GW-73

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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. 73

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

STOP PRESS!
(Sony has just announced an ultra-thin MD Walkman, the MZ-E10, which
is an extraordinary 9.9mm thick. That's less than a centimeter, fact
fans!)

Name: Sony PEG-SJ30
Category: PDA
Price: Open (but approx 30,000 yen)
(PEGA-CG10) 4,000 yen
Release date in Japan: September 14, 2002

The Gist: Spot the difference. I'm beginning to find it very hard to
keep track of all these PDAs with unhelpful model numbers.
Anyhow, there's a new Sony Clie on the block and its name is
PEG-SJ30. The Palm OS-powered PDA has a 65,536 color, 320 x 320 dot
backlit LCD screen, is powered by a VZ 33MHz Dragonball CPU and has
16MB of DRAM and 8MB of ROM on board. The SJ30 runs version 4.1 of the
Palm operating system and is compatible with version 1.2 of the
infra-red IrDA transfer protocol. The lithium ion battery promises to
power the handheld for up to 12 hours continuously (yeah, right!) and,
unlike the PEG-SL10 now on sale in the States, the SJ30 has an
all-silver casing (the SL10 features a black and silver design). Plus,
of course, the screen is color, as opposed to monochrome. The SJ30 is
intended as a base-model PDA for the Clie range, providing electronic
book-reading and gaming functions as standard. Accordingly, the Pook
e-book software and three games -- Bump Attack Pinball, ZANAC and PSol
Lite -- come pre-loaded in the machine. Released simultaneously in
order to allow sir or madam to get maximum enjoyment out of their
handheld also comes the PEGA-CG10; a new, very funky game controller
that snaps over the bottom half of the PDA where the regular buttons
are and comprises a four-way directional pad and six other buttons.
The controller is compatible, via its expansion slot, with some demos
of Sega games, including Columns, Tetris, Defender, VolleyBall and Spy
Hunter. Gaming bliss is not, however, limited to purchasers of the new
SJ30, either. The CG10 controller can also be used with several other
Clie models, including the T650C, 600C, 400, NR70 and NR70V. And, of
course, there's all manner of accessories to be had for your new Clie
as optional extras, including the USB cradle, a carrying case and a
protective plastic sheet for the screen.

More info:
http://www.sony.jp/products/Consumer/PEG/PEG-SJ30/index.html

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Name: Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
Category: PC
Price: n/a
Release date in Japan: November 11, 2002

The Gist: Microsoft has announced the release of Windows XP Tablet PC
Edition at the TECHXNY exhibition in the US, along with
information on new hardware and software vendors for the new platform.
Getting a simultaneous release in the US and Japan, Windows XP Tablet
PC Edition is the long-winded way of saying "portable nirvana,"
because the new OS promises to properly and fully enable those
cool-looking tablet devices under a common operating system. So,
instead of each company trying to make the square peg of Windows 95 or
whatever fit in the round Tablet PC hole, we now have a dedicated OS
for the things. That's the plan, anyway.
Fujitsu also displayed its trial Stylictic product at the show,
featuring a 10.4in LCD screen and wireless LAN capability. When
placed in the drive-toting docking station, the display could then be
rotated to any angle the user fancied, for office-style use, instantly
transforming the wandering Tablet PC into a fully functional desktop
PC. Also announced were three new hardware vendors and 16 softies,
meaning the Japanese hardware company roster for Tablet PC
now includes Sotec, NEC, Toshiba, HP Japan, Fujitsu, Pace Blade Japan,
ViewSonic Japan and Acer Japan.

More info:
http://www.microsoft.com/japan/presspass/releases/082802tabletpc.asp

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Name: Nikon COOLPIX4300
Category: Digital camera
Price: 87,000 yen
Release date in Japan: September 21, 2002

The Gist: The successor to the 3,000,000-pixel COOLPIX885 digicam, the
COOLPIX4300 has -- wait for it -- 4 million pixels! So why's it called
the 4300? I hear you ask. Why not 4000? Because it has a
4,130,000-pixel CCD of course. Er, moving on....
The new Coolpix has a 3x optical zoom (and 4x digital) on its
Zoom Nikkor Lens, with 35mm equivalents of 38-114mm and F2.8-4.9. The
biggest picture the 4300 knocks out is 2,272x1,704 dots, which is
enough for anyone, and they can be in either JPEG or TIFF format.
Focal range is 30cm to infinity and there's a macro mode to allow
snapping from about 4cm. The 4300 also has 12 "scenes" to reproduce
all the right settings for particular conditions (e.g. at night). The
images are stored on a Type I CompactFlash card and images can be sent
to your PC at a single touch of the transfer button, which
automatically starts up the Nikon View 5 software and effects the
transfer. The camera also features an ultra high speed snapping
mode, allowing the taking of 30 pictures a second, but only at a
resolution of 320x240 dots (it can also take 40 seconds of movies at
this resolution, with output at 15 frames per second). AV output can
be in both PAL and NTSC. With the Olympus CAMEDIA C-4000 Zoom also
fighting for top spot in this category, things are getting real
interesting.

More info: http://www.nikon.co.jp/main/jpn/whatsnew/2002/e4300j_02.

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Name: IO Data DVR-iUH2
Category: PC peripheral
Price: (DVR-iUH2) 43,800 yen, (DVR-iEH2) 44,800 yen
Release date in Japan: Now

The Gist: The iUH2 is the industry's first USB2.0 and
IEEE1394-compatible external DVD multidrive. Phew! Now we can all
sleep easy at night.
Capable of handling seven types of media, the new IO Data gadget will
work its magic on DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW and
good old plain vanilla CD-ROMs. Both drives are based on the Hitachi
LG (a joint venture between Hitachi and LG Electronics to develop and
design optical disk drives) GMA-4020B multiformat machine and
recording speeds vary depending on the media used, and are 2x for
DVD-R/-RAM, 1x for DVD-RW, 12x for CD-R and 8x for CD-RW. The
drive comes bundled with a host of appropriate software, including
PowerDVD XP for DVD movie playback, all the necessary burning
programs, DVD MovieWriter 1.5 SE authoring software and Ulead
PhotoImpact 7 SE for photo editing. The DVR-iUH2 will work with any PC
operating on Windows 98 SE, Me, NT 4.0, 2000 and XP. But not on Macs;
bah!

More info: http://www.iodata.co.jp/news/200209/dvr-iuh2.htm

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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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