The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
Issue No. 229
Friday March 10, 2006

1. Apple iPod Hi-Fi
2. Apple Mac mini
3. JVC SU-DH1 surround adapter

JIC Sponsored Interviews

You read Terrie's Take and JIN, and so do 54,000 other
executives inside and outside Japan. Let them know what your
company does, with our new Sponsored Interviews service.
We create a lead-in for the interview, and run it within the
newsletters, with links back to the page holding the full
interview. For a small additional charge, we will also run it
in the Japan Inc magazine, the website, and the web site for archiving. Cumulatively, your
message will be seen by at least 120,000 English-language readers.

E-mail: for more information.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Name: Apple iPod Hi-Fi
Category: Home Audio/Video
Price: 42,800 yen
Release Date in Japan: Already available

The Gist: Apple has announced their first iPod audio system,
the "iPod Hi-Fi." In the Apple tradition, the iPod Hi-Fi has an
extremely simple and straightforward design: on top of a large
speaker is a dock connector, where you attach your iPod.

Controlling the iPod sitting atop the iPod Hi-Fi is likewise very
straightforward. You can use the controls of the iPod itself,
or you can use the included "Apple Remote" for basic operations
such as play, stop, skip track, previous track, and volume
adjustment. The dock connector will also recharge an iPod that
is inserted into it.

If you don't have an iPod but for some reason would still like to
use the iPod Hi-Fi, it seems Apple was also thinking of you;
they've equipped it with a standard stereo audio input jack,
and even optical digital input.

Inside, you'll find three driver units: 80mm wide range drivers
on the right and left, and a 130mm woofer right in the middle.

More info:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Name: Apple Mac mini
Category: PC
Price: 74,800 yen or 99,800 yen
Release Date in Japan: Already available

The Gist: Also from Apple are two new models of Mac mini,
both containing fresh new Intel Core CPUs. You may have
heard something about Apple putting Intel CPUs inside their
computers -- these new Mac minis are one such product that
is taking advantage of the new Intel/Apple deal.

The two models vary in processor, hard drive, and optical drive.
The upper level model is a 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo with 512MB
of RAM, and 80GB hard drive, and Super Drive (with DVD+R DL
writing support). If you don't feel like spending the extra 25,000 yen
for that, feel free to go with the other model, which has a 1.5GHz
Intel Core Solo processor, 512MB of memory, 60GB hard drive,
and DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive. Either way, you'll be loaded
down with integrated interfaces, such as Gigabit Ethernet,
DVI/VGA ports, S-Video and Composite output, optical digital
audio output, 802.11b/g wireless, Bluetooth 2.0, and Gigabit
Ethernet. There are now also four USB ports instead of two
(as on the old Mac minis).

The best part? The design hasn't changed one bit. It's still
the same 165 x 165 x 50.8mm box that is barely recognizable
as a computer. In fact, Apple has even managed to make the
machine lighter.

More info:

BiOS IT Support Services

Introduce some discipline and control to your IT infrastructure
by getting a quotation from BiOS for J-E bilingual support and
engineering. With 50+ engineers, we have the size and experience
to look after most sites and projects. Whether you have one
person or one hundred, we welcome all customers.

For more info:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Name: JVC SU-DH1 surround adapter
Category: Portable audio
Price: Open Price; estimated around 10,000 yen
Release Date in Japan: Mid-March 2006

The Gist: In an effort to enhance your enjoyment of surround
sound while using headphones, JVC is releasing the "SU-DH1"
headphone surround adapter. The DH1 takes advantage of
a function called "Dolby Headphones," which help recreate
surround sound effects using only headphones.

There is an optical digital input and analog input, so how you
get audio to the device is your decision. The signal can be
pretty much any surround sound signal currently in use:
Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro-Logic II, DTS, MPEG-2 AAC, and
good old PCM. At the other end, you plug in your headphones,
and through the magic of Dolby Headphones, you'll be simulating
a complete surround sound system through any standard pair
of headphones. The DH1 runs off of two AA batteries, which
should last a good 10 hours if you use alkaline.

More info:

SUBSCRIBERS: 8,635 as of March 10, 2006

Written by: Liam McNulty
Edited by: Burritt Sabin (

(C) Copyright 2006 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.