Happy Anniversary!

Video

This site was started 1 year ago to share about what I know and love.

How to use credit cards to earn your next trip?
How to travel in style with the least money?
Where are the good deals?
What gear am I using?
What membership cards are useful?
What mobile applications are making my life easier?

Here’s a video to wish this site Happy Anniversary with many more years to come.

[Gear] 90 Points Luggage 20″

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ABS and PC must be familiar to you if you are shopping for a luggage and these are some of the common materials used. Some luggage are made using more premium materials like metal and Makrolon by Covestro. (Subsidiary of Bayer.)

Covestro Makrolon

In my trip to Milan last year, my carry-on luggage was damaged. (Zipper damaged. I am not gentle with my gears.) So I have been looking for a replacement for a while. Since then, I have been relying on my old carry-on luggage that is quite heavily used but still working.

Packed

Old carry-on luggage.

At luggage shops, I am seeing Makrolon luggage priced at more than SG$100 for 20″ carry-on. In my opinion, that is overpriced. I am not supportive of carrying expensive luggage when travelling. Here’s why:

  • Prime target for theft/robbery.
  • Heavy. (Especially Rimowa and Tumi metal luggage.)

So I am very happy to discover that 90 Points luggage 20″ is officially available on Xiaomi’s tmall for RMB$299. (SG$66.09. 24″ available as well at RMB$349 or SG$77.14.) This is very affordable for a Makrolon luggage. So you may be wondering why Xiaomi has luggage? This is produced by one of their ecosystem company 润米 that they have invested in. It is the same manufacturer of Xiaomi Multi Purpose Computer Bag that I have reviewed previously.

Luggage Box

Luggage Box. (4.2KG for shipment consideration. Shipment cost RMB$99.91 or SG$21.91 via air through Taobao’s official forwarder PRouter. You will want to order this item individually as Xiaomi will ship this item individually if you mix with other items in 1 order.)

Luggage Unboxing

Luggage Unboxing.

Luggage Wrapped

Luggage Wrapped.

Luggage Front

Luggage Front. Makrolon is a good balance of weight and durability. Notice the strips? These are created to deal with impact. Blue color here. Black, grey and white available as well.

Luggage Side Handle

Luggage Side.

Luggage Wheels

Luggage Wheels. 8 of them. Very smooth when rolling around. TPE material.

TSA Locked

TSA Lock. Pin set at 000 on arrival by default.

ZIP Released

ZIP Released. Notice raised dot design on luggage body? This is to prevent scratches.

Luggage Side

Luggage Side. Good to see plastic stands.

Luggage Top

Luggage Top. Handles are without cushion which is good to have.

Luggage Telescopic Handle

Luggage Telescopic Handle At Full Extension. 4 heights adjustable. Handle built with reinforced metal that has been polished. Some handles are quite shaky based on my experience. But this has been designed and tested to be very solid. Movement is kept within 1.5cm based on specification.

Luggage Back

Luggage Back.

Luggage Opened

Luggage Opened. Closed interior dividers ensure good separation and storage. Huge plus.

Left Opened

Left Opened.

Right Opened

Right Opened.

Bags Stacked

90 Points Luggage 20″ with Xiaomi Multi Purpose Computer Bag. They are meant to be together isn’t it?

Luggage Label

Luggage Label. 2.9KG net weight for luggage, 36L of storage, 375mmx223mmx550mm inclusive of wheels compliant with airlines carry-on luggage size requirement.

Luggage Weight

Luggage Weight. Not too far off from specifications.

[Gear] Handphone

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Is Mobile World Congress (MWC) week in Barcelona. LG and Samsung have made their announcement. HP also announced Elite x3 which is interesting.

HP Elite X3

HP Elite X3 phone (Qualcomm SnapDragon 820 64-bit quad-core 2.15GHz, 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, 64GB Storage, MicroSD Expansion up to 2TB, CAT 6 LTE, 2×2 802.11AC WIFI, 6″ 2560×1440 AMOLED screen, 2 front facing B&O tunes speakers, Dual SIM, USB-C, 16MP/8MP cameras, Iris Scanner, Fingerprint reader and 4150mAh battery with Qi charging.) powered by Windows Phone. Why? It got a desk dock (3rd row 2nd and 3rd column. Gigabit Ethernet, DisplayPort, 2 USB 3.0 and 1 USB-C.) and Mobile Extender (4th row. 12.5″ 1080p screen, full size keyboard and 48wH battery. Pair it with phone and you can work.)

Other than LG, Samsung and HP, another company that I am watching in MWC is Mi. They will be launching Mi5 in China and MWC. This marks Mi’s debut in MWC and potentially a declaration of their intent to break into international market big time. Mi5 is also confirmed to be running on Qualcomm SnapDragon 820 with various configurations available. Let’s wait and see.

In the meantime, let’s talk about my daily driver: Mi Note. I have been using this for close to 6 months and it has been serving me well on trips. Here’s the specification of Mi Note.

Processor: Qualcomm SnapDragon 801 64-bit quad-core 2.5GHz
RAM: 3GB LPDDR3
Storage: 64GB
Connectivity: LTE, Dual SIM, 802.11AC WIFI
Screen: 5.7″ 1080p LCD
Camera: 13MP/4MP cameras
Battery: 3000mAh
OS: MIUI China Development ROM with Android Marshmallow

Most photos on this site are taken using this phone and it runs all applications featured on this site to keep me productive. Dual SIM is a must for me so that I can use local prepaid SIM card with my Singapore SIM card while overseas to maintain connectivity. Screen is of good quality and size.

