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

Issue No. 63

Thursday, 27 June 2002
(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your

Name: Sharp Zaurus SL-A300
Category: PDA
Price: Open (Around 40,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: July 12, 2002

The Gist: Claiming it to be the world's smallest and lightest PDA,
Sharp is announcing its new Zaurus handheld -- sorry, that's 'Personal
Mobile Tool,' aka the dreaded PMT -- the SL-A300.
So, how small and how light? 69.4mm x 113mm x 12.5mm and 120g is how
small and light. With a 200MHz Intel CPU, a Linux-based OS, 64MB of
SDRAM (user area described as about 23MB) a 65,536-color, 240x320
display, a built-in speaker and an SD memory card slot, the A300 is
clearly taking a shot at the PocketPC market and the likes of
Toshiba's fantastic e310 (206MHz, 79 x 124 x 12mm and 140g). It
certainly looks very similar in its minimalist and very sleek silver
casing, albeit with squared buttons and its compatibility, as always,
with MS applications such as Word and Excel means that anyone trying
to choose between those two machines, at least, has a very tough
decision to make.
More info:

Web Site Design / Re-Design

While J@pan Inc Communications is best known for our business monthly,
most people do not know that we also do website design and re-design.
Whether your firm needs an English language site or has an
under-performing site that is not communicating your message
effectively, J@pan Inc has the resources to build your site at
surprisingly economical rates.

To make sure that your site gets that prestigious top search engine
ranking, we also offer web optimization services -- results

For more information, call Peter Lackner on 03 3499 2099 or

Name: Panasonic TH-42PX10 and TH-37PD10 plasma displays
Category: AV
Price: (TH-42PX10) 950,000 yen and (TH-37PD10) 750,000 yen
Release date in Japan: July 10 and August 10, 2002

The Gist: Ah, plasma, don't you just love it?
Love it but can't afford it? Love it but still haven't thunk up a
reasonable-sounding excuse to dupe the wife or girlfriend? But, damn
them -- those pesky electronics companies won't stop putting them out
there on the market to tempt you. Hence Panasonic's two new babies,
the TH-42PX10 and TH-37PD10. Or 42PX and 37PD as their grandma calls
them. Possibly. Claiming an industry first, not for being the
smallest, nor the lightest, but for being the first plasma displays in
the universe with an integrated digital tuner that can handle three
completely distinct types of broadcast: BS, 110 CS digital and good
ol' honest Joe terrestrial stuff. The new TVs share what Panasonic
describes as "one body type" and are both, therefore, an amazing 9.9cm
thick. Or thin, I suppose.
But why 9.9? 10cm is just not good enough for them, I suspect. Sheesh!
Anyhow, both sets look amazing complete with their three-tier, oval
shaped glass cabinet stand. Time to grovel to the wife. And if you're
heading down town, check out the first floor of the Shinjuku Park
Tower at 3-7-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, where you can see the displays on, er,
display between 10am and 7pm.
More info: OR


Acupuncture is the most effective means to heal overwork-related
aches, pain and tiredness.
Taiken Jo is a highly qualified acupuncturist who comes from a long
family line of acupuncturists with over 10 years of clinical
If you haven't tried acupuncture and you're scared of needles, we
encourage you to try the Japanese version of this ancient treatment.
It's less aggressive than the Chinese version and we can work you
through a program that is almost painless.
Please call 03.5469.0810 if you have a question regarding your
specific health problem or check out the website at
Rebates are offered by many insurance plans. Member, Japan Acupuncture

Name: Melco LCD displays (FTD-G17AS and FTD-X15AS)
Category: PC
Price: 80,000 yen (17in) and 50,000 yen (15in)
Release date in Japan: Early July 2002

