[NEW GADGET] After the Olympic torch, Singapore is set to officially welcome the next torch; Blackberry Torch 9800. But it seems as though the interest for the latter won’t be as high as the former.

SingTel has begun to accept pre-orders for the RIM’s latest phone, its first slider cum touch screen phone. The Singapore’s oldest Telco has offered to sweeten the pre-order deal with S$50 off the handset price with a limited edition backcover.

A Blackberry with physical potrait keyboard plus capacitive touch screen sounds like a winning formula. Yet, it has been a few months since RIM officially launched the device in United States and the reviews during this period hasn’t been that favourably to be honest.

In essential, the sentiment hovers around Blackberry Torch 9800 to be a step in a good direction. It has got Blackberry OS 6, the latest from the company. And in it, is a brand new web-kit browser which has been a remarkably improvement from the old time favourites of the Blackberry Bold series. To top it off, Blackberry Torch’s outer hardware is still as brilliant as ever.

BUT, the latest OS is still not comparably against the competition in terms of speed and usability. So is it’s application store. And it’s screen resolution is in the range of being called “low res”.


  • TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Multi-touch input method
  • 4 GB storage, 512 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM
  • 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
  • 624 MHz processor

Hit the links below to see the extensive reviews of the Blackberry Torch 9800.

For me, from the Singapore’s market perspective, I think Torch 9800 is probably going to do fairly well. The reason being despite the fact that the iPhones and Android phones outperformance, Blackberry still has a rather good following in Singapore even excluding the business segment of the market. And based on this, I think Singaporeans will continue to flavour Blackberry’s superb keyboard, business class outlook and not forgetting its Blackberry messenger.

I mean Blackberry Torch is not a superhero but it does not mean that it is a villain.   

Review – Engadget
Review - Slashgear
Pre-order Page - SingTel

[NEW GADGET] Garmin-ASUS releasing Android-based Garmin-ASUS A10! Very interesting piece coming in from a co-brand alliance that used to make GPS-centric phones based on Windows mobile. Of course we all know it is not up-and-coming Windows Phone 7 but the now infamous Windows Mobile 6.5.

Android will mean a great deal to Garmin-ASUS and consumers alike. Garmin ASUS has always differentiate their products by presenting phones with strong navigating functions. It is a concept that, in my opinion, is liked by some consumers. But obviously the previous models from Garmin-ASUS hasn’t set the world alight or created strong sales figures.

The key to a successful mobile device is always two-fold; the hardware and the software.

It is not easy to create brilliant hardware of trendy and likable looks. But manufacturers are consistently getting better. Nokia with N8, Motorola with Droid (Milestone) or Samsung with Galaxy S. All great design with hardware of good specifications.

Garmin-ASUS with it’s A10, in my opinion, ranks well among competition. Based on the tried and tested design of full-touch screen and three buttons at the botton of the screen, Garmin ASUS A10 looks tidy and neat. Just about the looks of a 2010 smartphone but could potentially by let down by the 3.2” capacitive touchscreen which by today’s standards, is relatively small. More so considering the “navigating” theme of the phone. Everything else looks standard.

Garmin-Asus A10 Main Specifications:

  • Networks: HSDPA DL:7.2Mbps
  • OS: Android 2.1 (Eclair)
  • CPU: Qualcomm 7227 600MHz
  • Memory: 512 MB SDRAM + 512MB ROM, 4GB eMMC Flash
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, USB v2.0, WLAN 802.11b+g
  • GPS: Qualcomm GPSOne–Gen7 (AGPS supported)
  • Display: 3.2 HVGA TFT with capacitive touch , 65Kcolors
  • Camera: 5 megapixel, Auto Focus
  • Battery: 1500mAh Lithium
  • Expansion Slot: microSD (supports SDHC, up to 32GB)
  • 3.5mm earphone jack

On the software side, by going with Android, Garmin-ASUS has at least caught the attention of the ever-increasing Android audience. More importantly, Android OS can balanced up Garmin-ASUS’ concept of “navigating phones”. Garmin-ASUS’ past products seem to be caught in the case of bad usability due to the operating, read Windows Mobile 6.5. But with Android, it appears to me that this is A10 could yet really be a phone to reckon with and an excellent navigating system to boot.

Whether or not this is true depends usage of the final product but at least we are looking at a very good concept.

To add more chili to the laksa, here are some features of the Garmin-ASUS A10 which I find interesting.

