J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
A Free Newsletter Covering the Latest Cool Stuff in Japan

Issue No. 46

Thursday, January 31, 2002

Name: Victor GR-DV500K
Category: Digital camcorders
Price: TBA
Release date in Japan: February 2002

The Gist: When you buy a nice new digital camera for 89,000 yen, for
example, that doesn't take into account the price of a PC connection
kit (another 15-20,000 yen, typically), the cost of a decent-sized
memory card or even a carry case.
Heck, in the bad old days, that didn't even include an AC adapter or
rechargeable batteries -- with a lot of camcorders, it often still
doesn't! The new digital camcorders from Victor, then, are a breath
of fresh air. Happily, the GR-DV500K includes BOTH an accessory kit
and a PC connection kit in the price of the package.
It's a megapixel (1,020,000 pixel CCD)camera, with a 10x optical
zoom, an SD memory card slot (the actual SD card is one of the bits
in the included accessory kit) and a USB 1.1 connector and -- well
done, Victor -- is compatible with the various flavors of Windows
AND Mac OS9 (but not OSX, unfortunately). With the standard battery
on board, you can tape for nearly two and a half hours and a huge
eight and a half hours with the VU-V856KIT battery (yes, you do pay
extra for that little beauty). The GR-DV500K is a compact,
good-looking camcorder into the bargain.
More info:

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Name: Panacom LC/W double LCD
Category: PC
Price: TBA
Release date in Japan: March 8, 2002

The Gist: There are a lot of computers announced each month by the
various manufacturers, of course, so it's getting harder and harder
to make a splash and grab consumers' attention. But the Panacom LC/W
is the kind of PC product that'll make you look twice because it
doubles up where you least expect it: the monitor.
Unsurprisingly aimed primarily at business users, the seven new 'LCD
Double Desktop Computer' CF-82 series models represent a revision to
the -- wait for it -- CF-81 series machines which sport twin
15.7-inch SXGA LCD screens and instead have slightly smaller 15-inch
XGA displays with a twist: literally. Because the new versions
rotate, they can be positioned in either Portrait or Landscape mode
for better viewing of web and magazine pages and so on. Our art
department would love it!
More info:

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Name: Sharp Muramasa
Category: PC
Price: TBA
Release date in Japan: (H5): February 2, 2002
(H5R): February 9, 2002
(H5F): February 16, 2002

The Gist: Here comes another PC: a laptop this time. Updating its
popular and eye-catching (or was it just me?) Muramasa series and
creating a few more suffixes in the process (H5, H5F and H5R), Sharp
has gone for faster, less power-hungry processors (750-MHz Mobile
Intel Pentium III or 650-MHz Mobile Celeron) and more memory. All
three models have 256-MB of RAM now as standard, all run Windows XP
(the H5R model has XP Professional) and the H5F comes with an
external CD-R/RW drive in the box.
More info:

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Name: Red Star Xbox speaker system
Category: Game Console
Price: 12,800 yen
Release date in Japan: February 22, 2002

The Gist: If you've been smart enough to reserve one of Microsoft's
Xbox games consoles (out here next week), you might also want to
take a look at the latest offering from Red Star.
A 5.1 channel speaker system built specifically for the Xbox, the
fascia of the subwoofer unit replicates the Xbox logo and central
badge, and the whole set is finished in the same color as the
console it's designed to complement. The B-566-40 is a cheap
option at under 13,000 yen and features four 2W satellite speakers,
an 18W sub and the amp to run it all.
More info:

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Name: Sony DAN-Z1
Category: AV
Release date in Japan: February 2002

The Gist: The DAN-Z1 is a desktop audio system with a 6-GB internal
hard disk.
The main unit has an Open MG-protected Memory Stick slot,
naturally, so you can transfer tunes from the hi-fi's hard disk to
the Stick, then stick the Stick into a Sony Vaio laptop, Clie PDA,
Network Walkman, or even to an MD player via the approved NetMD
standard and a USB connection. It'll take 100 CDs' worth of music
recorded at a bit rate of 105kbps and there's an internal,
eight-speed CD player housed in the system that will allow proud
owners to record a CD to the hard disk in 12 minutes flat.
More info:

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Written by Max Everingham (
Editors: Japan Inc Editors (

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Copyright (C) 2002 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.