Comex 2008 Excursion Report

This is the second day of Comex, and the first time in a long while since I’ve visited a computer fair of this sort. They are just too crowded for my liking. So today’s excursion to Comex was like discovery of a new shopping experience. Like a small kid going to the zoo for the first time. Oh okay, not quite the same thing.

The thing is that for the longest time, I hated going to these exhibitions. It’s not just the crowds in the place itself, but also all the overcrowding and congestion around the venue as well. In fact, if there is a PC show in Suntec, I am going to avoid the entire Marina area. Have you noticed that some of these events have to advertise the “width of their walkways” as an attraction? You know then that the congestion is a serious problem. But still, try as they might to broaden the walkways on the exhibition floor, the place is still congested.

Unless, I tell myself, if I have something specific in mind to buy or to check out. So like today, I did want to look for an external hard disk. Thinking Friday after lunch shouldn’t be too bad, me, my wife and baby Vanessa headed down to Suntec at about 2pm. Well, basically car parks were all full. Yah, the electronic signboards said Suntec had 29 free lots, but there was a super long queue getting into the car park anyway. The only other place with free lots was the Singapore Fyler. Too far.

Well, we tried something slightly mischievous. We headed over to Conrad for the valet parking. They had a sign “car park closed” blocking off the driveway. We told them we were going to have high tea in Oscars. Ok, they let us through. We hung around outside Oscars for a few moments to get our barang barang organized. Of course we did not have high tea. This excursion was to Comex, not to have high tea. (Okay, we did go over to Oscars for dinner in the evening. So we were indeed guests of the hotel.)

Suntec was quite expectedly very crowded. People everywhere. Comex was on levels 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6, although seriously the only thing I saw on level 1 was some Canon signages, but I have no idea what they were doing there. SingTel had their iPhone 3G thingy in the ballrooms on level 2. Sony was on level 3. The more up-market vendors were in level 4, and the more budget conscious vendors were on level 6.

I came to Comex for 2 things: USB/firewire external hard disk, and checkout StarHub to re-contract cable/broadband. I got the Maxtor One Touch 4 Plus at a pretty good price. It was $309 (or was it $319)  for the Maxtour One Tocu h4 Plus 1TB version from Sim Lim Square the last weekend, but just $239 at Comex (seen at Skylet, Challenger, and other booths).

But I was utterly disappointed with StarHub. It seems they had no deals at all for existing cable TV subscribers. I sought help from the promotors, but they confirmed that they are mainly targeting new customers in Comex.

We did end up buying something that we had not set out to do. A shiny new Nokia E66 mobile phone from M1. Quite good price too. $298 for 2-year contract (compared with $368 for the so-called “Online Exclusive” from M1 Shop).

All in all, we spent about 3+ hours, although we did break midway for an errand. This is Vanessa’s first visit to any computer fair… and she fell asleep halfway despite all the noise. I guess she’s tired, or bored.

This excursion to Comex has reaffirmed my thoughts on visiting computer fairs: Avoid, unless you really have something in mind to buy, or if you enjoy the close company of huge crowds.