Review: ASUS PadFone S Android smartphone cum tablet combo

November 1st, 2014

As a pioneer of 2-in-1 mobile devices, ASUS offers with the PadFone S the portability of the smartphone and the larger screen of a tablet by selling both at the price of one device.

Two colours are available for the ASUS PadFone S - Dark Ruby (shown above) and Pure White.

Two colours are available for the ASUS PadFone S – Dark Ruby (shown above) and Pure White. Photo: ASUS Singapore.

The PadFone S was launched in Singapore on 14 October, 2014 together with 11 other new mobile and computing products.

The PadFone S is a 5-inch Android smartphone that comes with a PadFone S Station.

The PadFone S I reviewed was the Pure White version. Normal retail price: S$449.

The PadFone S I reviewed was the Pure White version. Normal retail price: S$449.

You can use the PadFone S on its own like any smartphone or you can slot it into the back of the PadFone S Station and use the combination as an 8.9-inch tablet, leveraging the larger backlit Super IPS display of the Station.

You can’t use the PadFone S Station on its own though, because it is simply a dumb display with no computer processors within.

Actually, the Station has more – it also includes a 4990mAh Li-Polymer (non-removable) battery to provide the larger energy demands of powering a larger display.

The larger battery can also be used to charge the PadFone S to extend its battery life from 22 hours talk-time (3G) to 64 hours.

My view:
I found the ASUS PadFone S provided me with the portability of a smartphone and – only when I need it – a truely larger display and usability of a tablet –> all at the price of a single device (or less).

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New arrivals: Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds & Jabra Sport Life App

October 30th, 2014

Enjoy music in immersive Dolby Digital sound while the integrated biometric heart rate monitor in the earbuds work with the app to bring your training and fitness to the next level. RRP: S$298 from 1 November.

From 1 November, Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless retails at Apple premium resellers, Challenger, Harvey Norman, Stereo Electronics and other authorised resellers at an RRP of S$298.

From 1 November, Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless retails at Apple premium resellers, Challenger, Harvey Norman, Stereo Electronics and other authorised resellers at an RRP of S$298.

The Jabra Sport Life App  accesses biometric data from the earbuds to help you track and evaluate your workout.

With one touch, users of iOS and Android devices get a clear view of how close they are to meeting their training goals; hear real-time personalised audio coaching, change music or even answer or end calls – during the workout.

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Zalora launches flagship pop-up store at ION Orchard in Singapore

October 29th, 2014

Zalora has launched its flagship digital interactive pop-up store at ION Orchard, extending its online fashion retail business offline into a traditional retail showroom, with a digital in-store experience.

The ZALORA Shop @ ION Orchard is located at #B2-04/05 and operates from 10 am to 10 pm daily till the end of January 2015.

The ZALORA Shop @ ION Orchard is located at #B2-04/05 and operates from 10 am to 10 pm daily till the end of January 2015.

The ZALORA Shop @ ION brings the online retailer to life by allowing customers to touch, feel and try on a carefully curated selection of exclusive brands.

They can choose from in-house label ZALORA, as well as global brands including River Island, Material Girl, Lola Skye, H.E. by Mango and Burton Menswear.

“ION Orchard is pleased to add the first ZALORA store to ION Orchard's exciting retail offerings. ZALORA’s proven track record of cult and favourite brands will surely be a hit with our trendy and fashion-savvy shoppers. The ION Orchard boutique will be a trendsetting concept which will offer the comfort of actual browsing through the racks of fashion and the ease of virtual shopping. This sits nicely with ION Orchard’s vision to create delightful and innovative shopping experiences,” said Chris Chong, CEO of Orchard Turn Developments Pte Ltd.

“ION Orchard is pleased to add the first ZALORA store to ION Orchard’s exciting retail offerings. ZALORA’s proven track record of cult and favourite brands will surely be a hit with our trendy and fashion-savvy shoppers. The ION Orchard boutique will be a trendsetting concept which will offer the comfort of actual browsing through the racks of fashion and the ease of virtual shopping. This sits nicely with ION Orchard’s vision to create delightful and innovative shopping experiences,” said Chris Chong, CEO of Orchard Turn Developments Pte Ltd.

With an entirely new click-and-mortar concept, The ZALORA Shop creates a seamless shopping experience through multiple touch points in a stylized and modern retail environment.

