The Pulse 2

Back to Contents of Issue: October 2003

The Best of J@pan Inc's Newsletters

Fuji FinePix S5000

Fuji's new, SLR-style S5000 digicam has a 3,100,000-pixel CCD and is capable of producing images with a max resolution of 2,816 x 2,120 dots in JPEG or RAW formats. That equates to 6 million pixel photos after Fuji's imaging system has worked its wizardry. The camera will also do 320 x 240 dot video in Motion JPEG format at a very decent 30 frames per second and has a 10-times optical zoom, so you don't need to be too close to your subject. Snaps are recorded to the 16MB card in the xD-Picture Card slot and the digicam connects to your computer via USB. But the neatest thing about this camera is that it looks just like a regular, professional 35mm unit (not unlike my own Nikon F100, in fact) and that should please a lot of old-school-but-open-minded photography enthusiasts.

More info: nrj1102.html


Sony DCR-PC300K

Announcing a product that puts the pricing of I-O Data' Motion Pix AVMC211 into perspective. Sony brings us its new 3.1-million pixel DCR-PC300K miniDV digital camcorder. Boasting a 10-times optical (and up to 120-times digital) zoom, a focal range equivalent to 45-450mm on a 35mm camera, the DCR-PC300K is JPEG and MPEG-1 capable (max of 2,016 x 1,512 for still shots). It has a high-quality, super-bright Carl Zeiss lens onboard and comes loaded with something Sony calls "Bluetooth BIP." This stands for "Basic Imaging Profile," and apparently it lets you remotely operate the camera from compatible Vaio and Clie devices. Great for when you're in the bath and don't want to risk getting the camera wet. Not that we have any idea why you'd want to use a digicam in the bath.

More info: Press/200307/03-0731/


Sharp LL-M17W1

Sharp likes its LCD displays, that's for sure, and has just released a couple more, the LL-M17W1 and LL-M15X1. We'll concern ourselves with the 17-inch widescreen, WXGA LL-M17W1 model, because it's sexier and the M15X1 is just a puny 15-incher. WXGA, for the abbreviationally challenged, equates to a 1,280 x 768 dot display, which is good enough for any image source you want to throw at it. Capable of displaying PIP (Picture in Picture), so you can watch TV and work on your spreadsheet at the same time (yeah, right), the M17W1 has a built-in TV tuner and a D1 digital input on the backside of the unit (as well as one S-Video and two Composite inputs), making it perfect for playing back high resolution DVD movies of video games.

Specs wise, the display has a 25ms response time, contrast ratio of 600:1 and brightness of 400cd/m2. The viewing angle is now a relatively standard 170 degrees in either plane.

More info: 2003/07251


Pentax's new hybrid snapper is the latest in the "Digibino" series. The series links the focusing function with the binocular function so that what you see through the binos is what you can take a digital picture of. Um, got that? Hence "digibino": digital binoculars. Makes sense. In its second incarnation, the new Digibino DB200 produces 1.3 million-pixel images, knocking them out at 1,280 x 960 and good ole 640 x 480 VGA resolutions. There's a 2x digital zoom and the pictures are recorded to SD memory card. On the binocular side, they have a 7x magnification.

That stuff aside, the DB200s have the same specs as the DB100: namely, shutter speeds of 1/8,000 sec to 1/30 sec, the ability to take five continuous shots per second (for two seconds) and attach eight-second voice memos to each picture, a rechargeable lithium ion battery to supply the juice and a USB interface for transferring the snaps. The DB200 has dimensions of 127x69 x 44mm and clocks in at a svelte 270g.

More info:


Panasonic SH-GB10-H

We don't cover much games stuff here in J@pan Inc, but this one's a bit special because it could be the machine's last gasp. Against all the odds (all right, most of the odds), Nintendo has managed to repeat a feat of marketing that most observers swore couldn't be done: completely stuffing up sales of a superb next-generation games machine twice in a row. In spite of fantastic design values, great technology and a smattering of superlative games, Nintendo's Gamecube came out of nowhere and stayed precisely there. Just like the N64 before it.

But that didn't stop Panasonic from improving on perfection in the Gamecube's design and coming out with the Q, aka the SL-GC10 (but I think we'll stick with Q), incorporating the Gamecube games console along with a DVD player and snazzy LCD display. In a stroke of brilliance, the Q stuck two fingers up at the marketing geniuses (should that be geniuii?) who insist on engineering a territorial lockout on the machines; Q could, in fact, play games from any region of the world.

From October 1, Panny will be selling the SH-GB10-H, or Game Boy Player, which fits neatly under its Q combo machine and allows gamers to pipe Game Boy games through the console and display them on a TV screen. If you're a Game Boy owner, there is also another advantage in using the Game Boy Player -- you'll actually be able to see the game you're playing, with your eyes, without the aid of a high-powered flashlight. Bonus.

More info:


IBM ThinkPad T40p

This laptop beats my recently purchased desktop PC hands down (and you can hear my teeth grinding as I write this). If you consider yourself a power user and this digital behemoth isn't enough for you, you're not a power user, you're a computing megalomaniac freak.

Potential new owners can configure IBM's amazing new portable any which way, but if you want to go totally crazy, you can get one that has a Mobile Pentium 1.60GHz CPU (with an Intel 855PM chipset), 1GB of DDR SDRAM, a 60-gig, 7,200rpm hard disk, a DVD/CD-RW combo drive, a 64MB ATI MOBILITY Fire GL 9000 video card displaying on a 14.1-inch SXGA (1,400x1,050) LCD monitor and runs on Windows XP Professional.

Of course if all that makes sense to you, you're going to want to know what's on offer round the backside of the machine, so here we go. It has IEEE 802.11a/b, Bluetooth and Gigabit Ethernet ports, two Type II PC card slots, two USB 2.0, one parallel, one S-Video and one D-Sub15 port. Closed up and ready to travel, it does weigh a slightly hefty 2.42kg, but then that's probably due to the high-capacity, longer-life battery that'll run for a full seven hours without a recharge.

More info: NewsDB.nsf/2003/07251

Note: The function "email this page" is currently not supported for this page.