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

Issue No. 86
Friday, December 20, 2002

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

Name: Sony NW-MS70D
Category: Portable Audio
Price: Open (but approx 40,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: February 10, 2003

The Gist: Lord, how sweet is this? Sony has just announced a totally
beautiful Network Walkman and, while I wouldn't normally say this in
mixed company, I lust after it. With a passion. It's unbelievably sexy
in chunky titanium with a sweeeet, organic-looking USB-compatible
docking cradle that looks like it's been born rather than molded.
Only the decidedly unsexy name that Sony's chosen -- "MS70D" -- can
ruin the mood. Anyway, got to snap out of it and get down to details:
256MB of onboard memory means up to 11 hours and 40 minutes of ATRAC3
musical bliss and much more if you take advantage of the player's
Memory Stick Duo slot. And if that wasn't good enough (I KNOW that
should be "weren't good enough"), Sony's "Virtual Mobile Engine"
technology used in the player means a vast improvement in battery
life, giving 33 hours of ATRAC3 playback and 28 hours of the
ATRAC3plus variety. I could wibble on with all the tech specs and
other details, but trust me, take a look at it on Sony's site and
you'll want to buy it. Seriously.

P.S. Works with Windows 98 SE, Me, 2000 and XP.

More info:

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Name: Kumazaki Aim NE-388
Category: Audio
Price: 14,800 yen
Release date in Japan: December 22, 2002

The Gist: For a company that appears to be able to provide a veritable
Aladdin's cave of products, knocking out everything from battery
chargers to air conditioners and window cleaners, Kumazaki Aim has
miraculously produced a pretty stylish touch-panel CD system with a
credit-card-size remote. The big deal with this system, however, is
that there are no buttons on the fascia at all -- users simply prod
their pinky at the LCD display to operate the various functions. Very
neat. The NE-388 has a CD player that will play all your (perfectly
legal, officer) CD-R/RW discs, a built-in AM/FM tuner and -- you're
gonna love this bit -- seven different colors for that backlit LCD
touch panel display. Which you can hopefully turn off. It's a
shelf-type mini-system, weighing only 2.5kg and with dimensions of
470ラ145ラ205mm -- small and light enough, claims Kumazaki Aim, to hang
it on a wall. You go first.

More info:

14-17 January 2003, Tokyo, Japan
As with our hugely successful 2002 event, 3GMobile World Forum 2003
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value services into revenue across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US.
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Name: Mouse Computer I-FRIEND-51YB
Category: PC
Price: Open (but order for 100,000 yen with discounts)
Release date in Japan: December 21, 2002

The Gist: If you're in the market for a high-end PC but don't want to
get another loan against your house to buy it, Yodabashi Camera has
just the thing for you. On the retailer's direct sales Web site, you
can take advantage of a special discount plan and get a PC powerhouse
for under 100,000 yen if you get your reservation in early. Very
nearly a cube in shape, the computer's dimensions are 185ラ300ラ200mm
(c'mon, that's close enough!), but it's not the neat shape that's
really impressive, it's the punch the thing packs. With a 2GHz Pentium
4CPU, 512MB of DDR SDRAM (a drop of the good stuff), a massive 80-gig
hard drive, a multifunction combo DVD/CD-RW drive that could probably
put out the trash at the end of the day as well if you asked it, an
onboard 5.1 channel-compatible sound chipset, Firewire, optical
digital out, VGA, Ethernet and two USB 2.0 ports to name just a few of
the options round the back and running on Windows XP Home Edition,
this is a seriously loaded machine. And it's finished in a super-cool
jet black casing. Put it on a shelf against a wall and not even your
geometrically gifted friends will realize it's a bit deeper than it is
wide and tall.

More info:

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Name: IO HVR-HD240S "Data Rec-POT S"
Category: AV
Price: Open (but approx 120,000 yen)
Release date in Japan: end December 2002

The Gist: The Rec-POT S is a smart little silver box with some purty
little LED lights on the front panel that uses its built-in BS tuner
to stream BS digital broadcasts via iLINK to the hard disk and, using
the special remote control that comes with the unit, displays an easy
to understand GUI (Graphical User Interface) up on your TV screen just
like Sky does at home in the US (or UK). In fact, the software uses
exactly the same "Broadcast Markup Language" (BML) as standard BS
digital units, so you'll find your way around easy enough. The hard
disk is huge -- the product's full name kinda gives it away -- at
240GB, which makes the 20-gig Sky boxes look very weeny indeed. This
warehouse-size capacity allows up to 21 hours of high-vision
BS-satellite recording in HD mode and, thanks to an additional D-VHS
mode and a disc mode that is compatible with Sony-made tuners, it will
act just like a VCR, too.

More info:

Subscribers: 2,794 as of December 20, 2002

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

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