GW-40

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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. 40 Thursday, December 6, 2001

Name: Fujitsu LOOX T/S-series
Category: PC
Price: From 160,000 yen
Release date in Japan: mid-December 2001

The Gist: Recently voted both "Best Notebook" and "Best of Show" at Comdex
Fall 2001, the FMV-BIBLO LOOX S8/70W (P-series outside Japan) is the
tiniest, lightest notebook in the world, with a footprint considerably
smaller than competing sub-notebooks (except perhaps Toshiba's Libretto).
It's also a whole lot lighter, with the S8/70W weighing in at 880g and the
CD-RW/DVD drjve-toting model (FMV-BIBLO LOOX T8/80W) at 1.5kg. With a
700-Mhz Transmeta Crusoe CPU, a huge 30-GB hard disk and 128 MB of memory,
the S8/70W is very impressively specced-out for its size and, better still,
runs Windows XP: you know, the Microsoft OS that doesn't actually crash
every five minutes. Overseas, the machines are known by different monikers
and have slight different specs - the FMV-BIBLO LOOX machines transforming
into the P-series, for instance, with faster processors and smaller hard
disks.
More info: www.fpc.fujitsu.com/www/news.shtml?aboutus/pressreleases/pr_111901

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Name: Toshiba Libretto
Category: PC
Price: Around 158,000 yen
Release date in Japan: February 28, 2002

The Gist: Speaking of Toshiba's Libretto, the PC company has announced a
super-special version of its own sub notebook, with December 1 seeing the
beginning of order taking for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Model. With the
competition's official logo emblazoned on the machine's lid, the Libretto
Adidas Edition will be sold through Toshiba's "Direct PC" website and
selected stores. There's even a limited-edition carrying case available,
finished in the same leather and colors as the official soccer ball. The
notebook comes with desktop wallpaper counting down to the day the
competition starts, football-themed screensavers of past World Cup winners
and special soccer icons, animations and whistle sounds. As for the hardware
itself, the machine is a standard Libretto L3 with a 650-Mhz TM5600 Crusoe
CPU, a 20-Gb hard drive, 128-MB of memory, a 10-inch SXGA widescreen TFT
display and Windows 2000.
More info: www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2001_11/pr_j3001.htm

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Name: Panasonic DVD-H2000
Category: AV
Price: 350,000 yen
Release date in Japan: December 1, 2001

The Gist: With the DVD recording format wars still in full swing, knocking
out a player that covers just about every format there is has to be a good
idea. Matsushita's H2000 has everything you really need: a DVD player
capable of progressive scan, a 12-bit D/A converter, RGB color controls and
"intelligent source detection". It's also a DVD-Audio player, the high-end
audio format giving SACD a serious run for its money and offering several
advantages of its own. The 192-Mhz, 24-bit D/A multi-bit converter will
provide multi-channel audio playback that'll put your regular CD player to
shame - it can even handle MP3 files. The best bit remains the fact that the
H2000 is also a DVD-RAM recorder, able to play back DVD-RAM/R, CD-R and
CD-RW discs. This Swiss-Army-Knife of a player is aimed squarely at high-end
users who, presumably, have also invested, or are about to invest, in some
serious high-definition AV gear to make recording to DVD worthwhile -
there's no point just recording regular TV programming to DVD, is there?
More info: www.matsushita.co.jp/corp/news/official.data/data.dir/jn011130-2/jn011130-2.
html

Name: Mobile Suit Gundam
Category: PC peripheral
Price: 9,800 yen
Release date in Japan: mid-March 2002

The Gist: Bandai will be releasing a PC camera in the shape of a Mobile Suit
Gundam character. Aimed at 20-30 year old male fans of the anime series,
Bandai expects to sell around 100,000 of these suckers and we'll be
surprised if they don't do those kinds of numbers in the first week. The
first of the Gundam camera models will be the popular "Zac" mech. Zac's eye
is the lens and the camera can take up to 78 still images, as well as moving
ones. The camera connects to a computer via USB and is a snip at under
10,000 yen.
More info: www.bandai.co.jp

Name: Aiwa XP-Z3 portable CD player
Category: Portable audio
Price: 23,000 yen
Release date in Japan: December 10, 2001

The Gist: Straddling the line between miniscule portable audio player and
CD, the XP-Z3 crams over three hours' worth of MP3 music onto a tiny 8cm
disc. The XP-Z3 can play back CD-R and CD-RW discs and the MP3 files are
downloaded via computer then written to disk, as with other digital audio
players. Nice and light at 145g and compact (about 10 by 9 cm) the little Z3
portable CD player will play continuously for around 26 hours on a single
set of batteries. It can also do all those text things that you're used to
doing with MiniDisc (album creation, artist and album tags, etc) and there's
an E.A.S.S. (Electronic Anti-Shock System) onboard lasting for up to 100
seconds during 128-Kbps MP3 playback. As is the vogue nowadays, the whole
thing slots into a docking cradle to top up on the juice.
More info: www.aiwa.co.jp/corporate/report/2001/xp-z3.html

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Subscribers: 1,414 as of December 6, 2001

STAFF Written by Max Everingham (max@everingham.net)
Editor: Japan Inc magazine staff (editors@japaninc.net)

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