The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
Issue No. 231
Friday March 24, 2006

1. Silent Mouse
2. Hitachi DVL-7TV
3. Vodafone 905SH

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Name: Silent Mouse
Category: Peripheral
Price: 2,480 yen
Release date in Japan: Already available

The Gist: Are you driven to insanity by the constant clicking
sound of your mouse? Probably not. It's not something you
notice until you're trying to sleep and someone is using
a mouse in the same room, which may or may not be an issue
if you live in Japan. Nevertheless, Thanko's new "Silent Mouse"
is just that: an (almost) silent mouse.

According to Thanko, the clicking sound of a normal mouse is
at around 24.5 decibels. The Silent Mouse produces a mere
4.9 decibels, which easily qualifies it as "silent." To accomplish
this, Thanko slapped some silicone in the "clicking" portion of
the mouse, and shaped it such that there is no reverberation
inside the case.

That's really all there is to the Silent Mouse. It would make
plenty of sense for Thanko to introduce an entire silent
peripheral line -- silent mice, joysticks, keyboards, and so
on for people who need to be clandestine about their computing.
The Silent Mouse is supported under Windows 2000, XP,
as well as Mac OS X, and has an 800dpi resolution.

More info:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Name: Hitachi DVL-7TV
Category: LCD TV
Price: Open Price; estimated around 39,800 yen
Release date in Japan: Late March 2006

The Gist: Hitachi Living Supply has a new widescreen LCD TV
out that makes an excellent all-in-one unit, perhaps for the
kitchen or Japanese-style bedroom. Its 7" widescreen display
is probably too small to make the unit suitable anywhere else.

Not to worry, though, because if you're in the market for
a bedroom/kitchen TV, the DVL-7TV has pretty much everything
you need. The aforementioned 7" screen has a resolution of
480 x 234 dots, so you'll be able to watch TV on it using the
tuner that supports both terrestrial analog and CATV signals.
There's also an FM tuner.

You'll probably enjoy the integrated DVD player, which supports
reading video from DVD-Rs. You can also play Audio CDs,
MP3s, and JPEG images that are stored on CD-Rs or RWs.

If you want to extend the capabilities of the DVL-7TV, the coaxial
digital audio output, stereo headphone output, and composite
video/analog audio input should come in handy. Of course,
it has internal speakers with a maximum output of 0.5W each.

Continuing, the 7TV has an integrated clock and alarm function.
For something that will probably end up in the kitchen, it's always
nice to have another timer to add to your collection.

More info:

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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Name: Vodafone 905SH
Category: Mobile phone
Price: Unknown
Release date in Japan: Probably June

The Gist: Mobile phones certainly qualify as gadgets,
particularly in Japan, so we'll take a look at Vodafone's new
"905SH" handset from Sharp. It's scheduled to be available
in June of this year.

The 905SH is Vodafone's first handset to support the reception
of One-Seg broadcasts. To help you enjoy the broadcasts,
the screen can be rotated 90 degrees into 16:9 mode. In page
layout terms, this means you can rotate the display itself from
"Portrait" to "Landscape." While in landscape display mode,
broadcasts are displayed fullscreen -- when in portrait mode,
you'll also be able to see subtitles or any data that is being
broadcast along with the video. This screen is a 2.6" Mobile
ASV LCD with a resolution of 400 x 240 dots, so it shouldn't
be a problem to see what's going on.

Other features of the 905SH include an FM tuner, 2.02MP
CCD camera, miniSD card slot, "Vodafone live! FeliCa"
mobile phone wallet system, and "Chikachat" that takes
advantage of Bluetooth. The battery of the 905SH should last
you a solid four hours if you're watching One-Seg broadcasts.
If you switch to analog broadcasts, you'll be able to catch
about an hour.

More info:

SUBSCRIBERS: 8,700 as of March 24, 2006

Written by: Liam McNulty
Edited by: Burritt Sabin (

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