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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

COMEX 2008: Under $200 Deals

Just sneaked a peek at the COMEX 2008 exhibition this afternoon. Apparently it is the biggest and baddest event so far, occupying practically every level of Suntec City exhibition centre.

Well, we figured that you might not fancy having to squeeze through the crowds and spend hours getting elbowed or smelling armpits UNLESS there is a good deal there.

So we have compiled a list of some great buys under $200 - just for you! Please remember to do your own research before sinking your hard-earned cash into these bargains.

But first, a quick overview...

COMEX 2008 is open from 28 - 31st August from 12noon - 9pm daily.

According to a TV news report, this exhibition is 10% larger than last year's. The walkways are quite spacious but be prepared for the massive crowds.

In keeping with the F1 motor race coming to Singapore in late September, here's the Lenovo booth with a racing simulator.

Not surprisingly, accessory retailers are anticipating a huge demand for racing wheels.

And now: superb deals under $200!

Digital cameras

This year the price point for entry-level cameras has dropped to incredibly affordable levels. Most major manufacturers now offer a basic camera for less than $200.

Extracts of the brochures are shown below, and products are arranged in alphabetical order of their brand name.

We have also provided lens data such as focal length (35mm-film equivalents) and focal ratio, which is crucial information usually missing in sales pamphlets.

If you're a blogger and you're still using your cellphone to take blog photos - stop torturing your readers and pick up one of these...

Brand: Casio
Model: EX-Z77
Location: Level 4, Booth 8117
Summary Specs: 7.2 megapixels, 3X optical zoom, 2.6-inch LCD
Lens: 38 - 114mm (film equivalent), f/3.1 - 5.9
Price: S$199

Brand: Fuji
Model: A850
Location: Level 4, Booth 8130
Summary Specs: 8.1 megapixels, 3X optical zoom, 2.5-inch LCD
Lens: 36 - 108mm (film equivalent), f/2.8 - 4.9
Price: S$139

Lowest price in the exhibition!

Brand: Nikon
Model: L16
Location: Level 4, Booth 8218
Summary Specs: 7.1 megapixels, 3X optical zoom, 2.8-inch LCD
Lens: 35 - 105mm (film equivalent), f/2.8 - 4.7
Price: S$199

Great to see that a reputed manufacturer like Nikon is able to offer such a nice set of features at this price. It's a pity that Canon, Olympus and Sony did not do so in this show, though the Sony DSC-S730 (S$209) comes pretty damned close.

Brand: Pentax
Location: Level 4, Booth 8361

Model: E50
Summary Specs: 8.0 megapixels, 3X optical zoom, 2.4-inch LCD
Lens: 37.5 - 112.5mm (film equivalent), f/2.8 - 5.2
Price: S$169

Model: Z10
Summary Specs: 8.0 megapixels, 7X optical zoom, 2.5-inch LCD
Lens: 38 - 266mm (film equivalent), f/3.5 - 5.4
Price: S$199

Pentax offers two cameras below $200 - including the Z10 with an impressive 7X zoom. However, Z10 sales is limited to 100 sets per day.

Brand: Samsung
Location: Level 6

Model: M100
Summary Specs: 8.0 megapixels, 3X optical zoom, 2.5-inch LCD
Lens: 37 - 111mm (film equivalent), f/2.8 - 5.2
Price: S$199

Model: S760
Summary Specs: 7.2 megapixels, 3X optical zoom, 2.4-inch LCD
Lens: 38 - 114mm (film equivalent), f/2.8 - 5.2
Price: S$159

Samsung also offers two cameras in this price range.


Want to get a new printer for your home or office? There are many printers below $200 this year, but here are the lowest-priced...

Brand: Brother
Model: DCP-135C
Location: Level 4, Booth 8305
Price: S$88

Brand: Epson
Model: T10
Location: Level 4, Booth 8115
Price: S$88

Brand: HP
Model: D2560
Location: Level 4, Booth 8150
Price: S$79

Cheapest in the fair!

Multimedia gadgets

Even the poorest student needs entertainment that doesn't involve liquid nitrogen.

Brand: AV Labs
Model: AVL977
Location: Level 6, Booth 6138
Price: S$89

A nice digital photo frame to show off your exciting new holiday photos or your trophy wife.

Alternatively you can display some photos of your favourite star, and dream of someday when Code Monkey have everything... even pretty girl like you.

Larger versions are available: eg. 7-inch screen for $169.

Brand: Creative
Model: Various
Location: Level 6, Booth 6121
Price: From S$59

MP3 players are dirt cheap nowadays, priced scarcely more than the flash memory that they sit on.

Nonetheless they are indispensible when taking public transport. When you can't hear stupidity, the world magically transforms into a more pleasant place.

Brand: Sonic Gear
Model: Tatoo 303
Location: Level 6, Booth 6146
Price: S$19.90

There are many types of speakers available for less than $200, however this is the cheapest 2.1 speaker set that I have ever seen. For such a small speaker it certainly delivers a solid punch, though it's unlikely to be as distortion-free as a Bose.

But then again, very few of us work in a recording studio or play golf for a living.

Brand: Sony
Model: DVD-PR50
Location: Level 4, Booth 8401
Price: S$79

It's hard to imagine how much the price of DVD players have crashed. Pretty much the only Sony that you can buy for under $200 is a DVD player.

Science geeks know that watching a DVD movie by itself isn't really entertainment; it's the weeks of debate over plot holes and technical inaccuracies with your friends that is the fun bit.

Eye Candy

Not directly relevant to shopping... but who can forget the hot models who are inseparable from such computer fairs?

It's quite bizarre if you think about it. These ladies sell cameras predominantly to men, who then use the cameras to take photos of them selling cameras to them...

Hot babes attract photographers! In other news... water is wet.

I'll end this post by showing you the half-page advertisement of COMEX 2008 in the Straits Times.

Notice anything odd?

The reflection in her sunglasses doesn't follow the law of physics.

Instead of being laterally inverted, these are normal letters that are simply typed backwards.

Maybe I should submit this to that photoshop disasters site.