  • Powered by NAVTEQ map data, pedestrian navigation on A10 provides accurate turn-by-turn, step-by-step directions when walking or using public transit.
  • Other NAVTEQ map content on the A10 includes speed limit information to enable warnings of potential speed violations while providing information about maximum speed on a road.
  • The A10 is also preinstalled with the equivalent capabilities of Garmin 1460 PND worth S$499.
  • A10 features Google Maps™ with Street View which enables users to take a detailed look at their destinations before embarking on navigation with just one click.
  • A large built-in point of interest (POI) database in the A10 provides real-time information on weather, movie showtimes, restaurant guides and public transportation such as bus and SMRT services.

The A10 will be available in Singapore from 25 September 2010 at all major telcos and retailers.



Media contact:

For Garmin-Asus, Singapore

Yamuna. S

Phone | + 65 9690 9273

E-Mail| yamuna@xpr.com.sg

Garmin-Asus Launches Pedestrian-Centric Advanced Android™ Smartphone with Multiple Navigation Modes

The A10 Delivers Professional Pedestrian and In-car Navigation

Singapore/ September 25, 2010 — Garmin-Asus, a co-branded alliance between Garmin® Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), and ASUSTeK® Computer Inc. (TAIEX: 2357), today announced the Singapore launch of the Garmin-Asus A10, a touchscreen smartphone running on the Android platform that boasts Garmin’s professional pedestrian and vehicle navigation. The A10 being sold in Singapore has Android 2.1 and is designed for urban professionals who travel frequently within city environments whether by foot, car or public transport with its top of the line navigation-centric system.

“The A10 is the only smartphone on the market today that not only offers multiple navigation options, but delivers one of the best experiences for pedestrian navigation to today’s urbanite – whether for shopping spree, sightseeing in the city, or just simply getting to your destination comfortably and fast,” said Andy Chen, Regional director of Garmin Asus SEA. “The A10 brings the professional navigation pedigree and power Garmin is renowned for into a sleek and compact form-factor.”

The A10 comes preloaded with the NAVTEQ® map of Singapore and Malaysia. NAVTEQ® is the world leader in premium-quality digital map data and content. Powered by NAVTEQ map data, pedestrian navigation on A10 provides accurate turn-by-turn, step-by-step directions when walking or using public transit. Other NAVTEQ map content on the A10 includes speed limit information to enable warnings of potential speed violations while providing information about maximum speed on a road. In addition, intuitive visual cues such as extended lane information helps guide drivers into the most appropriate lane as they approach complex intersections, avoiding difficult last-minute maneuvers.

“The Garmin-Asus A10 aims to deliver superior navigation experience. NAVTEQ is uniquely positioned to support Garmin-Asus through its high quality map data and innovative map content.” said Ogi Redzic, Vice President, Business Development, APAC, NAVTEQ.

The Only Smartphone to Offer Multiple Navigation Options

The A10 features distinctive pedestrian navigation functionalities and an electronic compass, making it ideal for city navigation. Both car and pedestrian navigation on the A10 does not entail any GPS data charges. The A10 is also preinstalled with the equivalent capabilities of Garmin 1460 PND worth S$499! Detailed maps powered by NAVTEQ are preloaded on the A10 so that users do not have to pay and wait for third party maps to download from a server. This also ensures that users do not lose their turn-by-turn, voice-prompted navigation even if they go out of range on their cell phone coverage. In addition, the A10 features Google Maps™ with Street View which enables users to take a detailed look at their destinations before embarking on navigation with just one click. The smartphone’s Junction View and Lane Guidance features lets users know the exact lanes to turn into at intersections. With its uniquely designed car kit, the A10 is ready for use in an automobile straight out of its packaging. The car kit comprises a powered audio mount that magnifies the volume of the handset’s voice commands. The car mount also automatically switches the A10 to hands-free mode when the phone is docked, and records the final GPS location when the phone is removed, enabling users to home in on their parking locations with ease. With the Fastest Satellite Positioning at 32 seconds^ and seamless integration of navigation features, the A10 boasts an unparalleled in-car experience.

Discovering the Real World: Robust Specifications and Location-based Services

The pocket-sized A10 has a bright 3.2” capacitive multi-touch screen and a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera that automatically geotags images with an exact location reference. A geo-tagged photo can be sent to friends who can then initiate navigation to the location by simply clicking on it. Designed to deliver a rich entertainment and productivity experience on the go, the A10 is equipped with abundant memory – 4GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM and 512MB of ROM – for work documents, multimedia files and applications. The A10 is fitted with a 1500mAh battery that ensures uninterrupted navigation, outstanding standby and talk times.

