HONG KONG ELECTRONICS FAIR: the strange, the intriguing and the Dutch chef

Anything for anyone seems to be the motto here at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair - whether you want to launch your own brand of TVs, get into the iPod dock business or make it big in batteries, there's a supplier here ready to offer an off-the-peg or tailor-made solution.

If it plugs in or lights up, it's at the show.

For example, take a look at the well-known brands made by Grande,

while Starlite willdeliver you TVs and other equipment in all shapes or sizes, whether your taste is Cars

High School Musical

or even a Hannah Montana karaoke unit.

The same's true in speakers, whether you want a budget pair of standmounters, complete with piano gloss real wood finish, to add to your budget range

or something rather more iconic.

The miniature B&W Nautilus lookalike caught my eye, so here's another angle:

it comes in a choice of black and white from the appropriately named Forgings speaker company of Taipei, Taiwan.

Neater, but sharing a theme, are these little pod-shaped speakers from S&W International, designed for either shelf-mounted or wall/ceiling attachment, and sounding more than halfway decent with a bit of subwoofer assistance.

Then there's the product you never knew you wanted until you saw it: the guitar CD player, available in a huge range of finishes from Hong Kong company Ngai Luen.

And if guitars don't do it for you, the company can also do systems in the shape of Coke bottles, racing helmets, and footballs of both the American and British varieties.

In another hall is this neat all-white separates system from Bobolink.

The company name may not be familiar, but it makes products for Sansui among others, and also builds the Brennan JB7 jukebox, recently reviewed on this site.

Mobile phones are everywhere at the show, with a strong emphasis on TV on the move. This is the stand of the marvellously-named Egoman

which is promoting its mobile TV handsets.

Meanwhile Shenzen company Pulid is taking a leaf out of the current Japanese mobile phone trend book with its A51 clamshell, complete with a display able to be rotated to give a 3in 16:9 TV screen.

Even more wild and wonderful is this Pulid music phone complete with an LED light show within its translucent case.

The company's sales manager told me this model is very popular with students, but they also do a more subtle version for businessmen. That one has the same flashing lights, but behind smoked casework!

And for the magnate who has everything, how about this phone from KPI, complete with solid brass keys and a natural sandalwood case?

The manufacturer says it's as much about the scent of the wood as the feel of the thing - it's yours for a trade price of around S2000

Talking of phones, Thomson is showing another of its unusual designs here in Hong Kong.


Symbio is a combined cordless phone, internet phone and internet radio, complete with built-in stereo speakers, and compatibility with both landlines, via its DECT transmission, and internet radio via an ADSL or cable modem. Oh, and it also has a built -in alarm clock - of course!

On the TV accessories front there's this one-in-three-out HDMI splitter from accessory company Babo, which could solve a lot of problems,

as well as this wireless HDMI transmission system from Zinwell.

The system claims 1080p quality over a 10m range, but unfortunately the company says it could only manage to carry a 720p set from base in Taiwan, and is very reluctant to show any real movies through the system, claiming licence and copyright restrictions.

The brief trailer I did see looked a bit 'one frame after another', and I have a feeling that the 10m limit, plus a price likely to be in the region of £1000, might count against the system.

Also of interest is a 1080p memory card-reader, designed to put your digital stills on your HD TV.

Made by PIE United, it supports 12 formats of memory card, also has a USB input for hard drives and the like, and provides an HDMI pass-through so another component can be daisy-chained.

But this is a show with just about everything, from MP3-playing nightlight alarm clocks

to huge halls full of domestic appliances.

The air-conditioning stands come in handy in a very warm show, but the heat is increased by the cookery demonstrations, complete with imported chefs.

This one is doing his culinary thang for 'Dutch design' appliance company Princess...

As I said at the start of these reports, just about everything that plugs in is here at the show, from the hi-tech to the most basic appliances.

And combining hi-tech and basic needs brings me to the bottom of this story, and my very last show picture...

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.