(Link) – To play the game

Closing: 22 November 2009

A big hello to all the readers of The Singapore Gadget Talk Show. My name is Alan and this is my 1st post on this blog. In this post, I will take you through a thorough review of one of the gadget that I use everyday-Belkin USB 2.0 7-Port Hub.

The part number of the device is F5U237-APL-S and it is silver in color. Let me start by giving you a rundown of the specifications of the device.

· 7 USB 2.0 ports capable of up to 480Mbps transfer
· 2 top loading USB ports, 5 USB ports at back of USB hub
· Backward compatible with USB 1.1 (Up to 12Mbps transfer)
· Plug-and-Play
· Stackable design
· Support hot-swapping of USB devices
· LED lights to monitor USB port and power status
· Overcurrent detection and safety
· Lifetime Warranty

Power supply: 5V, 2.8A

System Requirements:
· PC: Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port available and Windows 98 SE/2000/ME/XP/Vista/7
· Mac: Full-Speed USB port available with Mac OS 9.2 and above or Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port available with Mac OS X 10.2.8 and above

Package contents:
· USB 2.0 7-Port USB Hub
· Power Adapter
· USB Device Cable (Mini to standard plug)
· User Manual

· Hi-Speed USB 2.0 specification
· Open Host Controller Interface (OHCI)
· FCC for home and office
· CE emmissions and immunity standards
· C-Tick
· USB Implementers Forum
· Windows Hardware Quality Labs

Review performed on: MACBOOK (White) 1st generation 1.83Ghz Intel Core Duo Processor with Windows 7 Ultimate RTM booted from internal Hard Disk and MAC OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.1 booted from USB Hard Disk

This device is listed on Belkin’s website as a desktop USB hub. (I think it is due to the size of the power brick.) I am using it with my MACBOOK (I am a laptop person. Desktop is not my thing.) at home as my MACBOOK only has 2 USB ports. Whenever I am home, I will just grab my MACBOOK out, plug in the USB port of the USB hub to 1 of my USB port on the MACBOOK and power up the USB hub. On the USB hub, I left my Genius pen tablet, external Samsung DVD writer and HP Deskjet F2235 All-In-One connected. So whenever I need to use the devices, I will just need to switch on the power for the devices and they are good to go.

1 feature that I really like about the USB hub is the LED lights on the front of the USB hub. The LED lights give the user a good view of the status of each of the USB port on the USB Hub.

From left to right: Power LED light, 2 LED lights for the 2 top loading USB ports, 5 LED lights for the 5 USB ports at the back of the USB hub

If a device is powered and connected to any USB port on the USB hub, the corresponding LED light will light up in green and the device should be detected by the PC. If the LED light does not come on after a device is powered and connected to a USB port on the USB hub, something is wrong somewhere. This makes device troubleshooting a lot more easier and ensure that Plug-and-Play do not become Plug-and-Pray.

As this USB hub that I am using now is a replacement to my previous Belkin USB hub that was dead, I will like to talk about another plus point of this device-Lifetime warranty. The previous Belkin USB hub that I used was exactly the same as this 1. Just that it was in black color. It went dead after 7 to 8 years of use (Quite long longevity.) as the LED lights for some of the USB ports came on even though I did not plug in any device. Even if I plug in a device into the affected USB ports, the device does not get detected. So the usual process of RMA is to call the technical support of Belkin and go through various levels of troubleshooting before they will grant the RMA. As I am dead sure that my USB hub was dead, I felt that to be an absolute waste of time. The problem with Belkin technical support is that they are outsourced. So the folks at the call center assume that the callers are noobs. (Which I am not.) So they tried to put me through all the levels of technical support but I will cut them off and force them to give me a case ID. After I got the case ID, I went straight to Ban Leong (Belkin’s distributor) and they gave me the replacement. So Belkin owners, learn this trick!

In terms of the design of the USB hub, the 2 top loading USB ports are good for easy connection of USB thumb drive or portable USB hard disks. (I call them palm drives.) The USB hub is also stackable when you connect them via daisy chain. The power supply to each of the USB port on the USB hub is also good as it can power up USB hard disks reliably.

· 2 top loading USB ports
· Stackable
· LED indicator lights
· Lifetime warranty
· Windows and MAC compatible

· Technical support

See more photos of the device here

Sony Ericsson finally release their touchscreen lineup. Touchscreen has not been Sony Ericssion forte so far hence with these phones they finally report to the local touchscreen market.

Several highlights include Sony Ericssion finally uses MicroSD slot for these phones and Symbian as the operating system.

