Microsoft Surface 2

· · · Tablet

Microsoft Surface 2 was launched last month and thanks to Ian, the media is able to purchase it at a media discount. The retail price of a Surface 2 is SGD$618 for 32GB and SGD$748 for 64GB. I bought the 32GB version.

I bought the Microsoft Surface 2 because I wanted to have a Windows tablet to complete the “family” since I have an Apple iPad Air and Google Nexus 7.

Been using it for a few weeks and I love the slightly bigger screen as compared to the iPad Air. Everything is pretty snappy with the NVIDIA Tegra 4 1.7GHz quad core processor and 2GB of RAM.

Because there is no LTE variant of the Surface 2 in Singapore, this is pretty much a stay-home device. Oh and there is Plex App for Windows which cost USD$5.99 that allows you to stream movies/tv shows from your Plex server!

I don’t really use Microsoft Office much these days but Windows RT 8.1 comes with Microsoft Office 2013 RT versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook.

Remember to update to Windows 8.1 Update the moment you get your Surface 2 as the update is out!

Technical Specifications

- Surface 2
OS Windows RT 8.1 with Microsoft Office 2013 RT versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook. Works exclusively with apps available in the Windows Store.
Exterior 275 mm x 173 mm x 8.9 mm
676
VaporMg casing
Magnesium (Silver) color
Volume and power buttons
Storage 32GB or 64GB
Display 10.6″ ClearType Full HD Display
1920×1080 pixels
16:9 (widescreen)
5-point multitouch
CPU NVIDIA Tegra 4 (T40) 1.7GHz quad core
2 GB of RAM
Wireless Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
Bluetooth 4.0 low-energy technology
Battery 10 hours of video playback
7–15 days idle life
Cameras and A/V 3.5MP front-facing camera
5MP rear-facing camera
1080p video capture
Two microphones (with noise cancellation)
Stereo speakers (digitally enhanced for fuller sound)
Ports Full-size USB 3.0
MicroSDXC card reader
Headset jack
HD video out port
Cover port
Sensors Ambient light sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Magnetometer
Power Supply 24W power supply
Warranty one-year limited hardware warranty
Apps (included) Mail, Calendar, People, Internet Explorer 11, Photos, Music, Video, Games, Skype, Fresh Paint, Calculator, Reading List, Reader, Scan, News, Weather, Sports, Travel, Finance, Health & Fitness, Food & Drink, Help, Camera, OneDrive, Sound Recorder and more
Pricing
(SGD inclusive of GST)
32GB: $618
64GB: $748

Microsoft Surface 2 - Box Front
Microsoft Surface 2 – Box Front

Microsoft Surface 2 - Box Back
Microsoft Surface 2 – Box Back

Microsoft Surface 2 - Box
Microsoft Surface 2 – Box

Microsoft Surface 2 - Box Inner
Microsoft Surface 2 – Box Inner

Microsoft Surface 2 - Box Open
Microsoft Surface 2 – Box Open

Microsoft Surface 2 - Box Open
Microsoft Surface 2 – Box Open

Microsoft Surface 2 - Box Contents
Microsoft Surface 2 – Box Contents

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Moshi SenseCover for iPhone

Moshi SenseCover for iPhone which is retailing for SGD$54.90 gives iPhone users a sense of what is like to have the Samsung’s S View Flip Cover on an iPhone.

Because Apple doesn’t really support this feature, there are very limited things you can do with the SenseCover. Technically, you can do only three things:

  • Checking the date and time
  • Swipe to answer or reject incoming calls
  • Swipe off alarms when it rings

In case you are wondering, you can swipe on the SenseCover because it has proprietary SensArray pads on it that passes your body’s natural electrical capacitance to the screen. Note that it is not as sensitive as swiping the screen (doh!).

Check out the video for answering call on the SenseCover:

Because of this, you can slide to unlock as well if you are not using any passcode. However, I don’t see any point in doing it because after it is unlocked, you still need to open the flip cover to use the phone. Only answering/rejecting calls and switching off alarms do not require a passcode.

