GW-35

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J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
G A D G E T W A T C H
A Free Newsletter Covering the Latest Cool Stuff in Japan
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Issue No. 35
Thursday, November 1, 2001

Name: Pioneer X-HD1
Category: AV
Price: Open
Release date in Japan: mid-November 2001

The Gist: Dubbed the "Hard Disk Digital Jukebox," the
X-HD1 is another attempt at getting music off the
Internet and into the living room. A hi-fi with an
integral hard disk, basically, the X-HD1 taps into the
perceived trend today of making electronics as easy as
possible to use while maintaining quality. A world-first
attempt at combining an audio system (CD player
and MiniDisc) and hard drive, the unit also
incorporates a Magic Gate Memory Stick slot licensed
from Sony and can therefore use the OpenMG technology
and software to ease the downloading and playback
process. If you have a car stereo or PDA with a Memory
Stick slot, it痴 then a snap to transfer the music
over and play it on the move. The 2.5-inch, 6-GB hard
disk has enough space for 100 CDs・worth of music (at
ATRAC 3痴 105 kbps) and will dub a 60-minute CD onto
the hard disk in about 12 minutes with the stored
music arranged in folders and albums, a bit like on a
PC. The hard disk has the title (artist and song) data
of several years・worth of CDs already on it, so it
should also automatically display the information as
you spin up a disc, and if you池e playing a "CD TEXT"
enabled CD, the information can be transferred over to
the hard disk as you play it.

More info:
http://www.pioneer.co.jp/press/release281-j.html

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Name: Fujitsu LifeBook LS series
Category: Notebook PC
Price: From JPY238,000 for the LS series
Release date in Japan: from December 2001

The Gist: Fujitsu has announced nine new models in its
FMV-LifeBook series of notebook PCs. All the LifeBooks
have a super-fast Pentium III or Celeron processor and
various special features (one of the NA series has a
blazing 1.2-GHz chip, for instance) but it痴 the
A5-sized LS series that attracts most attention.
Weighing only 880 g and with a battery life of around
10 hours (way to go, Transmeta!), the LS series
machines have touch panel LCD monitors and are perfect
for use on the go, with either a built-in Air H・
module for use with DDI keitai (mobile phones) or a
wireless LAN modem. The LS machines also have 15-GB
hard disks, 128 MB of RAM and 8.9-inch TFT screens and
-・more impressively for such tiny mobile computers ・
both run Windows XP Professional.

More info:
http://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/2001/10/25.html

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Name: IFC-USB2CB
Category: Peripherals
Price: IFC-USB2CB JPY8,500
AC-DC5 JPY2,800
Release date in Japan: early November 2001

The Gist: Nagoya-based Melco, responsible for selling
the Buffalo brand in Japan, is set to release an
interface card compatible with the new, improved USB
2.0 bus that allows a super-fast data transfer rate of
480 Mbps ・ 40 times faster than the "old" USB
version (1.1). The board is a Type II PC card that has
2 USB 2.0 ports on it and only draws 350mA in use, but
there痴 a separate AC adapter (AC-DC5) available if
you feel it necessary. So if you don稚 want to blow a
couple hundred thousand yen (or a few thousand
dollars) every six months or so keeping up with the
constant changes in the PC world, picking this card up
will at least save you one upgrade. And it値l work
with Windows XP.

More info:
http://buffalo.melcoinc.co.jp/products/new/2001/036_2.html

Name: Sotec PC Station E4200xp
Category: PC
Price: JPY258,000
Release date in Japan: now

The Gist: Despite the fact that the official debut of Windows XP
is still a couple of weeks away -- it's set for November 16 --
certain stores in Akihabara did a bit of pre-selling on
October 25, bundling OEM versions of the OS along with
memory modules for cracking prices. Naturally then,
the big thing with computer manufacturers right now is
the release of new machines that come with XP
pre-installed. But that痴 a little too dull to dwell
on. Instead, how about for the first time allowing
users to make their own DVDs on a desktop PC? Budget
PC company Sotec has done just that and started
selling a computer with a built-in DVD+RW drive.
Stuffed full of wizardry that値l be the most awesomely
powerful PC in town for about, oooh, 2 months at
least, the PC Station E4200xp fits a 2 GHz Pentium 4
CPU, a ludicrously massive 80-GB hard drive and NVidia
GeForce 3 graphics card into its relatively stylish
form. It also comes with 256 MB of RAM and, of course, that
DVD+RW drive which will also play regular DVDs, CD-Rs,
CD-RWs and good old CD-ROMs. There痴 a IEEE1394 port
for video editing and the machine comes bundled with
Windows XP Professional.

More info:
http://www.sotec.co.jp/direct/e4200xp/index.html

Name: Aiwa IC-DP200
Category: AV?
Price: JPY29,800
Release date in Japan: out now

The Gist: Convergence on the digital camera side has,
up until now, meant we致e seen a few digital cameras
that also have limited voice recording functions.
Aiwa, however, has done it the other way round,
producing the 16MB IC-DP200 which is primarily a voice
recorder and is also a digital camera. But, since it痴
aimed primarily at serious business types who wear
suits and everything, the DP200 is most proud of its
ability to digitally record for well over four hours
(260 minutes) in long play mode and about an hour at
higher quality. As with all other IC recorders, users
can scan, search and play back selected tracks very
easily - and then there are the camera functions. A
310,000-pixel digicam, the DP200 will accommodate up
to 200 images and features a USB connection for the PC
(Macs are not supported, a trend that seems to be,
worryingly, increasing). The batteries will give 14
hours of life and at 86 g it won稚 be any bother
carrying it around to all those business meetings.

More info:
http://www.aiwa.co.jp/products/portable/2001/ic/ic-dp200.html
http://www.aiwa.co.jp/products/portable/2001/ic/ic-dp200_e.html

Name: Apple iPod
Category: Portable music
Price: JPY47,800
Release date in Japan: buy online now!

The Gist: Ever the innovator it appears, Apple has
come up with another whiz product to support its
already vigorous commitment to online music. Packaged
along with a copy of its MP3-ripping iTunes 2
software, the "iPod" is a portable MP3 player that can
house 1,000 songs inside its tiny form (actually, on
an internal 5-GB hard drive). Another product that
shares the renowned Macintosh ease of use,
the iPod connects to your Mac and automatically initiates a file
transfer so that all your iTunes songs and listings
are downloaded to the mini-music player. The Firewire
connection will shoot over a CD full of music in
10 seconds and the player gets charged in the process.
Weighing only 6.5 ounces, the iPod comes with in-ear
headphones and has a backlit LCD if you really must
use it in the dark.

More info: http://www.apple.com/ipod/

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STAFF
Written by Max Everingham (max@everingham.net)
Editor: Bruce Rutledge (bruce@japaninc.net)

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Copyright (C) 2001 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.

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