Aino Specifications:

  • 8.1 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
  • 3” TFT Capacitive Touchscreen, Accelerometer sensor
  • MicroSD
  • HSPDA, WiFi, Bluetooth
  • FM Radio
  • Standard battery, Li-Po 1000 mAh

(Link) – GSM Areana Sony Aino Preview


Satio specifications:

  • 12 MP, 4000 x 3000 pixels, autofocus, xenon flash, video LED flash
  • 3.5” TFT 16 million colours, Accelerometer sensor
  • MicroSD Card Slot
  • HSDPA, WiFi, Bluetooth
  • Symbian Series 60, 5th Edition
  • ARM Cortex A8 600 MHz
  • FM Radio
  • A-GPS
  • Standard battery, Li-Po 1000 mAh

(Link) GSM Arena Sony Satio Preview

Obviously Samsung and Sony Ericsson (SE) are the few companies that are so engrossed in the megapixels war. Samsung managed to tip SE to sell the world first’s mobile phone with a 12 megapixels phone! Sony Ericsson’s version of the 12 megapixels will hit the local shore only on the 24th of October.

Pixon 12 is on Singtel for S$548 (2 year plan), m1 (S$668) and Starhub (S$698). All plans are more or less at about S$25 to S$29 bucks a month. Pixon 12 is NOT a smartphone. It runs on a Samsung developed operating system. But in any case the Pixon 12 has nearly everything you need in a phone, including Wi-Fi and a micro-SD slot. The only thing it can’t do is the luxury of applications that the likes of Android and Apple OS have.

So its rather expensive depending on how you look at it. I mean if you are really looking for a phone with great camera, Pixon 12 is probably one of the best in the market.

(Link) – GSM Arena review

There have been lots of electronics gadget out in the market over the past couple of weeks. Sony announce their new Vaios and Canon also launch their new cameras as well. Meantime, Asus has team up with Garmin to offer a really unique phone to the consumers.

G60 comes with a little history. First of all, G60 is one of the first phones made by the partnership of GPS-maker, Garmin and computer-maker, Asus. Asus has also announced that they will not be producing PDA phones solely under their brand name for now. (Link – CNET Asia)

Secondly, G60 was originally announced way back in the January of 2008. (Link - Engadget) And its finally found its way to the consumer under the brand name of Garmin-Asus. G60 is also known as the “nuvifone” though you won’t see it on the Starhub web store.

The biggest selling point is surely the full featured GPS suite (see review link) in the G60 itself. I think the car GPS holder will be bundled as well.

G60 runs on Linux OS with customised User Interface

  • 112 x 58 x 14 mm, 137g
  • 3.55” TFT Resistive Screen, 65K Colours
  • 4G internal storage
  • 128MG ram
  • microSD card slot
  • WiFi, 3.5G
  • Bluetooth
  • 3.15 Megapixels Camera, 2048x1536 pixels, autofocus
  • Document viewer

Strange factor: 2.5mm audio jack. Oh my. 

Price point: G60 is such a unique phone that if you are looking forward to a phone that is really also a GPS, you nearly have no other choices. Starhub is offering G60 at S$438 with a average 2 year plan. I couldn’t find Garmin Asus on Singtelshop.com at all while M1 only offer Garmin Asus M20. Have to say it is a little pricey but a GPS also cost around that price!

(Link) – Engadget Mobile (including a video of the GPS in action!)


Engadget reported that it is the microphone cable that could potentially be cooked, leading to the voluntary recall. And only seems to affect those made before 15th September.

Acer Singapore said they will replace the parts.

(Link) – Check if your Acer is implicated
(Link) – Engadget report 
(Link) – The Straits Times

Today I finally visited the Audio House at Liang Court. I have been to the one at Sims Drive. Not too impressive. However, I heard the Liang Court outlet is different, really spacious and have lots of product on display. And it certainly is from I saw today.

The concept is really to classify everything and place them at in order which really makes the store looks organized.

I walked around and my attention was drawn to this Blu-ray player, the Philips BDP-3000. The Philips promotion is to trade in your old DVD player to get this at S$299 (Usual price is S$399).

But Audio House is selling it straight at S$299 without trade-in! I am pretty sure most of the other place is sticking to the Philips promotion.

Anyhow, it is one Blu-ray player that does nearly everything. It reads VCD. It rips CDs onto USB Thumbdrive (I was surprised, its a really nice function). It plays some formats of video on thumbdrive.

