Sharp DV-AVC52 HDTV recorder
As consumers continue to snap up high-definition TVs, Sharp continues to push out HD capable hard-disk recorders. The latest, the DV-AVC52, combines a DVD drive and VHS deck with a 250GB hard-disk recorder. The machine will copy old VHS tapes onto DVD so users can finally dump another relic of the 20th century and they will also be able to get up to 31 hours of HDTV on the disks. But like almost all hard-disk recorders it remains stuck there. Pretty much the only way to store HD content is on Blu-ray disc or HD DVD but since this does not have either, users will have to keep it on the disk and thus lose some recording space or transfer it to DVD at standard definition and lose the high-definition picture. It will only be available in Japan.
Web: www.sharp.co.jp (Japanese)
Toshiba H3000 HDD recorder TV set
Toshiba's latest series of flat-screen LCD televisions goes one better than other hard-disk video recorders by offering the user room to expand the storage space. Typically, users are stuck with the drive that ships with the TV (or recorder) but the H3000 series sets sport an external serial ATA (eSATA) connector on the back for plugging in an external disk drive. The sets ship with an internal 300GB drive and the expansion socket should work with any eSATA drive. They are available now in sizes from 32-inch to 52-inch. It will only be available in Japan.
RRP: 32-inch model - $US1331
NTT DoCoMo Motion-Sensitive mobile phone
Mix the Nintendo Wii and a cell phone and what do you get? Something like NTT DoCoMo's new line of motion-sensitive mobile phones. In a boxing game users can throw punches or duck, and their movements are picked up by the phone's camera. In another game, the phone can be tilted in different directions to guide an on-screen ball through a maze. To be sure, the cell phones are not nearly as reactive as the Wii console. Users need to make a motion, such as a punch, and then wait a second for the punch to be registered on the phone screen, but it is a start! The handsets come from Mitsubishi Electric, Panasonic and Sharp. It will be available in Japan only. Prices vary with incentives.
RRP: Varies with incentives
Web: www.nttdocomo.co.jp (Japanese)
Samsung SGH-i400 Symbian smart phone
The latest Symbian OS-based smart phone from Samsung, the SGH-i400 has an uncluttered face so it does not look like a traditional all-buttons-and-switches smart phone. Its Symbian-base means it can be loaded up with applications to make it just as powerful. A full Web browser comes pre-installed and there is Bluetooth, a 2-megapixel camera and stereo speakers. The GSM tri-band phone has a 2.3-inch display. It will be available fi rst in Russia and then throughout Europe from July. Launch dates for other markets have not been decided.
RRP: Dependent on operator incentives.
Sony Vaio Type-G with flash
Sony has added a flash disk to the options available with its lightweight Vaio Type-G laptop. Customers will see the price of a Type-G jump by about $US540 when they choose a 32GB fl ash drive over a 40GB hard disk drive. So what is the benefit? It is quieter and uses less power, both good for laptops and it also makes the Type-G even lighter. The machine already holds the crown as the lightest 12-inch class display laptop on the market at 898g and the fl ash disk options shaves 39g off that. It is available now to order from Sony online in Japan. There are no current plans to offer it overseas.
RRP: $US1912 for a machine based on Intel Celeron M 443 (1.20GHz) processor with flash drive
Sony HDR-CX7 memory stick camcorder
Meet the HDR-CX7, Sony's smallest high-definition camcorder to date. The camera records 1080i high-definition video directly to a MemoryStick Pro Duo card. Until now, its camcorders have relied on MiniDV tape, DVD discs or hard disk drives to store video, but the memory card slot and associated electronics take up less space and mean a smaller, lighter camera. But it does not come without disadvantages. Memory cards are quite expensive, and users will be able to store only about 30 minutes of video on a 4GB card in the camera's highest quality mode. Behind the lens is a 3-megapixel image sensor and the camera can also capture 6-megapixel still images, Sony said. Other features include a 10x optical zoom lens and a 2.7-inch widescreen, touch-sensitive LCD monitor. The CX7 weighs 450g and measures 69mm x 67mm x 129mm. It is due to go on sale in the US in June.