Accessories

One month with Xiaomi’s Yuemi mechanical keyboard

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Xiaomi is more popularly known as a Chinese smartphone maker that delivers great hardware for good value, but in recent years, Xiaomi has embraced several sub-brands to help expand its vision of a Mi ecosystem. Recently, I was able to get hold of Xiaomi’s first keyboard — a mechanical TKL keyboard by a company called Yuemi.

MATERIALS

The keyboard (model name MK01) comes in only one variant; the entire upper half is made out of white plastic, while the entire bottom half is made of aluminum alloy with a silver finish that’s a tad bit glossier than Apple’s Macs. The keycaps have a matte texture and are made from PC/ABS material, which basically means plastic, but a separate piece of plastic is used for the letters to make sure they never fade. The plate on the top half has a glossy finish; while it looks great, expect fingerprints to become more prominent as you use the keyboard.

 

DESIGN

Design-wise, it reminds me of Apple, but one thing that strays from that is the choice of fonts. While I do like the overall aesthetic of the keyboard (clean and minimalist), I don’t agree with the choice of fonts. It’s a font I’ve never seen used elsewhere and definitely feels off at first glance. However, I’ve gotten used to it over time and hardly ever think about it when using the keyboard.

Something I did like was the raised set of keys, so your fingers can easily jump from one row to another and be able to distinguish one row from the next. If the inclined keys still aren’t enough for you, the rubber feet at the bottom give them just the right amount of height for me. They feel sturdy and have a very assuring snap to them when flipping them up or pushing them back down.

 

KEYS

Unlike the majority of mechanical keyboards from US brands, the key switches aren’t the ever-popular Cherry MX, but rather TTC switches. In this case, the keyboard comes in only one variant, and that’s with TTC red switches with white backlight. Typing with the keyboard feels satisfactory. Every click is audible and only requires a reasonable amount of actuation force, which means how hard you’d have to press the keys for them to be recognized.

EXPERIENCE

Mechanical keyboards are known to be great at two things, and that’s typing and gaming, both of which I do a lot of. So, how’s my experience? Pretty good actually. Typing on the keyboard feels great; tactile feedback is very noticeable when pressing the keys, as you’d expect from a mechanical keyboard. A few skipped letters every now and then do happen, but that might just be because I’m not that used to mechanical keyboards in the first place.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

At around PhP 3,500 or roughly $70 on Banggood, is this keyboard for you? Well, these days there are a lot of options for mechanical keyboards — even ones at lower price points — but no two keyboards are exactly the same, and if the aesthetics and typing experience of the Xiaomi keyboard wins you over, then I say go for it. It might not be as cheap as I would’ve liked from a Xiaomi product, but it isn’t too expensive either when compared to more popular offerings from Razer or Corsair.

Overall, the keyboard does the job and it does it well. It doesn’t have features like RGB lighting or mappable keys, but if you’re like me and prefer a minimalist setup, this just might be your GadgetMatch.

SEE ALSO: Razer’s latest gaming laptop has three monitors — three!

[irp posts=”9288″ name=”Razer’s latest gaming laptop has three monitors — three!”]

Accessories

Mighty music player: Is this what replaces the iPod in 2018?

Why this music player is still relevant

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Today’s time sees the extinction of all other devices as the smartphone becomes the one machine that can do everything. But, what if we don’t want to do it all? What if what you need is something that’s so simple it only does (gasp!) one thing?

Music and only music

This is the premise of the Mighty music player. At a time when iPods have all but died, there’s a demand for a simple machine that’ll allow us to listen to our music without the hassle of having to bring our phones. This tiny device can do that and in updated 2018 terms — yep, it plays streaming music from your Spotify account no matter where you are.

The Mighty music player is a tiny device, no bigger than what iPod Nanos used to be. This small thing will definitely fit in whatever purse you bring.

Its face is all buttons and a tiny LED light. On the back is a simple clip.

There’s only one port on this thing, an audio port that’s used for both charging and earphones on the top side.

Play sounds

Mighty works by accessing your Spotify account. Unlike iPods that stored music data, this thing just streams playlists from the app. You’d need to download the Might app, connect your player, and pick playlists to be copied before you can get down to actual fuss-free listening.

Once that’s done, you can take your Mighty anywhere and play your music anywhere — or at least, the playlists you’ve downloaded on to Mighty. Take note that as of now, you can only copy playlists and not artists, albums, or anything else.

