Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook Review

The Samsung Notebook Series 5 Ultra (14″) (Samsung Ultrabook) is my first piece of office equipment. Since I started my new firm, I’ve been using this ultrabook for the past two (2) months and so far I’ve not encountered any problem.

To those who have never heard of Ultrabook, it is a new generation of notebooks with lighter and thinner profile but without compromising performance and battery life.

The Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook comes in two models – a 13.3″ model and a 14″ model. The 14″ model comes with optical disc drive and 1TB S-ATAII Hard Drive (5,400RPM) with ExpressCache 16GB. The large disk space is one of the biggest pull factors for me. Most Ultrabooks only offer 120GB to 500GB and you pay a higher price for larger space.

I split the hard disk into 2 drives so that I can keep all my files into the second drive. This is to prevent losing my files when I need to format my main drive.

The 14″ inch Ultrabook weighs 1.75kg. It is heavier than a tablet and some Ultrabooks but it is much lighter than your normal notebook.

It runs on Windows 7. With Fast Boot, the computer boots-up in just 20 seconds while Fast Start wakes the Ultrabook from sleep in 2 seconds (but on some occasions, 10 to 20 seconds). Like any other operating systems, the speed of the start up will be affected if you have other software installed or running in the computer.

It comes with a powerful 4 W Stereo Speaker. I haven’t got a TV at home hence my wife and I used my ultrabook as our movie theater. Surprisingly, the sound system was loud and clear enough to fill the entire master bedroom.


Our movie theater

Speaking about movies, Samsung did not ditch their optical drive which allows one to play and burn DVDs. Many ultrabooks have ditched their optical drive.

Admittedly, the inclusion of the optical drive makes the Ultrabook slightly heavier but I still need such drive to install my software, play movies and also burn DVDs and CDs.

Other than that, Samsung generously provides a USB 2.0 port, two USB 3.0 ports, a 4-in-1 card reader and HDMI out. It also has an integrated HD webcam which allows you to video chat while the built-in microphone captures your voice with clear precision.

The Ultrabook comes with a sling bag which I didn’t find attractive. But this can be overcome by buying a nice hipster laptop sleeve (such as http://www.sfbags.com/products/sleevecases/sleevecases-pc.php) or even custom make you own sleeve cases (such as http://www.caseable.com or http://snupped.com/).

Speaking about tablets, although it’s more portable and lighter, it doesn’t beat the word processing functions of a notebook. A notebook (Ultrabook in this case) is essential for me to work when I travel.

On another note, this Samsung Ultrabook is bundled with Microsoft Office Starter, CyberLink Media Suite, MediaShow, Power2Go, PowerDirector and the YouCam webcam app, Skype 4.2, Norton Online Backup, Windows Live Essentials 2011 and a 60-day trial of Norton Internet Security 2012.

The Ultrabook’s battery can last about 7 hours without charge. If Wifi is turned on, battery can last up to 3 hours.

Last month, I took my ultrabook along with me to Washington and also around New York City. I had to attend the International Trademark Association (INTA) conference at Washington D.C. Since I haven’t hired legal assistant, I had to do all my work while I travel.

Thank god for the Ultrabook. I carried it around Washington and New York City to do work. I was working at hostel lobbies (cause they have Wifi), busses and also airports.


Dubai Airport


New York YMCA Hostel Lobby


Free wireless internet connections are abundant in the United States. Starbucks provides free internet access to all its patrons. And there are Starbucks at almost every corner! I don’t even need a data plan to surf the net in New York City. Parks are also Wifi connected!

Busses are also WiFi connected. My 4 hours journey from New York City to Washington DC felt quite short thanks to the Internet connection.

Based on my US trip, my overall assessment of this Ultrabook in terms of portability is good.

My only complaint about this ultrabook is their non removable six-cell battery. Constant charging without draining the battery may shorten the lifespan of the laptop battery. Unfortunately, a non-removable battery is common in Ultrabooks. One alternative is to charge the battery after it automatically powers off, then fully charge the battery.

