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

Issue No. 142

Thursday, April 29, 2004
(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your browser.)

Name: Sony DRU-700
Category: PC
Price: Open
Release date in Japan: May 15, 2004

The Gist: OK, so I thought I'd make this, my last Gadget Watch
newsletter for J@pan Inc, a grouping of those "World First!" snippets
I love so much. To kick off, we have Sony claiming a "World First!"
with the DRU-700 machines, the first ever double-sided, dual-layer
recordable DVD+R DL drives. (The "DL" bit meaning "double layer," tech
pedantry fans!) Compatible with Windows 2000 and XP flavors, the
DRU-700A and DRU-700UL are a move away from the boring, beige or white
boxes in design, sporting looks that Apple would be proud of.
Recording on both layers makes room for up to 8.5GB of data, recording
M-PEG2 at 5Mbps for a maximum of 3.6 hours (what's 0.6 of an hour?!).
The 700A model is an internal ATAPI unit, out here May 15 for about
25,000 yen with a switchable black or white front plate. The 700UL
model is an external drive with USB 2.0, two Firewire ports (4- and
6-pin) and is out mid June for around 30,000 yen.

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Name: Victor InterLink MP-XV831
Category: PC
Price: Open (but approx. 240,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: mid June 2004

The Gist: Victor's "World First!" entry is a spanky new laptop PC, the
InterLink MP-XV831, which is the smallest portable in the world to
incorporate a "Multi-DVD" drive. At a positively dwarf-like
235x214x43.2mm and weighing 1.47kg -- muy importante for laptops --
the MP-XV831 will apparently soldier on for up to five-and-a-half
hours on one charge of its battery. It can also apparently play back
images from the same company's digital hi-vision video camera, the
GR-HD1, thanks to an internal high-definition decoder. The new
MP-XV831 is powered by a 1GHz mobile Pentium chip, has 256MB of PC2700
RAM, a 40-gig hard drive and IEEE 802.11b/g wireless gadgetry, running
on Windows XP Home Edition. The display is a 1,024x600-dot (WSVGA),
8.9-inch LCD screen, there are two USB 2.0 ports, Firewire, that
Ethernet port, a Type II slot and another one for an SD memory card.
All the bases covered, then. And it's tiny.

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Name: Samsung
Category: AV
Price: TBA
Release date in Japan: mid May 2004

The Gist: Samsung has developed the largest-ever high-definition LCD
TV intended for home/consumer use -- and at 46 inches, it's a
whopper! Also, it's a "World First!" Capable of displaying
high-definition images, the new LCD TV puts out 1,920x1,080 dots and
is a fully flat panel. The unit also has an integrated 5.1-channel
sound system and an analog (but not digital) TV tuner. The rear of the
set is acronym heaven, with HDMI, DVI-D, analog RGB, a D terminal and
RCA inputs.

More info:

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Name: Solid Alliance
Category: AV
Price: 20,000 yen
Release date in Japan: June 2004

The Gist: Coming from Solid Alliance, the company that brought you the
rubber-duck USB key
( and whose
name sounds more like a bad rock band than a consumer electronics
company, is this fantastic gadget: an SD/mini-SD memory card portable
video recorder shaped just like an Egyptian Pyramid -- only in 1/2,000
scale. Now, that just *has* to be a "World First!" Hooked up to a TV
and/or VCR , the little black pyramid will record TV programs in
MPEG-4 at the touch of a button, laying them down to the inserted SD
card at a bit rate of 128kbps. It has Composite video and analog sound
inputs, along with a timer, so you can set it to record your fave
programs to the card whenever you like. It's even compatible with a
bunch of mini-SD card mobile phones -- including NTT DoCoMo's N900i,
F900i, SH900i and P900i handhelds and Vodafone's J-SH53 and V601SH --
allowing you to record to the card, whip it out, stick it in your
keitai and watch all the TV you missed on the commute into work on the
train. Now that's what I call a video phone! Right, that's it then,
it's all over. So long, my faithful readers. Sob!

More info:

Subscribers: 5,496 as of April 29, 2004

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

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