The Gist: I've just bought an LCD display myself: my first ever for a
PC, in fact. It's fantastic but, and this is really dumb of me, I
hadn't realized there was a 'dead pixel' issue.
Sounds like a catastrophe that happens on a hinterland fur farm or
something. But, apparently, most LCD manufacturers have a 'dead pixel'
policy; Sony's, I'm told, is a 'five dead pixel' policy, meaning that
unless there are at least five non-functioning pixels on your screen
when you first unpack it and plug it in, you have no right to complain
or return it. And you wouldn't believe how annoying it is to have a
dead pixel on your LCD screen. Even just one. Mine had one right out
of the box. It just sits there, constant green, like a dead,
unflinching eye. Mocking me. I can't imagine having five of them
there. But anyway, I digress.
Melco has just come up with two new LCD models, the 17in FTD-G17AS
and its baby brother the 15in FTD-X15AS. The G17 knocks out
1,280x1,024 dots (that's SXGA) and is capable of displaying 16,190,000
colors and with a dot pitch of 0.264mm. It puts out 250 candela/m2,
has a contrast ratio of 350:1 and has a claimed response time of 25ms.
That's all claimed, ladies and gentleman, but it sounds good to me.
The baby bro does 1024x768, same colors, candela and contrast but a
dot pitch of 0.297mm and a slower response speed, clocked at 35ms.
Both monitors are finished simply, with speakers either side of the
stand and a single row of buttons along the bottom of the display
casing itself. Nice and simple.
More info:

The KWR International Advisor keeps you abreast of important economic,
political and financial trends as they appear on the global horizon.
The current edition features articles on Enronitis, Asian
Restructuring, Investors and the War on Terrorism, ASEAN, US-Japan
Trade, International Relations and Emerging Market Briefs. To access
your copy and obtain a free subscription, Check out our web site, or
contact e-mail below:
Web site:

Name: Melco Wi-fi-compatible LAN card
Category: PC peripheral/comms
Price: 6,800 yen
Release date in Japan: Early July 2002

The Gist: Wi-fi is magic, pure and simple and anyone who says
otherwise has rocks in his head.
IEEE 802.11b is supposed to permit the wireless transmission of data
pretty much any distance up to a few hundred feet indoors and for
miles and miles outside at 11Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. 11Mbps!
That's modern-day magic. Apple was the first company to commercially
flaunt it and now Melco is in on the act with its new Wi-fi compatible
LAN card for laptops, the Buffalo-branded WLI-PCM-S11G. Housed in a
Type II PC card, the S11G is an incredibly cheap way of turning you
seriously mobile. And you can use it without fear or dread, because
the clever little card is compliant with the WEP (Wired Equivalent
Privacy) security protocol for wireless LANS and is good to go with
WindowsXP, Me, 2000 and 98 operating systems.
More info:

BiOS knows data centers. Why? For years our expert
IT engineers have been servicing clients in almost every
data center in Tokyo. We know them from inside and out.
That is why we have recently created our own. It is the
only 21st Century purpose-built data center in town. or phone +81-3-3499-2499.
Further info from

Name: Sonic MP3 player Rio Riot
Category: Audio
Price: 44,800 yen
Release date in Japan: June 28, 2002

The Gist: A solid-state WMA and MP3 player with built-in 20GB hard
disk, the Rio Riot may well be capable of getting a few Brazilians
very excited.
They'd be able to store up to 5,000 high-quality tunes on the thing,
for a start, which should have seen them right the way through the
match with Turkey this week. The Riot comes with a backlit 240 x 160
dot LCD display and the proprietary Rio LogiTrack interface
to tab through all the selections. It measures just 145 x 100 x 30mm
(about the same size, then, as a regular CD Walkman, although the
pictures make it look a lot bigger) and weighs just 250g. The
rechargeable battery should last 10 hours and there are a decent pair
of headphones and both Mac and PC audio management software included
in the pack. Well done Sonic Blue!
More info:

Subscribers: 2,270 as of June 27, 2002

Written by: Max Everingham (
Edited by: J@pan Inc editors (

Gadget Watch online archive:

Check out our other Japan-specific newsletters:

To UNSUBSCRIBE from this newsletter, click here:

To advertise in this newsletter, contact:

Subscribe at:

We welcome your viewpoint:
NB Please do not reply to this newsletter -- it's outgoing only, so we
won't get it!

Technical problems:

Copyright (C) 2002 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.