G-Spot: The latest gadgets.

Back to Contents of Issue: May 2004

E-LETS PC, 3CCD VDR, Digital Rangefinder Camera ...

ZMP nuvo robots

ZMP has come up with a bipedal robot called "nuvo." Standing at 39cm and weighing 2.5kg, the nuvo guy is ready to go to new institutional or industrial homes right now for a cool JPY3 million, but ZMP plans to make it available to the great unwashed for about a half million yen. Using the company's "Advanced Media" voice recognition engine, nuvo will respond to direct voice input, or can even be controlled via a FOMA mobile phone. Nuvo runs for about half an hour on its rechargeable lithium batteries and, in case you were wondering, the name "nuvo" is a play on the French word "nouveau."

More info: www.zmp.co.jp/


Matsushita VDR-M70K

Matsushita's new VDR-M70K is a DVD digicam -- it records straight to a DVD disc rather than tape -- and is selling for less than old DV8 cameras. This digital camcorder with a 1,020,000-pixel CCD can take movies at a resolution of 400,000 pixels and still shots at 960,000. It has a 10x optical zoom lens and does widescreen, too.

The VDR-M70K can record to double-sided DVD-RAM discs, at three modes of resolution, as well as to DVD-R discs. It can also take JPEG snapshots and put them on the disc, or store them on a removable SD memory card instead.

More info: panasonic.jp/DIGICAM/


Epson R-D1

The R-D1, the first digital rangefinder camera, focuses by using triangulation. It fuses high tech and yesteryear, with manual focus and shutter speed and a retro body casing, combined with a six-million pixel APS-C size CCD, a "through the lens" 1x viewfinder and a hinged, 2-inch polysilicon TFT display that swivels through 180 degrees. The camera has a VM lens mount, but it's also the first digital camera, according to Epson, to accept Leica L- and M-mounts and save images to a max resolution of 3,008 x 2,000 pixels to the SD memory card as RAW or JPEG files.

More info: www.epson.co.jp/

Toshiba MEG201

The gigabeat G21 is a LAN-compatible HDD portable audio player housing a 20GB hard disk and with a IEEE 802.11b wireless capability. It can be picked up as a "set" package deal with Buffalo's WLI-USB-KB11 "AirStation" wireless LAN adapter for a little less than JPY5,000 extra. It now comes with a USB cradle complete with two of the fast USB 2.0 ports and "strap remote control," a small button worked into the machine's neck strap, apparently a "first" for Japan. The MEG201 has 28 equalizer settings and comes in "Cosmo Black" or "Mist Grey Metallic" finishes.

More info: www.toshiba.co.jp/mobileav/audio/meg201/products.htm


E-Lets PC-M6100E

The E-Lets with the "Be Silent M6100" does exactly what it says. It's a fan-less PC that doesn't sound like a helicopter when you boot it up. You can now play games without waking anyone. The "bare bones" PC-M6100E kit is powered by an Eden 600MHz CPU and boasts a CLE266 + VT8235 chipset with sound and graphics on board. There are two Ethernet slots, four speedy USB 2.0 ports, and the whole thing weighs 2.6kg. Pay JPY30,000 more and get 256MB of RAM (expandable up to 1GB), a 40GB hard disk and a CD ROM drive. Pay even more and get Windows XP Professional.

More info: www.e-lets.co.jp/news/r_m6100.htm


Olympus CAMEDIA X-3

Digital cameras are growing horribly boring. Many are silver, once a good start, but now far too common. Olympus' 6.1 megapixel Camedia X-3 is no exception, but it's a neat little machine, bettering the X-2 with a higher CCD pixel count, a closer macro-capability, a slightly larger LCD display/viewfinder and an autofocus that does its job twice as quickly. The camera has a 3-times optical zoom, does movies at 15 frames per second and produces massive images (a max of 2,816 x 2,112 pixels). xD-Picture Card is the storage medium of choice, and its compact little form weighs a trifling 198g.

More info: www.olympus.co.jp/jp/news/2004a/nr040318x3j.cfm

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