A speaker that appeals to both the ears and eyes

The retro-inspired Mao Wang Little Prince Radio is not new to the market but has continually been gaining popularity in China and overseas alike. Three of the main reasons why many consumers are attracted to it (myself included!) are as follows:

Features

This speaker doubles up as a radio and a speaker. The radio is controlled with a dial to give that retro feel and is pretty accurate and clear when changing stations. The dial, while small, is easy to turn and is convenient for tuning.

The speaker can be used via Aux-in or Bluetooth which is easy to pair to both mobile and laptop. Indicative lights on connectivity is also present, providing ease while pairing.

Quality audio

For a compact speaker, the audio is very impressive. It produces a rich bass sound and can be rather loud, with music easily surrounding a room. This radio is good for indoor usage but probably not in a loud and outdoor setting.

Design and Packaging

The main reason why this speaker is so appealing is definitely because of the design of the radio.

With its sleek, small body, it packs features that can be utilized on a daily basis for most consumers. This sturdy and weighted speaker has only three dials which makes the overall user experience friendly and intuitive. The indicative lights on showing whether your speaker has successfully connected, pending connection, good radio connection and battery warnings are also very useful.

The speaker is packed in a mini retro-luggage-bag box, with little pamphlets and stickers within the box.

The retro-inspired Mao Wang Little Prince Radio has a mid-price tag to it but the overall look and feel, coupled with the quality audio makes this a worthy purchase.

You can purchase this in many colors on Tmall here.

3 things to consider before buying the Lofree DOT Mechanical Keyboard

For ardent supporters of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, this DOT mechanical keyboard by Lofree should look familiar to you. According to LoFee’s website, the company has won multiple RedDot design and iF awards the past few years, and this keyboard is clearly one of its key products. 

Here is my take on the three things to consider before making the purchase.

1. Charging of keyboard

This device needs to be charged with a micro-USB charger – a single charge can last up to a month. With high utilisation on my device, battery life was about a week.  Considering that newer devices have all moved to USB-C charging, having the additional cable to keep it charged occasionally can be a hassle.

2. Ergonomic design

The mechanical keyboard is supposed to provide that retro feel of typing on a typewriter and as such, it needs the depth to provide the clicking sound as well as the ‘bounce’ for each key. As such, I find myself having to lift my fingers more just to get to the higher keys. This may not seem like much, but if you happen to type a lot and are looking for convenient and further spaced keys, the DOT mechanical keyboard may not suit you. 

In addition, the keyboard is relatively flat although it has two stands supporting at the back. For someone who is so used to having the MOFT stand (see previously written article here), the shift to this keyboard sees me having to type with less of an angle.

3. Mechanical clicking sounds when typing

The mechanical keyboard sound while typing can be pleasing to the ears – if you are not typing on it for long stretches of time. I originally loved the clicking sounds and felt very accomplished with each click. However, the more I heard it (coupled with the fact that my fingers were tired after the constant typing on it), I realised that it wasn’t as pleasing as I thought it would be. 

This keyboard is definitely aesthetically-pleasing, provides the cool retro-feel and connects via Bluetooth easily. However, you may want to consider the above three points before making the purchase. 

You may look at the other products LoFree carries here.

Exploring IconSiam

On a recent trip to Bangkok, my family and I decided to visit a new, highly-raved mall – IconSiam. IconSiam had its grand opening in November 2018 and has since attracted a vast number of tourists and locals alike. Being the largest mall in Bangkok, it boasts more than just shops but has many attractions within the mall itself.

The ground level hosts a cultural experience where I couldn’t help but be amazed at. One of the most known attractions in Bangkok is the floating market and this level had a floating market re-created to allow tourists to experience it.  The level was sectioned into various parts of Thailand, where each section showcased the unique crafts and food of the area.

To allow yourself to truly be able to ‘taste’ Thailand, common tables and chairs were also available where we were able to buy food from the different areas and have a feast. For such a grand mall like IconSiam, I was surprised that prices were kept pretty affordable (case in point – skewers were sold at 120 baht for 10).

Walking through the various stalls, we found ourselves near a staircase and it was only then where we realized that there was a mezzanine to the ground level. From the mezzanine, we were able to look across the entire area, and it truly felt like a cultural night market – a very cozy and pleasing one to be in.

Once we were done exploring the cultural area, we explored the rest of the building where we saw many flagship stores (including the first Apple store in Thailand) and a Porshe car showroom. Many famous restaurant chains (including Laem Chaeron and MK Live) are situated at the top floors of the mall. A waterfall, smaller but similar to the waterfall at Singapore Changi Airport’s Jewel, can also be found there.

