GW-234

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J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
G A D G E T W A T C H
The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
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Issue No. 234
Friday April 14, 2006

(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your browser.)

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Name: Sony Cybershot DSC-T30
Category: Digital still camera
Price: Open Price; estimated around 50,000 yen
Release date in Japan: April 21, 2006

The Gist: Sony's DSC-T30 is the successor to the DSC-T9, so it is loaded
with the normal collection of improvements you'd expect from Sony.

First and foremost, the CCD has been taken from 6MP to 7.2MP. In terms of
photo size, that means you get a maximum recording resolution of 3072 x
2304. This is matched with a 3x optical zoom lens and a stabilization
mechanism, as well as the "Real Imaging Processor" that includes "Clear
RAW Noise Reduction" that reduces noise in the RAW data before it is
converted to JPEG. The maximum sensitivity of the unit has also been
increased from ISO640 to ISO1000. Of course, the T30 can also handle video,
the maximum being 640 x 480 MPEG-1 at 30 frames per second.

Two more notable improvements of the T30 over the T9 are the LCD and the
battery. Sony added another half inch to the LCD, so the back of the
camera is nearly bursting at the seams to accommodate the 3" screen. They
also opted for the NP-FR1 battery instead of the previous NP-FT1, so under
CIPA standards, it can now take 420 pictures per charge instead of only
240. But the thickness has also jumped from 20.6mm to 23.3mm.

The T30 has 58MB of internal memory and has a slot for Memory Stick
Duo/PRO Duo cards. The weight with battery is 169g or 5.96 ounces.

More info: http://www.sony.jp/CorporateCruise/Press/200604/06-0406/
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Name: Evergreen DN-2000 Black
Category: Portable audio
Price: 999 yen
Release date in Japan: Already available

The Gist: Yes, you read that correctly. Evergreen is releasing what may be
the least expensive MP3 player in history -- the "DN-2000" is 999 yen, or
about $8.44 USD.

At such a low price, there's really no excuse not to have an MP3 player
wherever you need one. The DN-2000 does not, of course, include any kind
of internal memory, but instead offers an SD slot that can take cards up
to 1GB. It will play MP3s from 32 to 320kbps, and these MP3s can be
transferred using USB 2.0's Mass Storage class.

There's no display, and the only buttons you'll find on the face of the
unit are for playing, pausing, fast forward/rewind, skip/previous, and
volume adjustment. Come to think of it, those are really the only buttons
you'll need to navigate through a few of your favorite songs.

Maybe they're taking a loss on the sale of every player, but Evergreen is
also including a pair of headphones and neck strap with each unit. You
might not want to get your hopes up about audio quality considering the
player's price. Either way, it will get about five hours of playback from
one AAA battery. Player for your kids? Your car? One to keep in your
purse? The kitchen? Buy one for every employee at your company? The
possibilities are endless.

More info: http://item.rakuten.co.jp/donya/50073/
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Name: Buffalo PC-P3LWGK/DVD
Category: DVD player
Price: 36,645 yen
Release date in Japan: Late April 2006

The Gist: It was only last week (Gadget Watch No. 233) we talked about the
Pioneer DV-696AV, a 20,000-yen player from the company with an attractive
feature set for HDTV owners. For a higher price, Buffalo's PC-P3LWGK/DVD
appeals to an entirely different audience: the people who want their DVD
player to act as a media hub for their entire home entertainment system.
Buffalo calls the product line "LinkTheater," and at the top is the new
P3LWGK/DVD.

The P3LWGK takes a two-pronged approach to accomplish this goal. It has a
DVD drive and LAN support. For the latter, you have two options:
100BASE-TX wired LAN or 802.11b/g wireless LAN. AOSS is also supported for
the wireless LAN setup, so if your router also supports AOSS, you're
golden.

Apart from being able to connect with other devices on the same network
that support DLNA guidelines, the player can also connect to PCs and Macs
on the same network that are running the included "PCast Media Server"
software. This allows the player to play audio and video files from these
computers.

Whether you're playing from a CD, DVD, or over the network, the player
supports MPEG-1/2, WMV HD, DivX (3.11, 4, 5), XviD, and RMP4 for video
files. For audio, it can handle MP3, WMA, AAC, Ogg, and plain old WAV.
JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, and PNG still images are also supported.

D4, Component, S-Video, and Composite video outputs are available, as are
analog, optical digital, and coaxial digital audio outputs. You'll also
find a USB 2.0 port on the front for inserting something like USB memory
into the player.

More info: http://buffalo.jp/products/new/2005/000218.html
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STAFF
Written by: Liam McNulty
Edited by: Burritt Sabin (editors2@japaninc.com)

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