HyperX Cloud Mix review: Pivoting to a mobile lifestyle brand brings mixed results

HyperX Cloud Mix

HyperX wants you to wear its Cloud Mix headset (MSRP $200) all the time—not just for gaming. At your desk? Sure. But also on the train, walking to the grocery store, maybe even while snowboarding. Wherever life takes you, thanks to the Cloud Mix’s built-in Bluetooth capabilities.

The Cloud Mix is HyperX’s attempt to move up the ladder from a gaming brand to a “lifestyle brand.” Astro made the pivot early, pitching its high-end gaming headsets as a statement, not a mere accessory. Then Razer swung that direction as well, ushering in some sort of RGB-everything future.

But can every brand make the pivot? HyperX is a brand that seems steeped in gamer culture more than its predecessors—a brand that started with RAM and other arcane PC necessities. Let’s see how things shook out.

Note: This review is part of our roundup of best gaming headsets. Go there for details on competing products and how we tested them.


Judging by the Cloud Mix’s design, HyperX already thinks it’s a lifestyle brand, or at least bordering on one. Let’s not dance around the subject: The Cloud Mix looks like any other HyperX headset. The color scheme’s a more muted gray-and-black instead of the brand’s standard red-and-black, but even this isn’t 100 percent new. HyperX used the same gray-and-black on the Cloud II headset, for instance.

HyperX Cloud Mix

IDG / Hayden Dingman

Hell, the Cloud Mix takes after the original Cloud and Cloud II more than the current-gen Cloud Alpha. This isn’t exactly a break from tradition, like we saw with Astro’s streetwear-oriented A38 headset. The Cloud Mix simply repurposes old and (at least in the desktop space) beloved ideas. The stitching’s been toned down a bit, but if I threw a Cloud Mix and a Cloud II into a bin together, I’d have a hard time separating the two. The new headset features the same leatherette-padded headband, the same oval-shaped earcups with enormous HyperX logos emblazoned on both sides.

That’s probably the most questionable decision HyperX made with the Cloud Mix. I’m actually a fan of the Cloud design. It’s pretty inconspicuous, not overly bulky nor flashy. I firmly believe you could wear it out on the street, same as any pair of Audio-Technicas or Sennheisers.

But the branding? The branding is anything but inconspicuous. The HyperX logo looks like, well, video games. It’s edgy and aggressive in a way you don’t see from mainstream audio brands like Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, Polk, and so on.

It’s not an impossible hurdle—Razer’s made inroads with a three-headed snake graphic, which is arguably worse. But HyperX’s logo is so big and so prominent. I can’t help but wish it were shrunk down or confined to the headband, or maybe rendered black-on-black where it’d be less glaring. Anything that would make me more comfortable about wearing the Cloud Mix on the street.

Branding missteps aside, there’s not much to complain about. As I said, it’s a HyperX headset. The Cloud Mix is extremely comfortable, as you’d expect from HyperX. I’ve worn it for hours at a time without issue, though the leatherette earcups might get a bit toasty in the summertime.

HyperX Cloud Mix

IDG / Hayden Dingman

In some ways I like it even more than the Cloud Alpha—or really, in one major way. The Cloud Mix finally rectifies one of my biggest complaints with the brand, by slapping controls onto the headset itself instead of relegating them to a small box on the cable. You’ll find volume and power on the right earcup, and a mute button on the left.


Nokia 8.1 goes on pre-order in Taiwan, comes with a free case

The Nokia 8.1, the global version of the Nokia X7 is now available to order in Taiwan after going official yesterday.

The phone is priced at NT$ 9,990 (€285), which is a significant step down from its projected €400 ($454) price in Europe. Nokia Taiwan even bundles a clear case with the phone and also offer the official flip case at a discounted price of NT$ 22 ($0.71). So far it looks like the only available color is Steel. Pre-orders are live now and shipments are expected to start on December 12.

The United Arab Emirates are expected to start Nokia 8.1 pre-orders later today at a price of AED 1,500 ($410).

The Nokia 8.1 packs a 6.18-inch IPS LCD of 1080x2280px resolution, a Snapdragon 710 chipset with 6GB of RAM, a 3,500mAh battery and a dual 12MP + 13MP main camera at the back.


With this $25 gadget, Amazon will finally get you to stop scoffing at the idea of a ‘smart home’

Dave Limp, Senior Vice President of Amazon Devices, introduces the 'smart plug' during an event at the Amazon Spheres, on September 20, 2018 in Seattle Washington.

Stephen Brashear | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Dave Limp, Senior Vice President of Amazon Devices, introduces the ‘smart plug’ during an event at the Amazon Spheres, on September 20, 2018 in Seattle Washington.