The SenseCover is made of polycarbonate hardshell. The front cover’s exterior is made of leatherette while the interior is made up of soft microfber that cleans the screen when you close it.

There is also magnetic clasp on the SenseCover to keep it close properly. Despite the official website saying that the magnetic clasp can also hold the SenseCover while it is folded back, but when I tested it, the magnet isn’t strong enough for that.

The SenseCover weights only 26g and it comes in two colours, Brushed Titanium or Steel Black! I gotten the Brushed Titanium for this review.

The SenseCover packaging comes with a microfiber cloth and a film protector for the back.

Features

  • Complete protection with strong polycarbonate hardshell and leatherette front cover
  • Check date/time, answer/reject calls and swipe off alarms without opening the cover
  • Magnetic clasp keeps cover closed or folded back while accessing touchscreen
  • All buttons and cameras remain accessible while inside the case

Where To Buy
You can get the Moshi SenseCover for iPhone from physical stores such as Challenger, EpiCentre or Infinite. Alternatively you can get it online from Ban Leong’s eStore.

Moshi SenseCover for iPhone - Box Front
Moshi SenseCover for iPhone – Box Front

Moshi SenseCover for iPhone - Box Back
Moshi SenseCover for iPhone – Box Back

Moshi SenseCover for iPhone - Box
Moshi SenseCover for iPhone – Box

Moshi SenseCover for iPhone - Box Contents
Moshi SenseCover for iPhone – Box Contents

Moshi SenseCover for iPhone - Front
Moshi SenseCover for iPhone – Front

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Anker 40W 5V/8A 5-Port Wall Charger

I bought the Anker 40W 5V / 8A 5-Port Wall Charger from Amazon for USD$25.99 (SGD$33) and have it shipped to HopShopGo (freight forwarder) since it doesn’t ship directly to Singapore.

Shipping it together with Anker Ultra-Slim Qi-Enabled Wireless Charging Pad (more on it on the next blog post) from HopShopGo is an additional USD$16.88 (SGD$21.30).

The Anker 40W 5V / 8A 5-Port Wall Charger was released in January 2014 and is the more powerful version of the Anker 25W 5-Port Wall Charger.

The 40W charger is able to output a total of 8A as compared to 5A by the 25W charger.

The 25W charger requires you to plug your device to the correct USB port for charging because the output for each port is different. But for the new 40W charger, you no longer need to do that because of PowerIQ. PowerIQ will intelligently identify your device and speak the language it needs for full speed charging.

This time round, the 40W charger is available in both matte black or glossy white. I chose the matte black to differentiate itself from the 25W charger which is only available in glossy white.

Regardless whether it is the 40W or 25W charger, this charger makes an excellent travel charger. I always bring this charger along with me whenever I go for traveling. The 40W charger will be replacing my 25W charger for travelling and I will be using the 25W charger in the office to replace the Konnext SynCharger which I got almost 4 years ago!

Anker 40W 5V/8A 5-Port Wall Charger - Box Front
Anker 40W 5V/8A 5-Port Wall Charger – Box Front

Anker 40W 5V/8A 5-Port Wall Charger - Box Back
Anker 40W 5V/8A 5-Port Wall Charger – Box Back

Anker 40W 5V/8A 5-Port Wall Charger - Box
Anker 40W 5V/8A 5-Port Wall Charger – Box

Anker 40W 5V/8A 5-Port Wall Charger - Box Contents
Anker 40W 5V/8A 5-Port Wall Charger – Box Contents

Anker 40W 5V/8A 5-Port Wall Charger - Top
Anker 40W 5V/8A 5-Port Wall Charger – Top

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Twelve South HiRise for iPhone 5 & iPad Mini

In Sydney, almost everything there is more expensive than in Singapore maybe except for coffee and this HiRise dock. I bought the Twelve South HiRise for iPhone 5 & iPad Mini from Apple Store Sydney for AUD$34.95 (SGD$41). In Apple Online Store (Singapore), the same dock is retailing for SGD$49.

