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

Issue No. 120

Thursday, October 23, 2003
(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your browser.)

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Name: Hitachi 770G20TVP2
Category: PC
Price: Open (but approx. 420,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: October 30, 2003

The Gist: There has been a whole host of PCs with Microsoft's spanky
new Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 announced this week for
Japan. I've put the URLs for some of them at the end of this piece but
will focus on the one from Hitachi for now -- mostly because it's my
birthday this week, and our esteemed leader and publisher may well be
reading this and feeling generous and well disposed to my humble
groveling. Or not. Anyway, Hitachi's 770G20TVP2 is part of the
company's "Prius Deck" series, with the stunning eye-catching feature
of a HUGE 20-inch, WXGA (1,280x768) LCD display (one of the elements
that makes this the sexiest Media Center offering this week, I

This delicious machine is powered by a 4.3Ghz Pentium 4 CPU and 512 MB
of PC2700 RAM memory, has a 250GB hard disk and a 64MB GeForce FX
Go5200 video card as well as a combo optical drive capable of handling
DVDアR/RW and DVD-RAM. And there's an integral TV tuner, obviously.
Everything, then. Software includes Office Personal Edition 2003
pre-installed. The display alone makes the 770G20TVP2 look like a
million bucks, but in case you need extra convincing, it comes with
two remote controls. Two remotes! That ought to count for something.
You know you're getting some quality merchandise when it needs
double-handed controlling.

More info:

The others:
From Toshiba in laptop form:
A budget one from trusty Sotec:
A cube version from MCJ:
A Dimension model from Dell:
NEC's Valuestar U effort:

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Name: Kokyou "The Fit Mouse"
Category: PC peripheral
Price: Open (but approx. 6,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: October 25, 2003

The Gist: You can't make this stuff up! The Fit Mouse from Kokyou is
not an exceptionally athletic rodent for sale down at your local pet
shop; it's a PC peripheral "benefiting" from the attentions of
Kokyou's internal design department. The optical wireless Fit Mouse is
designed to fit comfortably in your hand and be easy to use for both
right-handed people and freaks (hey, lefties are supposed to be
geniuses; they can handle it!). The Fit Mouse is a three-button mouse
and is claimed to be so ergonomic that even the most weak-wristed
users -- such as children and the aged, before you say anything --
could cope with it, especially given its integral wrist rest. It comes
in lots of different colors and the (four) batteries should last for
about six weeks before they need changing. But there's just something
rather, er, disturbing about it.

More info:

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Date: Nov. 19-21, 2003
Location: Le Meridien Grand Pacific (Odaiba, Tokyo)

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Name: Victor RM-A603DVD
Category: AV accessories
Price: 3,500 yen
Release date in Japan: October 20, 2003

The Gist: It's the world's first DVD-recorder-compatible dedicated
remote control, folks. How exciting is that?!!! Oh, OK, perhaps it
doesn't seem that exciting at first, but if you're one of life's
technology early adopters, the RM-A603DVD from Victor could be heaven
sent. It will take manly and decisive control over your TV, VCR and
DVD player, as well as any of eight makes of DVD recorder. That,
ladies and gents, is a world's first and -- sorry about this, but it's
important if you're the owner of a DVD recorder and have just
accidentally fed your remote to the dog or some other such disaster --
the machines it's compatible with are from manufacturers Sharp, Sony,
Victor, Toshiba, Pioneer, Hitachi, Mitsubishi and Matsushita.
Not only this, but Victor will also release the world's first BS and
CS 110 Digital remote control handset, the RM-A703, at the same paltry
3,500 yen. It's just too much excitement in a single day.

More info:

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Name: Seiko Epson EMP-TW500 & EMP-TW200
Category: Home theater
Price: TW500, 498,000 yen; TW200, 268,000 yen
Release date in Japan: TW200, October 24, 2003; TW500, early December

The Gist: The EMP-TW500 is a home theater projector with "lens shift"
capability. Actually, there are two models available -- the TW200 and
TW500 -- but as always, we'll concentrate on the coolest of the two.
So, the TW500, under suitably darkened conditions, will produce the
brightest, highest contrast image with the blackest blacks and most
faithful color reproduction the world has ever seen. Or something like
that. Marketed under the "dreamio" brand, the TW500 uses a 1,280x720
polysilicon TFT panel to kick out an image with a contrast ratio of
1,200:1 that will go up to 100 inches in 16:9 format with the
projector a minimum of three meters away. The lens-shift system allows
for moving the picture two and a half "pictures" up or down and two to
the left or right, as well as zooming up to 1.5 times (all
controllable via the remote). So it doesn't necessarily have to be
positioned slap bang in the middle of the room. The projector uses
8-10-bit color processing and offers six color modes (natural,
dynamic, living, et cetera) along with all sorts of clever color
management jiggery pokery to produce the best image in the house.

More info:

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

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