Celebrate National Day with these red and white gadgets

Celebrate National Day with these red and white gadgets

Beats Pill

Price: $310

Available colours: Black, red and white

Where to buy: Major electronics retailers[[{"fid":"35653","view_mode":"default","type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":267,"width":410,"border":"0","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

When it comes to portable speakers, Logitech, Philips and Jabra are trying to come up with unique designs, but it is the folks from Jawbone and Beats who have nailed the look of the moment.

The Beats Pill is shaped like a giant capsule, complete with rounded ends, and is roughly the size of a microphone.

It sits on a flat base, with the back made of plastic and the front wrapped in a metal grill mesh covering four, one-inch 12-watt drivers. These drivers are angled upwards when the speaker is positioned on a table top.

In the middle of the front mesh is a plastic strip that cuts vertically into the mesh, where the button with the Beats logo sits for Bluetooth pairing purposes.

The charging, Bluetooth and line in/out slots are at the back, together with the Power button and Near Field Communication (NFC) icon for automatic pairing with another NFC-enabled device.

Apart from the logo, everything is in red, white or black.

For those looking to play their favourite National Day songs, audio here is robust and easily fills a room with music streamed through a portable music player.

It also supports hands-free call functions and comes with a rechargeable battery good for seven hours of continuous music playback.

And if you want to lug it around in your bag, each device comes with a soft shell casing in the same colour as your device.

Other brands should try to beat this.

By Sherwin Loh

Nespresso Pixie

Price: $338

Available colours: Stainless steel, brown, electric lime, electric red, electric aluminium, titan, carmine

Where to buy: From Nespresso boutiques and www.nespresso.com[[{"fid":"35654","view_mode":"default","type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":267,"width":410,"border":"0","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

There is no doubt that anything red stands out but, sometimes, a simple patch of colour can garner the same reaction.

That is the design premise of the Nespresso Pixie capsule coffee machine. Roughly the height of a bottle of soft drink, the machine has a curved top with a body of black plastic.

Adorning both sides of the coffee maker are two metallic-finish coloured plates. The red version poses a nice contrast to the black of the coffee machine, and adds a dash of colour to modern kitchens that tend to use a lot of grey, white and brown.

You plonk a coffee capsule into the open slot at the top, close it and, at the push of a button, watch fresh coffee drip into your cup.

The refillable water container at the back and the capsule tray in front are the only two things you need to clean out every few days.

Coffee addicts after a richer, brighter colour scheme might want to check out the different coffee types Nespresso offers.

Red is reserved for decaffeinated coffee. In the standard range, there are no white capsules.

However, in the limited-edition range, the Coconut capsule is white.

The 2013 Trieste and Napoli Limited Edition capsules also come in white. The Trieste name is written in green on a white background; Napoli's is in red on white.

To match your Pixie, you can also get the white Aeroccino milk frother ($199).

By Sherwin Loh

Klipsch S3m In-Ear Headphones

Price: $89

Available colours: Black, blue, jade, red and white

Where to buy: Nubox, Challenger, EpiCentre[[{"fid":"35655","view_mode":"default","type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":267,"width":410,"border":"0","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

Looking to jazz up your listening experience? Klipsch's S3m in-ear headphones come in five striking colours. They also boast a full-bodied sound that you can credit to their 5.8mm driver.

These cans work with mobile devices from all major platforms. But Android users must first download an app to get full functionality from the S3m's one-button remote and microphone, and to be able to answer calls, control volume and skip tracks.

Klipsch's oval-shaped eartips are designed for a better fit, unlike the circular ones from other brands. You should be able to wear them for longer spells without discomfort.

As is often the case for such headphones, the eartips come in three sizes so users can choose the most comfy version.

The company says the device's cables are tangle-resistant, but that is one claim that may not survive the disorder within our bags.