This HiRise dock is compatible with all Apple Lighting devices maybe except for the iPad. Though I tested with an iPad Air and it fits fine, it is very flimsy and easily topple from the side of the dock.

Assembling this dock is pretty cumbersome since there are four screws you need to attach and at the same time you need to hold on to the rear/front support. I find the Elevation Dock was much easier to assemble despite the need for screws in that dock as well.

One good thing about the dock is that your device is being elevated when docked and hence you still can use the headphone jack of your device to listen to music or to answer a call. And because it is being elevated, your device’s speakers are not blocked and hence you will get to hear the full volume of it.

The dock comes with three Lightning cable clips that allows the HiRise to work with practically any case on the market especially cases with recessed connections that no other dock can fit.

Do note that only the official 0.5m or 1m Apple’s Lightning Cable will work with this dock because the fit is very precise. Even the official 2m Apple’s Lighting cable will not fit because it is slightly thicker.

Twelve South HiRise for iPhone 5 & iPad Mini - Box Front
Twelve South HiRise for iPhone 5 & iPad Mini – Box Front

Twelve South HiRise for iPhone 5 & iPad Mini - Box Back
Twelve South HiRise for iPhone 5 & iPad Mini – Box Back

Twelve South HiRise for iPhone 5 & iPad Mini - Box
Twelve South HiRise for iPhone 5 & iPad Mini – Box

Twelve South HiRise for iPhone 5 & iPad Mini - Box Open
Twelve South HiRise for iPhone 5 & iPad Mini – Box Open

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Huawei E5372 4G Mobile Wi-Fi Modem

· · · Network

I was using the Huawei MiFi E585 which I bought 4 years ago till the battery life decided to give up on me. The battery will go flat after about an hour of usage. On top of that I am spoilt with 4G because the 3G speed is way too slow in Singapore, due to bandwidth congestion.

I wanted to get a 4G mobile wi-fi modem last year but it was still pretty expensive, but this year it seems the prices has drop quite a bit. I bought the Huawei E5372 4G Mobile Wi-Fi Modem from a reseller (romz1983) in HardwareZone Forums for SGD$230. If you are interested in getting it, check out the forum thread, WTS: Great MIFI sale from $90 Huawei E589 E5776 E5331 E5220 E5151 ZTE MF60 Wifi Router. He offers other models as well.

The mobile wi-fi modem is actually from Telstra which is an Australia teleco that Huawei OEM for. It comes with 3,560 mAh battery instead of the default 1,780 mAh which gives you up to 10 hours of battery life instead 6 hours. It uses the normal SIM card instead of micro or nano SIM. If you have a SIM adapter, you can use it with it. Accordingly to romz1983, this is the first 150Mbps LTE mobile wi-fi modem that allows you to use SIM adapter. I am using micro SIM with a SIM adapter and it works fine.

One of the reason for getting a mobile wi-fi modem instead of tethering from my phone is because tethering drains your mobile phone battery very fast (though you can keep it charging using a portable battery). I hope 2014 is the year where MacBook Pros/Airs will have a built-in SIM card slot!

Specifications

  • 4G: Band 900/1800/2100/2600 MHz
  • 3G: UMTS/WCDMA Bands 2100/1900/900/850 Mhz
  • 2G: GPRS/GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • Speed: LTE Speed up to 150Mbps (Download) and 50Mps (Upload)
  • Dimensions: 99mm x 62.2mm x 14.4mm (Width x Height x Depth)
  • Weight: 140g (including battery)
  • SIM Card Slot: Normal SIM (Micro SIM & Nano SIM can be used with adapter)
  • microSD Card Slot: Support up to 32GB
  • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11b/g/n
  • Wi-Fi Connected Devices: Up to 10 simultaneous device
  • Battery: 3,560 mAh
  • Battery Life: About 10 hours

Huawei E5372 - Box Front
Huawei E5372 – Box Front

Huawei E5372 - Box Back
Huawei E5372 – Box Back

Huawei E5372 - Box
Huawei E5372 – Box

Huawei E5372 - Box Contents
Huawei E5372 – Box Contents

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