most affordable 80 plus gold rated semi-modular power supply available in the local market, but just how good it is? Let's find that out with some stress test we have here shall we?



The front of the box has that classy look of a trustworthy 80 plus gold rated power supply that gives a pretty convincing look at first glance. 

At the back of the box, you'll find details such as the type of connectors on the power supply, unique looking icons that give a brief description of the features of the power supply. 

Inside the box, you'll get a set of flat modular cables consists of 3 x SATA power cable, 1 x 4-pin Molex power cable, 2 x 6+2[-pin PCIe  power cable, 1 x power cord, 4 x M3.5 screws, 1 x user's manual and the AcBel iPower 90m 600W power supply unit.

The AcBel iPower 90m is marketed as an 80 plus gold rated efficiency power supply unit but AcBel claims that the power supply itself is much more capable that that. The message is delivered via the 90 Plus efficiency emblem on the fan grill.

Just like any other semi-modular power supply unit we've seen, the AcBel iPower 90m has the mandatory 24-pin and 4+4pin power connector attached to the unit. The 4-pin Molex, SATA and PCIe power connector modular cables are made optional for better cable management.

As the modular cables provided is the flat type cables, the modular cable slot is placed vertically to make cable management easier and reduce potential damage to the cables by bending sideways.

At the other side of the PSU, we can find the power output details listed in a table. The AcBel iPower 90m 600W is capable of delivering 576W watts via the +12V rails, which is plenty much enough for a high-end graphics card, i.e: AMD R9 290X, AMD R9 280X, Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X, Nvidia GeForce GTX 980, Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti.

The honeycomb mesh design has been widely implemented in the majority of the power supply unit you can find nowadays as the design has been proven to provide the best ventilation for heat dissipation.

Testing & Conclusion
As Tech Critter do not own any industrial grade load tester to perform intensive tests on the power supplies on hand, we will be performing tests from the end user's angle. 

We've mounted the AcBel iPower 90m 600W on our Vector Bench Case and have gone through numerous tests which involve stress test and overclocking various hardware. AIDA64 System Stability Test is done using Intel i7 4770K / 4790K / 5820K; as well as FurMark stress test using AMD R9 390, AMD R9 390X, AMD R9 Fury, Nvidia GTX Titan X, Nvidia GTX 980, Nvidia GTX 980 Ti. From the stress test conducted, we're glad to report that no issues are encountered, it survived various stress test with no coil whine issue found throughout the testing period. 

Another test conducted is the Haswell ready low power state test. Instead of testing on the power supply on full load, we take its ability to handle the low power state with C6/C7 states enabled in the BIOS configuration. We've tried to put our system to standby mode / hibernate / sleep mode and resume the system from these state, glad to report that there's no stability and compatibility issue as well.

Overall, the AcBel iPower 90m 600W deserves a recommended badge from!

Unboxing & Review: Armaggeddon MKA-5R RGB-HORNET Gaming Mechanical Keyboard

By: Low Chern Lin

Armaggeddon is renown in the local market for its gaming peripherals, delivering both quality and affordability at the sweet spot for most of the time. We have one of Armaggeddon's latest offering arrived at Tech Critter's lab, the MKA-5R RGB-HORNET tenkeyless mechanical keyboard, courtesy of Leapfrog Distribution Sdn Bhd and Armaggeddon Malaysia.

The RGB mechanical keyboard hype has been going on for quite a while and Armaggeddon stepped into the fancy RGB LED competition with the MKA-5R and MKA-11R. While it comes with a very decent price of RM373, let's find out what kind of features we can expect from the MKA-5R RGB-HORNET!



The MKA-5R RGB-HORNET comes in the usual black & yellow themed box across most Armaggeddon products, with some of its features highlighted at the front of the box as well as the 2 years limited warranty from Armaggeddon. 

The back of the box contains information in regards to the specifications and features of the MKA-5R RGB-HORNET, the different variation of Kailh switches available, brief information on Armaggeddon itself, manufacturer's warranty etc. 

Lifting the lid, you'll find a cutout window for user to see the actual product without having to open up the entire packaging.

