Thursday, January 13, 2011
On Wednesday, Casio casually announced the release of their 2011 EX-word denshijisho collection the XD-B Series, a mere 10 days before the release date of the first models. Let's take a look at what's new!
First of all, they've updated the design, which is the first major design update in several years. Looking at this "business model" the XD-B8500 as an example, they've nixed the angular edges of the previous models and replaced them with smoother rounded lines, giving a more book-like appearance. Additionally, some models will sport a new texturized shell.
Taking a look a the keyboard, you'll immediately notice the addition of a full color sub-panel, which is a smaller version of the main Blanview display. With the backlighting, you'll be able to study in the dark! This new display also gives more advanced viewing options; full text or thumbnail images for example, providing a more integrated user experience. One minor negative of the sub-display is the minor loss in overall battery life, an estimated 20 hours compared to the XD-A series. Flanking the new sub-panel are two circular controllers. The left side houses the internal speaker and feature buttons such as history, while the right side has all important the navigation arrows. If you remember, I wasn't happy about the squishy feel of the navigation buttons on my XD-A9800 model so I'll be excited to see if they've remedied this part.
Much to my relief, there isn't much that has changed internally. As far as I can tell, the main and content dictionaries are the same, aside from an Oct. 2010 update to Kangorin, 8th Ed. of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, and 5th Ed. of the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Aside from Kangorin, these are not dictionaries I use regularly. The one feature that I am interested in testing is the search, which is supposedly "smoother" than before. And the inclusion of multiple keyword and image search is interesting, but I'm not sure if they only apply to the encyclopedia data.
The new Casio EX-word XD-B models will be released from January 21st and into February, and beNippon will have them ready for order as soon as humanly possible. So save that left over Christmas or otoshidama cash!!
Via EX-word XD-B Site [JP] and Casio XD-B news release [JP]
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Last year the release of Kotobukiya's Star Wars chopsticks was plastered over the internets, and I was one of those waiting for months. I ended up purchasing 6 pairs, two of each type. Those that read this blog may have noticed them appearing in a couple posts in the past, as I actually use them. The Luke Skywalker is my everyday pair and the Yoda is my bento pair, while Darth Vader and the extras went back to the US as gifts.
When they first came out I was a little bit worried about the quality. If you just use them as decor, they look great and will last forever, but what about for everyday use? Let's take a look:
Here are the tips. They're still fine, no chipping or anything. The plastic is very smooth so it's been hard to hold on to food, and at times pieces of slippery things have fallen in my lap. If you're they type that manhandles your food, breaking up big chunks into little pieces you may end up snapping them in two. Of course they're not as clear as before, with constant washing they outside becomes a little opaque.
The handle part is painted, so of course it'll wear off eventually. However, as you can see even with daily hand-washing, the metallic paint is still mostly all there.
In the end, the verdict is that even with daily use, these chopsticks will last as long as most others. I recommend you reclaim them your lovely Dollfie and take them down to your local sushi joint to get some oohs and aahs. Tell them you got them from beNippon.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
After a nice long New Year's vacation, we're back in the offices of beNippon. Happy New Year to all!
All of us at beNippon look forward to another year of giving you of top-class service, great prices, and our ever increasing selection of anime, manga, books, plushies, electronics, and beyond.
As I get started on my day, just wanted to leave you all with a quick warning. When you're getting your Year of the Rabbit tattoos done, make sure your favorite tattoo artist uses 卯 and not 卵.