GW-269 -- Logitec LDS-iALARM, Panasonic Toughbook CF-08,Panasonic Viera PZ700 series

Japan Inc Magazine Presents:


The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
Issue No. 269
Tuesday April 17, 2007
Subscribers: 9467

------------------ ICA Event - April 23 -------------------

Speaker: Osamu Ueda, Advisor to the President
Forval Corporation
Topic: M and A Deals: Striking Fear in Japanese Management

Complete event details at Required)
Date: Monday, April 23, 200
Time: 6:30 Doors open, Buffet Dinner and Open Bar included
Cost: 3,000 yen (members), 5,500 yen (non-members)

Open to all: location is Ristorante Conca d'Oro


Name: Logitec LDS-iALARM
Category: iPod accessory
Price: Open Price; estimated around 7,980 yen
Release date in Japan: Already available

The Gist: Logitec aims to replace even your alarm clock with
the new 'LDS-iALARM,' a take-off on the standard iPod dock.
The iALARM more closely resembles an alarm clock than it
does anything else.

The concept is straightforward: just insert your 4th gem or
greater iPod or 1st/2nd generation iPod nano into the
iALARM's Dock connector. The iPod itself has an alarm
function, but such a function is slightly hard to use with
headphones alone. The iALARM acts as a speaker, so you can
(literally) rest assured that your iPod's alarm will be heard
loud and clear to wake you up. Get your day started off on
the right foot with a fresh dose of Gene Simmons at 6AM.

When the iPod is plugged into the iALARM, its display will
automatically change to show the time. Since the iALARM is
fully powered, your iPod can easily be recharged overnight.
In addition, a 'Snooze' button mutes the speaker for 9 minutes.
To actually turn off the alarm, though, you'll need to push
the Play/Pause button on your iPod.

More info:
Name: Panasonic Toughbook CF-08
Category: Tablet device
Price: Open Price
Release date in Japan: May 15, 2007

The Gist: The CF-08 is the latest member of Panasonic's
Toughbook family of battle-ready PCs.

Equipped with a 10.4-inch XGA touch panel display, 312MHz
CPU, 64MB of memory, 64MB of Flash ROM, and all of the
standard interfaces, the CF-08 is built to take a couple
blows. A 10.4-inch touchscreen display may seem like an
accident waiting to happen if you're at a work site or on
the shop floor, but according to Panasonic's tests, the
CF-08 can handle falls as high as 120cm. On the back of
the unit is also a hand strap, so hopefully you won't have
to find out what happens when it's dropped from 121cm.

The CF-08 runs Windows CE 5.0, and is equipped with 802.11b/g
wireless LAN and Bluetooth 1.2 interfaces. You'll also get
one USB 1.1 port, Ethernet, a microphone input, and stereo
audio output. Panasonic's glorious battery technology comes
through yet again; the lithium-ion pack will last as long
as 14.5 hours with the screen's brightness turned down.
Needless to say, this isn't a standalone machine; it's
intended to be used as a wireless client as part of some
larger system.

More info:
Name: Panasonic Viera PZ700 series
Category: Plasma TV
Price: 410,000 yen ~ 550,000 yen
Release date in Japan: April 27, 2007

The Gist: 'World's Smallest' isn't something you hear
trumpeted too often in the world of TVs, but that's exactly
what Panasonic is calling some of the models in their new
PZ700 series of plasma TVs. The lineup consists of the 50
inch 'TH-50PZ700SK' and 'TH-50PZ700' as well as the 42 inch
'TH-42PZ700SK' and 'TH-42PZ700'.

The latter two are, according to Panasonic, the world's
smallest plasma TVs with Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080).
LCD may have plasma beat by 10 inches for the small and Full
HD combination, but Panasonic's new 'Micro Cell Stabilization
Driver Technology' allowed them to stabilize the electric
discharge and luminance levels. Exactly what that means is
unclear, but either way, that's how these new panels were
made possible. The contrast ratio of all the new sets is a
smooth 4,000:1. Other new technologies include 'Wide
Intelligent TV Program Guide' for simultaneous display of
19 channels worth of information for a 12 hour period and
a new 'Full High Vision PEAKS Driver' that apparently helps
with color gradients and skin tone reproduction through some
rather complicated digital signal analysis.

Some additional nice features include a double digital tuner
that allows Picture in Picture, three HDMI inputs with 1080p
support, VIERA Link support, and support for Panasonic's
co-developed AVCHD format. If you shoot a video in the AVCHD
format using your shiny new Panasonic camcorder, for example,
just connect the camera or insert its SD card and you're
ready to watch your video. No conversion or post-processing
necessary. 'acTVila', a sort of TV-based portal site function,
is also available. As though that weren't enough, connecting
a printer with "Net TV Specification" allows you to print
content such as maps, traffic, or other data directly from
the TV.

They're all officially listed as Open Price, but the low-end
(if you can call it that) 42PZ700 should go for 410,000 yen
according to Impress Watch's estimates. The high-end 50PZ700SK
will set you back around 550,000 yen.

More info:

Written by: Liam McNulty
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