GW-267 -- Tascam MP-GT1, Sanyo Xacti DMX-HD2, Sony ICD-SX77, SX67

Japan Inc Magazine Presents:


The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
Issue No. 267
Friday February 16, 2007
Subscribers: 9467

Start a Company in Japan

Entrepreneur's Handbook Seminar 24th of Feb, 2007

If you have been considering setting up your own company,
find out what it takes to make it successful.
Terrie Lloyd, founder of over 13 start-up companies in Japan,
will be giving an English-language seminar and Q and A on
starting up a company in Japan.
This is an ideal opportunity to find out what is involved,
and to ask specific questions that are not normally answered
in business books.
All materials are in English and are Japan-focused.

For more details:

Name: Tascam MP-GT1
Category: Portable audio
Price: Open Price; estimated around 20,000 yen
Release date in Japan: February 28, 2007

The Gist: Proficiency with a guitar and attraction of women
appear to have a positive correlation in many social
situations, so any tool to catalyze the reaction is met
with open arms. Teac is launching the 'MP-GT1' MP3 player
in their 'TASCAM' brand later this month, and the player
is specifically geared towards guitarists as it packs a
number of unique features.

First, the player features a standard guitar jack so
connecting it will be a no-brainer. You're able to mix
your guitar sound and MP3 audio, and you can then play
the results on earphones. Of course, such a feature would
be useless if you couldn't hear yourself; the player also
packs a 'guitar sound canceller' for dropping guitar sounds
from MP3 files you may have. Freebird? It's a Guitar Hero's
dream come true.

Another nice feature is the various effect modules, such as
distortion, overdrive, chorus, flanger, delay, and reverb,
where effects can even be applied at the same time.
In addition, a 'Variable Speed Audition' function modifies
the tempo without changing the step of the song. Of course,
no such device would be complete without a guitar tuner and
metronome, so it's good to see that Teac threw those in as well.

Some of the more technical aspects include a 1GB memory space,
128 x 64 dot display with ID3 tag support, and USB 2.0
connection. The internal lithium-ion battery should last
about 8 hours. It's important to point out that the 'player'
appears to be just that -- there unfortunately doesn't appear
to be any recording capability on the device itself, so you'll
have to connect it to your PC or other device if you want to
record your results.

More info:
Name: Sanyo Xacti DMX-HD2
Category: Digital video camera
Price: Open Price; estimated around 90,000 yen
Release date in Japan: Mid-March 2007

The Gist: Once again, Sanyo updates their 'Xacti' line of
handheld digital video cameras with the introduction of the
'DMX-HD2' sometime in March. You can get any color you like,
but to quote Henry Ford, 'so long as it's black.' According
to Impress Watch, it should hit for around 90,000 yen.

As the successor to the HD1A (Gadget Watch #246), the HD2
ups the image processor from 5.36MP to 7.38MP, and in the
Xacti tradition, this means you can now record images as
large as 7MP even while recording high definition video.
If you're the type that will enjoy being surrounded by
such high definition, think about picking up a large SDHC
card; the HD2 also adds official support for SDHC cards
with an 8GB capacity.

Other improvements on the unit include a new image processing
LSI, which in tandem with the new CCD, allows for recording in
light situations as low as 7 lux. The ISO sensitivity can also
go as high as 1600. To use these features, the new 'High
Sensitivity' button should come in handy.

The rest of the camera is what we've come to expect of
Sanyo; it's the same high definition Xacti with recording
modes that work their way down from the 'HD-SHQ' at 1280 x
720 in 9Mbps. There's even a new recording mode in the mix
called 'TV-SDV,' which does 720 x 480 at 3.5Mbps. One final
improvement worth mentioning is the addition of an HDMI jack
on the camera's included dock, which makes connection with
your TV straightforward. Expect to see about 85 minutes worth
of video recording time or 180 pictures from the
internal battery.

More info:
Name: Sony ICD-SX77, SX67
Category: Portable audio recorder
Price: Open Price; estimated around 25,000 yen and 20,000 yen
Release date in Japan: March 16, 2007

The Gist: If you're more into recording other people's voices,
or perhaps your own, Sony's new ICD-SX77 and 67 are certainly
worth checking out. The 1GB 'ICD-SX77' and 512MB 'ICD-SX67'
digital voice recorders will both be released by Sony on
March 16, for respective estimated prices of 25,000 yen and
20,000 yen.

Some of Sony's first products were recorders, so it only makes
sense that they have remained a big name since the inception of
portable voice recorders. The new SX67 and 77 represent Sony's
latest and greatest, with the edition of a 'STHQ' (Stereo
High Quality) recording mode that stretches the frequency
response all the way from 80Hz to 20,000Hz. This recording
mode can be used with the new high sensitivity stereo
microphone to give a high quality voice recording in a
small package. There's also a monaural microphone should
you find the stereo microphone inappropriate for the situation.

Though the SX67 and 77 record only in the LPEC format, they
can both play the LPEC and MP3 audio formats. Furthermore,
the included 'Digital Voice Editor Ver.3' software will allow
you to convert the LPEC files to MP3 files on your PC. Two
NiMH batteries power the device, and they should last for
about 13.5 hours of STHQ recording, 19 hours of LP recording,
or 22 hours of STHQ playback, 28.5 hours of LP playback, and
24 hours of MP3 playback. On the SX67, you'll get as many as
8 hours and 35 minutes of recording time in STHQ and 185 hours
in LP, and on the SX77, the recording times essentially double.

When you want to transfer recordings over to your PC, just use
the USB interface. It's nice to see the addition of support for
the USB Mass Storage class in the unit as well, since some
previous models in Sony's lineup required you to start the
Digital Voice Editor software to transfer recordings. The
USB connection is also used for recharging purposes.

More info:

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Written by: Liam McNulty
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