The Samsung Ultrabook retails at RM2999.

Specification

PROCESSOR: 1.6GHz Core i5-2467M
MEMORY: 4GB RAM
DISPLAY: 14in LED
GRAPHICS: Intel HD Graphics 3000
STORAGE: 1TB hard drive
CONNECTIVITY: WiFi 802.11n, gigabit Ethernet port, Bluetooth 3.0
OPTICAL DRIVE: DVD burner
PORTS: One USB 2.0 port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 4-in-1 card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC), HDMI out, VGA out
BATTERY: 6,120mAh
OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
OTHER FEATURES: Stereo speakers, 1.3-megapixel HD webcam
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 33.27 x 22.86 x 2.08cm
WEIGHT: 1.45kg

Videos


Links
Samsung Ultrabook website
Samsung Notebook Facebook

Samsung Global Blogger Contest

[Advertorial]

To digress from the main topic a little, the deadline to enter the Samsung Global Blogger is coming up on 29 April 2012.

Samsung are searching throughout the world for curious, imaginative and motivated people to invite to London for a once in a lifetime trip to experience the London 2012 Olympic Games.

If you’re chosen, you will be based in the capital during the biggest sporting event of the year. While there, you will search out the best London has to offer during the Games and share it with the world via video, photos and written entries on specially created blogs. You’ll provide a unique insight into the Olympics as it dominates life in London through the summer.

To become a Samsung Global Blogger now, you need to:-

STEP 1: Create a 30 second audition video in English
STEP 2: Upload it before April 29th
STEP 3: You could win a trip to report from London if your video is selected!

Click “Enter now” at Samsung Global Blogger website or read on for more details.

Some of my friends have entered the contest. Check them out!


Huai Bin


Tian Chad

Perhaps someone can do a video with Bersih rally on the background? 😀

You can find all the details from Samsung Global Blogger website.

iPhone 4GS?

[Advertorial]

With a new office in place, I may now need an additional mobile phone. As a practicing lawyer, I think it is important to have an additional phone.

Smart phones nowadays have very short battery life and usually they do not last more than a day. With stiff competition in the legal profession, we must be connected at all times. A missed call is a missed opportunity.

The other advantage of having an additional phone is to separate work and personal. Some of my friends designate one line purely for work and they will turn it off after office hours. I think its a good idea. I have a former client who gave me 10 miss calls. He was demanding but I tried my best to accommodate. But he didn’t pay my bills.

Since I have an iPad, I’m considering getting a iPhone 4S since I’m quite familiar with iOS. There are some Apps which allows synchronization of data. I just started to use Evernote. With Evernote, I can access the data I stored on my iPad Evernote in my other devices.

As for the mobile line, I’m considering getting a Maxis line. Their new iPhone 4S plan comes in 4 namely:

1. For the Best iPhone Experience Seekers
2. For the Budget Conscience
3. For Heavy Surfers
4. For Existing Value Plus Customers.

In brief:-

1. For the Best iPhone Experience Seekers – iPhone 4S is as low as RM1,250 (on a 24-month contract) with iValue 2 plan at RM155/month.

2. For the Budget Conscious – Surf + Text + Talk from only RM30/month with Value Plus Internet plan.

3. For the Heavy Surfers – 1.5 GB at RM50/month with Internet Value Plan.

4. For Existing Value Plus Users – 1G data transfer at RM48/per month with Mobile Internet Plan.

For heavy surfers like me, I need at least 1.5G a month. Text message is almost non existence. Only my Dad texts me nowadays and only my Mum leaves me voice messages -_-. WhatsApp and BBM have taken over.

Heavy Surfers plan is rather interesting. You will only have Internet connection. I thought it’s only for tablets but you now can get it for iPhone.

For more information, you can check out http://www.maxis.com.my/personal/iphone/rates.asp.

My Wedding – 14.1.2012

As some of you may know, I got married on 14.1.2012. It was held at the Grand Ballroom of Crowne Plaza Mutiara, Kuala Lumpur. It was attended by friends and family of over 400 people.

