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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

October 13, 2009 at 9:46 AM

Sweet new gadgets: Sonos speaker unit, JVC outdoes Flip

My Christmas list is getting longer, and it’s not even the holidays yet.

JVC just announced the Picsio, a $199 Flip-style camcorder that not only records 1080p video, but also captures 8 megapixel stills.

This not only challenges Flip, it one-ups Sony and its $179 Webbie HD camcorder with a 5 megapixel still camera.

JVC Picsio-Front-Purple.jpg

Picsio records videos in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format, stores them as .MOV files on SD memory cards and outputs through an HDMI jack. It also has a 2-inch LCD display.

Also announced today is an all-in-one speaker/amplifier/iPod accessory from Sonos.

The $399 S5 is aiming for the upper end iPod dock market — namely the Bose SoundDock. It works with the company’s free music streaming and remote-control software for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

(Earlier I called it a dock but that’s not quite right; it uses a 3.5 mm audio line-in to connect a player with a wire and apparently doesn’t charge an iPhone.)

The device also works as an extension to a Sonos home audio network. It’s basically a Sonos amplifier with five speakers in an 8.5-inch high by 14.4-inch wide case.

I’m wondering if this is also the Santa Barbara, Calif.-company’s baby steps into the home theater business. Could its 5 speakers be used to add some punch to a simple home theater setup? (Update: Not the plan for the S5, a Sonos spokesman said, adding that Sonos users would want a ZP90 zone player to connect to an A/V receiver.)

The device also has Ethernet jacks, so you could get a TiVo or game console in via the Sonos network.

Sonos will begin shipping the S5 later this month. It’s aiming to distribute the system through Best Buy.

Sonos ZonePlayer S5 - front and side view.2.jpg

Sonos ZonePlayer S5 - back view.2.jpg

Sonos ZonePlayer S5 - What's Inside.2.jpg

Comments | More in | Topics: Gadgets & products

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