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

Issue No. 121

Thursday, October 30, 2003
(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your browser.)

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Name: Archos AV320
Category: AV
Price: Open (but approx. 90,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: mid October 2003

The Gist: Torica has brought the Archos AV320 to Japan. It's a
portable combined hard disk and MPEG-4 player with a 3.8-inch,
320x240-dot LCD display and 20-gig hard disk. It's been going down a
storm in the States, where you can now buy it for well under 600
bucks. The AV320 can play back MPEG-4, DivX and XviD video files as
well as playing MP3 music files and displaying JPEG and Bitmap still
images. There is "JBM Digital Video Recorder" software bundled, and a
3.3-million pixel digital camera, the AVCam 300, to go in the
expansion slot (the camera also has a 3x optical zoom) but if you
don't have that or don't want to splash out the extra 13,800 yen for
it, you can still insert a Compact Flash, Smart Media or Memory Stick
in the device. Or the JBM FM radio and remote control combo thingy.
The rechargeable battery should last 10 hours playing back MP3 music
or about three and a half hours displaying video. It weighs 350g and
has dimensions of 112x82x31mm.

More info:

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Name: IO Data Z'Qun
Category: Memory Magic
Price: 4,800 yen
Release date in Japan: early November

The Gist: The bizarrely named "Z'Qun" is a USB-IrDA adapter in USB key
form. For those of you who don't speak Geek, in English that means
it's a little widget that will allow owners to zap, as if by magic,
the photos they take on their camera-equipped mobile phones over to
their PCs in wireless fashion. The mobile phones it'll work with are
legion -- I'd write the list down here but if you're reading this at
work and work entails operating heavy machinery, you may fall asleep
and cause a nasty accident. Basically, if you have one by NTT DoCoMo
and its model number has D, N, F or P in it, you should be OK and
it'll even run on Vodafone's J-SH53 and J-N51 models.

The magic is achieved by way of slotting the Z'Qun into a USB port on
your computer and then using your infrared send function on your
keitai to sling it casually across the ether. Et voila! The USB key
has a variety of transmission rates and should work at anything from
3cm to 1m away from your computer, but since it only uses USB 1.1 and
version 1.1 of IrDA, you'll probably have time to sit through an
entire televised football game (and they've been known to last for
weeks -- I sat down clean shaven to watch the Ravens go against the
Broncos last night and got up after the game with a full beard) before
it's done sending over this newsletter.

More info:

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Name: Sony DSC-T1
Category: Digital camera
Price: Open
Release date in Japan: November 21, 2003

The Gist: It's the smallest 5-megapixel digital still camera in the
world, ladies and (more likely) gents, at an extraordinary 17.3mm
thick. And it's from Sony, which does this sort of thing really,
really well. The T1 has a 2.5-inch viewfinder LCD screen in the back
-- which, given the camera's tiny overall dimensions, takes up pretty
much the whole of the back of the camera and looks absolutely
fantastic -- and produces its images by way of a 5,100,000-pixel
"Super HAD" CCD and a 3x optical zoom Carl Zeiss lens. It is, in a
word, quality. On the front side, a sliding lens cover sporting the
Cybershot brand name subtly etched into it, protects the lens, flash
and range finder when in the closed position and even enhances the
smart, minimalist design in the open position. Sony has even gone to
the lengths of developing a brand new, extra slim rechargeable lithium
ion battery to keep the dimensions down, and there's a Memory Stick
Duo slot on board for all your storage needs. Suits you, sir. I'd bore
you with loads of tech details but there's no point. Buy one

More info:

Name: Sony PSX
Category: Gaming
Price: 160GB version, 79,800 yen; 250GB version, 99,800 yen
Release date in Japan: end 2003

The Gist: And finally, let's talk some gaming goodness -- I simply
have to mention Sony's PSX. Cunningly, given the code name (wow, that
makes a great tongue-twister!) that the original PlayStation earned
during its secret, prelaunch development time, the gorgeously silver
PSX is a powerhouse of a machine. And it's not just a dressed-up
version of the admittedly now aging PlayStation 2. While it does house
one of those games consoles in its nether regions, the PSX is also a
satellite TV tuner, DVD recorder and hard disk drive recorder. In one
package! We won't bang on any more about it, cuz it'll be old news,
but every self-respecting gadget freak owes it to himself to take a
look at this one.

More info:

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

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