Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Review: Seagate IronWolf Pro 14TB HDD with Synology DS918+ NAS

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

With the growing demand for storage space at home, I’ve set up an NAS (Network Attached Storage) with three Seagate IronWolf Pro 14TB NAS HDD (Hard Disk Drive) in a Synology DS918+ DiskStation. Just in time for World Backup Day 2021 today.

 

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The three Seagate IronWolf Pro 14TB HDD freshly unwrapped (lower photo) and just prior to installation into the Synology DS918+ DiskStation NAS.

With the exponentially increasing demand for storage space, businesses and home users constantly find themselves exhausting whatever storage they have – be it to store text documents, databases, photos or huge video files.

 

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The NAS sitting pretty alongside the Linksys E9450 router, all set up with RAID5 in a Synology DS918+ DiskStation with three Seagate IronWolf Pro 14TB HDDs within.

And with the COVID-19 pandemic, employees are working from home and students are doing home-based learning – resulting in large increases in demand for storage needs at home eg. if you’re a creative pro who now have to do your video-editing at home instead of at the office.

 

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The three Seagate IronWolf Pro 14TB HDDs and Synology DS918+ DiskStation NAS just prior to unboxing.

Having gotten by with a desktop expansion HDD connected to my work laptop, I’ve decided to set up an NAS at home – to not only increase storage capacity but also to share that storage with all members of the family.

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Study: 45% of Singapore SMBs Want to go 100% Laptop Post COVID-19

Friday, March 12th, 2021

In an IDC survey commissioned by ASUS, SMBs are more inclined to equip their employees with laptops rather than desktop computers – compared to prior to COVID-19.

Hmm, still somewhat behind Japan I suppose. I recall, when attending a senior management & leadership course in Japan in the late 90’s, the staff at the college were already equipped 100% with laptops, while fellow-attendees of the year-long course were issued with a personal laptop. It was a cultural mindshift - coming from a work environment at home when it was still 100% desktop.

Hmm, still somewhat behind Japan I suppose. I recall, when attending a senior management & leadership course in Japan in the late 90’s, the staff at the college were already equipped 100% with laptops, while fellow-attendees of the year-long course were issued with a personal laptop. It was a cultural mindshift – coming from a work environment at home when it was still 100% desktop.

Presented during the IDC & ASUS Webcast 2021 Singapore – Digital Transformation for the Next Normal in Asia/Pacific, ASUS revealed that 45% of Singapore SMBs are likely to convert to a 100% laptop setup post COVID-19, underscoring the importance of mobility in a hybrid workplace model.

The finding is among other strategic insights to SMB technology use and how COVID-19 has affected related decisions.

Three suggestions from IDC that Singapore SMBs can implement with regard to technology implementation.

Three suggestions from IDC that Singapore SMBs can implement with regard to technology implementation.

Considering the survey findings, IDC advised that equipping employees with the latest devices that can support both a remote and hybrid work environment will have a significant impact not only on employee productivity and experience, but also will provide a competitive edge to organizations to attract and retain talent.

More details below from the press release.

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Five Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day 2021

Saturday, February 6th, 2021

Valentine’s Day is one week away so here are five gift ideas for those looking for something special for the better half.

The tech4valentines gift guide is meant to provide ideas to start you off, so do check out some of them online and in the shops in your search for that ideal gift this Valentine’s Day.

The tech4valentines gift guide is meant to provide ideas to start you off, so do check out some of them online and in the shops in your search for that ideal gift this Valentine’s Day.

Still looking for that special gift for your Valentine?

Here are five suggestions to consider, covering a whole range of prices from S$89 to S$1,298.

Check out the tech4valentines Gift Guide below.

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tech4xmas Review: Rakuten Kobo Libra H2O E-Reader

Saturday, December 5th, 2020

The Rakuten Kobo Libra H2O is the Christmas present for my wife who is an avid reader. I chose it because it offers all the features that she needs and uses at a reasonable price. Looks good, works well and value-for-money.