A large built-in point of interest (POI) database in the A10 provides real-time information on weather, movie showtimes, restaurant guides and public transportation such as bus and SMRT services. These Connected Services can be accessed instantly via the A10’s ‘click and go’ function.

Connecting to the Virtual World: Comprehensive Online Capabilities

The A10 has everything users need to stay connected to the people important to them and to keep updated on the events in their lives. It integrates Google™ mobile services with one-click access to Google Maps™, Gmail™, YouTube™, Google Talk™, calendar, contacts and Android Market™, where users can find thousands of applications to expand and personalize their phone to fit their individual lifestyles. 510MB of memory is dedicated exclusively to applications making it ample for over 400 applications. The A10 also supports Wi-Fi sharing which enables users to access the Internet anytime, anywhere, through any Wi-Fi capable device. Packed with a comprehensive range of features and with its unique navigational-centric system, the A10 is the ideal smartphone for those who live on-the-go.

The Garmin-Asus A10 will be available from September 25, 2010 at all major telco shops and retailers. Additional information on Garmin-Asus products can be found at sg.garminasus.com.

Garmin-Asus A10 Main Specifications:


HSDPA DL:7.2Mbps UL: 384Kpbs,UMTS 900/ 2100

EDGE/GPRS/GSM 850/900/1800/1900,


Android 2.1 (Eclair)


Qualcomm 7227 600MHz


512 MB SDRAM + 512MB ROM, 4GB eMMC Flash


Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, USB v2.0, WLAN 802.11b+g


Qualcomm GPSOne–Gen7 (AGPS supported)


3.2 HVGA TFT with capacitive touch , 65Kcolors


5 megapixel, Auto Focus


1500mAh Lithium

Standby Time

530-660 hours(2G/3G)

Talking Time

560-710 minutes(2G/3G)

Expansion Slot

microSD (supports SDHC, up to 32GB)


HTTP / Google browser


SMS / MMS / Email / Push email


Video Playback: MPEG4/H.264/H.263/WMV @ 30fps VGA

Video Recording: MPEG4/H.263 @ 30fps QVGA


Mp3/mpeg4/wma/aac, aac+, aac+/wav/midi/ogg/3.5mm earphone jack

Garmin-Asus A10 Car Mount **Features:

● When the A10 is mounted, the car mount will automatically recharge the phone.

● It automatically switches the A10 to hands-free mode.

● A built-in speaker amplifies the volume of calls and of sounds from the handset.

● When the A10 is dismounted, it will automatically record the final GPS location.

^ Depends on environment and phone usage

About Garmin-Asus
Garmin-Asus is a co-branded strategic alliance that enables Garmin Ltd. and ASUSTeK Computer Inc. to combine their complementary resources to develop world class LBS-centric mobile phones.

About Garmin Ltd.

The global leader in satellite navigation, Garmin Ltd. and its subsidiaries have designed, manufactured, marketed and sold navigation, communication and information devices and applications since 1989 – most of which are enabled by GPS technology. Garmin’s products serve automotive, mobile, wireless, outdoor recreation, marine, aviation, and OEM applications. Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in Switzerland, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit Garmin's virtual pressroom at www.garmin.com/pressroom or contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200.

About ASUS

ASUS, the world’s top 3 consumer notebook vendor and the maker of the world’s best selling and most award winning motherboards, is a leading enterprise in the new digital era. ASUS designs and manufactures products that perfectly meet the needs of today's digital home, office and person, with a broad portfolio that includes motherboards, graphics cards, displays, desktop PCs, notebooks, netbooks, servers, multimedia, wireless solutions, networking devices and mobile phones. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, ASUS won 3,268 awards in 2009, and is widely credited with revolutionizing the PC industry with the Eee PC™. With a global staff of more than ten thousand people and a world-class R&D team of 3,000 engineers, the company's revenue for 2009 was US$7.5 billion.

ASUS is a registered trademark of ASUSTeK Computer Inc. Garmin is a registered trademark of Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries.

Google, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Android and Android Market are trademarks of Google, Inc.

All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.


NAVTEQ is the leading global provider of maps, traffic and location data (digital location content) enabling navigation, location-based services and mobile advertising around the world. NAVTEQ was founded in 1985 and now supplies comprehensive digital location content to power automotive navigation systems, portable and wireless devices, Internet-based mapping applications and government and business solutions. The Chicago-based company is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010, proudly supported by approximately 5,000 employees located in 211 offices in 48 countries.

