GW-68

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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. 68

Monday, August 5, 2002
(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your
browser.)

Name: Apple iPod
Category: PDA?
Price: from 36,800 to 59,800 yen
Release date in Japan: now

The Gist: Biting the bullet in true pioneering style by acknowledging
its legion of hacker fans who have turned the dinky iPod MP3 player
into a PDA, Apple is releasing a new version of the iPod with all
those kerazy PDA functions already on board. New to Japan, the 20
gig model (now 3 models in the family) has a host of other new
features, including a dinky wired remote control, special iPod in-ear
headphones, a Firewire 'cover,' a new belt clip carrying case (to
match your keitai) and, software-wise, a new calendar and scheduler
function plus a digital clock.
The new big boy is also compatible with -- Mac fans should take a deep
breath here and possibly a cold shower -- Windows-based computers.
Whaaat?!! As hordes of Mac aficionados slam down their funny round
mice, furiously stamp their beige-sandalled feet and throw their Decaf
Caramel Mocha Frappuccino with cream down their nice, new cardigans
yelling "Sellout!", Apple has had the temerity to ensure that PC boy
racers can also indulge in the delights that iPod has to offer. Rather
than iTunes 3 that Maccers will be using with the new iPod, there's
"MUSICMATCH Jukebox," which, of course, will do essentially the same
thing for them. iTunes3 can automatically create a "smart play list"
to the user's requirements, selecting even the preferred recording
quality and volume level at the same time. And if you're buying it as
a gift for a loved one, you can even have the iPod specially engraved
with a message. Just don't write "Outlook XP = iPod 20 gig" on it.

More info: www.apple.co.jp/ipod/index.html

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Name: Logitech LVC-HD120 "TV Tank"
Category: AV
Price: Open (but 80,600 yen from Logitech Direct at
www2.ld.logitec.co.jp/)

The Gist: It can't blow up stuff and would probably get bogged down in
a muddy field pretty darn quickly, but Logitech's new LVC-HD120 "Tank"
can do something your average M1A1/2 Abrams or Challenger MBT can't,
and that's record television programs. Infinitely more practical, but
maybe with less immediate impact, the TV Tank houses a 120GB hard
disk, turning it into a state-of-the-art video recorder.
Logitech claims that the Tank can record a whole week's worth of TV
and helpfully provides an example, saying you could record 17 hours
(from 7am to 12pm) of television every day over 7 days and it'd all
fit on the hard disk. That's 119 hours in total, fact fans, although
unless you have some serious satellite package being beamed into your
apartment, you'd be hard pushed to find that much good stuff to record
each day, I reckon. Recording at the same resolution as DVD (720x480
dot, it says here) in MPEG-2 format, the TV Tank is compact at 105 x
145 x 220mm and finished in silver so that it won't look out of place
alongside the rest of your AV gadgetry in the living room. There's a
USB 1.1 port for connecting up to Windows-compatible PCs and
transferring video and what's recorded is represented as thumbnail
images onscreen for simple navigation. Sweet.

More info: www.logitec.co.jp/products/video_rec/vchd120.html

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Name: Logitech Cordless Optical TrackMan(CT-100)
Category: PC peripheral
Price: US$69.95
Release date in Japan: August 23, 2002

The Gist: I don't know about you, but I like my mice tail-less. Bit
like that nursery rhyme, Three Blind Mice. Happily for me, Logitech
has come up with a "Wireless Trackball RF mouse" that not only does
away with that pesky lead by being wireless, but is also an optical
mouse. And it can be used with either a Mac or any flavor of Windows
PC; great for folk like me who have one type at home and another at
work.
The Cordless Optical TrackMan uses patented "marble sensing
technology" and 2 LEDs to track the mouse's movements and has a scan
resolution of 300 dpi. The mouse works on an RF frequency of 27mHz to
provide the wireless capability and the buttons can be user configured
to produce "Cruise Control scrolling," whereby you can scroll up and
down pages just by pushing a button. Er, really handy, I'm sure.

More info: www.logicool.co.jp/cf/products/productoverview.html/track10.html

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Name: Panasonic VDR-M20
Category: AV
Price: Open (but approx 170,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: August 20, 2002

The Gist: Panasonic's 8cm DVD-RAM/R VDR-M20 digicam adds to the lineup
of camcorders that record to DVD discs rather than tape. The VDR-M20
is a follow-up to the VDR-M10, released over a year ago, which was an
8cm DVD-RAM camcorder and slightly more expensive. The new machine
does DVD-R too, so now at least you have a choice. The M20 is based on
the MV250 camcorder and shares the same tech specs, (including a
1,100,000-pixel CCD, 12-times optical zoom lens and 2.5-inch LCD
monitor), differing only in that the new model comes complete with a
PC connection kit and an 8cm DVD-RAM disc. Images are recorded at
variable bit rate (VBR) MPEG-2 for optimum picture quality, allowing
30 minutes of recording at the finest quality setting and an hour's
worth on standard on a DVD-R disc. Using a DVD-RAM disc, these times
jump to a maximum recording time of two hours. And there's no messing
around with editing tapes because you can just sling the disc in your
DVD player when you're done recording and off you go!

More info: www.matsushita.co.jp/corp/news/official.data/data.dir/jn020726-1/jn02072...

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

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