For those looking for a new place to explore in Bangkok, this is definitely the ‘in’ thing for this season! The whole area is picturesque and definitely insta-worthy.

More information on how to get there can be found here.

Catch a nap at CentralWorld

While many malls provide chairs or benches for shoppers to take a break, CentralWorld has upped the notch by offering tired shoppers a place to take a nap.

During my trip to Bangkok last week, I came across a red rectangular structure in the popular shopping complex. It looks like something one would find in a playground — a monkey bar contraption of sorts.

But, upon closer examination, it was more than that. Using a combination of metal poles and platforms, the structure lets shoppers sit, study, slouch, and even sleep. Picture a bunk bed and you’d have a better idea of what I’m talking about.

The lower zones provide seats at different heights so the young and tall all have somewhere to sit comfortably. Even the “tables” are tilted at different angles so there’s something for everyone.

From the looks of things, some shoppers really know of this place. They came prepared for a nap, equipped with pillows and sleeping bags.

There are a few ground rules — no unaccompanied children under 12, no shoes in the upper zones, be careful while resting, and no climbing or jumping. Certainly makes sense as these make the structure a better place for all to use.

Do check this out next time you’re out shopping at CentralWorld. And remember to bring a pillow if you’d like to catch a nap.

Computex does it right

The card that means a lot to international visitors.

Throughout my career and in my voluntary work, I’ve had the opportunity to attend many events — including many mega ones — in Singapore and around the world.

Organisers often spend much effort in marketing their event so that they can draw more exhibitors and participants. That’s well and good because they are in it for the profit.

What happens after registration and turning up is another thing. Some events have let me down tremendously — from poor logistics planning to lack of interest in visitors. All they wanted was to meet their KPI of visitor numbers.

Of course, they’re not all bad. There have been events where I’ve come out smiling for the experience, whether it’s the welcoming feel, content, exhibits, or takeaways that I’ve gathered.

But there is one event where the organisation stands tall above all. It’s Computex Taipei.

I’ve had the privilege of attending this mega IT show in Taiwan since 2003 and its organisers, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and Taipei Computer Association (TCA) certainly puts in lots of effort to draw the crowd and keep them happy.

Before the event starts, they send invitations to trade visitors and get this — offer sponsorship of accommodation to those who qualify.

International participants are provided with official letters for speedier clearance at airport immigration. Believe me, this is a major plus when you look at the queue.

Registration is made easy with counters at all the halls. The tags can also be delivered to the participants’ hotels. Wow!

Now, for the clincher. Every international participant is given a Taipei Metro card with unlimited travel on the subway from the start of the exhibition to the day after it ends. That’s a whopping value of NTD900 (about US$28.60) for five days of subway convenience. No other event that I’ve been to, including big ones in the United States, accord such a benefit to visitors.

It’s really convenient to get around in Taipei with their extensive subway network. And the key event venues at Taipei World Trade Center in the city and Nangang Exhibition Hall on the outskirts sit near a station.

On top of that, the thoughtful organisers also provided bus shuttles among the venues, as well as to many hotels.

Kudos, TAITRA and TCA! You’ve made going to Computex a joy and something that I look forward to every year.

MOFT – the trusty laptop stand

I received the MOFT laptop stand as a gift a couple of months back and have been using it since. What seemed to be a thin, spongy-like rectangle has proven to be a very useful one – and I’ve got to say, I am truly amazed by it.

moft

So what is a MOFT laptop stand? It essentially seems to be an origami-like structure that remains flat when not in use, well-stuck on the back of the laptop. I use a Macbook Pro 13 inch, and it rests nicely just below the hinge. This product is recommended for users of tablets/ laptops between 11.6” and 15.6” and can hold a machine of up to 8kg.

When utilised, this flat piece folds into a stand, resting comfortably on the table/surface. With two angles available, the lower angle provides just a slight tilt when utilising the keyboard while the higher angle provides a more distinct height. Do note, with the tilt comes a higher screen – a feature I appreciate a lot. The higher angle provides a raised screen for me, and allows me to rest my arms comfortably on my desk with a screen that is not too low, ensuring that I am not constantly straining my neck by looking down on to my computer screen.

Also, while this seems to be a really thin stand, it holds the weight of my laptop and even when I rest my wrists on my keyboard while typing, it has always remained firm.

So the verdict – would I recommend this to my friends and co-workers? Yes, I definitely will! It’s sleek, sits nicely on the back of my laptop, and has proven to be very trusty. The MOFT laptop stand comes in four colors, so I’m sure you’ll find one that you’ll like.

If you’d like to purchase one, you may do so here.

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