What's in the box? Just the MKA-5R RGB-HORNET. That's something pretty uncommon for a gaming peripheral to not come with a user's manual.

It's good to know that the MKA-5R RGB-HORNET uses the standard layout that's compatible with most custom key caps set.

Braided cables enhance the durability of the cable and prevent unwanted damages like fraying end or breaking due to excessive pulling.

A ferrite core is attached to the cable, meant to reduce /minimize the electrical interference that could potentially affect your performance - it's very rare for such incident to occur, though.

As always, we would like to highlight that gold plated USB connector plays no role in improving the polling rate or signal strength. What it does here is that it keeps the connector more durable against oxidation so that you won't end up with a flashy looking keyboard but with an ugly dull looking oxidized USB connector.

The MKA-5R RGB-HORNET comes with a brushed Aluminum top enclosure as an added aesthetics.

The key caps used comes in the standard profile, R4 to R1 height that we commonly see on most mechanical keyboards nowadays. 

The F1 to F12 keys consists of functions to trigger different lighting effect when combined with the FN key.

The additional feature on the arrow keys - change the direction of lighting effects that involves moving lighting effect.

The stabilizer used is the Costar design stabilizer that's known for its extraordinary stability that the Cherry stabilizer can't offer.

If you've been wondering, that's not a Cherry MX switch. That's the Cherry MX clone switch, the Kailh blue switch with an RGB LED installed. 

At the bottom of the keyboard, you'll find it clean and screw-hole free, preventing us from doing a tear down on the keyboard itself. 

The cable routing path at the bottom allows you to route the cable in the direction which you find to be most comfortable with your current setup.

If the keyboard height isn't to your liking, you can tilt it by a little bit more with the keyboard feet. Armaggeddon included the rubber pieces on the keyboard feet to keep the keyboard from sliding when the keyboard feet is lifted, thumbs up on that!


The software is pretty simple in overall, everything can be done pretty much at this single interface.

There's quite a number of lighting effects that you can choose and configure from the list, but a minus for the customizability because you can't customize your own effect.

The macro recording function isn't the prettiest one around but it'll still get the job done well. You record a key sequence input, numbers of loops to perform the key sequence along with the delay between keystrokes, something that is very important for the effectiveness and usability of a recorded macro. 

By right clicking the key(s) on the keyboard layout image on the right, you can assign specific functions to the selected key and trigger it by combining the assigned key with the FN key.

Once you're done with those settings, you can save it in the designated profile in the profile menu. You can create up to 6 profiles in the profile menu.

RGB Lighting Preview

Key Rollover Test (KRO)

The key rollover looks really promising on the MKA-5R RGB-HORNET. We're able to hold down pretty much every key without having any signal blocking issue or ghosting effect, making it a great companion for gamers who needs to hold down as many keys in game, especially for rhythm games like o2jam, DJMax, etc. 

Final Thoughts
If you're fond of Cherry MX switches, that confusion is unavoidable on first time experience with Kailh switches. Things are clearly different if you're an old timer with mechanical keyboards, but the Kailh switches aren't entirely bad either. For those who is familiar with Kailh switches, the company started off with its first Cherry MX clone yellow switch which turns out pretty bad in terms of the quality, but they've improved the build quality throughout these years and we believe that Kailh can do better in the coming future.

In terms of aesthetics aspect, the Armaggeddon MKA-5R RGB-HORNET is very close to nailing it right. The RGB LED lighting effect is pretty awesome, to be honest, it's just that the customization on these RGB LEDs is somewhat limited by the current software that somehow limiting the full potential of an RGB LED keyboard. 

As for the price, RM373 is definitely a very good price for an RGB mechanical keyboard and we have no complaint on that. If you're looking for a tenkeyless RGB mechanical keyboard to bling up your setup, the Armaggeddon MKA-5R RGB-HORNET is one option you might want to consider to go for.

  • Good looking
  • Solid build quality
  • Lots of lighting effect to play with
  • Braided USB cable for enhanced durability
  • Full key rollover (NKRO)

  • Macro action cannot be triggered by parallel action
  • Limited option in customizing lighting profile