By Vincent Chang

Sony PlayStation Vita

Price: $469

Available colours: Blue, black and red

Where to buy: Sony stores and authorised resellers[[{"fid":"35656","view_mode":"default","type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":267,"width":410,"border":"0","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

Playing games on mobile devices may be very popular now, but nothing beats mashing buttons on a video gaming handheld. For that physical thrill you cannot get with a touchscreen, there is the Sony PlayStation Vita, which is now available in "cosmic red".

The 5-inch gaming handheld has received favourable reviews since its debut last year. The hardware is capable and the user experience is polished.

To be fair, rival Nintendo's 3DS handheld offers more games. But the PS Vita boasts titles from major gaming franchises such as Assassin's Creed III, Call Of Duty and Uncharted.

Owning a PS Vita makes more sense if you intend to buy Sony's upcoming PlayStation 4 (PS4) console. The Remote Play feature allows PS4 games to be streamed to the Vita. Developers can also write their games to allow the Vita to be used as a secondary controller.

By Vincent Chang

Casio G-Shock DW-6900SC-7

Price: $149

Available colours: (Face) black, orange and grey

Where to buy: G-Factory stores[[{"fid":"35657","view_mode":"default","type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":267,"width":410,"border":"0","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

This watch is red and white, and has numerous stars emblazoned on the watch face. Sure, there is no crescent moon, so this is not a direct homage to the national flag, nor is it inspired by the flag, but the coincidences of theme and occasion are uncanny.

Then again, given that there are so many colour variations in Casio's G-Shock range, it comes as no surprise.

Even minus any flagwaving association with the Republic, this G-Shock model, which follows the brand's iconic DW 6900 design, is a sharp accessory to brandish.

This range, which also comes with black, orange and grey faces, alongside white, blue and grey straps, all come with star patterns sprinkled on the watch face.

While the grey one looks polished, and the blue one more akin to something a guy might wear, this red and white combo, with gold stars, is the most striking of the lot.

Especially with Aug 9 just around the corner.

By Sherwin Loh

Hellolulu Caro Laptop Bag

Price: $139

Available colours: Black, grey, red and yellow

Where to buy: Takashimaya, Robinsons Centrepoint, QCD@Funan, Newstead Jurong Point and Popular Bras Basah[[{"fid":"35658","view_mode":"default","type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":267,"width":410,"border":"0","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

Why carry separate bags for your laptop and your gym shoes when they can all go into Hellolulu's 15-inch Caro laptop bag?

Intended for those who work hard - and play even harder - the Caro looks like a standard laptop bag until you spot the separate compartment at the side for your trainers or water bottle.

It is spacious enough for laptops with screens of up to 15 inches. The laptop compartment is padded for extra protection and there is ample space for other accessories, perhaps even a tablet. The bag is made of water-resistant nylon.

What should also have been padded are the nylon handles. Currently, they seem like they could chafe your palms.

The straps are too short to carry the bag comfortably over the shoulder.

If you have over-stuffed the Caro, you had better have strong arms.

By Vincent Chang

New Balance MRL996AR

Price: $149

Available colours: Blue, red, grey and yellow

Where to buy: Major sports stores[[{"fid":"35659","view_mode":"default","type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":267,"width":410,"border":"0","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

When I buy sports shoes, I tend to choose those in bright colours. Black shoes look rather dull, while whites, silvers or pastels tend to trap and show dirt after several runs.

Darker shades tend to mask the dirty streaks better.

You might choose a red pair because the colour suits you or perhaps you have always wished you could steal the ruby slippers that Dorothy wore in The Wizard of Oz.

The New Balance MRL996AR is covered, for the most part, in red velvet covers, except for the tongue, toe box and edges of the outer collar area. The lining of the inside collar, together with the heel and laces are white, with the signature N in silver.

In other words, there is enough red here for a National Day outfit, without adding red-and-white pants and shirt. If you want, add a white Nike+ SportWatch GPS to complement your ensemble.

By Sherwin Loh

Canon EOS M

Price: from $699

Available colours: Black and red

Where to buy: Authorised Canon dealers[[{"fid":"35660","view_mode":"default","type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":267,"width":410,"border":"0","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

If you are looking for a camera to take to the National Day Parade, the Canon EOS M fits the bill. More portable than a full-frame DSLR, the M is Canon's first venture into the growing pool of mirrorless cameras.

