GW-96

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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. 96
Tuesday, April 1, 2003

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

Name: Vertex Link Field Peas
Category: PC peripherals
Price: Open (but approx. 14,800 yen)
Release date in Japan: March 28, 2003

The Gist: The MPE-U128 is a pocket-sized MP3 player, voice recorder
and USB Flash memory storage unit named after a common garden
vegetable. But it's not a common garden gadget, folks. It has 128 MB
of onboard memory and is compatible with USB 1.1 for connecting to
your computer. The weirdly named "Field Peas" player will play back
MP3 files for up to 12 hours continuously and can handle bit rates
of anything from 32bps to 256bps. It has a purty, backlit blue LCD
display and a few preset equalizer settings called Jazz, Rock, Pop,
Classic and Normal (Normal being, presumably, for people who wear
corduroy trousers and shirts with pocket protectors). On the voice-
recorder side, a 10 minute interview will take up about 5MB of
your storage space.

More info: http://www.vertexlink.co.jp/product/vics/FieldPeas/

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Name: Panasonic LF-P567C
Category: PC peripherals
Price: Open (but approx 45,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: March 21, 2003

The Gist: Round up, round up! Come and see the world's smallest and
lightest portable DVD multi-drive, folks! Say hello to the LF-P567C
from Panasonic; a portable, external DVD-RAM/DVD-R drive, compatible
with any flavor of Windows and *only* 17mm thick! That's not much
bigger than an actual CD or DVD disc or the plastic cases they come in
-- and hardly any thicker. It looks amazing, truly, in brushed silver
with a very minimalist, simple form, but never mind that. The clever
stuff is that the LF-P567C will cope with just about any disc you
throw at it, recording DVD-RAM and DVD-R at double quick time, CD-R at
16 times normal speed, CD-RW at eight times and reading them even
quicker. Beauty! The machine is a top loader, works with either USB
1.1 or 2.0 and comes with a bunch of useful software in the package.
I'm placing my order right now.

More info:
http://matsushita.co.jp/corp/news/official.data/data.dir/jn030318-6/jn03...

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Name: Kaga Electronics iBDVR
Category: Mac
Price: Open (but approx 52,800 yen)
Release date in Japan: early April 2003

The Gist: Calling all iBook users! If, like me, you were too cheap to
get the model with a combo drive already installed and tried to save a
few bucks by getting the CD-only version, you might already be
regretting not getting a fully loaded machine. But fear not! Kaga is
riding to your rescue with the delightful iBDVR, an iBook-compatible
removable combo drive. Writing DVD-R/RW discs at 1x speed (a bit
slow), CD-R at 16x normal speed and CD-RW at 10 times, the iBDVR is
compatible with any Mac OS from 9.1 to 9.2.2 and anything after OSX
10.1.5. The guys at Kaga reckon you should take your iBook into the
store at time of purchase and have the drive installed by their boys
(the swapping charge is included in the price) just so you don't get
the opportunity to try out your fearsome DIY skills on your beloved
laptop and, inevitably, render it useless for all time.

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

Name: Audio Technica ATH-CL33
Category: AV
Price: Open (but approx 5,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: March 21, 2003

The Gist: The ATH-CL33s are open-ear cordless headphones that, when
combined with the AT728TX transmitter wotsit, form a wondrous cordless
headphone system that you can use with your laptop computer and listen
to tunes while pattering around your apartment in your shorts (er, is
this only me?) to your heart's content. The two included rechargeable
nickel hydride batteries should last for around 30 hours, and Audio
Technica claims an operating radius of 7m before the signal dies and
you're left standing in the middle of the room looking like a fool
without sounds as well as clothes. The 'phones themselves look nice
and smart with their silver finish but, oddly, the transmitter unit
goes with black instead, kinda spoiling the overall effect.

More info: http://www.audio-technica.co.jp/products/hp/ath-cl33.html

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Subscribers: 3,310 as of April 1, 2003

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

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