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

Issue No. 116

Thursday, September 25, 2003
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Name: Sony NW-MS90D Network Walkman
Category: Portable audio
Price: Open (but approx. 45,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: October 21, 2003

The Gist: This new little beauty from Sony is packed with 512MB of
onboard memory (the previous model, the NW-MS70D, had half that), a
Memory Stick Duo slot and is the same size and weight as the MS70D, at
36.4x48.5x18mm and 54g. For the spatially challenged, that's
absolutely tiny and, to put it in more easily understandable, concrete
terms, well, let's just say that you don't want to be leaving it on
the sofa and accidentally sitting on it. You may never find it again.
The other "improvement" is that the Network Walkman has dispensed with
the all-too-familiar silver finish and gone with the new black. Which
is black. You get a maximum of 29 hours and 10 minutes recording time
and a massive 33 hours playback time (with extra Memory Sticks added),
and the machine will handle both ATRAC3 and ATRAC3plus files. You get
a rechargeable battery in the package, and it only takes a whizzy 90
minutes to charge up to full power again.

(At the recent WPC Expo 2003, Sony has also showed a very, very
sexy-looking MPEG-2 & MPEG-4 "hard disk video player" with a 3.5-inch
TFT LCD screen. There's a lovely, minimalist control panel, USB
connection slot to a PC and an earphone socket. But that's all we
could fathom.)

More info:

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Name: iRiver iFP-599T
Category: Portable audio
Price: Open (but approx. 54,800 yen)
Release date in Japan: mid October 2003

The Gist: iRiver has launched an iFP-500 "silicon audio player" series
of portable music machines, with the flagship iFP-599T model touting
an incredible ONE GIGABYTE of internal Flash RAM. And a classy
champagne gold finish. Capable of playing MP3, ASF and WMA formats,
the 599T has a four-line LCD display, built-in FM radio tuner and is
compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems. It only weighs 60g
and, almost as if to prove how lightweight and manageable it is, comes
with a funky armband in the box when you buy it. Which is great if
you're the exhibitionist sporty type who doesn't mind people staring
and laughing at you. It's a bit chunkier than Sony's machine mentioned
above, but then it does have double the memory, allowing storage of
about 240 songs or -- if you really like the sound of your own voice
-- 288 hours of digital voice recording with a Sound Activity Detector
function that, despite having an unfortunate acronym, means it'll
start recording when a mike is attached and it detects a decent sound
source. It'll go for 28 hours on a single charge and take about three
hours to juice up again. Oh, and it has an optical audio out. Smart!

More info:

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Name: Sony D-EJ700
Category: Portable audio
Price: under 10,000 yen
Release date in Japan: November 10, 2003

The Gist: It's all about portable audio this week. The D-EJ700 may not
be an especially high tech bit of kit, but darn is it cheap!
Sometimes, all you want for a good gadget is that it does what it says
on the tin -- you're used to the technology, it works, it keeps on
working, and it doesn't cost you an arm and a leg. Which is exactly
what you're going to get from the D-EJ700. It's a Sony CD Walkman, so
the pedigree is there. It'll spin up your CDs and it'll play them well
without skipping, thanks to the "G-Protection." It even comes in a
choice of three colors, if that's important to you. And it should
retail at under 10,000 yen.

More info:

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

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