It currently retails for SG$569 on http://www.mi.com/sg/minote/ or SG$28 with Singtel Combo 2 signup with 24 months contract on https://www.singtelshop.com/shop/phones/xiaomi-mi-note.

[Gear] Sennheiser Noise Cancelling Headphone

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Update (22 February 2016): The Bluetooth version of this (PXC310BT) will be available at SG$299 (Usual price SG$549) during upcoming IT Show from 10-13 March 2016. 60 pieces only. Book at: http://presales.itshow.com.sg/product/pxc-310-bluetooth/.

One type of headphone that many travelers may encounter is noise cancelling headphone. When you sit near to an engine or have babies around in flight, this can be a lifesaver. In premium cabins, airlines are also offering premium noise cancelling headphone for passengers’ use. An example is Singapore Airlines that offer Bose QuietComfort 15 acoustic noise cancelling headphone for Suites passengers to use.

Bose on Singapore Airlines Suites

Bose QuietComfort 15 acoustic noise cancelling headphone on Singapore Airlines Suites

I have tried Bose QuietComfort 15 acoustic noise cancelling headphone on Singapore Airlines Suites and find it to work well. However, few concerns here:

  • Size: Too huge for travel. If I buy 1 for myself, this headphone in carrying pouch will occupy quite a lot of real estate in my backpack. Not travel friendly.
  • Battery: Dead battery = no music.
  • Noise cancelling that worked too well: Wait…Isn’t that supposed to be good? In my opinion, not exactly. You may still want to be able to hear some ambient sound for safety reason like announcements from cabin crew or even in Singapore Airlines case, hissing sound from door which lead to their A380’s emergency cabin decompression lading in Azerbaijan in January 2014.

So how does noise cancelling headphone work? Sennheiser has a good video to explain.

Sennheiser Noisegard Headphone Transducer

Sennheiser Noisegard Headphone Transducer

Speaking about Sennheiser, I have been using their PXC310 noise cancelling headphone for a while and it does address concerns raised above.

  • Size: Half of Bose QuietComfort 15 acoustic noise cancelling headphone when folded and stored in casing.
Sennheiser PXC310 noise cancellation headphone folded

Sennheiser PXC310 noise cancelling headphone folded

  • Battery: Dead battery = music plays on. Just less noise cancelling.
  • Noise cancelling: On ear for Sennheiser vs Over ear for Bose. Over ear will provide better noise cancelling. However, too much of noise cancelling is not good as mentioned. Sennheiser also has a killer feature: Talkthrough. Push 1 button, music mutes and external mic will be switched on to allow you to converse normally with cabin crew or hear announcements without having to remove your headphone.

Sennheiser PXC310 is an old model. However, you can still find them for sale online. Do note that there is also a Bluetooth version available as well. Bluetooth version has wired connectivity too. So hope it helps.

[Gear] XiaoMi Multi Purpose Computer Bag

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There are many goodies on Taobao/Tmall and recently I bought a good stuff that will be good for my travel: Backpack! Introducing XiaoMi Multi Purpose Computer Bag.

Bag Front

Bag Front

Bag Top

Bag Top with some leather on underside of handle.

Bag Zip

Bag Zip

Bag Right Side

Bag Right Side

Bag Left Side

Bag Left Side

Bag Back

Bag Back

Bag Front Compartment

Bag Front Compartment

Bag Front Compartment Filled

Bag Front Compartment Filled

Bag Middle Compartment

Bag Middle Compartment

Bag Middle Compartment Filled

Bag Middle Compartment Filled

Bag Laptop Compartment

Bag Laptop Compartment

Bag Left Side Closeup

Bag Left Side Closeup

Bag Left Side Filled

Bag Left Side Filled

Right empty

Bag Right Side Empty

Right Filled

Bag Right Side Filled

Bag Secret Compartment

Bag Secret Compartment

Bag Strap Organizer

Bag Strap Organizer

Bag Slotted

Bag Slotted Front

Bag Slotted Back

Bag Slotted Back

Bag Weight

Bag Weight (1.1KG unloaded.)

This is a very functional bag and it maintains a good shape even when empty. I have been using this bag whenever I am out and I will be bringing it on my trip. Material is solid. Price? RMB$199. (SG$44.97.) You can buy it from here.

Welcome to Have Cards Will Travel

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Lot of friends know me as lobang king, mileage guy, credit card guy and many other nicknames. They will often ask about which credit card to get/use to maximize their returns and I do post on Facebook about using miles earned from credit cards to fly in premium cabins like SQ Business Class and Suites. (SG$38.50 + 31,875 miles vs SG$2,768.50 for Hong Kong one way Suites ticket on SQ sounds good? Savings of SG$2,730.) So after some thinking, I decide to set up this site to share more about:

  • Credit cards that I own. 25 and counting…
  • Travel reviews.
    Airport, airport lounges and cabin products.
  • Membership cards.
    Some deals are just not available with credit cards.
  • Mobile applications.
    Some mobile applications can be life saver when I want to find deals or globetrotting.
  • Gear.
    Typical geek here.
  • Deals. (Duh…)
    What’s lobang king without deals.

Please note that posts here are not paid advertorials unless stated.

So before I end this post, will like to share this picture of a credit card that I own (No more…) which feature a mantra that I believe in.

Frank

I like the quote. But not the card anymore.

Disclaimer: Use credit card responsibly.