Imagine all the possibilities. You can now go to the gym without any alerts or distractions; take that jog outside without having to worry about carrying your smartphone! Heck, you can even zone out on your commute without having to fiddle around your bag to find your phone and play that song you’re in the mood for.

In today’s technology-tangled time, things are just getting more complicated and we’re just given more and more tasks and distractions. The Mighty player brings you back to simpler times. Well, simpler times where music streaming and Spotify exist!

Think about it: Uninterrupted sounds without having to worry about carrying your phone, message alerts that come in, or phone battery time. Isn’t that the dream?

Mighty says it’s the reality.

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Accessories

OnePlus introduces Explorer Backpack — and I want it!

Launching along with the OnePlus 6T

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All eyes will be on the OnePlus 6T launch at the end of this month, but my money will likely be spent on the accompanying backpack instead.

OnePlus revealed through its official forum that the new Explorer Backpack is set to be revealed on October 30, as well.

As you may or may not know, the tech startup is no stranger to creating sleek accessories to match whatever phone they have in stock; I myself had their first-generation backpack.

While it wasn’t the best backpack in the world — it wore out easily and got replaced by the more rugged Xiaomi backpack I use now — Project Manager Donna L. touts that this model will last for “years to come.”

There are no pictures of the interior, but it supposedly has multiple compartments, including a secret pocket on the back — which is important for a techie such as myself who has multiple gadgets at once.

Other features include a compartment with breathable vents, premium magnetic Fidlock, and two colors to choose from: Slate Black or Morandi Green.

Price and availability will hopefully be announced on stage in New York. I can already smell it.

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Freitag R523 Hoffmann: Recycled laptop bags have never looked this good

Each bag is literally one-of-a-kind

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Continuing the never-ending search for a laptop bag I’d actually use, Freitag’s R523 Hoffmann was the next victim.

A good laptop bag is essential to your work, and your #OOTDs! When shopping for a bag that will house one of my most prized possessions (not to mention, the tool that gives me my living) there are certain considerations: Is the bag spacious enough? Will it protect my computer? Will I be able to carry it around on long days? Does it ruin my outfit?

So, does the Hoffman live up to my standards? What’s so special about this brand? Let’s find out.

What’s the deal with Freitag?

It’s really not your usual brand. Zurich-based Freitag boasts that each bag is made of truck tarpaulin, each one selected (yes, they have special truck spotters), washed, and cut to create bags — each one entirely unique to others.

So yes, these bags are made out of recycled materials but they look oh so good.

Also, they’re heavy-duty because, well, they are made out of materials designed to be outdoors under all elements. A big plus: That makes these bags waterproof, which is a great thing because I’m putting my laptop in it.

The bag I tried on for size was the Hoffmann:

Look and feel

My pick was a white bag because you can never go wrong with this color. It looks crisp, classic, and ready to match any given outfit.

Interestingly, it doesn’t seem like it’s a bag that’s made out of tarpaulin — at least not how I imagined a tarpaulin bag would look. It’s classy and it matches even business or work outfits which is great for those long meeting days. Also worth noting: Its texture gives off a great look and feel.

It has a strap handle which is pretty sturdy; no way this will break even when you have a laptop (and a whole lot of other things like I do 🙈).

It also has a longer strap so you can wear it around your shoulder. If you’re like me and you have frail arms, this feature is a godsend.

These straps are also very sturdy and adjustable. The better to carry everything you need with!

What’s inside?

There are two outside pockets for stuff you want to keep but need easy access to.

And of course, it has a dedicated laptop pocket! There are also smaller side pockets inside for other stuff and knick-knacks. Great for organizing your things — no more bags that are bottomless pits of random stuff.

This is a surprisingly spacious bag. It can house my work gear (laptop, external hard drive, small camera, cords, and chargers) plus all my everyday essentials (a semi-big makeup bag, wallet, and perfume).

Final thoughts

Despite it being sourced from upcycled materials, this is one expensive-looking bag. That’s also because it is. All those good qualities come at a price, listed at CHF 314.80 on their website and priced at over PhP 20,000 from Urban Traveller & Co. in the Philippines.

Freitag’s Hoffmann offers a good-looking laptop bag made out of heavy duty materials, ensuring your machine is always safe. A big plus is that it’s recycled — a great whoop for the environment!

One thing’s for sure: When you get yourself a Freitag bag, you get more than just a bag. You get a one-of-a-kind piece that’s not only an awesome home for your laptop, it’s also a statement on how you can breathe new life into random objects with some creativity. Each one serves as an example of how you can create new and amazing things from stuff that are seemingly worthless.

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