The preparation for my wedding took months and it was mostly done by my wife. Before our wedding, we spent a lot of time preparing our wedding and building our matrimonial home. We fortunately got everything done in time.

We tried to add little unique things for our wedding, for example, our own custom made stamps and a Doraemon ice sculpture.


Doraemon came for my wedding! Unfortunately, the ice sculpture didn’t last long and not many people noticed it!

One of the biggest hits of the night was our instant photo booth. Our guests can take instant photographs here for free and each of them gets to take home a picture each. Props are available for the guests to play with.

The day started with my hengtais (loosely translated as “bros”) coming to my place for the chip san leong (Chinese tradition of saving one’s wife from the evil clutches of evil chi muis) session.

My hengtais, Umeng, Gavin and Wei Chen came all the way from Australia whereas Him and Yong Lin came back from Singapore to attend my wedding. I had 17 hengtais with Umeng as Captain. My hengtais consisted of my high school friends and my friends from the raving days.

The attire for the day for my hengtais was white shirt, black slacks and a hat. My wife managed to borrow a vintage 1977 Rolls Royce from her uncle’s friend.

I hired a tai kam che as our master of ceremony. It was a good move as my wife and I had no idea about Chinese tradition. Further, our tai kam che was pretty funny and happening.

The evil chi muis imprisoned my wife at Crown Plaza Mutiara Hotel. My hengtais and I had a hard time saving my wife from the evil chi muis. Fortunately, the chi muis didn’t make us eat disgusting stuff but we had to do obscene things. But my hengtais were quick to step up to overcome the tasks.


Gavin’s face said, “I CAME”.


Gavin fell and knocked all the hengtais down.


My hengtais found an awesome way to use the hats.

Once this way done, we had a tea ceremony in the hotel and also our new matrimonial home. My colleagues and former colleagues, Halina, Himah, Chu Bian and Ken came early to my house to manage the caterers and guests.

I think the chip san leong event is better described with the slideshow and videos below.

I managed to sneak a nap before heading back to the hotel for the wedding dinner.

The reception started at around 7pm. I didn’t have much time to catch up with many friends.


Our candy booth!

I got my friend Charmaine, a professional violinist to head the band and May to sing. They were excellent.


For our first march in, we had our hengtais and chi muis to walk in with us.


Our hengtais and chimuis also came on stage for the toasting ceremony.

I gave a speech to thank my guests. Here’s the speech:-

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of my wife and I, we would like to take this opportunity to tthank you all for joining us today to celebrate our marriage. Special mention to those who have travelled far to join us today.

It’s a privilege to be in the company of so many people that are important in our lives and we’re delighted to welcome you here to share our special day with us.

We would now like to thank both sets of parents as we wouldn’t be where we are today.

We would like to thank our heng tai and chi muis for helping us in whatever ways they could.

That leads me on to the star of the today, my wife, Angeline. When I first met her 5 years ago, I would never thought this day would happen. She has proven to be the most caring, lovable and meticulous person I’ve ever met.

For most men, we always think that events like today happens automatically. All we need to do is put on a tux and appear on that day. It is true for me. Angeline did all of the work. If there is anything wrong today, it is all my fault as I have not put any effort in preventing it.

In fact, my wife did most of the work for our matrimonial home. She managed to juggle wedding, work and our home. I would like to thank my wife for all the things she has done.

And to my lovely wife, i love you with all my heart and…..

Till death do us part.

Thank you all once again and hope you have a great evening.

It now gives me great pleasure to hand over to Joseph and Vivy.


Joe and Vivy was our MC. My wife and I were their MC during their wedding in Adelaide. They’re kind enough to fly from Adelaide to attend our wedding and MC our event.


Licia and Umeng giving a speech. On the right side, you can see our own custom made wedding emblem designed by our friend, CK.

We find that the night ended too quick. I guess good things end fast. Fortunately, I managed to go yamseng at each and every table.