The Rakuten Kobo Libra H2O e-reader (S$279.90) and the optional sleep cover (S$59) is available online (https://sg.kobobooks.com/products/kobo-libra-h2o) as well as at key retailers such as Challenger, Courts, and Sprint-cass.

The Rakuten Kobo Libra H2O e-reader (S$279.90) and the optional sleep cover (S$59) is available online as well as at key retailers such as Challenger, Courts, and Sprint-cass.

So the two flagship e-readers that I started out looking at were the Kindle Oasis 3 and the Kobo Forma.

Eventually, I decided on the Libra H2O because it offers almost the same set of features but at a much lower price.

 

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Borrowing books from the public library and discovery of books from the Kobo eBookstore is easy and intuitive. I like the recommendations of similar books based on the books that I have read.

The Libra H2O has a seven-inch Carta E Ink HD touchscreen with 1690 x 1264 pixels at 300ppi.

The display is sharp and the content is clearly readable in dim light or in bright sunlight.

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tech4xmas Review: Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro Smartwatch

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

The S$398 smartwatch from Huawei offers itself as a fitness and health companion, packaged in a design that combines sports and style. Great Christmas gift for the sporty male.

 

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Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro smartwatch (Night Black).

The Watch GT 2 Pro is the most advanced smartwatch from Huawei, offering a comprehensive range of features, with a number of upgrades from its predecessors.

With 100+ workout modes available – including the recently added golf driving range, skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing – you’re highly likely to find your favourite workout whatever your sports of choice is.

 

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Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro smartwatch in the box.

In addition, the GT 2 Pro offers attentive health features such as its proprietary TruSeen™ 4.0+ heart rate monitoring technology, TruSleep.

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tech4xmas Gift Ideas for Christmas 2020

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

We’re now into December and the final stretch of 2020. Here are some gift ideas that I’ve curated for Christmas 2020.

* I’ll be adding to this list over the next few days, so check back daily for new gift ideas as I collate them.

The tech4xmas gift guide is meant to provide ideas to start you off, so do check out some of them online and in the shops if they are what you think would bring a smile to your loved ones this Christmas.

The tech4xmas gift guide is meant to provide ideas to start you off, so do check out some of them online and in the shops if they are what you think would bring a smile to your loved ones this Christmas.

Around this time of year, I’m usually inundated with requests from readers and friends on Christmas gift ideas for their loved ones or themselves.

So here are some tech that I would use myself or get for MY loved ones, based mostly on those gadgets that I’ve tried or reviewed.

Not all are the latest and newest, but they are what I think some of the best-in-class in their category of products.

Happy Christmas Shopping!

tech4xmas Gift Guide below.

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Interview: Joan Hu – Overseas Southeast Asia Director, Roborock

Monday, November 30th, 2020

Joan Hu, Overseas Southeast Asia Director at Roborock, shares her insights into Roborock’s success and decision to expand into Southeast Asia.

Joan Hu is the Overseas Southeast Asia Director at Roborock.

Joan Hu is the Overseas Southeast Asia Director at Roborock.

To get an idea of Roborock’s journey thus far and its plans for the future, I asked Joan Hu six questions.

Q1. Roborock recorded a strong growth in China since its introduction. What do you think contributed to this?

In the robot vacuum market back in 2014, most available products only focused on the basic needs that came with a vacuum – cleaning.

We saw an opportunity to fulfill needs and wants that consumers didn’t know they had yet.

Hence, we grew our R&D department with a team of engineers, scientists, manufacturing experts and designers – all vital to create products that truly fit our users’ lifestyle.

Q2. Any new vacuum launches this year?

We have just launched the Roborock S6 MaxV in early 2020.

This is an upgrade of our popular Roborock S6, with increased suction power of up to 2,500 Pa (compared to the previous 2000 Pa) to clean even the most stubborn of dusts, especially those on carpets.

