[SIGHTING]This is the first time that I was shown this screen when I enter http://www.apple.com.sg/in the address bar. And I decide to frame up the screenshot.

So what is Apple Singapore updating right now? Their staff have certainly been kept very busy lately eh? iPhone 4 or refresh of their iMac series? After all, iPhone 4's pricing is out (You sure have got a wind of it) and iMac is due a refesh of their specifications. What ever happens, I am out of Mr. Yusoff Isak's notes to buy anything else this month. Or the next. Or the next. Or ...

[NEW GADGET][HANDS-ON] If owning a NX90 means no lunch for the next couple of months but yet you absolutely want to show off one of the best audio system in a notebook, fret not. N53 and N73 have your ego covered.

Frankly, there isn’t much differences between NX90 and N53/N73 besides the fact you won’t get a terrific laptop casing designed by David Lewis. What you will get is the new SonicMaster audio standard (the one in NX90, developed by ASUS with Bang & Olufsen and their ICEpower technology). So you can expect the same audio performance as their big brother model in NX90.

Exterior-wise, N53 and N73 comes with classic notebook casing from ASUS and again the build quality is something you expect from ASUS. The texture are steel-like and both of them aren’t lightweight devices at 2.7kg and 3.4kg respectively. Which is on the “heavy” side of things given the competition in the market. Which suggests, like NX90, the N-Series is not something you want to lug around everyday.

Interior-wise, the specifications are very similar to those of NX90. With the monster 1TB of hard drive as well as Core i5 to go along. Also packed in is the Nividia Optimus which allow you to switch between the integrated graphics and discrete graphics. We are not expecting a great deal of battery life though, probably along an average of 4 to 5 hours on intergrated graphics.

To wrap-up, if you are a follower of ASUS laptops and are due a refresh, the N-Series are probably the call for you to make the switch. Otherwise, the N-Series is not a stark different to other competitors apart from the audio experience that it can deliver on its own. Read my post on NX90 to see what we have to say… 


  • CPU: Intel® Core™i5-520M processor (2.4GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.93GHz)
  • OS: Genuine Windows® 7 Home premium
  • VGA: Nvidia® GeForce® GT 335M with 1GB DDR3 VRAM
  • WLAN: Integrated 802.11b/g/n + Blueooth™
  • LCD: 15.6” Full HD LED Backlight (1920x1080); 16:9 aspect ratio
  • RAM & HDD: 4GB DDR3 RAM & 500GB SATA HDD (7200rpm)
  • Features: Built-in 2 mega pixels web-camera & card reader
  • ODD: Blu-Ray DVD Combo drive
  • Warranty: 2 years international warranty
  • Dimension: 391 x 266 x 29~39mm
  • Weight: 2.7Kg (with battery)

SRP: SGD$1,998 (GST Included)


  • CPU: Intel® Core™i5-520M processor (2.4GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.93GHz)
  • OS: Genuine Windows® 7 Home premium
  • VGA: Nvidia® GeForce® GT 335M with 1GB DDR3 VRAM
  • WLAN: Integrated 802.11b/g/n + Blueooth
  • LCD: 17.3” Hi-Definition LED Backlight (1600x900); 16:9 aspect ratio
  • RAM & HDD: 4GB DDR3 RAM & 1 Terabyte HDD (2 x 500HB 7200rpm)
  • Features: Built-in 2 mega pixels web-camera & card reader
  • ODD: Blu-Ray DVD Combo drive
  • Warranty: 2 years international warranty
  • Dimension: 420 x 287 x 35 ~ 39mm
  • Weight: 3.4 (with battery)

SRP: SGD$2,298 (GST Included)

Available: At all authorized ASUS resellers (including Sim Lim Square, Funan IT Mall & major retailers). From 20th July 2010.

More pictures taken at the launch event. N73 in action below, notice the lighting on the top right hand corner of the keyboard.

I would have preferred the pebble-style keyboard than the conventional one here with N73. There are dedicated audio management keys by the right hand side, very much like those of the NX90. N53 did not get the dedicated keys though.

[GADGET DEALS] Are there any stocks of iPad in Singapore? I am not sure. Was at Epicentre Wheelock and ION yesterday and was told that everything is gone. The sales lady at Wheelock told me that had I been a few hours early I would have the last of the Wi-Fi models! Oh well.

