GW-62

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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. 62

Thursday, 20 June 2002
(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your browser.)

Name: Canon Digital Camera Powershot A200
Category: Digital Camera
Price: 32,000 yen
Release date in Japan: June 26, 2002

The Gist: Sticking a Powershot digital camera in at the low end of the
market -- sorry, make that 'entry level' -- Canon hopes to capture a
slice of the action amongst the folk looking for a camera that
balances performance with that all-important cost element.
At only 32,000 yen, the 2-megapixel update to the company's
1.3-megapixel A100 model comes with an 8MB CompactFlash card in the
package, allowing up to 87 shots at the lowest quality setting (and
about seven at best) before you need to download them to a PC. Owners
can get up to 1600x1200 dot images out of the camera and there's a 4x
digital zoom available, if absolutely necessary. Don't...do...it...
It'll even take movies at 20 frames per second instead of the
A100's stuttering 15. The A200 is a very stylish little unit and
for the money, it's hard to go wrong.

More info: http://www.canon.co.jp/Imaging/PSA200/index-j.html

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Name: Matsushita SJ-MR250
Category: AV
Price: Around 40,000 yen
Release date in Japan: July 20, 2002

The Gist: If using your MiniDisc player's cycling alphabetical input
method to enter track names is too painful for you (i.e. you're not a
16-year-old high school girl with magic fingers who's grown up with
J-Phone), you may want to look at Matsushita's new combi offering.
The MR250 is a portable MD recorder with speakers and a 10-key,
kanji-capable keyboard just like a phone. The idea is that you hook it
up to your PC (via USB) and can send your tracks to the MiniDisc
player with the utmost ease. The MR250 can be used with any of Panny's
MD-Net players -- in fact with all MDNet-compatible MiniDisc recording
equipment, including models from Sharp and Sony -- and will record for
up to 56 hours and play back for 110 (depending on the compression
level selected).
The separate speakers use full-range, 3cm, titanium cones for high
quality music reproduction and there's up to 110 seconds of anti-skip
protection built in (again, depending on...). It even comes in silver
or blue.

More info:
http://www.matsushita.co.jp/corp/news/official.data/data.dir/jn020614-
1/jn020614-1.html

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Name: TEAC HP-F1
Category: AV accessories
Price: Around 20,000 yen
Release date in Japan: Out now

The Gist: If you're looking for an absolute bargain infra-red,
cordless, surround-sound headphone system (and still have all your
teeth so you can ask for it in the store and not sound like you're a
mad drunkard), you might want to take a look at TEAC's new HP-F1.
The HP-F1 are of the 'open ear' variety, which means you're going to
either love them or hate them since pretty much everyone within a
half-mile radius can hear much of what's being piped into the wearer's
head. And since they're wireless and therefore likely to be worn while
walking around all over the place, this might be a really bad idea.
Nevertheless, thanks to the onboard virtual surround-sound processor,
the F1s will be music to your ears from up to 11m away and are
compatible with both DTS and Dolby Digital sound.
There are three sound modes -- stereo, multichannel and surround --
which, TEAC reckons, makes them perfect for listening to 'live' music
recordings and playing games. Unless your Mom's within earshot. They
only weigh 275g. That's not too heavy, right? Well anyhow it's about
half as heavy as the 590g transmitter, which houses one optical
digital sound input and two analog, two-channel ones with dimensions
of 70x180x180mm. In normal use, TEAC promises anything between 16 and
48 hours' use from the cans, and they'll even turn themselves off if
you fall asleep with them on your head. But that's not how they know
to turn themselves off -- obviously.

More info: http://www.teac.co.jp

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Name: Sanyo VZ-HD1G(S) W Cruiser
Category: AV
Price: Around 70,000 yen
Release date in Japan: July 5, 2002

The Gist: These things are a bit of throwback and, frankly, a shameful
obstacle to the otherwise relentless onward march of superior
technology, but Sanyo has still decided to release the VZ-HD1G F next
month.
A hi-fi VHS recorder equipped with a 40 GB hard disk, the
VZ-HD1G may be an affront to technophiles but makes perfect sense to
the more Luddite amongst us as it gives the ability to record
shows onto the hard disk for convenience and then transfer them later
onto good ol' tape. The W Cruiser actually looks pretty sharp in its
silver livery and, just like some of the smarter VCRs out there, it
can play back regular-sounding speech as you fast-forward
speedily through your recordings looking for stuff. It'll do the same
thing while your search through your tapes, too. You can choose
between SP (two hours) and EP (six hours) recording and playback modes
on the VCR and SP, LP and EP modes with the hard disk (the latter
giving you 10, 20 or 40 hours' worth respectively). So if potential
customers can spare the time to leave their day job of trying to
prevent the tide coming in, the W Cruiser will be waiting.

More info:
http://www.sanyo.co.jp/koho/hypertext4/0206news-j/0613-1.html

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Name: Sony MDR-Q55SL and MDR-Q22SL
Category: AV
Price: MDR-Q55SL 3,300 yen (3 different types, 2 colors of each type)
MDR-Q22SL 2,300 yen (6 color variations)
Release date in Japan: Both out July 10, 2002

The Gist: In one of the company's seasonal triumphs of style over
substance, Sony has announced two new series of those weird clip
style over-the-ear headphones. Like you get on long-haul flights.
With three different versions of the 55SL (solid, air and liquid --
best not to ask) and six color variations of the 22SL model, the only
tangible, practical difference seems to be in the frequency response
capabilities of the two models (the MDR-Q55SL at 16-24,000 Hz and the
MDR-Q22SL at 20-24,000 Hz). But for fashion victims everywhere, this
is a time to rejoice, not get bogged down in horrible techy details.

More info: http://www.sony.jp/CorporateCruise/Press/200206/02-0611

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Subscribers: 2,242 as of June 20, 2002

STAFF
Written by: Max Everingham (max@everingham.net)
Edited by: J@pan Inc editors (editors@japaninc.com)

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