How it works:

  1. Specially curated products are displayed in-store and customers can pick out the items they want to try on.
  2. “Samsung is delighted to be the technology partner for ZALORA. With the GALAXY ALPHA 4G+, the functional beauty perfect for stylish fashionistas, shopping is now even more enjoyable for ZALORA customers,” said Eugene Goh, Vice President, IT & Mobile, Samsung Electronics Singapore.To enhance the customer experience, the shop is equipped with the GALAXY ALPHA 4G+ and GALAXY Tab S (10.5”) provided by technology partner Samsung. Free WiFi is also available so customers can browse lookbooks for styling tips on how to mix and match pieces.
  3. Once they decide which item/s to purchase, they can scan the barcode and then proceed to the self-serve express checkout counters to process their purchases.

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New fitness trackers: Fitbit Charge, Charge HR & Surge

October 28th, 2014

The new lineup from Fitbit features continuous, automatic heart rate tracking; GPS; smartwatch functionality; plus all day activity and automatic sleep tracking.

Fitbit Charge (S$169), Fitbit Charge HR (S$199) and Fitbit Surge (S$329) will be available broadly in early 2015.

Fitbit Charge ($169) is available in black, slate, blue* and burgundy*; Fitbit Charge HR ($199) will be available in black, plum, blue* and tangerine*; Fitbit Surge ($329) will be available in black, blue* and tangerine*. * indicates colors that are coming soon. Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge will be available in small, large and extra large sizes (extra large only available through Fitbit.com).

Fitbit Charge (S$169) is available in black, slate, blue* and burgundy*; Fitbit Charge HR (S$199) will be available in black, plum, blue* and tangerine*; Fitbit Surge (S$329) will be available in black, blue* and tangerine*. * indicates colors that are coming soon. Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge will be available in small, large and extra large sizes (extra large only available through Fitbit.com).

Fitbit has unveiled three new activity and sleep-tracking products: Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge.

  • Fitbit Charge – a high-performance wristband that delivers all-day activity tracking, real-time fitness stats and Caller ID right on the wrist for people who want to step up their everyday activities to improve their overall health.
  • Fitbit Charge HR – an advanced tracker that delivers continuous, automatic wrist-based heart rate, Caller ID and all-day activity tracking for active users: regular exercisers looking to push their fitness further.
  • Fitbit Surge – a sleek Fitness Super Watch that offers the best of GPS, continuous wrist-based heart rate, all-day fitness tracking, and smartwatch functionality in one device, for people dedicated to reaching their peak performance.

More detailed descriptions extracted from the press release below.

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New arrivals: WD Purple now ships with 6TB for surveillance cameras

October 28th, 2014

WD expands its surveillance-class hard drive line by shipping 3.5-inch WD Purple in 6TB capacities (S$449) for IoT “fog” surveillance environments.

The inerts of the 6TB WD Purple hard drive.

The inerts of the 6TB WD Purple hard drive.

WD today announced the expansion of its WD Purple line of 3.5-inch hard drives for video surveillance applications, with the release of the 6 TB capacity.

“Video surveillance has long been a pioneering Internet-of-Things application,” said Matt Rutledge, senior vice president and general manager of WD’s Storage Technology group.

Video surveillance is a highly data-rich application within the “Internet of Things (IoT)” ecosystem.

WD Purple hard drives are suitable for new and existing home and small business security system environments with up to eight hard drives and up to 32 high-definition (HD) video cameras.

Available today, WD Purple hard drives are being offered in capacities from 1 TB up to 6 TB and is covered by a three-year limited warranty

WD boasts the following key features for its Purple hard drives.

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iPad plans in Singapore: SingTel price plans for iPad Air 2 & iPad mini 3

October 24th, 2014

SingTel will offer the much-anticipated iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular and iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi + Cellular from today, 24 October 2014.

For complete details on pricing and availability, please visit www.singtel.com/ipadupdates.

Click on the image to enlarge. For complete details on pricing and availability, please visit www.singtel.com/ipadupdates.

The new iPads will be offered with a range of new 4G Mobile Broadband data plans that feature SingTel’s premium WiFi service.

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MSIG Asia boosts efficiency with SAP Solutions to better serve customers in Singapore and Indonesia

October 23rd, 2014

Asia’s leading non-life insurer turns to SAP to streamline operations and advance in a fast changing regulatory environment.

At the SAP Media Summit in Singapore. From left to right: Scott Russell, Chief Operating Officer, SAP Asia Pacific Japan & Alan Wilson, Regional CEO, MSIG Asia talk about how Big Data is changing the Financial Services Industry. Photo: SAP.

At the SAP Media Summit in Singapore. From left to right: Scott Russell, Chief Operating Officer, SAP Asia Pacific Japan & Alan Wilson, Regional CEO, MSIG Asia talk about how Big Data is changing the Financial Services Industry. Photo provided by SAP.

Leading non-life insurer MSIG has chosen SAP Core Insurance Platform for its Singapore and Indonesia companies.