Earlier this year, Amazon launched a $25 smart plug that lets you control any outlet in your home by voice with an Amazon Echo. That means you can control any lamp, appliance or anything else that plugs into an outlet by speaking a phrase to Alexa like “turn on the living room lamp,” without having to find a switch. It even lets you add other smarts, like a schedule so the light turns on and off at certain times.

It’s a really easy way to turn a “dumb” home into a smart one that you can control with your phone or by voice. You don’t need to fiddle with complicated hubs or spend too much time trying to get something to connect to your WiFi network.

If you can plug in a lamp, you can get the smart plug working. I’m going to show you how to get the most out of it.

This is the smart plug

Amazon smart plug

Amazon smart plug

It’s very simple. Think of it as a sort of adapter that adds the brains to anything you want to plug into an outlet. It will let you schedule an appliance to turn on and off at a certain time, enable you to turn it on or off even when you’re away from home and let you activate it by speaking to Alexa.

All you need to do is take the smart plug, plug in the appliance to one end —it makes the most sense with a lamp because it’s a simple on/off appliance, but you can use anything from a humidifier to a fan — and then plug it into the wall.


A computer will help Somerset mother and son attain educational goals

Somerset resident Matilda Archer, 39, has spent the last 12 years taking care of her son, Dijon Archer, who brings her unimaginable joy.

Many who know her at the Somerville-based Jewish Family Services of Hunterdon, Warren and Somerset Counties say that she is thoughtful and always has a positive outlook on life. Archer and her son are part of the organization’s family mentor program, which provides tutoring once a week for her son, Dijon, who is in seventh grade, has a little trouble focusing, and the program is helping him keep his education on track.

She said her son has a variety of interests typical of a young man his age, including playing sports and hanging out with friends.

Archer said that while his grades have improved since participating in the mentoring program, having a computer would really help him because almost everything they do in school now is online.

This would also help her with her dream of finishing her college degree, as everything is also done mostly online in higher education as well.

Before deciding to go back to school, Archer worked at Player One Amusement Group doing accounting until Aug. 15 of this year.

“We nominated Matilda (for the Courier News Wish Book program) because she was recently laid off by her company, which was very hard for her because she is a single mother working to support her family,” said Young-ln Shin, family mentor coordinator at Jewish Family Services. “She is using this difficult time to better herself and improve the quality life of her whole family.”

“She is looking to go back to community college to finish her associate degree,” Shin said. “This has been a long-term dream of hers to get a degree.”

Archer said that because of her financial situation, she has not been able to complete her accounting degree even though she already has 49 credits. Her current situation has given her a golden opportunity to realize her dream.

“Raritan Valley Community College has a program that helps you go back to school if you’re unemployed,” explained Archer.

“A computer would help my whole family,” Archer added.

Jewish Family Services is a non-profit, non-sectarian, community organization which provides counseling, family mentor programs, senior mentor programs, and programs to help clients prepare for and find better job opportunities.


Google Pixel 3 Lite leaks again, right next to a Pixel 3 this time

Although it has in the past said it’s only focusing on the high end of the marketplace with its smartphones, Google is now working on a mid-range Pixel 3 version. This device, codenamed Sargo, has been leaked a week ago for the first time, and since then we’ve also seen purported camera samples.

Today Sargo (which is going to be called Google Pixel 3 Lite) leaks again, this time in a shot in which it’s right next to a Pixel 3.

If the similarities between these two handsets are confusing to you, note that the Lite model is on the left, the Pixel 3 on the right. The Lite’s screen is marginally taller than the Pixel 3’s, as it has a 5.56″ diagonal (compared to 5.5″) and an aspect ratio of 18.5:9, not 18:9.

The Pixel 3 Lite is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 670 SoC, and it has 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (though hopefully this is just the base amount and you’ll be able to buy a model with 64GB too), and a 2,915 mAh battery. Incidentally, that’s the exact same battery capacity as the Pixel 3.

The Lite is also expected to employ the same 12 MP rear camera as its higher priced sibling, which means it would instantly become the mid-ranger with the best main snapper. On the front you’ll get a single 8 MP unit for selfies, that might be the ‘normal’ cam seen in the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. No dual selfie shooters here, though.

Obviously the Pixel 3 Lite should run Android 9 Pie, but the bad news is that it may only be offered in specific developing markets. At the rate it’s started leaking, we assume an official announcement can’t be too far off in the future. Oh, and one more thing: the Pixel 3 Lite has a headphone jack.


New Coolpad m3 budget handset gets a quiet China unveiling

Coolpad has been keeping a rather low profile lately, with the possible exception of a recent patent infringement scandal with Xiaomi springing to mind. Still, that doesn’t mean the Shenzhen company has stopped releasing devices, mostly potentially interesting budget offers in particular. It’s just been doing so without much fanfare.