The whole event went smoothly. Many thanks to friends and family to who helped us. I am also fortunate to have many good friends stepping up to help us in this event.

Thank you everyone!!

Yuna – Walking Like a Dream

[Advertorial]

Few months ago I blogged about Yuna, a Malaysian singer songwriter who was discovered through the Internet. It was about her first people powered online concert.

During the first ever Malaysian online concert held in December 2011, Yuna performed an untitled single and invited fans and Hotlink subscribers to help name the song.

“Walking like a dream” was subsequently chosen, with fans and subscribers also invited to help Yuna develop a music video for the single, either recording themselves singing her song and then submitting online, or in the Hotlink Yuna Music Booth that allowed to do so at select locations around the country.

You can check out the video embedded below.

Can you see any of your friends there? They look like they had so much fun. I feel so old!

For more details, please visit www.nowyoucan.my/yuna

The Year 2011 at a Glance

2011 was probably one of the most eventful years in my lifetime. The good gets better and the bad gets worst. Here are the eventful periods of 2011.

January
I spoke at the 11th edition of Kuala Lumpur’s Pecha Kucha at Delucca. Thanks Niki Cheong for the invite.

February
I wrote an article entitled “Right to Privacy in Malaysia:Do we have it?”. It was later published by Malaysian Insider.

March
I appeared as a guest on NTV7’s Breakfast show to speak on data protection and social media laws.

I also appeared as a guest on BFM Radio to speak on social media laws.

April
My house was burgled. We lost cash and an old Nokia 8850.

May
I attended the International Trade Marks Attorneys conference at San Francisco. Cycling around SF was the highlight of the trip.

June
www.xes.cx hits 10 years.

July
July marks the second Bersih rally in Kuala Lumpur. I was part of the Bar Council’s observers. I witnessed how Malaysians, all of races, were united. I was also unfortunate to witness police brutality.

My blogpost on Bersih and live updates were read by thousands of people.

August
Got my third payment from Nuffnang!

September
I wrote an article entitled “All Lawyers should have an iPad!”. It was published on LoyarBurok and stayed on as one of the most read article for few weeks.

I also launched my bLawg, FoongChengLeong.com.

October
My firm sent me to Chiang Mai to attend the Multilaw Academy. It was a wonderful experience to meet lawyers of various countries. I had so much fun there.

November
My firm had a company trip to Phuket. I made my tuxedo through their well known one-day service.

December
This month was probably the worst month of 2011. Grandpa and my friend, Jessie passed away.

I was also hospitalised for suspected dengue for 3 nights.

The only plus point was that I had a fat bonus.

2012
2012 is going to be another eventful year. I got married, moving to a new home and setting up my own law firm soon. I can’t wait to write another blogpost to reflect on what had happened in 2012!

Hospitalised

I was admitted for suspected dengue fever in December. Few days before that, I had fever and throat infection. My neighbourhood doctor initially diagnosed me with throat infection and gave me antibiotics and tons of other medicine for it.

The medicines didn’t help and on the 3rd day, I fainted in the toilet. Fortunately, I picked myself up (few minutes later) and went back to sleep.

On Saturday, I had muscles and joint pains. I immediately thought of the advertorial I wrote for Ministry of Health regarding dengue fever. It struck me that I may have dengue fever. I quickly went to see the same doctor and he referred me to another clinic to do blood test. My result shows that my white blood cells are dropping. I was immediately referred me to a hospital.

I packed my clothes and got admitted to Pantai Hospital @ Bangsar. My strength was slowly fading away.


At the Emergency Ward


Had to live with this throughout my stay


Although I could walk to my room, I was wheeled to my room. Awesome.

I was on the drip for three nights. The drips worked well.

I felt much better after the first day. The rest of the nights were just resting and eating. Many friends dropped by with gifts.


Even Doraemon came.


Food was just so-so. Quite bland.

Many of them were surprised that I looked well. I guess my early diagnose helped a lot.

