GW-228

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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. 228
Friday March 3, 2006

1. Nikon COOLPIX S6
2. Pioneer CDJ-1000MK3
3. Toshiba REGZA 42H1000

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Name: Nikon COOLPIX S6
Category: Digital camera
Price: Open Price; estimated around 50,000 yen
Release date in Japan: Already available

The Gist: Nikon announced a number of new compact digital cameras last
week, but the "S6" has managed to set itself apart from the crowd with a
strikingly modern feature set and attractive design.

The S6 contains a 6MP CCD image sensor and has a 3x optical zoom. Pictures
can be as large as 2816 x 2112. It also does 640 x 480 video at 30 frames
per second. One of the primary selling points of the S6 is its integrated
802.11b/g support. This means you're able to wirelessly transmit images
from your memory card to your PC, or even wirelessly send pictures
directly to your printer.

"Pictmotion" is a feature that can automatically create slideshows with
background music on the S6 itself. There are five songs pre-loaded on the
camera, and you can load up as many as three more songs from the SD card.

On the body is a "Face Clear Button," which makes it easier to access the
camera's "Face Clear Function." This function serves three purposes:
face-recognizing autofocus when recording images, advanced red eye
reduction, and "D-Lighting" to brighten up pictures when you display them
on the camera's LCD. The Face Clear Button makes setting these various
options a simple process. Another handy button is the "Rotary Multi
Selector," which allows for control of the camera's various functions by
rotating the dial. In addition, when you're displaying pictures, you can
scroll through as many 10 per second when using the Rotary Multi Selector.

The S6 uses a new design style called the "Wave Surface Design." The front
of the camera has a wave-like outcropping on one side, so it should be
easier on the hands than many of today's more boxy offerings. The S6 will
be available in silver, gray, and for a limited time only, black. Expect
about 200 pictures from the included "EN-EL8" battery.

More info: http://www.nikon.co.jp/main/jpn/whatsnew/2006/0221_s5_01.htm

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Name: Pioneer CDJ-1000MK3
Category: DJ CD player
Price: Open Price; estimated around 145,000 yen
Release date in Japan: Late March 2006

The Gist: Only serious DJs need apply for Pioneer's new "CDJ-1000MK3" DJ
CD player. Loaded down with the latest DJ CD players have to offer, the
CDJ-1000MK3 will set you back a cool 145,000 yen.

Something relatively new for DJ CD players is support for the MP3 format.
Of course, it supports normal track searching when using MP3, but there's
also a specific "Folder Search Button" for quickly searching discs of
MP3s.

The focal point of the MK3 is the big jog dial in the center. It not only
supports scratching and remixing like previous models, but there is now an
"On-Jog Display" smack dab in the middle for your convenience. Seeking is
made easier with the "Super Fact Search" using the jog dial, and the "Jog
Feeling Adjust" allows you to modify how much pressure is required to
rotate the dial. According to Pioneer, this feature can also be used to
compensate for input errors that may come up as the unit becomes worn.
The resolution of the "Wave Display" has also been doubled versus
previous units, giving you an even more accurate depiction of bass
and volume levels. Finally, "Hot Loop" has been added that can record
as many as three loop points, and you can use both MMC and SD cards
to record your cue points.

The MK3 is equipped with analog RCA outputs, digital audio outputs, and a
control jack. It eats 24W of power and weighs about 4.2kg.

More info: http://www.pioneer.co.jp/press/release524-j.html

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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Name: Toshiba REGZA 42H1000
Category: LCD TV
Price: Open Price; estimated around 500,000 yen
Release date in Japan: Early May 2006

The Gist: Toshiba has announced a fleet of new LCD TVs in a new product
line called "REGZA." The company is shedding their previous "face" brand
for their LCD TVs, and is migrating to the new "REGZA" name. You could say
Toshiba is "losing face." However, that may not go over so well for a
Japanese company.

There are three different series of LCD TV in the REGZA line: H1000,
C1000, and Z1000. At the top is the H1000, and at the top of the
H1000 series is the 42H1000 -- a 42" LCD TV with Toshiba's latest
and greatest. The 42H1000 isn't supposed to be released until May
of this year, but it will probably take you that long to save up
anyway; at 500,000 yen, the 42H1000 is certainly on the pricey
side for a 42" LCD TV.

Inside the 42H1000 is a 160GB hard drive, so you won't need any sort of
external box to record your favorite programs. It features internal
terrestrial, BS (Broadcasting Satellite), 110 CS (Communication Satellite)
digital antennas, as well as a terrestrial analog antenna. It's worth
pointing out the 42H1000 has a "double tuner," so you can watch a
terrestrial analog broadcast while recording a terrestrial digital
broadcast. Digital broadcasts can be left in their MPEG-2 TS source, or
they can be downconverted to standard definition.

Toshiba decided they would call the "Easy Continual Drama Schedule"
function the biggest recording feature of the H1000. If you're watching a
drama (live or played from a previous recording), you can press the
"Continual Drama Schedule" button on your remote control, and the H1000
will automatically record every future episode that airs. Maybe this
feature will come in handy, especially since Japan is just now getting
Season 1 of "Lost." Other features such as "A Little Time" mean you won't
miss any moment of a live broadcast because someone interrupts you. "The
News Right Now" allows you to watch a playback of the news 30% faster than
the broadcast itself.

The list of recording features on the 42H1000 is virtually endless, so
it's more appropriate to turn our attention to the hard drive. Besides
automatically deleting old programs to assure the drive won't get full,
the internal connection of the drive is now made via Serial ATA instead of
i.Link. This helps make the responsiveness faster, so Toshiba was able to
reduce the startup time of the drive in many different situations. This
also makes it possible to swap out the hard drive for a new one -- Toshiba
is releasing an additional hard drive called the "THH-16U2" for around
50,000 yen.

More info: http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2006_02/pr_j2101.htm

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

(C) Copyright 2006 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.

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