Tokyo Edge: December's coolest gadgets

Tokyo Edge: December's coolest gadgets

Panasonic HDC-SD1

The HDC-SD1 from Panasonic records AVCHD-format video directly to an SD memory card. A 4GB memory card, which costs about $US200, can accommodate about 90 minutes of video when recorded at 6Mbps. The video is 1080 horizontal lines, interlaced scanning, which is just below the 1080 progressive scanning system judged to be the highest of several video quality levels that fall within the high-definition bracket. It also has a 3 charge coupled device sensor behind the lens. It goes on sale in Japan in December and will be bundled with a 4GB card. Overseas launch plans have not been announced.

RRP: $US1527
http://panasonic. jp/dvc/ (Japanese)


So, users are in the tub and have an urgent need to back-up data? Not to worry, IOData's latest hard-disk drive is just the thing. There is a one-inch hard-disk drive inside the case, which is waterproof and shockproof to one metre. Connection is via USB 2.0. There are two versions, one with 8GB capacity and one with 12GB capacity and both will be available in Japan in mid-December. IOData did not announce international launch plans.
RRP: 8GB - $US135; 12GB - $US180 (Japanese)

TurboLinux Wizpy

TurboLinux, perhaps best known for its Linux operating system, has a new MP3 player that is sure to interest geeks everywhere. The Wizpy does all the kinds of things users would expect from a music player these days - MP3, AAC, Ogg, JPEG images and Divx videos - and it has a surprise: a partition with an install of the TurboLinux Fuji operating system. This means users can hook this up to a PC's USB port and boot into Linux and access installed applications. TurboLinux advertises it as the users' own OS in the palm of their hand and it certainly looks that way. It weighs just 60g, which makes it lighter than most cell phones. The Wizpy will be out in Japan in February with no word yet on availability in other markets. No price has been announced.

Samsung LCD

Holding out the promise of even thinner cell phones, Samsung said it has developed an LCD screen that is no thicker than a credit card. The panel is 0.82mm thick and means, according to the company, that manufacturers will be able to trim up to 2.4mm from the thickness of a cell phone. That is good news for consumers looking for slimmer and sleeker handsets. The LCD panel should be in production in the second half of 2007 so will likely turn-up in cell phones late next year or in 2008. There is no indication of price. Web: none

NEC Shield Pro FC-N21S

Drop it, freeze it, drench it, users can do whatever they want to this new laptop from NEC. Well, almost anything. The Shield Pro FC-N21S laptop can withstand dust, extreme temperatures (between -20C and 50C); water and drops of up to 90cm, just make sure the machine is switched off and the lid is closed. The convertible-type PC has a 12.1-inch touch panel LED-backlit screen and runs on an Intel Core Solo processor at 1.2GHz. A model with an 8GB solid state disk made up of fl ash memory chips will also be available. It will be ready to launch in January.
RRP: from $US2165 (Japanese)

Kenwood HD10GB7

Kenwood's Media Keg provides yet more evidence that music players will get smaller and smaller until we can not see them anymore. The device contains a 10GB hard-disk drive, measures just 44mm x 62mm x 17mm, and weighs 78g. It has a 1.5-inch organic light emitting diode display on its front with a small keypad positioned directly under the display. Users can play MP3, WAV and Windows Media audio files including those with Windows Media DRM10 digital rights management. The on-screen menu supports Japanese, English, French, Italian, German, Dutch and Spanish. It goes on sale in Japan this month. No international launch plans have been announced.
RRP: $US344 (Japanese)

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