Awesome New Gear

Back to Contents of Issue: November 2004

by Japan Inc Editorial Team

>>Sony HDR-FX1
The Sony “HDR-FX1” is the world’s first consumer-level camera that supports Full HD 1080i (meaning 1080 horizontal lines of resolution). The 400,000 yen price may not be considered “consumer-level” to some, but I believe they’ve dubbed it so because the camera records HDTV using the “HDV” standard. HDV, developed by Sony, JVC, Canon and Sharp in 2003, allows for recording HD video on standard DV tapes. The battery is sold separately in the “ACCKIT-D10” accessory kit, available for 32,550 yen, which includes battery adapter and charger.
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>>Sony DSC-M1
Sony introduces the 5.1MP “DSC-M1” digital camera. As you will discover, however, it’s not your typical camera. It may resemble a normally shaped digital camera when closed, but when open, it looks more like a cellular phone. The screen assembly not only slides out to the side of the camera 90 degrees, the 2.5” screen itself can be flipped so that it faces either in the same or the opposite direction of the camera lens. One final new feature about the DSC-M1 is the addition of a “5 second record” button, which quite obviously records 5 seconds of video.
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>>Logitec LAT-CARMP3
Logitec’s new “LAT-CARMP3” is an MP3 player that gets power from your car’s cigarette lighter, plays files from USB memory devices and transmits audio via FM radio. If that process didn’t quite make sense to you the first time you read it, it’s pretty simple—you download files from your PC onto a USB memory device, plug it into the MP3 player and take it in your car. Once in your car, you plug it into your cigarette lighter and MP3s will be transmitted via FM radio. The next and final step, then, would be to tune your radio to the correct FM frequency.
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>>JVC XM-C31
As recent sales statistics reflect, MiniDisc players are fighting quite a battle with other digital audio players. That’s why JVC’s newest MiniDisc offering has taken the meaning of “battery life” to a whole new level. The XM-C31 player has an almost obnoxious maximum playback time of 318 hours (with the combined use of the internal NiMH battery, one AA battery and LP4 playback mode). Another feature reminding us that the Japan MiniDisc isn’t entirely dead is the “Quick Charge” function, which allows for a playback of 15 hours after a mere 20 minutes of charging.
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>>Rio Carbon
The Rio Carbon for Japan is the world’s first player to contain Seagate’s 5GB one-inch hard drive, apparently giving Rio liberty to call the player the “lightest in its class.” MP3, WMA (with DRM, too) and Audible files can all be played back, and files can be transferred via a variety of methods. The most “anti-Apple” would be the iTunes plugin; MP3 files can be transferred using said software. But due to licensing restrictions, AAC files cannot. Other specifications include a 5-band equalizer, mono microphone, and 20-hour battery life on the internal lithium-ion cell.
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>>NEC VersaPro VY11F/GL-R
NEC took the wraps off a Tablet PC that should breathe some new life into an industry that hasn’t been performing so well. NEC has unveiled a new machine in the “VersaPro” line, with a weight of about 899 grams and a maximum thickness of only 13.7mm. In other words, this system packs a 1.1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, wireless LAN capabilities, a 20GB hard drive, and Mobility Radeon 7500 into a space about as high as stack of 11 CDs. Understandably, however, you’ll need to use an external drive for access to CDs and DVDs.
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