Instead she told me Pre-Order is opened (only at Epicentre Wheelock). Clearly, I am not a fan of queuing up so I promptly paid up a 10% deposit which means I should definitely get my piece of Apple iPad when the next batch of stocks arrived!

Which should be about 1 month! According to the very same sales lady.

The other sales lady at ION told me that Apple does not give them indication as to when the stocks will arrive. She also said something else in a very standard format as if she has been repeating all day, I can imagine how many customers asked her the same question in a day. I didn’t really get what she said but its along the lines of stock is limited bah bah bah…

In the meantime, Singaporeans are looking forward to the next big thing! Apple iPhone 4! Which reminds me of an article in LianHe ZaoBao this morning. In short the headlines says that Apple should not have named their latest iPhone as “iPhone 4”. Because ‘4’ is an unlucky number in among the Chinese. Sounds like a reasonable point, given iPhone 4 prototype is lost before the launch and had to alarmed the Police. Even after the launch, there is the antenna issue with the phone. Maybe they should take a leaf out for Panasonic LX Series of compact cameras; which released LX5 from LX3, skipping LX4 as a result.

Image Source: http://www.epicentre-training.com/

[NEW GADGET] [HANDS-ON] ASUS launched their latest notebook yesterday, ASUS NX90. And be warned, this is no ordinary notebook. NX90 is not the notebook that you should bring along to school or work. Instead, ASUS NX90 is designed to take the centre stage of your living room! 

Designed by David Lewis, Chief Designer of David Lewis Designers whose main client is Bang & Olufsen, ASUS NX90 is an exquisite concept-style notebook.

We were at the launch event and given hands-on on the ASUS NX90! Thanks Carlyn for the invite! 

The Look

NX 90 is a stunner. The first impression is this fella will be expensive and comes with near zero portability but these are exactly the reasons that make it a different product in the laptop market. First off, an 18.4” LED screen is enough to make you wonder if it is correctly categorized as a laptop. The screen quality is good, bright and sharp as you will expect from ASUS products. On the two sides on the screen are the speakers, which again is not normal for a laptop to have such over-sized speakers. When the laptop is closed up, the speakers actually stay outside the main body of the laptop. The build quality is good overall.

Moving on to the bottom is the large keyboards, with dedicated audio buttons to adjust the volume and manage the music. Strangely, the manufacturer kept the usually, audio shortcuts on the functions keys (for example, fn + F9 is pause). This is strange since there are dedicated buttons already. Anyhow, the keyboards buttons are pretty big and my test typing on it tells me this is a good keyboard that I would like.

The real show stealer on the laptop could well be the TWO touchpad situated on both sides of the keyboard. As a result of the design, the user have to place one hand on the each touchpad; if you are a right hander like me, your left hand is likely to use to move the cursor and the right to do the clicking. At this point, you might find your posture like someone from the Stars Wars controlling a spaceship! But beyond that, I am not sure what the real experience will be like when you typing away and need to navigate the cursor from time to time. You might end up opening up your arms to the touchpad and closing them up to keyboard. Very different – and I will say this very often in this preview.

Below the keyboard is a large part of silver-coated body of the laptop. I will describe it as finger-print magnet and a make shift mirror. The exterior of the laptop is covered with matte surface instead.

The Audio Experience

Normally, the audio quality will not be something that consumers look out for when buying a laptop. Yet, this is where ASUS NX90’s strength lies. NX90 is developed with the SonicMaster sound standard which comprises of harmonized hardware and software tuning, optimized to render high quality audio playback. 

This technology development is completed done with the famous Bang & Olufsen ICEpower and indeed it delivers such an astoundingly good audio experience as we experienced during the launch event; but terms and conditions apply.

Well, NX90 is not going to give you crazily heavy bass to blast techno music like those in a club. What it does is to deliver supremely high clarity audio experience with next to zero static together with full surround sound. Considering that this is a laptop that we are talking about, NX90 delivers high treble and reasonably rich bass on some the sample music we heard.

At this point you should already know that NX90 should not be compared to the sub S$50 subwoofer from the likes of SonicGear. Subwoofer gives extra bass to the connected speakers and therefore because of the categorical limitation as a laptop, NX90 is built with high quality speakers without a subwoofer. As a result, it seems that NX90 is more suitable for genres such as Jazz and Classical.

