GW-214

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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. 214
Friday November 11, 2005

1. Transcend TS8GJF2A
2. IO Data Device Totebag SQUARE
3. SolidAlliance iDisk Diamond

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Name: Transcend TS8GJF2A
Category: USB memory
Price: Open Price; estimated around 89,900 yen
Release date in Japan: Already available

The Gist: Things were rather slow in Japan for the past week, largely
due to "Bunka no Hi," or Culture Day, on the 3rd. Several news
outlets also took off Friday, turning this past weekend into
a four-day affair. But that didn't stop interesting things from
being announced on Monday through Wednesday; this week's
Gadget Watch will be covering three USB memory devices that
all cater to different tastes.

Up first is the "TS8GJF2A" from Transcend Japan, which is touted
as the world's highest capacity USB flash memory at 8GB.
Fortunately for us, Transcend also loaded the drive up with
"Dual Channel Technology," allowing it to read data at 21MB per
second, and write at 11MB per second. This works out to roughly
13 minutes of transfer time to fill the disk, which isn't too shabby
considering its extraordinarily large amount of space. If you're
the type who ventures to build diskless/silent computers
(yes, we know you're out there), this could serve as an excellent
hard drive replacement since it can act as a USB boot device.

The TS8GJF2A also includes a neck strap, and has a data
write-protect switch. It is supported under all modern versions of
Windows and Mac OS, as well as Linux Kernel 2.4 or above.

More info:
http://www.transcend.co.jp/Press/index.asp?LangNo=17&axn=Detail&PrsNo=213

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Name: IO Data Device Totebag SQUARE
Category: USB memory
Price: 256MB: 3,937 yen, 512MB: 6,615 yen, 1GB: 12,180 yen
Release date in Japan: Late November 2005

The Gist: If the typical USB memory form factor doesn't cut it for
you, take a look at IO Data Device's new "Totebag SQUARE." There
unfortunately isn't a whole lot to mention on the specifications end
of the Totebag SQUARE, besides the fact that it will be available
in three different capacities and is supported under Windows
and Mac OS.

But that's not what the Totebag SQUARE is about. Picture the
dimensions of the device -- 33 x 33 x 7.7mm (1.29 x 129 x 0.3 inch) -
and it's easy to see where IO Data came up with the "SQUARE" part
of its name. Not much bigger than a box of matches, the Totebag
SQUARE comes in Cocoa, Raspberry, Mint, Soda, and Lemon
colors at only 10 grams. It has an aluminum casing, so it's quite
easy to mistake it for a very, very small external hard drive.

Another interesting aspect of the Totebag SQUARE is the decision
IO Data made regarding its USB port. For better or worse, the drive
has only a female mini-USB jack, so you'll need to use the included
USB cable to connect it with your machine.

More info: http://www.iodata.jp/prod/usbmemory/totebag/2005/tb-square/

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Name: SolidAlliance iDisk Diamond
Category: USB memory
Price: 4,980 yen
Release date in Japan: Already available

The Gist: Two "World's ________est" devices in a single Gadget
Watch? What gives!? SolidAlliance has announced the
"iDisk Diamond," which they say is the world's smallest USB
memory device. If you're near a USB port (which we expect you
to be), think of the smallest USB device that could possibly fit in
the drive. That's about how big the iDisk Diamond is, at
27 x 12 x 1.9mm (1.06 x 0.47 x 0.07 inches). It's about as wide
and tall as your fingertip. SolidAlliance really isn't fooling around
with the size of the device; they're including a hook with every
iDisk Diamond for using it as an earring. We've heard of plenty
of USB devices, but this would probably be the first for
"USB earrings."

Operating system support is decent, under all modern versions
of Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

More info: http://www.solidalliance.com/press/press.html#1101

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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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