GW-198 -- Sanyo DIPLY TALK ICR-S310RM

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G A D G E T W A T C H
The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
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Issue No.198
Friday July 15, 2005

1. Sanyo DIPLY TALK ICR-S310RM
2. JVC HP-DX1000
3. Olympus MR-F20

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Entrepreneur's Handbook Seminar

Terrie Lloyd, founder of over 12 start-up companies in Japan
will be giving an English-language seminar and Q&A on starting
up a company in Japan. This is an ideal opportunity to find
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not normally answered in business books. All materials is
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For more details: http://japaninc.com/handbook_seminar3/
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Name: Sanyo DIPLY TALK ICR-S310RM

Category: Voice recorder
Price: Open Price; estimated at 36,000 yen
Release date in Japan: August 21, 2005

The Gist: Sanyo introduced the "ICR-S310RM" in their "DIPLY TALK"
voice recorder series this past week.

The unit records in the MP3 format, and has a stereo microphone. To
go with this, it features 512MB of internal memory; should this not be
enough for you, it also features a miniSD slot. When recording in
monaural under the "LP" quality setting, the S310RM has space for
roughly 71 hours of audio -- that's quite a few meetings you can sleep
through!

As a side note, the S310RM offers pitch adjustment. This means that
you can adjust the rate at which the sound is played. You can slow it
down by as much as 25%, or speed it up as much as 20%. It sounds
simple, and that's because it is -- but typically, digital recorders don't
offer this feature (especially ones that record in MP3).

With the MP3 recording, you of course get MP3 playback. To match,
you'll find a rotating USB port that supports USB 2.0, so hopefully
transferring 71 hours of recorded audio won't actually take 71 hours.

More info: http://www.sanyo.co.jp/koho/hypertext4/0507news-j/0708-1.html

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Name: JVC HP-DX1000

Category: Headphones
Price: Open Price; estimated at 105,000 yen
Release date in Japan: Already available

The Gist: They're a bit out of my price range, but JVC has released
the "HP-DX1000" headphones with natural wooden housings and a
special driver unit this past week.

I've heard some good things about the sound quality of wooden
headphones, but have yet to be able to experience it myself.
Apparently there's an enormous difference; I'm not sure whether
or not this difference is worth the price difference (105,000 yen
is close to $1,000USD), but JVC must think so.

Either way, the HP-DX1000s offer plenty of features for audio quality
connoisseurs. Not only do they have that entirely wooden housing I
mentioned, by they use JVC's own "Direct Mount Construction" to
connect the driver unit directly to the housing, reducing any sort of
quality loss (from vibration or resonance, for instance) you would get
from an improperly mounted driver. The driver itself is 50mm in
diameter, so these aren't exactly the kind of headphones you can
wear in a crowded Tokyo subway.

On the technical end of things, the headphones offer a phenomenal
frequency response from 4Hz to 30kHz, a maximum input of 1,500mW,
and a 64 ohm impedance. Such a high impedance means they'll sound
terrible unless you have a nice amplifier to go with these, but we
assume since you can afford to spend 105,000 yen on a pair of
headphones, you already own such a device.

JVC also plans on offering a matching headphone stand for around
26,000 yen. Better be a nice stand!

More info: http://www.victor.co.jp/press/2005/hp-dx1000.html

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NetTokyo - Summer Charity Networking Event

The Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo will be replacing their
regular August seminar with this charity event to be held on
July 23rd from 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm at the Hills Bar & Caf・in
Roppongi Hills. NetTokyo Summer 2005 aims to be the largest
gathering of professionals for the international community
in Japan this year. All proceeds will go to charities.

For more information please visit: http://www.nettokyo.jp.
To pre-register and pre-pay please visit:
http://www.nettokyo.jp/signup.html
If you have any questions please contact: info@nettokyo.jp
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Name: Olympus MR-F20

Category: Portable audio
Price: Open Price; estimated around 20,000 yen
Release date in Japan: Late August 2005

The Gist: Olympus continues with more products in their "m:robe"
series of portable audio players, this week introducing the F10 and
F20. We'll be covering only the latter, namely because the F10 is
the less feature-laden of the two.

The F20 is, at first glance, a standard portable audio player. Sure, it
has the 512MB capacity (which has basically become status-quo
anyway). We need to dig a bit deeper on the technical end to find
what is interesting about the player.

One of the primary complaints I hear from technically minded individuals
is a "lack of format support" in most modern audio players. For normal
consumers such as you and I, plain old MP3 support will suffice -- but
the F20 goes a step further, and offers WMA and OGG support as well.
They could take things even further and offer FLAC (Free Lossless Audio
Codec, popular with fans of classical music) support, but that would
probably be asking too much. The next aspect you'll notice about the F20
is its screen; rather than just slapping some boring LCD on there,
Olympus loaded it up with a 1.1 inch organic EL display capable of showing
off more than 65,000 colors. And you will show it off, too, since the F20 also
supports JPEG image display.

I was also interested to see the player offers WMA recording support, rather
than MP3 recording. You do have your plain formula of "can record in audio
format, can record from integrated FM tuner in audio format," but it
also offers a feature to automatically recognize blank spots in recording
and divide the audio into tracks for you.

The internal lithium ion battery will last you for roughly 11 hours, which is sort
of a disappointment for a flash-memory-based player. Given the unit's 512MB
capacity, however, you probably won't be taking it too far away from your
PC anyway.

More info: http://olympus-imaging.jp/lineup/nplsol/mrf20/index.html

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SUBSCRIBERS: 8,133 as of July 15, 2005

STAFF
Written by: Liam McNulty
Edited by: Burritt Sabin (editors2@japaninc.com)

(C) Copyright 2005 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.

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