01350: We Came, We Conquered, We Can Has Tablet!

So it's past 05:00pm and I haven't had any sleep since before I left for work last night. But it's okay - my staying up today has been totally worth the effort given what we managed to accomplish despite everything else in our way.

This weekend is a big sale weekend at SM Megamall - you should more or less know this by now given how insane traffic patterns are around the Ortigas area. Add in the effect of the sporadic rains (which come and go with rather amazing strength) and you have quite the little melting pot for Things That Cause Bad Traffic in the city. But despite these factors, our little ASA Family had already made plans to check out the sale, see if we could get items of interest and then hopefully survive to tell the tale.

We didn't exactly have too many clear goals for this trip. At minimum, we wanted to stock up on dog food since Bio Research sells our preferred brand at least P20 cheaper per can compared to the likes of Pet Express. And given how much both Poy-Poy and Yoshi have demonstrated considerable affinity for the food, it's hard to switch away. We were also hoping to find a new shirt for Prince - the sort that could double as a good outfit for his O Bar poi performances.

But I also wanted to scout around for a good deal for the ASUS EEE Pad Transformer TF101 - yes, NOT the Prime anymore. As much as the Prime seemed like a good deal given Villman's pricing for it, needing to wait another 30-45 days just didn't fit in well with our business needs. I could have shelled out a total of P40k to get one sooner via Gilmore, but that still seemed like a crazy amount of money to spend for what is supposed to be a more business-oriented tablet. And quibbling over having a Tegra 2 dual-core processor versus a Tegra 3 quad-core processor seemed like a very minor issue at this point.

Plus I wanted to surprise Prince, to some extent, assuming that I actually found a worthy enough deal. Thankfully Tobie and him had their agenda - looking for Mario-themed headphones - that kept them decently busy. I quickly moved from one store to another to inquire about pricing for the TF101 and whether or not the item was in stock. The rate I was moving through the stores surprised even me, but I suppose you could say that I was clearly a man on a mission despite time quickly running out.

Plus Prince had brought the Nintendo 3DS with him - and thus every chance to stop turned into a chance to continue playing Super Mario 3D Land. That was certainly a factor that was working in my favor.

So I worked rather quickly and picked up an official ASUS sleeve for the tablet over at Villman first, then went to the ASUS outlet and finalized the deal. That lead us to Asiatic since ASUS has partnered with them to the point that all their inventory is with that store. And after getting a new unit from storage, putting it through its initial paces and all that fun stuff, I walked out of there the proud owner of a new tablet with Prince none the wiser. In fact, it took him a while to notice that I actually had the tablet with me in a bag given how distracted he was by his Mario game. Ah yes, men and their toys.

I really, really want to start tinkering with our new toy of sorts, but for now I'm doing the "right" thing by leaving it charging for a solid 8 hours. In the long term, this tablet will be primarily used for Prince's presentations to potential partner hotels while on the go. On the side, it'll mean my chance to finally start playing around with the Android OS environment and thus scratch that long lingering itch that I've been feeling as a hardcore Google fan boy. ASUS has been good to me over the years given the fact that my EEE netbook is still alive and kicking (albeit with minor batter issues).

Things continue to get more and more exciting for the ASA family and our growing travel business - A.S.A. Travel and Tours. Now I need to figure out how to get enough sleep before O Bar tonight while still having enough time to edit and upload more photos, finish the ASA presentation deck for potential partners and work on a poster graphic for Prince's poi duo. Whew!

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