The same is true for the new Coolpad M3, already on sale at JD.com for CNY 799, or just around $115. That budget price tag gets you a 5.85-inch, 1512 x 720 pixel, 19:9 LCD display, complete with a rather sizeable notch, but otherwise, surprisingly thin bezels, if renders are to be believed. Body measurement work out to 149.8 x 72.3 x 8.95 mm and 171 grams, which is not too bad, considering the panel size. We can’t really say the same about the rather small 2,800 mAh battery, as related to the thickness of the m3.

Coolpad m3 Coolpad m3 Coolpad m3 Coolpad m3 Coolpad m3
Coolpad m3

The camera setup includes a 13 MP + 5 MP setup on the back, with the latter sensor likely only up for depth-sensing duty. On the selfie side – 5MP, with AI Face recognition and AI Beautification. And just to finish the outside tour off – a rear-mounted fingerprint reader, 3.5mm audio jack, MicroUSB 2.0 port, rather unconventionally placed on the top bezel and a dual Nano SIM tray. As for the innards – A MediaTek MT6750 chipset, with eight Cortex-A53 cores and maximum clock of 1.5GHz and a fairly decent connectivity load-out: 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth V4.0. Memory is set at 4GB and 32GB for storage, expandable via MicroSD.

The Coolpad m3 ships with Android 8.1 Oreo and is available in Blue Sea and Gentleman’s Enamel colors. If you are interested, hit up the source link.


What happens when a KTM RC200 hits a metal grill at 125 Kmph

Image result for What happens when a KTM RC200 hits a metal grill at 125 KmphYou can never be fully prepared for riding on Indian roads. Even after decades of riding experience, the obstacles that you may encounter on our highways will surprise you. The statement above gets confirmed in the near-miss video of a KTM RC200 that was uploaded on Youtube. In the video, the rider encounters a metal grill on the highway while riding at 125 kmph. Take a look at the video.

The rider was riding his KTM RC200 on the highway, with moderate in sight, so he was doing the speeds of 120-130 km/h. In the most unexpected turn of events, out of nowhere, a metal grill appeared in the middle of the road. The rider somehow managed to save himself from a fatal crash by applying the brakes effectively, while also avoiding locking up.

Although the rider survives the crash miraculously, the metal grill gets stuck to his gear lever and drags along with the bike. He separates the metal grill but a weird sound starts coming from his bike. There is no physical damage visible in the video but there is a good chance that some internal components may have been damaged.

KTM RC200 has no ABS unlike it’s elder brother, the RC390. Still, the bike is not a slow motorcycle by any means. Its liquid cooled 199-cc engine produces 29.85 PS of power and 19.2 NM of torque, it has a top speed of 140 kmph, which is more than enough for riding on our highways. The incident just goes to show how important ABS is, especially, in a country like ours.

Aside from the usual dogs, cows and bad drivers, you can also add a metal grill to the list of things to watch out for while riding on Indian highways. The situation could have been handled well by the ABS but it is always advisable to not to ride faster than the recommended speed limit. The rider managed the situation effectively because just ahead of the metal grill was a Toyota Fortuner and a luggage truck which he also had to overtake. The lesson to be learned here is only one that you can never truly expect what you may face on our roads. So always stay sharp while riding.


The Apple Watch Is Inching Toward Becoming a Medical Device

The Apple Watch Is Inching Toward Becoming a Medical Device

Apple is trying to turn its smartwatch from a niche gadget into a lifeline to better health by slowly evolving it into a medical device.

In its fourth incarnation, called the Series 4 and due out later this month, the Apple Watch will add features that allow it to take high-quality heart readings and detect falls. It’s part of Apple’s long-in-the-making strategy to give people a distinct reason to buy a wrist gadget that largely does things smartphones already do.

Since the Apple Watch launched in April 2015 , most people haven’t figured out why they need to buy one. Apple doesn’t release sales figures, but estimates from two analysts suggest the company shipped roughly 18 million of the gadgets in 2017. Apple sold almost twelve times as many iPhones – 216 million – that year. Apple shipped another 7.3 million during the first half of this year, according to Canalys Research, compared to more than 93 million iPhones.

Worldwide, about 48 million smartwatches are expected to be sold this year compared to nearly 1.9 billion phones, according to the research firm Gartner.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has long aimed to emphasise the health- and fitness-tracking abilities of the smartwatch. The original version featured a heart-rate sensor that fed data into fitness and workout apps so they could suggest new goals and offer digital “rewards” for fitness accomplishments.

