Pure Digital came out of nowhere last year with one of the hottest consumer electronics devices on the market. Their compact Flip Camcorder cost just $149, had four buttons and a hatch for a couple of alkaline batteries, took pretty good quality video, and plugged right into your USB port to download the video bits of your life. Simple, easy, fun, and inexpensive quickly added up to almost a million units sold, and an instant 20 percent market share. They even let you upload your video direct to YouTube with the software interface included. Pure Digital isn't resting on its success, though; it's come out with a second, even smaller and simpler unit they call the Flip Video Mino.
The Mino is 40 percent smaller than the previous version of the Flip, the Ultra. It has curved edges and is meant to slip into the pockets or pocketbooks of youthful members of the MySpace generation, and can record up to 60 minutes of video. It has the same pop-out U.S.B. plug as its predecessor that, when inserted into a computer, easily transfers video onto the PC and onto video-sharing sites like YouTube.
The device will sell for $179 in major retail stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy, and on Web sites like Amazon.com, where the original Flip devices of various colors are currently four of the five best sellers in the camcorder category.
The Mino actually has slightly less to offer than its predecessor, which is precisely the point. Instead of requiring replaceable AA batteries, there is an internal rechargeable battery that holds only about four hours of power and charges when the device is plugged into a PC. The Mino also has touch-sensitive buttons that recede into the casing.
“The Mino is designed to be with you and let you be creative and share with the world all the visible and viral things you capture,” said Jonathan Kaplan, chief executive of Pure Digital. “We are trying to make video fun again.”
On another note, is everyone working at the New York Times a hundred year old technophobe? "Youthful members of the MySpace generation"? Making the acronym USB into an abbreviation with a period after each letter? They sound like old ladies trying to open an e-mail attachment on The Internets.