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.

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Panasonic portable Blu-ray Disc player: Panasonic's portable DMP-BV100 Blu-ray Disc player, which we saw as a prototype at January's CES, makes its retail debut in Japan in March. The 1.7kg player has an 8.9-inch display and will handle Blu-ray, DVD and CD playback. The screen has a 1,024 pixel by 600 pixel resolution, which is less than high-def quality but on a screen this size it probably won't make too much of a difference. Playback time is given as 2.5 hours, so you should be able to watch almost any movie on a single charge. For good measure it also includes a tuner for Japan's mobile digital TV service. It hits shelves in Japan on March 15 and will cost around ¥90,000 (US$910). Launch details for other markets have not been announced.

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