For the heck of it

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Tech Shopping in Taipei

Have been busy for the past few days, since my meeting schedule was packed, thanks to my magazine's agent in Taipei - PRISCO. Got time today and tomorrow for my shopping before I fly back to Dubai tomorrow. I had been wanting to buy one of those 2.5-inch hard disk casings, which also double up as multimedia players. Such casings are available from companies such as Sarotech, Vantec, Sedna and so on.

At Computer Plaza in Dubai, I have only seen such casings from Sarotech and few "no-name"companies. While the ones from Sarotech sell for a whopping AED 450 (US$123), those from "no-name"companies sell for about AED 180 (US$49). Sarotech cases flaunt a really good build quality and user interface, while those no-name ones are made of cheap metal and crappy UI.

I went to the Computer Street (I think it's called Guang Hwa Computer Market) in Taipei to check out the wares. I asked a representative from PRISCO to write the name down for me in Chinese, so that it becomes easier for me to communicate it to the taxi driver, and it becomes easier for him to undertand where I wanted to go. Here's the location name in Chinese.

Print this image out and show it to the taxi driver, if you want to go to Computer Street in Taipei

You can print it out and hand it over to the taxi driver, if you intend to go to the Computer Street in Taipei. On the computer street, you will find big technology superstores, medium-sized computer stores and small kiosks that also sell IT and CE products. The taxi driver told me that it's much better shopping at the kiosks, which are situated into a building that is divided into six halls. Each hall has numerous little shops / kiosks that sell a variety of gadgets.

I visited each and every shop in the building looking and enquiring about the 2.5-inch hard disk drive cases. And I did find a variety of them - ranging from NTD 990 (US$ 30) to NTD 3400 (US$ 103), in different colours, materials, and features. I bought one from a "no-name" company for NTD 1,800 (US$54).

The HDD case. Seen here is the AV cable, the USB port, the multi-cable connector, and the power connector.

The build quality was excellent and the UI was awesome. As you can see below, it came with a variety of connectors, too. Watch this space for a detailed review.

The contents of the box - the cables, the remote control, the pouch and the manual.

Before I left for Taipei, my good friend Siddharth, who also happens to be an excellent photographer, asked me to buy one of these casings for him, too. However, when I asked the guy selling the case, he said he only had one piece left, since many people who were visiting Computex, went out and bought such cases, too. He claimed that he himself sold about 32 such cases to visitors from various countries, over the last 2 days.

I then enquired at other stores, and luckily found one from a company called Vantec, which featured an OTG function, and cost NTD 2200 (US$ 67). I immediately mailed Siddharth telling him about the case, and asking him whether I should buy it. He replied back with an affirmation, and so I bought this one for him.

The HDD case showing the AV connectors, the USB port and the /off switch.

The contents of the box - check out all the cables, remote control, software CD and manual.

I hope to post a full-on review of the case some time soon. So watch this space for more!


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