Notice on forward-looking statements:
This release includes forward-looking statements regarding Garmin Ltd. and its business. Such statements are based on management’s current expectations.  The forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this release may not occur and actual results could differ materially as a result of known and unknown risk factors and uncertainties affecting Garmin, including, but not limited to, the risk factors listed in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 26, 2010, filed by Garmin with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission file number 0-31983).  A copy of such Form 10-Q is available at www.garmin.com/aboutGarmin/invRelations/finReports.html.  No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed.  Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and Garmin undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

[REVIEW] Don’t ask me why, but I have never be a fan of the in-ear canal type of earphones. Maybe it has something to do with my character. I am a traditional guy through and through and I prefer earphones that rest nicely in the outer area of my ears. This preference for tradition means I am choosing from a very limited pool of earphones in the consumer electronics market.

Today most consumers prefer in-ear canal earphones because by squeezing the earbuds into the ear canal, the bass will be heavier and less noise from the environment will filter into the listening experience. Hence in recent years, we seem brands like Shure and Bose producing premium ear canal-fit because this type of earbuds produced superb audio experience. And more importantly, it seems that most consumers don’t find earbuds in ear canal a uncomfortable setting like I do. 

Because the trend, less and less non ear canal fit earphones are produced over the ears and it is, as I can testify, very hard to find a top range, or even mid range, pair of traditional type of earphones. The likes of Sennheiser, Sony and Creative do have some products of such nature but in general I do not like their quality and design since these manufacturers mainly focused on ear canal fit. (Senniheiser has some really good ones at nearly a hundred dollars, I obviously didn’t go ahead with it.)

It was against this backdrop when I saw Sennheiser MX 471 at Epicentre, 313 Somerset branch. It checks all the boxes for a pair of earphones that I would buy; It wasn’t a ear canal fit, it is a mid range product and it is made by Sennheiser.

MX 471 is ergonomically designed for ladies and those with smaller ears according to Sennheiser. (I have small ears.) But what’s more important than producing quality audio performance. Sennheiser’s Live Bass system sounds good.


  • Frequency response: 18 – 20000 Hz
  • Impedance: 16 Ω
  • Sound pressure level: 119 dB

And so I bought it at S$42 after a 5% Epicentre membership discount. MX 471 comes with ear pads, sleeves and a very useful storage pouch.

The design is modern and classy. The gold stripes design is unique to each pair (according to Sennheiser) and the cables are of good material. Not the rubbery kind that will tangle easily.

And indeed, they are really comfortable for my small ears.

The audio performance is certainly up to scratch. Still not comparable to the premium (not the China brands) ear canal fit earphones fit. But it is certainly punchy and packs in very good bass. And certainly MX 471 performed much better with songs of strong bass than outstanding vocals. While the treble is not on the high side, I think the overall experience is what I would expect from Sennheiser. 

I think at the end of the day, earphones designs should be a balance between comfort and audio performance. MX 471 is a good fit for me, and maybe for you too. 

Link - Official Product Page

[COMMENTARY] They already look brilliant in their previous form, now they look even better, even more innovative, more hip and like gadgets from the future.

This is not a case of an Apple fanboy promoting his own hobby. This is a case of a company consistently delivering products that set in the highest standards in the industry. This is a case of a company besting their own products again and again.

The group of iPods, iPod Touch, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle, have been refreshed and formally introduced to the world.

First up, the iPod Shuffle. The latest edition of the only iPod without display has gone back to buttons, the design of the first two generations. Strangely, no one mentioned that Apple has run out of tricks for it's Shuffle series. Anyhow, Apple is still owning this category of products since there aren't other alternatives other than Creative Stone. And when I say "this category", I mean the segment of really small audio players.

Next, the iPod Nano. Used to be the iPod that one will go for as a regular iPod, in the category of "iPod Classic is too big and I need a screen". And what happens now that the new iPod Nano becomes a premium "iPod Shuffle"?

I think Apple has a plan here, they always do; To make push those people whom previously wanted a iPod Nano to buy a iPod Touch now. It makes a lot of sense. You see, there are many people I know who "upgraded" to an iPhone from the iPod Touch. And they always say the same thing: "If only this $300 device can make a phone call". It will, but more money is required. They thought they can overcome that desire, but they usually end up buying an iPhone.

There you go, now no one can get a regular iPod with the legendary click wheel. You can either buy a very small iPod or sow a seed for iPhone.

[GADGET DEALS] Printers anyone? Printers as a product has matured so much over the years that manufacturers just ran out of ways to say “Dear consumer, it’s about time you change your printer!”.

Hang on, did they really run OUT of ways? A glance at HP COMEX’s flyer will answer this question.

