GW-216

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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. 216
Friday November 25, 2005

1. Windows XP 20th Anniversary Edition
2. Green House GH-MM series
3. Toshiba gigabeat P series

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Name: Windows XP 20th Anniversary Edition
Category: Software
Price: 28,140 yen
Release date in Japan: December 9, 2005

The Gist: Microsoft is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release
of Windows, and to do so in Japan, they have announced a special
"20th anniversary edition" Windows XP package.

You'll find the functionality of Windows XP itself remains entirely
the same. The product pages make no mention about any
modifications to this version of Windows. It includes Service Pack 2,
and because it is an Upgrade version, you'll need a previous version
of Windows (98 or above) installed before proceeding.

What's interesting about the package is all of the bonus materials
that are included. Collectors and fans of Windows (and you can be
sure there are some of these people out there) will absolutely adore
this package, because it offers all sorts of goodies you probably
won't ever see anywhere else. Microsoft is including non-working
replica CD-ROMs of previous Windows versions (95, 98, Me, 2000),
Windows packaging paper craft (like origami), a disc case signed
by Bill Gates, commemorative stamps, and commemorative stickers.
Purchasers will also receive a special early preview edition of the
much-anticipated "Windows Vista," as well as a commemorative
video, and even a CD with a commemorative desktop theme.
Feeling commemorative yet?

Only 9,999 packages will be made available. To add yet more value,
Microsoft will also be giving out a few more prizes to purchasers:
50 will be chosen to participate in the Windows Vista technical
beta program, 20 will get their packages autographed by Bill Gates,
150 will be entered for a drawing to receive a frame for storing
the CDs, and 5 will be chosen for a free trip to Microsoft's
headquarters in Redmond, Washington. If you're a fan of Windows,
this is an item you certainly won't want to miss.

More info: http://www.microsoft.com/japan/presspass/detail.aspx?newsid=2500

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Name: Green House GH-MM series
Category: Peripherals
Price: Open Price
Release date in Japan: Early December 2005

The Gist: A series of creative products comes from "Green House"
this week, all intended to be used with the Mac mini. For those of
us concerned with aesthetics, adding peripherals to the Mac mini
has been difficult; you want to purchase an external hard drive,
for example, but want to find one that matches the Mac mini styling.

Enter Green House's GH-MM line of products. Consisting of the
"GH-MM-HDE" series of hard drives, the "GH-MM-204SP" USB
hub with speakers, and "GH-MM-WF" subwoofer, all of the products
are shaped such that they can be stacked directly underneath
the Mac mini. If you're familiar with Lego blocks, it should be easy
to visualize.

The GH-MM-HDE series comes in 160GB and 250GB versions,
with price tags of 18,800 yen and 23,800 yen, respectively. If you're
not interested in a hard drive, the "GH-MM-HD" is just a case
(maybe to keep your dinner warm) for a cost of 9,800 yen.

The GH-MM-204SP is a set of 5W+5W stereo speakers with
an internal amplifier, also to be available for 9,800 yen. On the front
of this unit is a volume adjustment dial and two USB 2.0 ports,
and on the back you will find two more USB 2.0 ports.

Finally, the GH-MM-WF is a subwoofer with an internal amplifier.
It too has a volume adjustment knob and will cost around 9,800 yen.

More info: http://www.green-house.co.jp/news/2005/r1114a.html

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Name: Toshiba gigabeat P series
Category: Portable audio
Price: 512MB: 13,980 yen; 1GB: 17,980 yen
Release date in Japan: Early December 2005

The Gist: Toshiba has introduced the first flash memory-based
players in their "gigabeat" line of portable audio players. The P5
features 512MB of memory, and the P10 has 1GB of memory.
The P5 will be available in "White Palette" and "Red Palette"
(think makeup), and the P10 in Black Chrome. Otherwise,
the two units are the same.

If you're familiar with modern gigabeat players, you won't be
surprised to see the same cross-style control panel on the front
of the P series players. There's a slight change, though: while
the hard drive-based models' cross was a touch-panel, the cross
of the P series requires normal button pushes. Above it lays
a 1.1" color organic EL display with a resolution of 96 x 96 dots.
That seems a tad low at first glance, but if you look at the player's
dimensions -- 31.9 x 13.2 x 82.0mm -- it begins to make more
sense. Still, we had hoped Toshiba would give us a screen
closer to the 240 x 320 resolution of the F series, the hard
drive-based gigabeat line.

Playback of MP3, WMA, and WAV is supported, where Windows
Media DRM is also supported. If you're not using Windows XP,
though, you're out of luck; the player lists only Windows XP
as a supported operating system in its specifications.

All other features you would expect of a modern player are present,
such as a 5-mode equalizer, FM tuner, and voice recorder.
Expect to see a playback time of about 14 hours from the player's
rechargeable lithium ion battery, which is recharged via USB.

More info: http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2005_11/pr_j1401.htm

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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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