I wouldn’t know the seriousness of my sickness if its not for my dengue advertorial. I wouldn’t be able to recover fast if I hadn’t detect it early.

Many thanks to A and friends and family who visited and well wishes!

TMPC – Marriage Preparation Course

As some of you may know, I tied the knot last week.

But some of you may not know that my wife and I went for a marriage preparation course – which was held every Saturday. The course lasted 5 sessions.

I’ve heard of marriage preparation course but I always thought its some sort of religious thing. When AL (my wife) proposed the course to me, I told her if someone starts preaching about God to us, we will walk out straight away.

But there was no preaching. We basically need to sit in a room to watch a show by a couple by a British couple, Niki and Sila Lee. The show will touch many aspect of a couple’s relationship. Topics such as conflict resolution, defining roles, handling finances, dealing with parents and in laws, anger management and so on were covered. In each topic, there will be an interval where couples can sit down and discuss things. For example, AL and I discuss on the roles we should play when we move into our house. I have agreed to pay most of the bills whereas AL will do most of the housework.

This course also gave us the opportunity to discuss on things we would never discuss on. For example, we discussed on the things we love or dislike – which we have never sat down to discuss – we have always been assuming.

The discussions are done privately. There is no need to discuss anything in the open or with anyone else.

The principles taught by this course are fairly simple. A course like this is like an investment to his/her marriage. A good marriage leads to a good life. If one is having a terrible marriage, his daily life would be terrible too. Of course, marriage is no bed of roses, there will be downs and these principles are great reminder to couples to stay on course.

The teaching of this course has some Biblical references. It was fine with me so long I don’t need to raise my hands and sing Christian songs. There are some parts of the teaching which AL and I don’t agree but they don’t force you to follow it.

This course is conducted by a group of volunteer couples. These kind couples spend their free time guiding young couples to a successful marriage. I find them very selfless.

We were also assigned a “support couple” to guide us. Our support couple, Jit and Karen, kindly invited us to their home to have dinner. We were extremely privileged to have them advising us on how marriage is like.

The other thing that is worth mentioning is the food provided. Food is prepared by a daughter of one of the volunteer couples. Every week there will be different stuff and I must say that they were all fresh and delicious!!

I would highly recommend any couples to go for this course. It is highly beneficial. I am sure a lot of ladies would be interested and the men will groan in despair. I went in on an open mind and came out with an enlightened one. It is well worth it. You can have a million dollar business but nothing compares to a good successful marriage. It is the best investment one would have.


[Source: http://rglongpre.ca]

Would you want to spend your life like this or spend a few thousand dollar on divorce lawyers? By the way, If you don’t mind the latter, call me, I can do the divorce for you!

For information about the Marriage Preparation Course, go to the following:-

Blog: http://tmpc-my.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Marriage-Preparation-Course-Malaysia/

The course dates for 2012 are as follow:-
Run 12 – 11, 18, 25 Feb, 3, 10, 17 Mar
Run 13 – 9, 16, 23, 30 Jun, 7, 14 Jul
Run 14 – 22, 29 Sept, 6, 13, 20, 27 Oct

Other Reviews:-
BangsarBabe – Part 2, Part 4

Taylor’s Business School

Few weekends ago, I attended Taylor’s Business School’s Open Day at their spanking new lakeside campus at Subang Jaya. I must say that the place is impressive. It’s large and spacious. Landscape is beautiful.

The campus is adjacent to a small shopping mall with plenty of restaurants. The campus has its own cafeteria and there are many stalls scattered around the building. Kids nowadays have so much in store for them.

But I wasn’t there to see what they have for kids. I was there to see what they have to offer people like me – the working class.

Taylor’s Business School is offering postgraduate programmes which include the following courses:-

1. Master in Management
2. Master in Finance
3. Master of Business Administration (Bristol MBA)
4. PhD in Business

To me, the Bristol MBA is the main attraction. I’ve always heard of people pursing MBAs but never knew about the benefits of an MBA.