More evidence to that is the showroom ASUS has setup for us; a small room that has reasonably good sound proof to the noise generated from the entire hall. The strength of speakers immediately becomes obvious in a quiet environment and we were given short snippets of Jazz and Classical music which certainly impresses.   

The pre-installed SonicMaster audio software seemed to come with more configurations for user to tune the audio effects to his/her liking but we did not try it out. Besides SonicMaster, NX90 will shipped with Rotation Desktop Software.

We tried the software a bit and we are happy to report that it is going to be useful for user. The main gist is that the software will be integrated into the desktop (something like the wallpaper) and it allows audio management such as playlist and equalizer. And indeed the user will look like a DJ with both hands far apart on the laptop and adjusting settings for the audio.

The Specification

ASUS NX90JQ specifications

  • CPU: Intel® Core™i7-720QM processor (1.6GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.8GHz)
  • OS: Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium
  • VGA: Nvidia® GeForce® GT 335M with 1GB DDR3 VRAM
  • WLAN: Integrated 802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth™
  • LCD: 18.4” Full HD LED backlight (1920x1080)
  • HDD: 1 Terabyte SATA HDD (2 x 500GB)
  • Features: Built-in 2 mega pixels web-camera, card reader and TV Tuner
  • ODD: Blu-Ray DVD Combo drive
  • Dimensions: 526 x 280 x 30 ~ 43.8mm
  • Weight: 4.8Kg (with battery)
  • Warranty: 2 years international warranty

SRP: SGD$3,888 (GST Included)

The Wrap-Up

Let us by crystal clear, ASUS NX90 is a niche laptop. NX90 will almost definitely deliver a much enjoyable and loud audio experience compared to any other competitors out there. But the fact remains, ASUS NX90 is not build for everyone, if you are not someone that could appreciate high definition audio, then you probably just stand and admire NX90’s beauty from far away.  

In addition to its audio power, NX90’s up-to-date graphics card, blu-ray drive, HDMI output and TV Tuner are all other features that makes NX90 a fit to your home entertainment system.

If you are on the other side of the coin, we would suggested that NX90 is best suited in a living room, a quiet environment, an environment that allows you to enjoy the high clarity audio and great design of the laptop. 

[GADGET DEALS] Just got your mid-year bonus? Spend it on a acer before your girlfriend/wife/children/parents lay their hands on your budget. Started two days ago, the event will end this Sunday.

S$500 off the retail price sounds good!

Source: Acer Singapore

[GADGET UPDATE] Woo hoo! Joe Cole joined! He is now a Liverpool player! Simply magnificent! Joe Cole is, of course, not a gadget. He is a damn good a player on his day, best known for his tricky skills. It is just so wonderful to have him at the club.

As skillful as Joe Cole (if you don’t watch football, trust me, he is skillful) is the Apple iPad. Announced and on sale in the States a zillion years ago and finally it will be in Singapore.

23rd July 2010 (this coming Friday), mark your calendar if you are gunning for one.

The news from Cupertino, California also mentioned that customers can purchase all models of iPad on the same day which proven some rumours , that believed the 3G models will be released later, wrong.


  • S$728 for the 16GB model
  • S$878 for the 32GB model
  • S$1028 for the 64GB model

WiFi + 3G

  • · S$928 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model
  • · S$1078 for the 32GB Wi-Fi + 3G model
  • · S$1228 for the 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G model

I actually failed to find the price list on the Apple Store website but instead on the official press release for Singapore on HWZ.

So is it going to be 3G or not for you? I think I might be going without 3G because I am very likely to use it for to read ebooks and perhaps type blog posts on it. And if I desperately need connection, I might just turn my Motorola Dext into a hotspot. Furthermore, I have got data plan on my mobile so I am not sure if I have the spare cash to take in one more data plan.

Well, maybe our Telcos can change my mind by putting up some irresistible data plans for iPad. Which should logically happened between today till Friday.

Official Apple Store Page: Link
Official Pricing from HWZ: Link
via: iMerlion

Update on launch day, 23rd July 2010: It seems that stocks are really low. Check out reports on iMerlion. I guess it would be more than a month before stocks are filled up again since stock level are low in US as well. HWZ has a pretty good write-up.

