GW-222

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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. 222
Friday January 20, 2006

1. Toshiba Qosmio G30
2. Sanyo Xacti DMX-HD1
3. JVC HP-ALW600

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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Name: Toshiba Qosmio G30
Category: Notebook PC
Price: Open Price; estimated 300,000 yen - 380,000 yen
Release date in Japan: Late February, 2006

The Gist: Toshiba's new Qosmio G30 notebook PC is the world's
first with a terrestrial digital TV tuner. It also features an internal
MPEG-2 hardware encoder, so you'll easily be able to record
your favorite programs, regardless of their source. Although
you're currently unable to burn these digitally recorded broadcasts
onto a DVD, an update scheduled for March will allow you to
"move" the content after it is scaled down to standard definition
resolutions. The "QosmioEngine" improves video quality when
you're in analog mode.

To go with these video capabilities are unit's integrated 4Wx2ch
harman/kardon speakers with 30mm diameters. They have
a volume of 40cc and now employ a 1-bit digital amplifier, giving
them enhanced bass response versus previous Qosmio models.

There are three models in the lineup. Common specifications
between them include an Intel 945PM Express chipset, nVidia
GeForce Go 7600 (128MB) chipset, DVD Super Multi Drive,
and Office Personal Edition 2003.

At the top of the line is the "G30/596LS," with an Intel Core Duo
T2500 (2GHz) processor, 1GB of RAM, a monstrous 240GB
of hard drive space, and a smooth 17" WUXGA (1920 x 1200 dot)
Clear SuperView LCD. "Desktop replacement" would be
an understatement for this machine.

Continuing down the line is the "G40/595LS," which drops the
processor to 1.66GHz, and screen to WXGA+ (1440 x 900 dot).
At bottom is the "G30/593LS," bringing the memory down to
512MB and hard drive capacity to 200GB.

Each machine is equipped with the normal gamut of interfaces,
and should get around two hours of battery life.

More info: http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2006_01/pr_j1001.htm

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Name: Sanyo Xacti DMX-HD1
Category: Digital video camera
Price: 126,000 yen
Release date in Japan: Late February, 2006

The Gist: Continuing the tradition of the successful Xacti line is
the "DMX-HD1," Sanyo's first Xacti offering with 720p High
Definition (known in Japan as "Hi Vision") support. The
DMX-HD1 may be roughly the same size as its C-series
predecessors (Gadget Watch issues 183 and 212), but it
packs quite a punch when you look at the specifications:
it supports recording MPEG-4 video at 720p (1280 x 720 dot).

The DMX-HD1 currently takes cards up to 2GB in size officially,
and 4GB unofficially, but Sanyo has stated the camera will
support "SDHC" cards when the standard is finalized. This new
SDHC specification should give Sanyo plenty of breathing room
for the DMX-HD1 to record HD content; at the camera's highest
bitrate, 9Mbps, you'll only get about 28 minutes of video on
a 2GB card.

Two other recording modes of the DMX-HD1 are notable.
"TV-HR" runs 640 x 480 video at a bitrate of 6Mpbs at an almost
unreal 60 frames per second. While the Xacti C6 was able to
"interpolate" 30 frames per second video to turn it into 60 frames
per second video (by playing it twice as fast after the new frames
have been calculated), the DMX-HD1 is actually capable of recording
at the latter. Unfortunately, however, this 60fps recording is limited
to 640 x 480; you're unable to record 720p video at 60fps.
The "Web-HQ" format records 320 x 240 video at 15fps. This
mode's claim to fame is its ability to be transferred directly to
a 5th-gen iPod for playback. Just take the video from your
camera's SD card, drag it over to your iPod, and you're done.
Expect to see more cameras support these kinds of video
formats in the near future, given the popularity of portable
devices able to play them.

On the DMX-HD1 is a 5.1MP CCD from Konica Minolta with
a 10x optical zoom. It has electronic stabilization technology,
which you'll certainly need if you're planning on recording video
at 60 frames per second. Another technical breakthrough is
the newly developed "Platinum Engine" image processor.
This new processor allows you to record still images up to
3680 x 2760 dots in size even while recording 720p video.
There's no compromising on the resolution of the video or the
still image, which is nice considering many cameras only allow
still images to be recorded at 640 x 480 while recording video.

A number of convenience features are also available on the
DMX-HD1, such as "Talking Navi," which alerts users of the
camera's status with voice prompts. Even more convenient
is the camera's USB Video Class support. Transferring videos
from the camera to your PC is as easy as drag-and-drop.

Included with the DMX-HD1 is a 1200mAh battery that should
last for about sixty minutes of recording.

More info: http://www.sanyo.co.jp/koho/hypertext4/0601news-j/0111-1.html

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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Name: JVC HP-ALW600
Category: Wireless headphones
Price: Open Price; estimated around 6,500 yen
Release date in Japan: February 1, 2006

The Gist: Japan Victor Corporation has announced the
"HP-ALW600" headphones, which are the world's lightest
infrared wireless indoor headphones at 82 grams. This feat was
accomplished through JVC's elimination of the armband that
traditionally connects two headphones.

It is common for hair to be stuck in the armband of headphones,
so it comes as no surprise JVC mentions how these won't
screw up your hair as typical armband-equipped headphones
do. But you may want to consider speakers if this is a huge
problem for you.

The transmitter can be roughly 7 meters away from the
HP-ALW600s before it starts giving out. The headphones have
internal batteries that allow for about twenty hours of audio
playback, and the "On-Stand Recharge" feature means
recharging them only requires you place them on the transmitter
unit. These headphones will set you back about 6,500 yen,
which, if you're concerned about hair loss, is a small price to pay.

More info: http://www.victor.co.jp/press/2006/hp-alw600.html

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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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