  • Picture enhancement: High Def (720p, 1080i, 1080p), Progressive Scan, Video upscaling
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Playback media: BD Video, BD-R/RE 2.0, DVD, DVD-Video, DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW, Video CD, DivX, CD-R/CD-RW, CD
  • Compression formats: H.264, VC-1, MPEG2, WMV, DivX Ultra, XviD
  • Connections: HDMI output, Component Video output, Digital coaxial out, Composite video (CVBS) output, Analogue audio Left/Right out, Ethernet, USB: firmware upgrade and BD-Live

While I see no point getting a Blu-ray player since Blu-ray movies are so highly priced, BDP3000 is probably a nice upgrade from your probably really old player (i know, its laptops for everything now, but its good to stay away from laptops after work).

If you still think its expensive, a certain game console plays Blu-ray movies as well as the latest games at about S$400+.

(Link) – Specifications
(Link) – This site has this promotion up days ago.


The Acer Aspire 7735Z has a whopping 17.3” display! And it is stated that this monster has a LED screen. Cool stuff here. Maybe it is a typo?

I was always amuse by laptops with super big display. I mean it is ironic that laptop is suppose to so called “portable”; 17.3” is only technically portable. It is, in my opinion not practically portable.

Anyhow, the brochure has 2 pages. The first page is something about spending S$120 and you will get to spin something.

Check it out. (Link)


Looks like Singtel is really getting some great scoop thesedays.. They have the retail rights to the top prize, iPhone. They also have plenty of HTC (including HTC Touch 2 on pre-order now). And now, pre-ordering for Acer’s latest Windows Mobile 6.5 equipped phones!

Speaking on Windows Mobile 6.5, it finally made its appearance this week. However, even before its launch in Singapore, those guys at Engadget have their review of the new operating system up already! (Link) This will definitely give you a better idea of the capabilities of the beTouch and neoTouch (really weird names I have to say, if beTouch is “To be touch”, which I can understand, what is neoTouch?)

Anyways, preorder at Singtelshop.com. I check out the site and I could not find the pricing anywhere! Wow, Singtel is anticipating consumer to pre-order without knowing the price? I mailed the coordinating unit and will return to update this post once I get a reply.

For now, check out the looks and the specifications:

beTouch E101

beTouch is interesting because it is a Windows Mobile 6.5 phone without Wi-Fi and it features a scroll wheel! Oh my, no Wi-Fi is a strange decision. Anyway beTouch is a different choice to the neoTouch since its probably targeting the young crowd with less features, meaning a lower price point.

  • 3.2” TFT Resistive Touchscreen with 65,000 colours
  • 113 x 56 x 12.8mm, 118g
  • Scroll Wheel
  • 256 RAM and 512 ROM with Qualcomm MSM 7225 528 MHz processor
  • Changeable battery cover with white as default (lime green, red or pink)
  • 3.5G, with Bluetooth (A2DP) and MiniUSB
  • 2 megapixels camera
  • A-GPS
  • Pocket Office


neoTouch has Wi-Fi instead and a bigger screen. But no scroll wheel. But the obvious trump card here is the 1GHz processor! Looking forward to see the performance with this one, new processor, new operating system.

  • 3.8” TFT Resistive Touchscreen with 65,000 colours
  • 118.6 x 56 x 12.8mm, 130g
  • Wi-FI
  • 256 RAM and 512 ROM with Qualcomm MSM 7225 1Ghz processor
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • 3.5G, with Bluetooth (A2DP) and MiniUSB
  • 5 MP, 2560х1920 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
  • A-GPS
  • Pocket Office

And finally, additional reasons to buy ACER; out of the press release that was mailed to us:

Customers who purchase any of the two phones will enjoy the following:

· Sign up for MobileM@il Exchange 1GB at $9.95/ month* (50 percent discount off normal subscription of $19.90/month). The data plan comes with 1GB of bundled data, allowing customers to surf the Internet and access their emails on-the-go affordably. MobileM@il Exchange customers will also enjoy free access to PHONESafe service, a mobile phone security solution that allows customers to lock their handsets and backup important data remotely.

· Customers who purchase the phones with any of SingTel’s Youth plans will enjoy free IM on Mobile for 12 months, PHONESafe for 6 months and 50 per cent discount for BroadBand on Mobile Plus (1GB) (normal subscription is $19.90/month). This is on top of the youth perks of Free Unlimited SMS (to any service provider) and Free Camp / Campus Calls.


Update 18/10/2009: Singtel’s price for beTouch, S$138 (2 year plan) and neoTouch, S$398 (2 year plan)

The biggest selling point about M15x is really the processor and graphics card. The following specifications are the possible options only, since this Alienware series are customizable to your preferences.

