GW-89

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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. 89

Friday, February 7, 2003
(Long URL may break across two lines, so copy to your browser.)

Name: Japan Digital
Category: AV
Price: 49,800 yen (but first 100 people who buy it get a 10,000 yen
discount!) (But it in a "set" with a RokuRaku II and pay 118,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: January 23

The Gist: Japan Digital has just announced a DVD-RAM drive unit
accessory for its RokuRaku II hard-disk video recorder. The RokuRaku
is a cute-looking silvery block of loveliness that houses a hard disk
(starting from 40GB) and connects to a PC via USB. There's a whole
range of the machines available, including the "II" model that can
connect to the Internet via ADSL.

The new DVD-RAM unit now means that users can transfer their
recordings, until now stored safely but somewhat trapped on the
RokuRaku drive, and make their own hard copies on the 4.7GB disks.
Fabulous. The DVD-RAM drive uses the RokuRaku's dedicated expansion
connector to hook up, and it all looks great, but, since the recorders
use proprietary format discs, they won't play back on regular DVD-RAM
drives or player/recorders. Hmm, one for very early adopters only,
then.

More info: http://www.rokuraku.com/shuuhen2.html#dvd

==============================EVENT==================================
Attend a free seminar on cost reduction strategies especially for
non-Japanese companies on February 28, 2003 at the ANA Hotel in
Akasaka from 3-5PM (followed by a cocktail party).
Organized by J@pan Inc and the Ibaragi Prefectural Government, the
seminar will include case studies on reducing business costs in Japan
and incentives for relocating outside of the capital.
For more information or to register in advance, please send an email
to events@japaninc.com.
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Name: P-Change BSA-101
Category: AV
Price: 39,800 yen
Release date in Japan: February 1

The Gist: The Matsushita wholly owned subsidiary P-change has released
a new model of the company's "PluPlu" CD systems that use 3-D sound
DVX technology. The system boasts a slot-in CD player (so it sucks
your CD into the slot and makes you look like James Bond in front of
your woman friends ... very cool) and an internal 3.5W amp. It's a
vertical standing unit, looking pretty funky, with two little
mid-range speakers sitting next to each other and set into the top of
the system, with a sub at the bottom. The DVX magic apparently turns
the sound from your three wee speakers into full surround sound but,
hey, I'd say give it a trial listen at your local gadget store before
you buy to, well, substantiate that claim.

More info: http://www.sense.panasonic.co.jp/PanaSense/WP00/WP0001.jsp
or
http://www.sense.panasonic.co.jp/PanaSense/WP01/WP0141.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%
3Eprd_id=2901561&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=1717651&bmUID=1043862938440

===========================ADVERTISEMENT==============================
SECOND ROUNDTABLE ON BRANDING IN JAPAN
Brand Mythology: results-driven strategies to leverage the brand story
Four Seasons Hotel, Tokyo
Wednesday May 28th 2003
http://www2.economistconferences.com/doc/ap/brand03/i.htm

Main issues to be discussed:
- Fusion of the brand and business strategy
- Brand management in crisis and recession
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- Global and local case studies of failure and success

Online registration is available at:
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Name: Sony Clie PEG NZ-90
Category: PDA
Price: Open (but approx 80,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: February 8

The Gist: Running on version 5.0 of the Palm OS, the NZ-90 has the
same "wing" design as the popular NX70V model and a built-in digital
camera with a CCD (camera) capable of an effective 2 million pixels.
The camera has a flash and the lens can be rotated which, my spies
tell me, is great for taking clandestine snaps. The unit's IC card
houses the new "FeliCa" technology, capable of coping with the
pre-paid "Edy" money card service currently used by JR and others, and
there's built-in Bluetooth capability for exchanging data with other
portable devices. It'll even play nicely together with Sony's
Bluetooth-compatible DSC-FX77 Cybershot digital camera.

The screen is a 320x480-dot backlit LCD display, showing off 65,536
colors and the PDA is powered by a 200-MHz processor. On the downside,
there's only a measly 16MB of onboard memory, but of course you get a
Magic Gate Memory Stick slot, so you can pay loads more bucks and get
a decent amount of memory if you really need it. There's also a Type
II Compact Flash slot on the NZ-90, and it connects via a USB
connection to your PC. The machine is finished in black rather than
silver, and this is the first time, after writing about so many Sony
Clies for so long, that I'm actually considering buying one.

If you can want something more simple and can live without the digital
camera and mini-keyboard (which no-one ever uses anyhow), the SJ33 has
also been announced -- it's smaller, funkier and looks a little more
lively, coming as it does in dour black or the spritely,
limited-edition colors (to be released two weeks or so later) of
"flame orange" and "azure blue." It's not as powerful, with only a
66-Mhz processor, and doesn't do Bluetooth, but it does have a nice
color screen and is far more compact.

More info: http://www.sony.jp/CorporateCruise/Press/200301/03-0127/

===========================ADVERTISEMENT==============================
On the occasion of the SECOND ROUNDTABLE ON BRANDING IN JAPAN
organized by the Economist Conferences, J@PAN INC magazine invites
you to participate in a "Marketing & Advertising Agencies" special ad
section scheduled for the April 2003 issue.

The April 2003 special ad section will feature the major companies
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For more information please contact:
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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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