When it was launched last year, the consensus was that this 18-megapixel camera produces excellent images. Its touchscreen is responsive and easy to use. More importantly, the EOS M is compatible with Canon's EF and EF-S lenses. So Canon DSLR owners can use their existing lenses. The company has also tackled a major complaint - slow autofocus - by releasing a firmware update.

Prices, too, have become more affordable, with the basic kit starting at $699 instead of more than $1,000. Canon also recently introduced new EF-M lenses priced at $589.

By Vincent Chang

Nike+ SportWatch GPS

Price: $279

Available colours: Blue glow, black/volt, anthracite/black, anthracite/red and silver/white

Where to buy: Harvey Norman, Challenger, Newstead and Courts[[{"fid":"35661","view_mode":"default","type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":267,"width":410,"border":"0","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

The current fascination with wearable gadgets, mostly in the form of wristbands, looks set to explode in the coming months when Samsung, Apple and other tech companies are expected to announce their versions of high-tech watches that can track your movements and activity.

But take a step back and think what you really want that gadget on your wrist to do - apart from telling the time. Track your movements via GPS? Send activity reminders? Maybe even stream music to your wireless headphones?

Okay, that last function is not found on the Nike+ SportWatch GPS but the watch does pretty much everything else on my list.

Fitness fanatics can count on the watch to track their pace, distance, location and heart rate, and upload details of each activity to a centralised database where their fitness progress can be logged.

Unlike the slim profiles of the Fitbit Flex or Jawbone Up activity bands, the Nike+ SportWatch GPS is shaped like a regular watch with an LCD display that shows the time as well as activity information.

Its width might seem daunting to some, but the colours help boost the aesthetics, whether you choose the grey and red colour palette, or the all-white version with the silver trim.

If you are mad for red, you should know that the red is only on the inside of the strap and will not show when the device is on your wrist.

On the outside, it is just white or black.

By Sherwin Loh

Monster NCredible NTune On-Ear Headphones

Price: $249

Available colours: midnight black, cobalt blue, cherry red, frost white, juice orange, candy blue, candy green, candy red, candy purple and candy tangerine

Where to buy: Major electronics retailers[[{"fid":"35662","view_mode":"default","type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":267,"width":410,"border":"0","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

Monster and Dr Dre may have parted ways, but other musicians are eager to collaborate with Monster, including Nick Cannon, who came up with the NCredible NTune series.

These mid-range devices are not massive in size and the plastic material bends easily - perfect for the young and mobile audiophile.

With tangle-free cables, these headphones will not tie themselves into knots in your bag either.

Scores of colour options are available, but do note that the colour choices are merely cosmetic and for the exterior of the frame only.

If you want headphones from the headband, earcups and cables in one colour, you will have to search elsewhere.

The white one here covers the headband as well as part of the circumference of each earcup. Otherwise, the underside is a deep black.

By Sherwin Loh

Epson Expression Home XP-202

Price: $128

Available colour: White

Where to buy: Courts, Harvey Norman and other major electronics retailers[[{"fid":"35663","view_mode":"default","type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":267,"width":410,"border":"0","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

Small in size, but big in value. This best describes the Epson XP-202 all-in-one printer. Touted as "having the smallest footprint" in its category, this printer takes up only slightly more space than a 15-inch laptop and weighs just over 4kg.

With a printing speed of up to 30 pages per minute, the XP-202 should fulfil the needs of both the home and small office. It can be connected to your computer via its USB port, or you can take advantage of its Wi-Fi connectivity and print directly from your Android or iOS mobile device using the Epson iPrint app.

It scans documents at up to 1,200 dpi resolution and converts them for editing with its built-in optical character recognition software.

Scanned documents can be delivered via e-mail or uploaded to supported cloud services such as Box, Dropbox, Evernote or Google Docs.

