May's hot Japanese gadgets

Toshiba's quad-core laptop, Samsung Android phone, LG's wireless HDTV debut in Asian markets

Samsung Android Phone

Samsung Electronics became the first major mobile phone maker this month to launch a smartphone based on Google's Android software. The I7500 sports a 3.2-inch touchscreen, a 5-megapixel camera and 8GB of internal memory and will be available in major European countries starting from June. The mobile phone joins two Android handsets already on the market from High Tech Computer (HTC) of Taiwan, the T-Mobile G1 and the HTC Magic. Android handsets from other makers have also been announced. The smartphone can connect to mobile phone broadband services through HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) as well as Wi-Fi. Prices vary depending on carrier subsidy and market.

MSI ultra-thin laptop

Taiwan's MSI has launched an ultra-thin laptop to rival the MacBook Air. The X-Slim 340 comes with a 13-inch screen, runs Windows Vista Home and uses a low-power Intel Core 2 Solo processor. MSI had earlier said it would use a less powerful Atom processor. The PC is thin ranging from 6-millimeters at the thinnest point to 20mm at the thickest point, which is where several connectors can be found including USB, HDMI, headphone, microphone, D-Sub Video Out and LAN port. Users can expect up to 7 hours of battery life from the standard battery. MSI has yet to announce prices for the X-Slim 340.

LG wireless HDTV

Unsightly cables are an enemy to neatness in any living room but until recently they've been an unavoidable part of a home entertainment system. You have to get the picture and video to a TV somehow, right? Now, LG's latest full high-def TVs for the Korean market are among the first to make use of wireless technology to connect the mediahub to the screen. There are 42-, 47- and 55-inch models available with the largest set costing about 5.1 million won (US$4,120). It's available in South Korea only but the technology should be coming to LG models in other markets.

Samsung SSD video camera with time-lapse

Samsung's latest video camera based on a solid-state drive, the HMX-H106, is now available following its CES preview. The camera shoots at full high-def resolution of 1920 by 1080. It can also snap pictures at 4.7-megapixel quality. One of the more interesting features is a time-lapse recording mode that will shoot images at a predetermined interval of either 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 or 30 seconds and stitch them all together to make a video file. The internal 64GB SSD has enough space to store about 12 hours of video encoded in H264.

Leadtek external SpursEngine processor

Leadtek is showing off an external version of its SpursEngine-based graphics co-processor board. The board can speed up heavy-duty video processing by taking the work off the main processor and running it through its four processing cores and hardware MPEG2 and MPEG4 encoders but is no good for laptop users because it won't fit in the computer. That's where the new external version comes in. The WinFast HPVC1100 is only a prototype for now but is envisaged to hook-up to a laptop via a PCI Express connector. There's no word on when it will be out or the price but the prototype looks quite advanced so it shouldn't be too far away.

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