Two years later, Apple called its watch “the ultimate device for a healthy life,” emphasizing water resistance for swimmers and built-in GPS for tracking runs or cycling workouts. In February, the company announced that the watch would track skiing and snowboarding runs , including data on speed and vertical descent.

The latest Apple Watch version unveiled Wednesday is pushing the health envelope even further – in particular by taking electrocardiograms, or EKGs, on the device, a feature given clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Apple said. The watch will also watch for irregular heartbeats and can detect when the wearer has fallen, the company said.

EKGs are important tests of heart health that typically require a doctor visit. The feature gained an onstage endorsement from Ivor Benjamin, a cardiologist who heads the American Heart Association, who said such real-time data would change the way doctors work.

“This is enormous,” Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen said of the Apple Watch’s EKG feature. It could turn smartwatches “from something people buy for prestige into something they buy for more practical reasons,” he said.

It could also lead some health insurance plans to subsidise the cost of an Apple Watch, Nguyen said. That would help defray the $400 (roughly Rs. 28,600) starting price for a device that still requires a companion iPhone that can now cost more than $1,000 (roughly Rs. 72,000).

The watch will use new sensors on the back and on the watch dial. A new app will say whether each reading is normal or shows signs of atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rate that increases the risk of heart complications, such as stroke and heart failure.

Apple says the heart data can be shared with doctors through a PDF file, though it’s not yet clear how ready doctors are to receive a possible flood of new EKG data from patients – nor how useful they will find the electronic files.

This new features will be available to US customers later this year, Apple said – an indication that it may not be ready for launch.

Fall detection could also be significant, especially for elderly users. The new Apple Watch claims to be able to tell the difference between and trip and a fall – and when the latter occurs, it will suggest calling 911. If it receives no response within a minute, the watch will automatically place an emergency call and message friends and family designated as emergency contacts.

Only certain Apple Watch models support cellular calls, but those that don’t can still make emergency calls when near a paired iPhone or Wi-Fi service.

Apple says it monitored some 2,500 people – measuring how they fell off ladders, missed a step while walking or got their legs caught in their pants while getting dressed. It used that data to separate real falls from other heavy wrist movements, such as clapping and hammering.

The feature will turn on automatically for users 65 and over; younger people can activate it in the settings. “I can see kids buying one for their parents and grandparents,” said analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights.

But the Apple Watch still lacks one feature found in rival wrist gadgets: the ability to analyse sleep quality. Battery life in the new watch remains at 18 hours, meaning it needs a daily – or nightly – recharge.


He’s Head Of Japan’s Cybersecurity But Has “Never Used A Computer”

He's Head Of Japan's Cybersecurity But Has 'Never Used A Computer'

Japan’s recently appointed cybersecurity and Olympics minister has told parliament he has never used a computer in his life, though he is responsible for overseeing cybersecurity preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.

Yoshitaka Sakurada, 68, was named to the two posts last month by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, having never held a cabinet position before during his 18 years in parliament.

The minister made the admission at a parliamentary committee meeting on Wednesday when asked by an opposition lawmaker if he was computer literate.

“I’ve been independent since I was 25 and have always directed my staff and secretaries to do that kind of thing,” Sakurada replied. “I’ve never used a computer!”

Sakurada had said that he recognised that “firmly carrying out cybersecurity from a citizen’s standpoint” was part of his job.

When asked by the lawmaker how someone lacking computer skills could be in charge of cybersecurity, Sakurada said policy was decided broadly by a number of people in his office and the national government, and he was confident there would be no problems.



Thugs Of Hindostan Box Office Collection Day 2: Despite A ‘Decline’ At The Ticket Window, Aamir Khan’s Film Earns Rs. 81.50 Crore

Thugs Of Hindostan Box Office Collection Day 2: Despite A 'Decline' At The Ticket Window, Aamir Khan's Film Earns Rs 81.50 Crore

Vijay Krishna Acharya’s Thugs Of Hindostan couldn’t have got a better start at the box office as the film has managed to collect a whopping sum of Rs. 81.50 crore (adding the business of Tamil and Telugu releases) within two days of its release, reports Bollywood trade analyst Taran Adarsh. However, the film’s performance witnessed a dip in its performance on Friday as it managed to collect Rs. 28.25 crore. According to Mr Adarsh, the film needs to perform well on Saturday as well as Sunday in order to keep its performance at the box office intact. Mr Adarsh tweeted: “Thugs Of Hindostan has to show a positive upturn on Day 3 [today], else its sustainability from Day 5 [Mon] onwards will be extremely doubtful…One thing is crystal clear. Thugs Of Hindostan has not met the monumental expectations…The BO numbers are doing the talking now.”