By Vincent Chang

Nikon Coolpix S9400

Price: $399

Available colours: Black, red, silver and white

Where to buy: Authorised Nikon dealers[[{"fid":"35664","view_mode":"default","type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":267,"width":410,"border":"0","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

A slim compact camera that packs an 18x optical zoom lens, the Nikon Coolpix S9400 is designed to produce good images even in dim light, because of its 18.1-megapixel backside illumination CMOS sensor and a vibration reduction feature. Other notable features include the ability to record videos in full high-definition and a large 3-inch Oled display.

The lens extends a fair bit during use but the camera is small enough to fit into your pocket when it is switched off.

A number of built-in filters can transform the look of your images, turning them to sepia or black-and-white, for instance.

If an image is not satisfactory, the appropriately named Glamour Retouch feature can add colour to the cheeks of your subjects, remove eye bags and even whiten their teeth. In total, five new touch-ups have been added to the three that were available in older models.

By Vincent Chang

Sony Vaio Duo 13

Price: $3,299

Available colours: White and black

Where to buy: Sony stores and other authorised resellers[[{"fid":"35665","view_mode":"default","type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":267,"width":410,"border":"0","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

Unable to choose between a tablet and a laptop? Have both with Sony's Vaio Duo 13. Slide up the 13.3-inch screen of this hybrid and it will transform from tablet to notebook.

As a tablet, the Vaio Duo is hefty and awkward to hold, but it supports a digitiser stylus for handwritten notes and doodles. When it is used as a laptop, the angle of the screen is fixed. Add to that a reflective screen that looks darker when seen from any position other than dead centre and the viewing experience is less than ideal.

On the plus side, this device uses Intel's latest Haswell processor and comes with a speedy solid-state drive. With its 4G LTE support, you can access the Internet using the Vaio Duo during your daily commute. More importantly, it will last you almost an entire day. The battery clocked more than eight hours in our test.

By Vincent Chang

Logitech UE Boom

Price: $299

Available colours: Red, white, blue and black

Where to buy: Major electronics retailers

For those who appreciate subtlety in design, consider Logitech's UE Boom portable speakers.[[{"fid":"35666","view_mode":"default","type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":267,"width":410,"border":"0","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

The cylindrical unit comes with two flat ends and can be placed horizontally or vertically for all-around sound.

Mesh curls around the body of the speaker save for a plastic strip with two huge volume buttons.

You can choose red, white or blue mesh to go with a white plastic strip or black mesh with a black strip.

Once connected as a speaker to a phone, it can not only stream music but also be used to make calls.

If you feel that small speakers simply do not do justice to music, you can link two speakers to the same source via a smartphone app for the UE Boom.

You can plant the two speakers on opposite sides of a room and spread the music. You can even control the volume of both speakers from your phone to ensure that your friends hear the music as you intended.

When only one speaker is used, there is no mistaking the lack of punch once you step away from the device. But when the double UE Boom Boom set-up is deployed, the result is quite impressive.

By Sherwin Loh

Tritton Pro+ 5.1 Surround Headset

Price: $399

Available colour: White

Where to buy: Game shops, including Gamemartz, The Software Boutique, Tec-Drome, CH Computer, Cyberactive and Xtreme Solution[[{"fid":"35667","view_mode":"default","type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":267,"width":410,"border":"0","style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

Elevate your gaming experience with the Tritton Pro+ 5.1 Surround headset for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Unlike headsets which offer simulated surround sound, the Tritton Pro+ actually has four speakers embedded in each earcup. This means it can produce more realistic 5.1 surround sound and may even help you pinpoint your in-game enemies more accurately.

The earcups and headband are padded for comfort. By blocking out ambient noise, they also make for a more immersive gaming experience.

The Tritton Pro+ also has a Selectable Voice Monitoring feature, which enables you to hear yourself when you chat on the microphone. You can tune out excessive chatter easily by turning a dial.

The microphone can be detached from the headset when you listen to music or watch a movie.

The downside: At $399 a pop, these cans are really expensive.

By Vincent Chang

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