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 920XM 2.0Ghz
  • Graphics Card: 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M
  • Ram: Dual-channel 1333MHz DDR3
  • Storage: Solid State Drive
  • Optical Drive: Blu-ray drive
  • Display: 15.6 " Full HD (1080p) WLED (1920 x 1080) Display with TrueLife(TM )

Repeating myself, these specifications are really top of the line and you can check out our graphics here. So if the internal is so good, what about the external?

The first impression of M15x is more a ‘zeng’ laptop. It is REALLY a gaming laptop. LEDs at the speakers, logo, keyboard and trackpad. I think that the Alienware team made sure that the M15x is shipped in a bold red shade for good measure as well. Surely that there is no second thoughts about it, it is REALLY a GAMING laptop. Coupled with the Alienware’s Alien head-shaped logo, its a complete gaming package on the outside.

I also tried out the trackpad and illuminated keyboard. The former is brilliant, it has got a leather-like material on it while the latter has a nice feel as well but the keys are kind of small I feel. VT thought I cannot see well in the dark (the room is pretty dark, but I am confident about my eyes!)

The screen is good, contrast and sharpness is there. And the speakers? I couldn’t try them at all as the environment does not allow me to.

I also notice that this machine does not come with HDMI output, instead it has a DisplayPort. AND, it is not a light machine, it is about 4KG +. But I think if you are getting a gaming notebook, that means you are gaming on the move and does not priorities weight and you are not going to have a external monitor/TV near you.

In short, if you are looking to buy a gaming notebook that packs style and power, the Alienware M15x is definitely one of your choices. But you might want to test the speakers out (there is no mention of Sub-woofer capabilities).

As for Area-51, it is BIG. VT cannot stop commenting that its big and I have to agree. This even bigger than the Cooler Master Centurion and the Acer Lamborghini Desktop (or about same size). I thought its really big. Aparting from being BIG, Area-51 is very stylish as well. However, its strength lies in what is inside, which is again customizable and below are the possible options.

  • Processor: Overclocked Intel Core i7 3.6Ghz Quad Core (8mb Cache)
  • Graphic Card: Dual 1.8GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 – SLI enabled
  • Ram: DDR3 1333Mhz (Triple Channel)
  • Storage: 10,000 RPM or Solid State Drives with RAID
  • Optical Drive: 6x Blu-ray Burner
  • Display: 21.5” / 2ms / 80,000:1 (Alienware Series)

The build of this machine however is not as solid as it looks. Not that it is bad but it is probably a little too plastic for my liking. As for the keyboard, it looks really cool and nothing much you can complain about it.

Well I guess most PC gamers buy and build their own machines from SLS. But I do know some which does not know how to build a solid one. So in the end, time and effort wasted and yet cannot enjoy a good gaming experience.

If you happened to be in this category, Alienware Area-51 is then a great choice.

All-in-all, its really about GAMING with Alienware and I think DELL is probably heading the right way by acquiring Alienware 3 years ago. However, hardware specifications has a rapid refresh rate and its really up to Dell to keep up with it.

And as a final note, these machines currently shipped with Windows Vista (yes I know its a turn-off), but they are eligible for a FREE Windows 7 upgrade when the new Operating System ships later this month. Check with the DELL guys for more information!

You can get an Alienware (cannot find desktop link!): M-Series notebook: (Link)

Finally a small clip of the graphics that I recorded that day.

VT and I attended the launch event for Alienware M15x Gaming Laptop and Area-51 Desktops. Dell took over Alienware 3 years ago and really took their time in producing new products. 3 years later, Singapore finally see Alienware officially retailing locally.

For those whom haven’t really got to know Alienware, basically, they have a few reputations:

  1. Raw processing power: Simply the latest and most powerful hardware
  2. Superb build quality
  3. Customise-To-Order: You can mix and match the hardware parts

These reputations are again evident in the NEW M15x and Area-51. The hardware specifications are really, really the top of the line in Singapore.

Alienware M15x

Alienware Area-51

The theme of the launch event is really trying underline these reputations. First of all, Dell (yes, its Dell’s Alienware!) has invited a team of Pro (or semi-pro) to demonstrate the immense processing power of Alienware M15x and Area-51 by battling it out in a game of BlackShot (yes, some of them are on M15x, a laptop). The graphics and speed of on the action on the monitor was outstanding. It is really strange to see a laptop dishing out such pretty graphics though.

Then a 6 men media team was invited to challenge 2 men gamers’ team. Again on the same game and I think the media guys are impressed by those hardware given that they beat the gamers’ team in this unfair challenge. And the top shooter actually won a Dell Mini 9!

Surely you are curious about the Alienware M15x and Area-51? Stay tune for the next post with some pictures of the laptops.

Thanks to Sadaf from XPR for the invite to the event!

For more information, you can visit BumpTop.
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