“To keep pace with the industry’s changing customer needs and the dynamic regulatory environment, we wanted a flexible and scalable solution to meet both our current and future needs,” said Alan Wilson, regional CEO, MSIG Asia.

Along with driving operational efficiencies, faster time-to-market and improved customer service, the SAP Core Insurance Platform will empower these MSIG operations with a single system that will better enable growth and support the innovations and flexibility required to meet the fast-changing business demands of today and tomorrow.

Currently, there are software solutions from two main providers within MSIG in Asia, each of which has in place its own variation on the main processes and supporting systems and have undergone custom development over time.

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Samsung donates 3,000 smartphones to fight against Ebola

October 21st, 2014

The GALAXY S3 Neo smartphones will be used in a UN project for the three worst-hit African countries. The donated smartphones are worth about US$1 million.

Update (23 October, 2014):

LG Electronics is also contributing 2,000 smartphones to the United Nations’ response to the deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa.

“We hope that our contribution will make a difference as the UN and NGOs fight on the front lines to improve healthcare, food security and sanitation in areas affected by the Ebola epidemic. This endeavor is representative of LG’s ongoing mission to use its technology to contribute toward resolving global issues,” said Choong-hak Lee, senior vice president and head of LG’s corporate social responsibility efforts.

The donated smartphones from LG will be provided to healthcare and other key personnel dispatched by the UN in the affected areas where they are urgently needed.

The smartphones will allow for fast and seamless communication between the teams on the ground, focusing on medical data gathering, monitoring and planning.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) will facilitate the distribution of the mobile devices.

According to OCHA, almost one billion dollars will be needed to address the immediate humanitarian needs caused by the Ebola virus.

Almost 5,000 people have been infected with Ebola since the outbreak started in West Africa in March with more than 2,400 individuals having died across the region.

Support from LG and other international partners are critical to the UN’s efforts to stabilize the outbreak.

All donated smartphones will be destroyed once the virus outbreak has subsided.

All donated smartphones will be destroyed once the virus outbreak has subsided.

The smartphones, to be donated through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA), will be used in the Humanitarian Connectivity Project, the UN’s IT project that utilises mobile devices to provide humanitarian support in disaster areas.

By installing the UN’s Smart Health Pro mobile application, medical staff can utilise the smartphones to treat patients and collect medical data, while quarantined patients can contact their families using the devices.

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New arrivals: Jabra Move Wireless on-ear headphones

October 20th, 2014

Denmark-headquartered Jabra combines the brand’s signature Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology and the distinctive ergonomic beauty of Scandinavian design in the new Jabra Move Wireless (S$148).

The Jabra Move Wireless weighs only 150g and  is available in 3 colours: Cayenne, Cobalt and Coal.

The Jabra Move Wireless weighs only 150g and is available in 3 colours: Cayenne, Cobalt and Coal.

The Jabra Move Wireless sports an ultra-lightweight stainless steel headband that is both sturdy and stylish.

It promises depth and clarity for music lovers with “premium digital sound in crisp and clear mids and highs while embodying clean lines and minimalist style”.

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New arrivals: Six new NEC M Series digital projectors

October 20th, 2014

The new multi-purpose projector models in the series are targeted at classrooms and mid-sized meeting rooms. Prices ranges from S$1,369-S$1,899 and is listed below.

NEC’s new projector models include the M322X, M322W, M362X, M362W, M402X and M402W projectors.

NEC’s new projector models include the M322X, M322W, M362X, M362W, M402X and M402W projectors.

NEC Asia Pacific, a leading provider of commercial display and projector solutions, added today six new digital projectors to its M Series, from 3000 ANSI Lumens to 4000 ANSI Lumens with resolution at either XGA or WXGA.

Projector Price Brightness
M322X S$1,369 3200 ANSI Lumens
M322W S$1,429
M362X S$1,669 3600 ANSI Lumens
M362W S$1,729
M402X S$1,799 4000 ANSI Lumens
M402W S$1,899

NEC offers low TCO through the projectors’ filter free design with sealed DLP light engine.

This series of ultra-durable, filter free projectors promise very low cost of ownership (TCO) and advanced multimedia capabilities.

These features, together with clear picture and full connectivity, make the DLP-based M Series projectors suitable for use in classroom and mid-sized meeting room environments, where budget and performance are equally important.

A large number of input terminals including 2 x HDMI with 3D support and 3 x USB inputs provide flexibility and future proofing of investments made by businesses and schools.

A large number of input terminals including 2 x HDMI with 3D support and 3 x USB inputs provide flexibility and future proofing of investments made by businesses and schools.

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