GW-51

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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. 51

Thursday, March 7, 2002
(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy and paste to your browser.)

Name: Sharp LL-T2010W
Category: PC
Price: TBC
Release date in Japan: March 25, 2002

The Gist: The snappily named T2010W employs proprietary Advanced Super
V technology and is a super low reflective black TFT LCD panel.
The mammoth 20.1-in beastie of a UXGA monitor can knock out an
eye-boggling 1,600 x 1,200 dots. This month's big deal, however, is
not the amazing resolution but the fact that the LCD panel is the
first ever to have separate analog and digital interfaces built into
it, so you can hook up two entirely different sources -- like a PC and
a DVD player -- at the same time. Talk about genius! Sharp says you
can even hook up two computers at the same time, but it escapes me why
you'd want to do this; if you did, however, the monitor's clever color
management system (compatible with the sRGB global standard) will cope
with the different inputs no problem at all. Aimed, rather
unsurprisingly, at CAD and other art professionals, the T2010W has a
high contrast ratio of 350:1 -- not the highest in the business but
still pretty darn contrasty -- and luminance of 220cd/m2 and is able
to display two A4-size pages side by side on the screen. Typing this
right now on a 15-in iMac screen, that seems hellish big to me. It
also shares the very wide 17-degree viewing angle of the company's
Aquos range in both planes, so you won't be constantly tilting your
head and cursing the window behind you as you work.

More info: http://www.sharp.co.jp/corporate/news/020228.html

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Name: Sony PCGA-VC2/A
Category: PC camera
Price: TBC
Release date in Japan: End of March

The Gist: Sony's inspired naming department has coined PCGA-VC2/A to
describe the company's new camera for Vaio.
Housing a progressive-scan CCD, the VC2/A comes with a microphone,
looks the part in its Vaio-friendly blue and gray livery and weighs
about as much as a couple of fingernails. Don't ask how I know that. A
beneficiary of Sony's brilliant and cutesy styling gurus, the camera
also has a nifty little Vaio-branded clip so you can snap it over the
lip of your laptop. The camera is bundled with Q-ze Talk software and
will work with both Windows Messenger and NetMeeting.
Try it out on one of the new Vaio laptops Sony announced at the same
time out March 9.

More info: http://www.sony.co.jp/sd/products/Consumer/PCOM/Acc/PCGA-VC2_A (Camera)
http://www.sony.co.jp/sd/products/Consumer/PCOM/PCG-FX99V (Vaio)

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Name: Panasonic DMR-E30 DVD recorder
Category: AV
Price: TBC
Release date in Japan: March 15, 2002

The Gist: You know, I was being a bit flippant last week about the
death of DVD. Blu-ray is a while away and not likely to totally
supplant DVD for some years -- which is good because otherwise
Panasonic might have been wasting its time updating its superb DMR-E20
DVD recorder.
The DMR-E30 is superior to last year's E20 in about, ooh, three ways,
the most significant of which is size. At only 120 mm high, it's a
little over half the height of the E20. The width stays the same, so
it'll still look fine next to your VCR or whatever. The new model is
also capable of progressive scan playback, uses less power (28 W
compared with 33 W for the E20) and is 2.4 kg lighter, at just 3.7 kg.
Nearly everything else remains the same, including the type of discs,
the amount of stuff you can record (up to 12 hours on a 9.4-GB DVD-RAM
disc at the lowest, EP, quality setting)

More info:
http://www.panasonic.co.jp/products/video/digital/e30/product/index.html (DMR-E30)
DMR-E20 page for comparison:
http://www.panasonic.co.jp/dvd/ad/e20/product/09shiyo.html

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Name: Nikon D100 digital SLR camera and Coolpix 2500
Category: Digital camera
Price: TBC
Release date in Japan: End of March 2002

The Gist: Nikon's new D100 digital SLR baby has business types and
professionals squarely in its sights.
According to Nikon, the company now has something for every kind of
digital camera fan, from the cheaper Coolpix models that chime in at
around two megapixels, right up to the crazy mad D1X and D1H pro
digicams. No lightweight itself in the pixel department, the D100
produces an effective 6.1 million pixels and benefits from some very
smart white balance and image processing algorithms to produce its
amazing images. Highly acclaimed Nikon features get packed in the
thing too, including the five-area autofocus and 3D matrix metering.
There's also a built-in Speedlight with through the lens capability
and a depth-of-field preview button (I love this on my F100, amateur
that I am).
Looking for all the world just like its non-digital SLR counterparts,
the D100 wil capture 3,008 x 2,000-pixel images that will print out at
A3 size and look a million dollars. The PC connection is USB and the
photos are laid down to CompactFlash cards. With this kind of high-end
digital camera, there's a lot more info you need before making a
purchase, so anyone interested should just head on over to Nikon's
website and get all the stats and stuff.
For those less interested in the minutiae of digicam performance,
Nikon's other new baby, the Coolpix 2500, might prove more appealing.
Propping up that low, two-megapixel end just mentioned, the 250 is
nevertheless a very capable little digital camera, producing 1,600 x
1,200-pixel images at the highest resolution. It has a 3x Zoom-Nikkor
lens, with a 5.6-16.8mm focal range and a 4x digital zoom. What's
really cool with this one, though, is that the usual Coolpix design,
where the whole camera body kind of splits in half and swivels, has
been changed. With the 2500, the lens still swivels within the casing,
but the rest of the camera stays right where it is. I'm not sure how
well it works but it certainly looks very funky. To help those less
familiar with digital photography, the Coolpix 2500 has 12 Scene Modes
(Beach, Night et cetera) which greatly increase the chances of
producing a decent picture and the BSS (Best Shot Selector) function,
whereby the camera actually automatically chooses the best snap of a
series for you. The battery in the Coolpix 2500 should last for nearly
an hour an a half and the whole thing weighs only 165g.

More info: http://www.nikon.co.jp/main/jpn/whatsnew/2002/d100_02.htm (Nikon D100)
http://www.nikon.co.jp/main/jpn/whatsnew/2002/e2500j_02.htm (Coolpix 2500)

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STAFF
Writer: Max Everingham (max@everingham.net)
Editor: J Mark Lytle (mark@japaninc.net)

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