Tokyo Edge: March's coolest gadgets

We're already a quarter of the way into 2009 and the gadgets are coming thick and fast despite the recession that is gripping many countries. This month it was time for new digital cameras with the PMA show in the US and a couple of follow-ups from Panasonic and Sony in their CES announcements from back in January. Mobile World Congress in Spain also proved a springboard for some new cell phones, among which were a couple of interesting prototypes from Samsung and LG. Both phones, which are detailed below, made use of solar panels to charge the battery. Green gadgets are definitely going to be a theme this year so watch out for similar prototypes and products as 2009 rolls on.

Sharp Aquos Blu-ray recorders: The vendor's Blu-ray Disc recorders feature more space for storing programs and higher compression to further increase the video you can squeeze inside each model. The top-of-the-range BD-HDW40 has an impressive 1TB of hard-disk space in addition to dual digital tuners. Using MPEG4 AVC/H.264 compression the machine can cram 30 hours of HDTV onto a dual-layer Blu-ray Disc, which is about seven times that of the basic Blu-ray recording length when using standard MPEG2 compression. For users this all adds up to more record-and-delete temporary recording space on the hard disk and the ability to archive more content to a single disc so you can buy less blank media. It's out in Japan on March 27 and will cost around ¥210,000 ($US2123). It's unlikely to be launched overseas.

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