Slim is in: Onslaught of new digital goodies

Motorola Korea yesterday unveiled the Motokrzr, left, which comes with Bluetooth wireless technology, and the Motoview, right. [YONHAP]

Apple Computer Korea has a range of digital music players, including the iPod nano, above. A 2 GB iPod nano costs 165,000 won ($175). Eight-gigabyte iPod nanos are only available in black. [NEWSIS]

Just in time for Chuseok, foreign digital device makers are putting their products in front of Korean gadget lovers, placing emphasis on sleek design.
Yesterday, Apple Computer Korea presented a new line of products, including vamped up iPod music players, while Motorola Korea debuted two cell phone models. Last week, Sony unveiled a new slim digital music player.
Following the huge success of the Razr model, Motorola Korea announced yesterday that it would start selling two new models ― the Motoview and Motokrzr ― though it did not reveal any prices.
The Motoview has an internal antenna and external touch keys, along with a 1.3 megapixel camera that enables video-on-demand and music-on-demand. The camera’s upper “half” in its clamshell-type design swivels around for satellite television viewing.
The Motokrzr is what Motorola calls its “latest iconic handset.” The cell phone maker used new materials, such as high-gloss vacuum metal, which creates a mirror effect, for the surfaces.
Apple Korea will market the “iPod Family,” which includes an 80-gigabyte iPod with a brighter liquid crystal display screen, at 390,000 won ($413) including tax; an iPod Nano with twice the storage space as the previous model; and an upgraded version of the iPod Shuffle.
The iPod Shuffle, weighing 15.5 grams, stores up to 240 songs with its 1-gigabyte hardware capacity, and has a battery life of about 12 hours (89,000 won). Not only has the Shuffle gone on a diet, it has also made a major transition from white plastic to aluminum in several wild colors.
Also available now in Korea is a newer version of the iMac, which processes data 50 percent faster than previous iMac models. The iMac also now comes with a wider 24-inch monitor model in addition to the 17-inch and 20-inch models.
Although Apple launched its whole “family” of iPod products, the company admitted that its online music purchasing Web portal service iTunes ― which is available in most countries where Apple sells its products ― will not be available in Korea. When asked if the company plans to activate this feature in the near future, Tony Li, the Asia- Pacific director of product marketing, said that only podcasting features will be available for the time being, and that downloading of music or video files is currently unavailable. Mr. Li did not speculate on the company’s future plans regarding iTunes services in Korea.
The lack of iTunes service in Korea has been the subject of criticism. Users allege that Apple instigates circulation of illegal MP3 music files. Apple Korea, however, has said it never supported any illegal activity, and that Koreans using iPod music players can listen to music copied from their own CDs.
Reflecting the recent trend toward “slim” gadgets, Sony Korea’s cylinder-shaped MP3 player NW-S200 is slim and also targets customers who want to get thin. The device comes with a gravity sensor, which records how far a user has traveled or how many calories have been burned.

by Wohn Dong-hee for JoongAng Daily

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