PJ Map

I have a fear for hell and Petaling Jaya (PJ).

I’ve got the hell issue well addressed, and that leaves me with PJ.   I have only just figured out certain roads in SS2 (where New Formosa and Hoi Peng and the lok lok man are), but that leaves me with a terrifying area of speckled non-sequential numbers, waiting to swallow me into the depths of an apocalyptic chasm.   In New York, one knows that 5th Avenue follows 4th Avenue.   In PJ, if you walk in one direction of SS2, you’ll find yourself in SS22, a misleading leap of 20 numbers which is a pretty good tool for conning the folk when you want to show off how far you’ve jogged.   “I ran from SS2 to SS22, bow down and worship me now, heathen.”


Psychic Kim dropped me an email one day asking me if I would to test out the latest toy in the market, the Garmin-Asus nüvifone M10, to be launched in KL on March 25, 2010.  If I could overcome my fear for PJ, I would be able to move down my list of fears and address the next one – bungee jumping.  So off I went a-testing, because bungee jumping waits for no man.

Quick facts.  The Garmin-Asus M10 works on GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900 HSDPA 900 / 2100 network technology, weighs 138 grams, has a screen size of 3.5 inches and a touchscreen menu.  Because it’s a Garmin and a phone, the Garmin software is already preloaded into the phone, and in addition to the City Navigator Singapore/Malaysia, it comes with the popular Malsingmaps Malaysia/Singapore/Brunei.  It also has a 5.0 Megapixel camera.


If you’re getting this phone, chances are, it’s because of Garmin.  Wait time for satellite connection is short, and then you’re ready to go.  There’s a stylus to help you key in the names of locations.  The screen is clear both in daytime and at night.  It also has voice navigation (American or British English, Malay or Chinese).  I tested it out from Bangsar KL to Bukit Tinggi Klang, and around PJ, and in both instances, it worked pretty well.


Of course, the reason you’re here is not because you trust my tech knowledge, but because I can tell you why I like it from an end-user’s point of view.  Here are 10 reasons why I think the Garmin-Asus M10 is a keeper:

  1. It’s an all-in-one device.  No more large handbags to evening functions.  Just pop the Garmin-Asus M10 and your wallet into your evening bag, and you’re good to go.
  2. It gets you to places like Puchong Lim (caution: eat responsibly) without fear.
  3. While you’re waiting at Puchong Lim for your monkey stew to arrive, you can check Facebook and Twitter on your device.
  4. You can plot your next route (or escape from Puchong Lim) while waiting.
  5. While you’re plotting your next route, you can look up food finds on the Navigational Panel (really cool) or you can SMS Finder 401 if you’re on Maxis.
  6. It’s an entertainment unit.  You can download songs and games onto the device, but if you’re cheap and looking for a quick thrill when no comedian is in the vicinity, you can learn how Americans pronounce the names of our local roads.  No prizes for guessing what Jalan Panty in KL is.
  7. Once the food arrives, you can quickly whip out your phone with the 5.0 Megapixel camera and snap away.  I tested it alongside my iPhone 3G, and to be honest, the iPhone 3G failed miserably.  The Garmin-Asus M10 worked better under low light conditions, and pictures were also sharper.
  8. If you’re a food blogger, you can upload the pictures onto the blog immediately and geotag your location for the benefit of your readers.
  9. For the workaholics, the phone comes with Office Mobile which includes Word, Excel and Powerpoint Mobile.
  10. It comes in black or white, and either colour matches your nails. No need for major wardrobe change.  Phew.

Picture captured with the Garmin-Asus M10 under normal light conditions. Thanks, Marcky, for the delicious floss-filled-love-letters from Penang!

I don’t love everything, of course.  I own an iPhone, so the finger swiping thing across the screen is my forte.  With the Garmin-Asus M10, I find it easier to swipe across with the stylus.  Also, picture quality, although better than my iPhone, still isn’t perfect yet.  A slight blue tinge is cast on my pictures, and on occasion, it isn’t as sharp as I’d like it to be.  The Garmin function also drinks up the battery, so it’s good to keep it charged in the car or you may miss Jalan Panty altogether.

Since the phone will only be launched on March 25, 2010 (tomorrow, people!), prices have yet to be released although sources say that it will be priced between RM1,700 and RM2,000.

Thanks, Kim and Garmin-Asus for kindly sponsoring the phone for this helpless foodie.  And if you’d like a chance to win a free Garmin-Asus M10 phone, hop over to FriedBeef’s Tech.

Please don’t remind me about bungee jumping if you bump into me.