J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan

Issue No. 97
Monday, April 7, 2003

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

Name: "Easy Disk Cute" EDC-32M (etc)
Category: PC
Price: 2,500 to 13,000 yen
Release date in Japan: mid April 2003

The Gist: If you've been interested in getting yourself one of those
so-called "USB keys" for a spot of hot swapping memory lurve (the
dirty little storage units will sync with just about anything) but
think the price to pay for your digital promiscuity is a little too
high, then it's time to embrace the "Easy Disk Cute" from IO Data.
Starting at an extremely pocketbook-friendly 2,700 yen for the 32MB
version, the Easy Disk Cute flash memory storage device is compatible
with any computer with USB capabilities and carries its own email and
synching software to optimize its portability. It comes in 32, 64, 128
and 256MB capacities and, in keeping with the cute moniker, is nattily
designed and available in red, silver or black.

More info:

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Name: Pioneer DVR-SK11B-J
Category: PC
Price: Open (but approx 40,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: early May

The Gist: A 2x speed portable DVD-R/RW drive, the DVR-SK11B-J is a
very slim, smart-looking piece of kit finished in deep blue,
connecting via the super fast (Windows only) USB 2.0 connection to a
PC and providing a double-speed recording function on to both types of
recordable DVD, as well as 16x speeds for CD-R and eight times for
CD-RW discs. At around 40,000 yen, that's pretty much all you need to
know in a single sentence, but there's also a bunch of proprietary
software in the box along with the little marvel for all your
disc-related needs. The stand-alone recorder weighs only 290g and is
22mm thick.

More info:

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Name: Sony SDR-4X II
Category: Robots
Price: TBA

The Gist: Sony's still trying to come up with man's (or woman's) Next
Best Friend in the form of an electronic robot pal and, despite
previously stating that humanoid robots were scary, the company has
nonetheless announced this new young fella -- the SDR-4X II.
Due to make an appearance at Robodex 2003, there are vast improvements
over last year's SDR-4X in the areas of movement, "safety" and
conversational/interaction features. No, really. Now, master SDR-4X
can move faster than the naked eye can track it (movement), it'll talk
the hind legs off a mule given half the chance (interaction) and, if
you accidentally fall off the side of a building, it'll use its new
capabilities to speed down to the sidewalk below, clear it of
ghoulish onlookers and be ready to catch you a la Superman (safety).
Not really, but it sounds better than the reality. Basically, it's a
hell of a lot better at keeping its balance now, its motions are
gentler and it knows loads more words. Still not exactly very high on
my Christmas list. But hey, to be fair, the little guy can sing 10
songs and do a little dance, which is incredibly useful if, for
instance, you found yourself at a robot dancing and singing

More info:

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Name: Hagiwara Sys-Com Memory Stick gadgets
Category: PC
Price: TBA
Release date in Japan: TBA

The Gist: Now on to something truly useful. Using Sony's Memory Stick
technology as a jumping-off point, Hagiwara Sys-Com has come up with
some startlingly cool widgets -- not least, the world's first Memory
Stick wireless LAN card, the HNT-MSW1. This will basically allow Clie
users to have their PDA working on a IEEE802.11 or IEEE802.11b LAN,
slipping as it does into the Memory Stick slot and working with the
Palm OS (5). It'll work wirelessly at up to 37m and 11Mpbs, and,
although no prices have been announced yet by Hagiwara, it's gonna be
difficult to see why you wouldn't want one of these. There's also a
Memory Stick Bluetooth card, the HNT-MSB1, functioning on version 1.1
of Bluetooth and Palm OS 5. But it's not all Sony's party. Hagiwara
also has SD card versions of both of these miniature wonders and they
work with Palm OS 4.0 onwards, which is a huge benefit for those of us
with older PDAs; the wireless LAN HNT-SDW1 card and the HNT-SDB1
Bluetooth card.

More info:

Name: Sony KLV-17WS1
Category: AV
Price: 210,000 yen
Release date in Japan: May 10, 2003

The Gist: While we're talking wireless, how about a wireless WEGA LCD
TV? Mmm, yes please. The KLV-17WS1 from Sony is compatible with the
5GHz IEEE 802.11a standard and comes with an M-PEG2 real-time encoding
"Media Receiver" unit that you obviously don't have to have anywhere
near your shiny new TV (or at least up to 15m away). The sexy 17WS1 is
an XGA (1,280。゚768) wide-screen television and is claimed to be the
brightest in the world, at 500cd/sqm. It's viewable at 170 degrees in
any plane and has a backlight that should last 60,000 hours, or about
as long as it takes Michael Moore to make his point at the Oscars. And
it comes in any color so long as it's black. Sony has also readied a
15-inch, standard aspect (4:3) version, the KLV-15WS1, at 165,000 yen.
But we say pay the extra.

More info:

Subscribers: 3,354 as of April 7, 2003

Written by: Max Everingham (
Edited by: J@pan Inc editors (

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