GW-57

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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. 57

Thursday, May 9, 2002
(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your browser.)

Name: Sharp Aquos C-series LCD TVs
Category: AV
Prices:
LC-20C1: 190,000 yen (reduced from 220,000 yen)
LC-15C1: 125,000 yen (from 155,000 yen)
LC-13C1: 80,000 yen (from 88,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: Effective now

The Gist: Simply because they致e been out in the marketplace for well
over a year now, Sharp has announced a price cut right across all
seven models of the C1 line of its Aquos LCD televisions.
If the cuts hadn稚 happened, Sharp痴 new, improved C3 line would have
been cheaper than the series it superceded. Er, anyway, having
basically single-handedly propelled the LCD television boom in Japan,
the pioneering C1 series televisions will now form the basis of an
entry-level range for those still needing a bit of encouragement to
make the leap.

More info: http://www.sharp.co.jp/press

===============================NOTE===================================
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Subscribers can access our hot-off-the-press features, including:

- OKINAWA: A Trouble island has visions of IT paradise

- Running On Empty: Gregory Clark, the president of Tama University,
says prime minister Junichiro Koizumi spends too much time tinkering
with supply when it's demand that is the problem.

- The Final ShowDown: Digital technology is rapidly replacing
traditional film in the movies -- a move that has serious implications
for both the nature of film production and its financing.

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Name: Sharp VL-MG10 Viewcam
Category: Digicams
Price: 145,000 yen
Release date in Japan: June 1, 2002

The Gist: With the expansion of the digital still camera market, Sharp
reckons, people痴 expectations for the resolution and quality of still
photos taken on a camcorder have risen accordingly.
Tiny, grainy little snapshots are just not good enough for us savvy
consumers. Enter the VL-MG10. The first-ever megapixel CCD Viewcam the
company has produced, the MG10 has a 10-times optical zoom and a big,
colorful, extra vivid 3in viewfinder/LCD monitor. Providing the
images is a quarter-inch, 1,330,000-pixel CCD and there are USB and
iLINK connectors for input and SD/MMC slots for storage. Putting out
1,250,000 effective pixels to produce 1280x960 (SXGA) dot images, even
the viewfinder -- a 123,000-pixel TFT LCD -- is designed to make this
new Viewcam as easy and pleasurable as possible to use. And that痴 not
all ・ there痴 also what Sharp calls a rotational-style hand grip to
make it a snap to hold. Cos goodness knows, holding stuff can
be really tricky sometimes. But, handily, the hand grip also retracts
into the back of the camera body to keep out of the way.

More info: http://www.sharp.co.jp/corporate/news/020426-1.html

Name: Sony WEGA LCD televisions
Category: AV
Price: Open, but about 120,000 yen for the KLV-15SR1 and about
165,000 yen for the KLV-17HR1.
Release date in Japan: June 1, 2002

The Gist: Taking a slightly belated but obvious aim at Sharp痴
immensely successful Aquos range of LCD TVs, Sony has recently
announced a few competitive products of its own.
The KLV-15SR1 and KLV-17HR1 are a handsome pair -- the 15in 15SR1
being a standard 4:3 format television and the 17-incher a widescreen
(15:9) model. Interestingly, Sony plans to produce 8,000 a month of
the latter and only 10,000 of the cheaper, smaller 4:3 model,
(normally the ratios would be far higher in favor of the traditional
screen size) making a clear statement on how it sees the future of
television formats, although not quite as bold a statement as
Sharp has already made by announcing a firm intention to cease
production of 4:3 televisions altogether. (The 15SR1 has a special
high density wide mode display option too, if you really can稚 live
without widescreen.)
The WEGA duo share their stylish design values with their CRT
counterparts, featuring smart, minimalist cabinets with integrated
speakers beneath the screens which are perched on a single slim,
simple foot. Their big advantage over the Aquos line is their high
resolution capabilities. The D4 digital input terminal makes the
widescreen LCD TV compatible with all those confusing high definition
display modes for your BS digital setup (525i, 525p, 750p, 1125i) and
the D1 socket on the 15SR1 allows the first of those, 525i. Meaning
525 interlaced. The displays translate to a WXGA 1280x768 dot display
on the 17in widescreen TV and an XGA 1024x768 dot display on the 4:3
model. Both also have special 'WOW' surround sound systems to provide
the necessary aural oomph. Both models are available in either black
or silver trim and ・ given Sony痴 incredible market recognition and
the sheep-like buying practices of half the civilized world -- will no
doubt prove a significant boost to the still fledgling LCD television
industry. And it値l make your PS2 games look great.

