Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hauck Shopper 11

As usual, all Hauck strollers come with pictures only instruction manuals. So while it may take you longer to get up and running, it is not that difficult either.

The Hauck Shopper is considered lightweight at 7.6 kg and a travel system when combined with a Hauck Zero Plus car seat or a carry cot.

Attaching the car seat is simple - lay the backrest flat - which makes it suitable for infants by the way, lift up both the catch on the side of the stroller and the car seat be 'dropped' in until it locks. The front bar needs to be fixed on when attaching the car seat. The seat can also be removed if you only use the car seat. Both the front bar and seat need to be removed when attaching the carry cot though.

The stroller feels very light and is effortless when pushed, thanks the big wheels at 18/19 cm. Lifting it up kerbs is pretty effortless too.

The seat at the most upright position is pretty reclined, so you many not be able to use the shoulder harness if your kids love to sit up straight. Adjusting the seat recline angle is through the strap mechanism which is not that difficult to use though I prefer those with step recline instead.

Canopy is big but too short and high to provide much cover. While you can protect your child from the rain with a rain cover, you cannot do much to protect from the harsh sun. There is no window for you to view the child while pushing too.

The cup holder and tray is useful when out for a long time for those occasional drinks and snacks, so does the back pocket.

Folding up the stroller can be tricky for those with short hands. Getting it right sure does take a lot of practice even for someone who is 1.7 m tall like me. It could be made easier with a handle lever, just like the Mothercare Mino as the folding concept is pretty similar.

To make folding easier, the brakes, which are very easy to operate by the way, needs to be engaged. One thing to take note when folding up the Shopper is to lay the backrest flat. This is illustrated in the instruction manual but is not specifically mentioned that it needs to be done. If this is not done, the two seats catch at the side of the frame will dislodge.

The stroller is still considered bulky when folded as it can only fold flat downwards. As the front bar touches the ground each time the stroller is folded, it is best to remove it or hold on to it while folding, to avoid it getting stained.

Overall this is a good stroller minus the few setbacks.

You can view the video here

Light when pushed and easy to manourver
Width is suitable for big children
Easy to engage and release brake
Big basket, with pocket for easy access.
5-point harness.
Suitable for infants.

Front bar touches the ground when folded
Folding can be tricky
Size when folded is still bulky
Seat and basket can only be hand wash


Weight - 7.6 kg
Measurements folded (max.) - 90 x 49 x 35 cm
Measurements built- up (max.) - 94 x 49 x 103 cm
Handlebar height - 103 cm
Length of seat and back rest - 15 x 44 x 71 cm
Seat height - 47 cm
Seat width - 32 cm
Removable plastic wheels
Wheel diameter (Front) - 18 cm
Wheel diameter (Rear) - 19 cm
Swivel and lockable front wheels
Adjustable backrest - (104° to 156°)
4 step adjustable footrest
Detachable front bar
Detachable canopy
Big shopping basket with access pocket
Combinable with car seat and carry cot
Detachable and washable fabric
Soft-fix brake
5-point harness system
From 0 month to 15 kg

Monday, December 3, 2012

Doorstep Luxury and Yamato Transport TA-Q-BIN

I ordered something online from Doorstep Luxury on Saturday and receive a confirmation on Monday morning that the item will be delivered on the same day from 12-5 pm. Considering that they are closed Saturday, that is considered fast. Impressed so far with their service.

So I called my wife and told her to stay home to receive the item. I was lucky I got her before she was about to go out, or so I thought.

They engaged Yamato Transport, TA-Q-BIN as the courier and I was given a tracking number. The item was stated as unregistered when I checked so I called them up and was told that since the item was picked up just a while ago, the tracking number will only be entered into the system after 2 pm. That means that there is no way I will receive the item before that, not until the item is keyed in into the system for delivery.

It also meant, my wife will be wasting two hours for nothing. So why did Doorstep Luxury states that the delivery will be from 12 pm onward when it is definitely not going to be delivered before 2 pm?

The item stayed as unregistered all the way from then to 3:30 pm so I called again and was told that it was already assigned to be delivered and will arrive before 5 pm. Why was it not in the system?

I checked again and by then it states to be delivered with a timestamp 2:56pm. So that means they did not register the item into the system until I called to ask.

The item was finally delivered at 4:40 pm.

I am not an unreasonable customer. As long as I am informed, I will be ok but if I were to do all the work of finding out what is going on, that will piss me off.

So if you plan to order anything from Doorstep Luxury, it is best to drop down their store or be prepared to wait 5 hours. Else, if you are in a situation like me, you should call to arrange for another date for the delivery.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Baby: Strollers - Mothercare Mino

We bought this stroller while we were in London in June. We went there thinking that we will not need a stroller for our 8 months baby boy. We sure was proven wrong.

Mothercare Singapore just recently brought this range in, so we were probably the only one here using it when we returned from the trip back in June this year.

Anyway, the main reason why we bought this was because it was reasonably priced, practical and met our needs. We do not want to spend too much on something we just need for a few days. We thought that we would use it just for the trip and sell it when we got back. In the end, we kept it and it became our favorite stroller (as compared to our Hauck Turbo and Capella Harmony).

As far as weight is concerned, this stroller is very light at 6.9 kg. Cannot get any lighter than this. And even though it is light, it is stable as the CG is low due to the low position of the seat.

It is practically folded just like most umbrella fold stroller except it also folds in half length wise, making it very compact and very small when folded. Folding mechanism is actually easy but you need to get the hang of it. Locking the rear wheel first is kind of a must to make it all easier.

