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

Issue No. 144

Monday, May 17, 2004
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Name: Panasonic Let'snote
Category: Notebook PC
Price: Open (but Panasonic expects between 200,000 yen and
250,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: May 21, 2004

The Gist: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., the maker of the
Panasonic brand, will begin selling Let'snote R3 series, T2 series,
W2 series and Y2 series from May 21 onwards. The four series have a
liquid crystal display, or an LCD, with the size between 10.4-inch
and 14.1-inch. The R3 series, to be released on May 21, has nine-hour
battery life, the longest of such PCs with the same-sized LCD and a
standard battery. It weighs 990 grams. The T2 series, to be released
on June 11, will have multi DVD drives, which are compatible with
DVD-ROM, CD-R/RW and other DVD standards. While R3 and T2 have 12.1
inch LCD, Y2 has 14.1-inch LCD. All but the T2 series will debut on
May 21. The Let'snote will have Windows XP pre-installed and uses
Intel's Centrino chipset.

More info:

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Name: Olympus CAMEDIA AZ-1
Category: Digital Camera
Price: Open (but Olympus expects 50,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: late May, 2004

The Gist: CAMEDIA AZ-1 is the first digital camera in the world that
uses a "mobile ASV liquid crystal display monitor," technology that
allows digital cameras to have large screens. The CAMEDIA AZ-1 has a
2.5-inch LCD monitor, the biggest of all the digital cameras currently
sold. The LCD also has better visual quality than conventional models.
Users can look at the monitor from a sharp angle and still get a good
glance at pictures. (Color on conventional LCDs will become obscure
when looked at from a sharp angle.) The camera uses xD Picture Card
as a medium. It takes photos of 3.2 mega pixel. The shutter speed is
as fast as 1/725 second. CAMEDIA AZ-1 measures 94mm in width, 67 mm
in height and 22 mm in depth. It weighs 160 gram, excluding Picture
Card and a battery.

More info:

======================= MAY DAY/M'AIDEZ ================================

The MAY issue of JI magazine boasts FREE online access!**

Check it out NOW:

(**For a limited time; thereafter all archived contents will be

>> INVENTOR VENGEANCE: Leo Lewis visits wacky Dr. NaKaMats -- and
shows us the inside story of this year's inventor litigation craze.
Japan's star innovators are suddenly ... making money!

>> BIZARRE BAZAAR: NPR's Lucille Craft shows us how Japan's used-car
auctioneers just might outglamor IT and tech -- and why Yokohama has
become the new home base for selling Japan's junks.

>> PAPER SKY FLIES HIGH: Two American brothers are selling Japan to
the rest of the world.

PLUS: Join us at Anime Fair '04; Find out what McCann Erickson is doing
in Japan; Hop north to Hokkaido's forgotten wealth; Learn how to invest
in the freshly fecund Japan -- and have a whisky on us in Kansai.

Name: Panasonic CY-ET700D, CY-ET800D
Category: ETC (Electronic Toll Collection) device
Price: CY-ET700D is 16,590 yen, CY-ET800D is 10,290 yen
Release date in Japan: May 21, 2004

The Gist: An ETC device is a box with the size of a business-card case
or a floppy disk. Once it's installed, your car won't have to stop at a
toll gate, saving driving time and gas, sparing the toll collector and
reducing traffic jams. Panasonic estimates that demand for ETC devices
will surge as more ETC services become available the the tollgates of
major expressways. The CY-ET700D is as thin as 14.5mm, the thinnest of
the devices available currently. It has a separate antenna (which has
a speaker installed) to put behind the windshield mirror so that it
cannot be seen from the outside. The CY-ET800D has a built-in antenna,
thus it has to be near a windshield.

More info:

From JI:

Subscribers: 5,660 as of May 17, 2004

Written by: Minoru Masutani
Edited by: J@pan Inc editors (

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