A whopping over 20 models of printers with the differences down to details. Need wireless printing? Choose from Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. High printing volume? Choose from AIO or Laserjet. To make thing more interesting, HP priced its wide selection of printer very closely. The thought of choosing a printer from this pack is simply haunting.

But well, consumers prefer to have choices right?

Then again, it’s not tough right? At the end of the day, what I want is just a printer with cheap printing cost and good printing quality.

Hit the link below to get bewilder by HP’s selection of printers. Thanks Ranjeet for sending in the information.

Source: Comex 2010 HP Printers’ Flyer

[Review] My notebook is too heavy to bring it out often. And it's battery life is not too good for me to lug it around my house to read a ebook. Reading an ebook on my mobile phone makes me stare so hard at the screen that my mum thought it was photo of the girl of my dreams.

Surely you know where this is going. Yes, I joined millions around the world to purchase arguably Apple's product of the year (or is it the iPhone 4?). Does the iPad need more introduction? Not this device that sold 3 millions in 3 weeks and featured in every tech (or non- tech) sites worldwide. I think iPad rings more bells among the Singaporeans than anything else, judging by the rate iPad got sold out on the first day of launch in Singapore.

But the hype surrounding the device is clearing up now and it is about time to gauge how practical is the iPad as a computer slash media tablet. It is the device in general that most be useful as a computer that we use in real life. 

So I am going to dive in and give you a glimpse of how I use my iPad and what are the things that I like and what THE thing I don’t.

Battery Life: For me, tablets needs to have sufficiently good battery life and in this case, a minimum of one working day without charge is necessary. Why you ask. Well, the underlying meaning of a commuter tablet is the fact that you will be carrying it around and it should not be used too often at the table or PowerPoint. So my conclusion is that, currently, a Windows 7 tablet will not be able to achieve a 10 hours battery life.

While I am not a engineer, I know for a fact that the longest lasting net book in the market is the ASUS EEE PC. And it is on a 9 cell battery. Strong battery life meant I am willing to bring it out everyday to work. iPad's battery life is pretty amazing. To drain it completely, i had to use it for 3 hours a day and after about 4 days, it is about 10%.

Web Surfing: looked like models on the Victoria Secrets show, just damn modern and hot. A 10.1 inch does provide a more comfortable mobile web browsing experience, meaning pinch and zoom is largely not needed. But ultimately, without flash, it still seems like something is missing. In particular, my sister totally adore Facebook on iPad, there is no need for an app and you get the full experience. But flash games aren't playable on the iPad. For Facebook gamers, it is a very compelling reason to look beyond the iPad.

Reading ebook: With the exception of our national library, Singapore does not have an ebook store. Which translate to me owning more PDFs than actually ebook. Reading PDFs on a mobile phone, normally about 3 inches to 4 inches, is not a pleasant experience. Especially, if there is a lot of graphics. What’s more, the zero lag time in flipping pages in PDFs is simply unrivaled by other ebook readers. Add a full colour and high resolution screen to the mix, reading will never be the same again. Did I mentioned that attachments in email can be added directly to the iBooks app so you can read it even after the mail is deleted?

Hence, iPad is a great device for me to read books, reports and magazines in a superb fashion. And as a departing shot, the battery life of iPad allows you to treat it like a book; to leave it around your house and pick it up to read something like a magazine.

iPad is NOT a computer: This is probably the single most troubling factor for me. When I want new songs, I need a computer with iTunes. When I want to rename my PDFs, I need a computer with iTunes. It is not so much that I cannot install the regular applications, it really that this tablet is very limited as a computer.

The lack of USB direct access is another issue but that is less critical when there is the SD card connector that allows transfer of images directly into iPad.

Wrapping Up… For what iPad is meant for, it does a brilliant job. And that means reading (websites or ebooks) and watching videos. Games are excitingly innovative and refreshing with the huge touch screen but games aren’t my cup of tea most of the time. Beyond these, whether or not you like find iPad a useful device depends on the apps. For instance, the Bloomberg app and OCBC trading app has been extremely useful for me. I don’t have switch on my PC just to check the charts and prices. I can do the same on mobile phone but iPad appears to be a luxurious yet better alternative.

It will serve as a great device for media consumption but when in comes to content creation, even blogging will be consider tought by today standards.

In the end, it is clear that nobody really need an iPad. This latest invention from Apple is indeed a product that anyone can live without but it certainly raised the bar in making computer tablets despite its limitation.

In a way, the same can be said for the iPhone. Nobody really need the iPhone but without it, we could probably still be struggling to use a smartphone today.

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