More info: http://www.sony.jp/CorporateCruise/Press/200204/02-0417

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Name: Nokia 3330, 8250 and 8310
Category: Mobile phones
Price: 32,800 to 69,800 yen
Release date in Japan: Now

The Gist: Releasing three sexy new GSM mobiles onto the market, Nokia
is once again leading the fashion and format wars.
Compatible with both GSM 900 and 1800, you値l be able to use these babies
almost anywhere in Europe, Africa and parts of Asia to tell your best mate
as a matter of extreme urgency where you are right now, download your favorite
new ring tunes to drive your fellow bus passengers insane or even just to
place on the table in front of you in important meetings as a means of showing off.
And the showing off will definitely work, because the Nokia 8310 is
currently the most desirable new widget in the known universe, beating
out even Star Wars: Attack of the Clones on the juvenile
anticipato-meter we have installed here in the J@pan Inc offices.
The 8310 has an integrated FM radio, WAP capability (steady now), an
infra-red port and is GPRS compatible for high-speed data
transmission. It is, of course, at the most expensive end of that
price range quoted above, coming in at 69,800 yen, but I知 sure you
can get it a bit cheaper if you hunt around a bit.
Better still, from mid-May proud owners will be able to pick up some
new Xpress-on face covers if, for some unearthly reason, they dislike
Nokia痴 existing efforts.

More info: http://www.club.nokia.co.jp/index.html

===========================ADVERTISEMENT==============================
3G Wireless Special

J@pan Inc magazine invites you to promote your company in our July
2002 issue, which will feature a special advertising section focusing
on wireless technology and 3G.

This year, we're teaming up with Wireless Japan -- the only exhibition
in Japan exclusively focused on wireless technology. The event had
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email: fabien@japaninc.com
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Name: Sony VAIO PCG-U1
Category: Laptop PC
Price: Open, but about 150,000 yen
Release date in Japan: Now

The Gist: Dubbed the smallest, lightest notebook computer in the world
(this week), the Vaio U is loaded up with a real OS -- Windows XP --
has dimensions of 18.5cm x 14cm and weighs only 820g.
It痴 so small, in fact, that it barely even hides the whole face of
the Japanese model attempting to hide, in a cute manner, behind it
while promoting it on the company痴 website. Now that痴 small. That
"real OS" comment was just to see if I could get a rise out of Mac
owners, so please don稚 write in. The first question you really want
to ask about computers this small is how long the battery lasts: four
hours is the answer in this case. The second question is 的t
sure is small, but is it powerful? And here痴 the answer to that one:
an 867MHz Transmeta Crusoe CPU, 256MB of RAM, a 20GB hard drive and a
6.4in TFT LCD screen. Powerful enough, then.

More info: http://www.sony.jp/products/Consumer/PCOM/PCG-U1/

Name: Toshiba e550G
Category: PDA
Price: Open, but about 60,000 yen
Release date in Japan: End of May (e550/MD mid June)

The Gist: I wanted to mention this update because the e550 is, for my
money, the best PDA out there.
And no, dammit, Toshiba hasn稚 given me one for free. The latest Genio
model arrives with a swanky new 'G' suffix to its name -- e550G -- and
is powered by a 400MHz MPU from Intel, called the PXA250. Claiming
that the G model is twice as fast as the previous one, Toshiba has
also made sure that users get a lot more screen real estate, with the
e550G capable of displaying images 30 percent bigger than before --
that痴 how much bigger the screen is this time around (a 4in TFT
screen for those keeping count). The machine also comes loaded with
the Pocket PC2002 OS, 64MB of RAM as standard and in two different
flavors: the e550G/MD version also houses an internal 1GB Microdrive.
And if you go out and pick one up before May 26, you値l get a free
game, FIFA 2002 PocketPC, bundled in with it. Ah, that hits the (G)
spot!

More info: http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2002_04/pr_j1801.htm

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Subscribers: 2,123 as of May 9, 2002

STAFF
Written by: Max Everingham (max@everingham.net)
Edited by: J Mark Lytle (mark@japaninc.net)

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