Portable screen for PS one provides sharp picture, sound...

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April 23, 2001

Portable screen for PS one provides sharp picture, sound

Putting together a quality portable screen for Sony's miniature PlayStation console, the PS one, is apparently more difficult than it might seem, but Pelican Accessories seems to have gotten it right with the second version of its Game Screen.

The Game Screen, roughly the same shape and size of the PS one itself, plugs into the back of the console, allowing you to play without a television. Thanks to the included car adapter, the monitor becomes the perfect accessory for road trips.

The screen delivers a sharp image, and the sound is crisper than it has any right to be for such small speakers. This was not always the case, though.

An earlier model of the Game Screen was plagued by problems with sound and display. Pelican has since switched manufacturers, and the new model works like a charm, although the packaging is the same.

To avoid getting the inferior model, you'll have to open the box before you buy. The older model was round; the improved device is square.

Unfortunately, Pelican's new model still cannot connect to other game consoles, unlike InterAct Accessories' Mobile Monitor, but the sound and picture quality on the identically priced $149 Pelican are superior.

Information: 323-234-9911 or www.pelicanacc.com.

- Victor Godinez/KRT

Panasonic Palmcorder offers quality, versatility

Panasonic's PV-DV401 Digital Palmcorder may not fit into the class of miniature DV camcorders on the market with its bulky construction, but it holds its own when compared with more expensive cameras from Sony and Canon.

For $900, you not only get good picture quality - with the sharp detail and solid color saturation that a consumer mini-DV camera should offer - but the PV-DV401 will allow you to save digital images to a MultiMediaCard.

The PV-DV401 has a three-inch color LCD screen and color viewfinder. The 20:1 optical lens doesn't compare to the Carl Zeiss lenses on several of Sony's camcorders; but the video isn't disappointing. The digital zoom sounds impressive, but clarity sinks rapidly when you zoom in on a subject making the feature rarely useful.

Using the menus for setting up the VCR function, adjusting the camera's record mode and using special effects left me confused on a couple of occasions.

The menus need to be less complicated so that you don't need to keep referring to the manual to figure them out.

While its less expensive brother, the PV-DV201, doesn't come with the low-light shooting feature (called Magic VU/0LUX), the PV-DV401 offers decent low-light performance that approaches the performance of a similar feature on Sony's more expensive mini-DV camcorders.

The biggest disappointment with the PV-DV401 occurred when I opened the box, however.

Other manufacturers routinely provide a remote so that you can sit with your family as you shoot digital video; the remote is an optional accessory for the PV-DV401. Given the camera's price, a remote should be included in the box.

Information: 800-211-7262 and www.panasonic.com.

- Kevin Washington

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