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

Issue No. 238
Friday May 19, 2006

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


Name: Vaio type U VGN-UX50
Category: Handheld PC
Price: Open Price; estimated around 170,000 yen
Release date in Japan: May 27, 2006

The Gist: Sony's new "VGN-UX50" in their "type U" line of Vaio
notebook PCs qualifies as the world's smallest and lightest
PC that can run Windows XP with an Intel processor.

The form factor is the first thing that grabs you about the VGN-UX50. The
specifications (which we'll get to later) indicate that it is a full
notebook PC, when in fact it's a handheld PC that measures 150.2 x 100.5 x
38.8mm. If you're familiar with Sharp's W-ZERO3, the UX50 has a very
similar form factor and is roughly the same size.

Although its touchpanel, widescreen LCD measures 4.5 inches, it has a
resolution of 1024 x 600. Since it's a handheld PC, you can just turn the
UX50 itself and use a vertical orientation (giving a resolution of 600 x
1024). Since you probably don't want to dirty up your screen, it's best
you use the included stylus. The LCD slides up to reveal a 69-key
keyboard, with English and Japanese layouts. A third input option is the
"stick pointer" as included in previous VAIO type U models; sitting on the
right side of the LCD is a pointing device, and on the left side your
left/right click buttons.

The CPU of the UX50 is an Intel Core Solo U1300, clocking at 1.06GHz. It
has 512MB of memory, an Intel 945GMS Express chipset (integrated video,
though you've probably guessed that by now), a 30GB hard drive, and two
integrated cameras: a 0.31MP web camera facing the user, and a 1.31MP web
camera facing away.

For interfaces, you'll find one USB 2.0 port, a Memory Stick Duo slot, a
CF slot, IEEE 802.11a/b/g wireless LAN, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, and a
fingerprint sensor. The included stand/port replicator adds three more USB
2.0 ports, an IEEE 1394 port, Ethernet, a FeliCa reader, D-Sub 15-pin, and
an AV output jack. Don't think of this as a PDA replacement; it has a
"notebook-like" battery life of 3.5 hours.

More info:
Name: Pioneer TF-FS55M-S
Category: Skype/standard phone
Price: 14,800 yen
Release date in Japan: Late May 2006

The Gist: Pioneer's new "TF-FS55M-S" is due out before the end of the
month. It's a cordless phone that doubles as a Skype handset.

The FS55M connects to any Windows 2000/XP machine via USB to
operate as a Skype handset. Using the included application software,
it can display contact list and login information on the LCD of
the phone, and changes can be made to the contact list or online
status from the phone itself.

With support for PSTN connections, the FS55M can also act as a phone for a
standard phone line. Since it connects to your PC with a USB connection,
this means it can do both at the same time; there's no remembering to
unplug it from your PC after you're done, and there's no worrying about
your landline phone ringing while talking on Skype. It takes 100 entries
in its integrated phonebook, and it can also store 100 of your favorite
phone numbers. The handset has a continuous talk time of about 9 hours,
and continuous idle time of 160 hours.

More info:
Name: Logitec LHD-LAN300GE
Category: NAS
Price: 43,050 yen
Release date in Japan: Early June 2006

The Gist: A final component necessary to complete your ninja
computer setup is the "LHD-LAN300GE," Logitec's new fanless NAS
(Network Attached Storage) device. Slated for release next month
at 43,050 yen, the 300GB hard drive offers ample room for your
home network. Silently.

It is designed to keep things quiet by being completely fanless
and offering the "HDD Sleep Function," which stops the rotation
of the hard drives when they are idle.

Supported under all modern flavors of Windows and Mac OS, the LAN300GE
also features three USB 2.0 ports for USB printer sharing or additional
USB storage. The "Photo Station Function" displays images in specified
folders in a thumbnailed interface through Internet Explorer. Other
functions include one-touch copying of files stored on USB devices;
"Journaling File System," which will back up a file modification history;
and the ability to transfer files via FTP.

More info:
SUBSCRIBERS: 8,712 as of May 19, 2006

Written by: Liam McNulty
Edited by: Burritt Sabin (

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