The Bristol MBA is a collaboration with the University of the West of England (commonly known as the Bristol MBA). The minimum duration to complete this program is 2 years and the maximum is 5 years.

The Bristol MBA is one of the elite few programmes in the UK to be accredited by the Association of MBAs. It is fully taught by academics from the University of West England and is supported by Taylor’s faculty. The programme is aimed at individuals aspiring to hold senior management positions.

While attending the Open Day, I had the opportunity to interview the Dean Postgraduate Business School, Dr Thomas Thornborrow.


Dr Thomas Thornborrow

Dr. Thomas was a soldier serving in the British Armed Forces. For years, he was trained as a soldier but eventually retired from being one. That is when life became difficult for him. He never had a proper education during his army days and was bouncing from job to job. After years of bouncing around, he eventually got himself a degree and an MBA. That is when the path of success was paved for him.

After years of teaching, he moved to Malaysia to run a foreign university’s postgraduate programme, which became a success within a short period of time. He subsequently joined Taylor’s Business School to run their postgraduate program. This is one story in which an MBA could set someone’s life onto the path of success.

I was very interested to know how an MBA could be useful for work. Dr Thomas explained to me that an MBA programme teaches one how to be an all round professional.

He said that jobs nowadays are now very sectorial. If you are in human resource, you are only exposed to the human resource job scope. I agree with him. This is quite true when you are in a large organisation.

By going through an MBA course, one will be exposed to other fields and skills. By the end of the MBA programme, you will know how, for instance, to read financial reports, develop a deeper understanding of behavior of individuals, teams and various organizational levels and appreciate the skills needed for effective management of human resource. It’s the same for strategy and operations management and developing an understanding of issues such as globalisation, the international economy, corporate governance and policy frameworks. You also get to understand how the impact of new technology and the social and demographic influences on the world of work and business. These are basically, the whole external and internal workings on how to run an organization.


Postgraduate studies lecture hall

This MBA will open doors to other sectors and you could easily move up the corporate ladder. For example, if you’ve been a chemist for 5 years and now want to move to management, an MBA will help.

If you are an entrepreneur or wish to be one, you can learn many new skills; in particular, marketing skills.

Dr. Thomas advised me that the best time for one to pursue an MBA is when one has 5 years working experience (although not compulsory) i.e. when someone is around 29 years old. However, there is exception in this rule, i.e. when one has business experience.
I posed the Malaysian problem to Dr Thomas. In Malaysia, when one starts work, he or she would need to buy a car. By the time he is in his late 20s, he would be saving for a house or already has a mortgage to pay or a family to feed. How does one step out from the workforce to be a full time student?

His answer was “priorities”. One has to sacrifice time for this. But since the recommended time to do a MBA is late 20s, one would have some savings to sustain some period without a salary. Also, the long period to complete the Bristol Masters program would help one to take a break from studies to get back to work.

An MBA course has great networking opportunities. Having a good bunch of classmates is very important. If you have read about the 28 year old Malaysian millionaire, Low Jho Lo, you’ll know that he credited his success to the people he met when he was in business school.


Postgraduate studies lounge. Looks like a good place to network!

Further, 45% of Taylor’s postgraduate programmes students are foreign students. One can be exposed to many different cultures. In addition, the lecturers will ensure that the students are exposed to all these different cultures. It’s like a forced networking session. Dr Thomas told me that one of his classmates is now a senior official in the Ministry of Agriculture in Pakistan.

Being in the legal profession, I am certainly very interested with this MBA course. With an MBA, I would have no problem understanding complex organisational issues. I would love to take off time to obtain an MBA and apply what I learn in the legal profession.

The total cost of the MBA is in the region of RM60,742.00 payable in 4 installments.

For more information on Taylor’s Postgraduate Studies, please visit their website at http://www.taylors.edu.my/en/university/schools/business

Taylor’s Business School I Taylor’s University
No.1, Jalan Taylor’s, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
DL: +603 5629 5716 I Fax: +603 5629 5749
URL: www.taylors.edu.my