[COMMENTARY] How crazy is this? Steve Jobs admitting that his device is flawed? Unless you are a hardcore non-Apple consumer, you probably have heard that Mr. Jobs held a press conference over the problematic iPhone 4 antenna. Let’s go over some highlights:

On the sales of iPhone:

  • 3 millions iPhone 4 sold within 3 weeks

On the antenna problem:

  • Mr. Jobs called the problem relating to antenna: “Antennagate”
  • He also claims that HTC’s, Nokia’s, Motorola’s and RIM’s products have the same problem
  • And he gave a demonstration of the issue on products from the above manufacturers

On the customer’s feedback:

  • 0.55% of the iPhone 4 users called about the antenna or reception
  • AT&T return rates for iPhone 4 is 1.7% (vs. 3GS at 6%)

Apple offered to give every iPhone 4 user a free case (either their own or a selection) as well as full refund to any other unsatisfied customer.

Let’s put this whole debacle in the context of Singapore. Will iPhone 4 network connection drop in Singapore? That is somewhat strange to see that happen because mobile network coverage in Singapore is certainly very strong due to our small land space but yet I would be mad to ignore the possibility of it.

But while the device is yet to be on sale in Singapore, consumer’s confidence in the product has probably been somewhat affected. A few friends have said that they are concerned about the performance of the phone given they are ready to buy the latest iPhone once they arrived on our little red dot.

Besides the very real antenna problem, Mr. Jobs has probably enhanced the rivalry between Apple and the rest of the industry by point-blankly demonstrating competitor’s device at the conference. Upon reading this surprising move by Apple, I immediately checked if my Motorola Dext has the same problem.

Negative. So I am seriously doubting the accusation. Someone else tried it on the Blackberry Bold 9700 as well. Still Negative.

Blackberry Bold 9700 test of Antenna

As a result, I didn’t think it is a very smart move by Mr. Jobs. See, even with the demonstration, I think its always going to be a uphill battle to convince the public crowd that their current devices are having the same problem. Mr. Jobs tried to tell the world most smartphones have the same problem but how many believed? The cost of the action? More enemies made and put Apple in a bad light.

A nice touch from Apple is the free casing, which for contradict their statistics of the customers reporting the problem. I mean if they are so few people with the problem, why give everyone the casing? They said they are care for every customers but its hard to tell how true is that. If someone told me that the reason why they gave everyone a casing is probably because they actually knew there are more handsets out there with the same problem, I might just be convinced.

And oh, by the way, iPhone 4 is coming to Singapore on 30th July. iPad as well?

Image Credit: Apple Store Singapore

[EVENT REPORT] Continuing from the previous post

An unidentified notebook with 3 external LCDs display

We also saw this concept notebook without identity. Interestingly, it has three external small LCDs to show other stuff such as widgets or programs on your desktop. We were told that this is actually a concept notebook so there is no branding on it.

If you recall, there is actually something call the “Windows SideShow” previously in Windows Vista. What you are looking at in the image below is different. First of all, Windows SideShow can utilizes Windows Sidebar but looking at the design here, I don’t think SideBar widgets is the best way to fit in.  And oh, by the way, there are 3 external screens in the size of a mobile phone because it is cheaper to buy screens of this size as they are made available for mobile phones.

MeeGo OS on MSI Wind

We also got some hands-on time on the MeeGo OS on a MSI Wind (Netbook). MeeGo is a Linux-based mobile operating system. MeeGo combines Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo into a single operating system. Currently, MeeGo is looking at 5 possible variant; Netbook, Handset, In-Vehicle, Connected TV and Media phone. So the variant we looked at is the one for Netbook.

Simplicity is at the heart of the design of its interface. There is nothing much to configure and nearly every tool you need to consume media is just right under one of these tabs. We also tried to shut down and boot up the device and it is definitely on the speedy side.

For me the question is just how different is MeeGo from a regular Windows operating system, say Windows 7. Obviously MeeGo is made for to make a computing simpler and more efficient but convincing the consumers that this is much easier to use than the all too familiar Windows 7 could potentially been a large hurdle.

Concluding the event

An informal event that yet gives us a preview of Intel’s technology in the 2nd half of 2010 and beyond. For the highlight is probably the demonstration of Intel Wireless Display. I have seen the demonstration on The Engadget Show and to see it again live and exclusive is awesome! Looking forward to the next one!

Read all three parts of this event coverage:
Part 1
Part 2

[SOFTWARE] This post is going to be a 90% direct answer to the question: “How do you sync Android devices with iTunes”. Read to find out where did the 10% go.
Introducing doubleTwist!