It comes with a 5 point harness which is easy to fix and fully adjustable to meet the growing needs of your child.

What I like the most about this stroller is that the handle height is perfect for me who is 1.7 m tall and the rest of my family members who are shorter than me. Our experience with other strollers is that we often kick the rear wheels. None of that with the Mino.

The seat comes with a fully adjustable reclining mechanism that allows you to set at any angle you want. Not my favorite as it can be cumbersome at times but many other brand/model, even those expensive ones, adopt a similar mechanism as well so I guess it all boils down to preference - between fixed number of positions or any angle you want.

The seat is made of plastic-like material that is easy to clean. May not look comfortable but our boy has no complaints.

As with other strollers, the calf rest can be adjusted down when you child grows taller; the hood covers only the top just like most umbrella fold strollers (but it does come with a raincover though I am not sure if local set comes with one too) and the back cover can be folded for better ventilation.

So on a nutshell

Very lightweight
Very compact when folded
Easy to maneuver
Handle height is just perfect
5 point harness
Considerably stable

Basket not accessible when seat is fully reclined.
Folding mechanism needs a lot of getting use to.
Seat recline mechanism can be hard to adjust.

Do we recommend it? Despite the setbacks, this is still recommended.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Panasonic air conditioner

I recently purchased the following Panasonic System-3 Inverter air conditioner.

Indoor unit - CS-C9NKZW
Outdoor unit - CU-3S27MKZ

Having owned a Daikin and a Sharp before, I cannot help but compare them with the Panasonic. There are a few things that matters to me when it comes to air conditioners. Apart from the obvious, which is the power consumption, features like timers and automatic modes are important to me.

I will touch on the Daikin and Sharp a little before I go on to the Panasonic.


I do not remember the model but the Daikin was reliable if I remember correctly. It did not breakdown during the 6 years of operation. There was nothing that stands out feature wise that I can recall though.

What I don't like
- power consumption was on a high side
- auto mode switches the unit on and off.
- compressor was noisy.


I like the Sharp. It was pretty quite, fast to cool and very easy to operate. I mean really easy. There is nothing on the remote control that will confuse you. The PLASMACLUSTER is awesome. As a smoker then, my room did not reek of odours commonly associated with a smoker.

What I don't like
- power consumption was on a high side.  
- compressor broke down twice during the 8 years of operation.
- compressor was pretty noisy.


The Panasonic has some cool features. 

It has movement and heat sources detection feature that automatically adjust how it cools the room when set to either ECONAVI or AUTOCOMFORT mode. I seriously could not tell the difference between these as I am not able to experience any difference at all. According to Panasonic

"When comfort is your priority and energy-saving is your concern, press the AUTOCOMFORT button. AUTOCOMFORT Examines, Evaluates and Executes based on the same 3 key factors* as ECONAVI and looks after your comfort with an additional factor, High/Low Activity Detection."

Panasonic illustration of the difference between the two is of no help either as you can see from the images below.

While both are cool features, it can be an inconvenience as it take quite a while for the unit scan the surrounding before it starts to cool the room when the unit is turned on with ECONAVI or AUTOCOMFORT mode. In fact, it is a bit too long for me sometimes. It cools the room pretty quick once it when actually starts.

It also has its own version of Plasmacluster called nanoe-G technology. While I am able to scientifically prove anything, I think the effect is pretty similar, judging from how the room smells afterwards.

The horizontal airflow vents are not static and can be set by the remote and can be set to automatic as well.

In terms of noise level, both the condenser and the compressor are pretty quiet.

What I don't like
- on/off timer is based on actual clock time and not duration.
- takes sometime to start cooling when the unit is turned on with ECONAVI or AUTOCOMFORT mode
- unit on and off when fan is set to auto mode.


I am going to touch more than the two features that I depend a lot on.
I use the off timer all the time. I normally set it to turn the unit off after a certain number of hours during the night when I go to sleep, which I find easier than having to set it to turn off at a specific time.

On the Panasonic, the on/off timer is based on the clock set on the remote. It is also a based on preset times, which means it is fixed and not flexible, unless of course you change the settings again. While you can have multiple on/off set times, I still find it useless unless of course you leave home, return back and sleep at the exact same time each day.

Not only the Sharp has something similar, it has another form of timer based on time difference which I find to be more useful and practical. It is so simple to use that I just need to press one button, which is the off timer button to activate the off timer in multiples of 1 hour. If I need to set it to 2 hours, I just press it again and so on for something longer.

Fan Auto Mode

When the fan is set to auto mode, it will switch the indoor unit on or off when the room temperature reaches the set temperature regardless of other mode is on. This upsets the comfort level, ranging from momentarily to quite a while, defeating what, for example, the AUTOCOMFORT mode is supposed to provide.

I feel that the Sharp auto mode for the fan is better. When in auto mode, the unit do not turn on or off. Instead, it adjusts the fan speed and cooling power accordingly. When the room temperature reaches the set temperature, the fan speed and cooling power is set really low, maintaining the comfort level at all times. When the room temperature increases, the fan speed and cooling power increases accordingly.


So do I recommend the Panasonic? Well if the two features above are not important to you, then you may like the Panasonic. It has cool features like ECONAVI and AUTOCOMFORT and almost everything can be set, including the horizontal louvers, giving you the freedom to set it to what best suits you.

The Panasonic also really saves energy. I used it at least 12 hours a day and my bill is around $200 including all the other services.

By the way, Panasonic was installed by contractors appointed by Courts, where I purchased it. Compared it those installed by Gain City contractors for the Sharp that I had previously, I think the latter did a way better job.