Category Archives: Peripherals / Misc

Peripherals / Misc

A new Nuvi

A new Nuvi

The Nuvi 765 adds 3D buildings, lane assist and Bluetooth on top of the standard feature set of Garmin car navigation units.


The Nuvi 765 is actually one of the higher-end models in the Garmin Nuvi line and offers a Bluetooth handsfree connection to your mobile phone, junction view with lane assist and 3D buildings on the map.

These features aren’t new if you look at the other brands on the market, but it is new on a Garmin, which until this model, only supported junction view.

As far as handling goes, the Nuvi 765 is much the same as its other siblings — about the same size and shape (but heavier) and now comes with a non-slip coating on the back so it’s more secure when you’re holding it in your hand.

You also get a generous 4.3in LCD screen which is bright and easy to read even in bright light.

The biggest change is that the Nuvi 765 comes with an all new connector at the bottom and a new suction cup windshield mount, which means accessories meant for the lower-end models probably won’t work with the Nuvi 765.

The 3.5mm stereo minijack port is a hint of one of the new software features present in the Nuvi 765 — yes, it comes with a music player which supports MP3 files and audio book files.

There is however, no video file support, so music is all that you’re going to get on this device.

Photo viewing is also carried over from the previous Nuvi devices and allows you to store JPEG photos on the device or in an SD card and view them on the Nuvi 765.

Last but not least, the Nuvi 765 comes with Bluetooth A2DP support, which means the GPS can also act as a speakerphone for your Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone.


As far as navigation goes, there are no surprises here — like all Nuvis, the interface is familiar, uncluttered and it works.

I quite like the Garmin interface as the icons are large and easy-to-understand and there’s no ­confusion when accessing the various features.

GPS lock was pretty quick at under a minute from cold start, and typically only a few seconds if you’ve turned it on recently.

There wasn’t any surprises for navigation either although in the time that I used it, there weren’t that many 3D buildings and junctions that I could see — some buildings, like the KLCC and major junctions were represented, but I find it still a little lacking compared with some other brands.

Standalone GPS car navigation unit

GPS chipset: SiRF Star III

Memory: 4GB ROM

Storage: SD expansion slot

Display: 4.3in (480 x 272-pixels

Battery: Lithium-ion

Other features: A2DP Bluetooth

Weight: 184g

Dimensions: 12.2 x 7.6 x 2.0cm

Price: RM1,150

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Of all the 3G hardware on display this month, the BigPond USB modem is the most impressive. It’s also the biggest, but it’s eminently pocketable, and best of all there are no parts to lose.

We had no problem finding a signal in Sydney, but those on the fringes of BigPond’s coverage may be able to solve problems with the included accessories. A USB extension cable is included, plus an external antenna complete with Velcro pads to mount on your laptop’s LCD.

The BigPond application for managing your connection is easy to use. The software includes at-a-glance details of which operator you’re connected to (useful for international roaming), signal strength, and data sent and received during your current session.

Information such as connection speed and long-term data downloads, included with Vodafone and Optus’ software, isn’t shown, though, so you’ll have to visit your account on BigPond’s website for full information.

Unfortunately, BigPond’s data plans are the most expensive on test. BigPond is the only 3G provider to offer data plans larger than 7GB, but its 10GB plan is no substitute for a home broadband connection at a staggering $130 a month.

Even its modest plans are more expensive than most. Where most providers’ monthly charge for a 5GB cap is around $40, BigPond charges an astonishing $90 for just 3GB.

So what does that extra cash get? Apart from the hardware, BigPond claims it covers more of the population with its network, and our speed tests suggest BigPond is the best bet for those concerned with speed.

At the time of testing, BigPond and Optus were the only networks to have rolled out high-speed HSDPA across their 3G networks, with a theoretical maximum speed of 7.2Mb/s download.

In our speed tests, BigPond was the fastest: averaging over 4Mb/s in our download test. The fastest we saw was a shade over 5Mb/s, near enough to BigPond’s claim of a burst speed of 6Mb/s.

For most users though, there’s little appreciable difference between a 1.5Mb/s connection and a 4Mb/s connection. If you frequently download large files you’ll notice BigPond’s speed increase, but you’ll also hit your data cap – and BigPond’s extortionate 25c per gigabyte excess fee – sooner.

If you live in a metropolitan area with coverage from another ISP, sacrificing a little speed will save you a lot of money.

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Expressionist Classic FX2020 Clunky but funky


Expressionist Classic FX2020 Clunky but funky

Altec Lansing’s glossy Expressionist Classic FX2020 stereo speakers sound as good as they look.

ARE you looking for a pair of speakers that look as good as they sound? Then the Altec Lansing Expressionist Classic FX2020 may be right up your alley. These speakers are more for the user who is concerned with style and design.

HIDDEN: The volume controls are well-hidden and difficult to reach.


The Altec Lansing Expressionist Classic FX2020 takes up a wee bit too much desk space, uses unsightly thick wires and lacks a remote.

However, the sound quality is something to appreciate at a reasonable volume and the speakers do not look that bad.

Can’t give Altec Lansing flack for trying to be tasteful with the shiny design.

Pros: Easy setup; decent sound quality.

Cons: No remote; chunky design; lacks power.


(Altec Lansing)

PC stereo speakers

Dimensions (H x W x D): 127 x 127 x 159mm

Price: RM299

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