What does doubleTwist do?
In essential, what doubleTwist does is to sync your music library with what ever mobile devices you own. Be it Creative Zen or iPod Touch. As a result, you do not have to use the proprietary media application to move media to any particular devices, for instance iTunes to sync media to your Android device! And just for good measure, you can even move media to your thumbdrive!   
Here is how doubleTwist work in details, first off, you still can maintain the original sources of media, say for example, iTunes. Continue to import music, videos and pictures into iTunes. When the time comes when you need to those media in your non-Apple device, doubleTwist comes on! (I guess that is how the name of the software come by). 

You can now use doubleTwist which is going to contain all your media in iTunes and more! Check out the screenshot below. What doubleTwist does is to monitor selected folders and watch out for new media added. (Therefore, it is good if you can put all music in one folder and have as many sub-folder as you want in it.) In turn, those media will be reflected in the application. And in turn, you can sync all non-Apple products to your iTunes library via doubleTwist. 

What’s more, doubleTwist promise to convert the media to a format that is acceptable by the particular device you own, though I have not tried this function yet.

A 90% solution
Having discussed doubleTwist as a viable option as a media management software, it is by no means a complete solution if you actually have an Apple product and a non-Apple product. Especially if you are a iPhone/iPod Touch user, you still need iTunes to update your firmware and transfer ebooks and PDFs into your iPhone or iPod Touch, meaning doubleTwist does not have all the functions you might need. And therefore, this is why doubleTwist is a 90% solution in my opinion.

In Summary 

As you can see, the interface of doubleTwist resembles that of the iTunes. Allowing browsing of Android Apps makes it even more similar to the Apple software. This aside, there are also podcasts search and management of playlists (you will find the same playlists from in your iTunes!)

All in all, doubleTwist served me really well because I am a two-device man, with a iPod Touch and Motorola Dext with me when I am out. Hence, iTunes becomes my primary media software and I used doubleTwist to bring the same content to my Motorola Dext. Really convenient.

doubleTwist is still in beta now so anything can happen, and it could just be our 100% solution in the near future.

Official doubleTwist Website – Link

[EVENT REPORT] Continuing from the previous post

AppUp Center   

Next up, we were shown the evolution of the computer chips and just how tiny the Intel Atom chip is. And then, the engineers move on talk about the objective of the Intel AppUp concept. The idea really is to recreate the experience of installing applications in Windows PC. A direct reference will be to that of the mobile operating systems.

So as the story goes, there are free and paid applications at the center. User will access the market via client for AppUp. And therefore, applications that are suitable for your operating system and as a result, you can be assured (one way or another) that the application is designed to work superbly on your PC.

AppUp Center’s slogan is “Your Source for Netbook app” and for now, you can find support for Windows XP, Windows 7 and Moblin (Linux Distro). For me, this concept is a right move for Intel and help Microsoft in a big way.

The experience for Windows Users have not drastically changed over the years. Users still need to access to download the installation file by knowing the details of the operating system and specifications of the PC. While geeks enjoys such a way of application installation, for many normal users out there, the process is deem too complicated. The process should be really be streamlined down to something similar to what we have on the mobile phones.     

AppUp Center is still in Beta but you can already grab it now.

Link – Intel AppUp Center

Intel Atom

In other moments of the session, we were given a sample of Intel Atom in most netbooks these days. It’s pretty cool to see those chips in real life. As everyone knows, Intel Atom will be at the central of tablets and netbooks going forward in the future. And as we speak dual core Intel Atom chips are already in some netbooks.

[COMMENTARY] It is previously reported that Microsoft Kin will not be arriving in Singapore. Now, it is official that there are NO WAY that those two devices will make it to Singapore. Because it is murdered in the US and plans to launch in Europe has been cancelled as well. There are some highlights to this major move by Microsoft just months after they made a big announcement to release Kin. This resembles Windows 7 replacement of Vista eh? Microsoft releasing something that they are not fully convinced to follow through and persist with it.

  • Only 500 sets were sold – Link
  • 2 days before the set is sold, Verizon (US Telco) dropped Kin prices dramatically from $49.99 to $29.99 for Kin One and from $99.99 to $49.99 for Kin Two
  • Millions of dollars spent on the Kin project
  • Microsoft Kin development team will be rolled into the Windows Phone 7 team

As usual, Engadget delivered a brilliant piece on the whole fiasco.

Image Source: Link
Source: Gizmodo

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