It also comes with an electronic water tank instead of a mop attachment for increased convenience and weighs lighter at just 7 lbs.

The latest S6 MaxV that Roborock launched in early 2020.

The latest S6 MaxV that Roborock launched in early 2020.

Q3. 2020 isn’t the most economically stable year. What factors contributed to Roborock’s decision to expand its influence to SouthEast Asia?

While we admit it has been a challenging year across all markets, we see this as a great opportunity to introduce our high tech products to our Southeast Asian consumers.

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Review: Trek iSSD 4-in-1 Portable Wireless Storage Server cum Power Bank

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Once in a while, you come across a device that does it all – and does it well. When it comes to a mobile storage companion, Trek iSSD ticks the check boxes of all the functionalities that I’ve always wanted in a single device.

In the box: Trek iSSD, USB Type-C data cable, user manual, microSD card adaptor, pouch.

In the box: Trek iSSD, USB Type-C data cable, user manual, microSD card adaptor, pouch.

Three of biggest problems holding back a mobile worker on the move are: storage space, battery power and the ability to share.

With the limited storage space on notebooks, tablets and mobile phones, workers on the move quickly run out of storage space on their mobile devices, especially if their work require huge media files that they have to present at meetings and discuss with their clients.

 

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The Trek iSSD measures 120 x 75 x 15mm and weighs 230g. It has an aluminum alloy frame with glass cover.

At home, the easy solution is to buy a desktop hard disk drive (HDD) with a huge capacity eg. 6-12TB – but it is not something you can bring on the road.

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Joe Biden Triumphs Over Donald Trump to become President-Elect

Sunday, November 8th, 2020

After 4 days of vote counting, and amidst quiet confidence by Joe Biden and tantrum-throwing by incumbent Donald Trump, the news networks have called the US presidential election for the former Vice President, following the flipping of Pennsylvania.

Major US TV networks calling the US Elections 2020 for Joe Biden. Image source: BBC video screen grab.

Major US TV networks calling the US Elections 2020 for Joe Biden. Image source: BBC video screen grab.

tech4tea does not usually cover politics, but the election of the President of the United States (POTUS) is an exception – given that it is such a poignant event that affects all industries and all aspects of life in all countries around the world.

So it’s apt to mark the tentative projection of presidential challenger 77-year-old Joe Biden as President-Elect of the United States, four days after Election Day on 3 November 2020.

With the projection of Biden winning Pennsylvania with its 20 electoral votes, the former Vice President has passed the 270 majority threshold to secure 284 electoral votes to Trump’s 214.

This was followed closely by Nevada which brought Biden’s tally to 290, enroute to Biden’s earlier prediction of eventually surpassing 300 electoral votes.

Mind you, all is not confirmed yet, since incumbent President Donald Trump has reiterated that he will challenge all “Biden-claimed states” – which he has already begun – alleging election fraud without furnishing any evidence.

Usually, what happens next is that the loser graciously concedes, and come 20 January 2020, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris get officially inaugurated as the 46th President and Vice-President of the United States.

But with 74-year-old Trump throwing a sissy fit over how the votes hadn’t been selectively counted to his liking, there’s no knowing whether – in addition to callously throwing legal suits without basis – he will not barricade himself within the Oval office and incite violence among the populace and sow civil strife that has the potential to foment discord for generations to come.

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New Arrival: Livinguard Masks Against COVID-19 SARS-COV-2 Virus

Saturday, November 7th, 2020

Livinguard has brought its reusable face masks in Singapore. Three versions for different levels of protection (and breathability) are available online at Shopee, Lazada and ORO. Prices below.

 

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Here are the Street (2 layers) and Pro (3 layers) of the Livinguard masks.

I tried out the Street and Pro versions and liked them.

It feels light, fitting and doesn’t clog up the nostrils when you breathe.

There are three versions for different levels of protection and breathability, in 4 colours and 3 sizes.

Each mask can be rinsed once a week for up to 30 times – so that works out to 210 days of usage.

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