A portable high definition mini camcorder?
That's what the new MinoHD device from Flip Video is, and it seems to be
targeting Generation Y and to an extent Generation X.
The first thing
you notice about this mini camcorder is the size which can easily be
transported and measures at a tiny 10cm x 5cm x 1.6cm (HxWxD) and
weighing only 93.5 grams. With
a stylish design, the MinoHD is one of the
easiest devices that we used this year and the only tricky aspect of the unit is
setting up the dates and time when you first turn it on.
device itself contains 6 touch buttons for navigation and a RED button to
record video. On the side there is a button to flip the USB connection
and on the alternate side, one for power. Add in a 29mm x 22mm
transflective screen that we used in a variety of
different types of light and you have everything you need to film your
In terms of video length, this unit supports 4GB which
allows up to 60 minutes of footage to be filmed. In order to prevent the
device from being scratched, it comes with a small pouch which of
course can be used to wipe those pesky finger prints away from the unit.
The MinoHD even comes with a tripod mount on the bottom and an AV
output which can be connected directly into your TV.
The unfortunate aspect of the AV output is
that it only supports standard definition which is a shame, considering
that Flip are labeling this as HD. Of course, copying your videos to
your PC or Mac, they will be in high definition, just not on your TV for
The video quality of MinoHD is rather impressive for a portable
device and supports a resolution of 1280x720 which relates to 720p on
LCD and Plasma televisions. For the techno-junkies, the MinoHD saves the
file as MPEG-4 AVI which uses the H.264 video compression algorithm
and is quite decent.
We tested the device in a variety of settings
from indoors, outdoors plus a variety of different light settings and it
performed okay for something of this size. The video quality looked
sharp on our 22" LCD screen, however at full screen, you can notice the
inconsistencies of the video but once again on TV, this was not very
With this in mind, this device is targeting users of
YouTube and MySpace for example which allows them to film on the go and
easily upload their files to this popular social networking sites.
Needless to say, for its size and the small lens, the video quality is
quite acceptable, especially if you're uploading movies to
Moving the files to your PC or Mac is extremely
easy, you simply flip the USB connector and plug it straight into your
computer which loads the FlipShare interface which is very easy to use,
including sharing your movies. This in-built software on the unit is
quite reminiscent of Apple iLife but works well on both the PC and the
Thankfully when you share the file
with others such as e-mail or MySpace, it automatically compresses the
file. This program supports some basic editing as well such as clipping
movies, adding titles and even background music that's kind of cool. One
can imagine that anyone under 30 would have a ball with this device,
especially uploading a variety of videos to YouTube and MySpace.
In conclusion, Flip Video have created a
nifty little device for a relatively new niche market. The video quality
is decent for a unit of this size and best of all, using the device,
creating movies and sharing them is more than simplistic. The only issue
with the video is the stabilization which does become a little shaky if
you're moving around.
The unit comes
with a lithium ion battery which would need to be professionally
replaced once gone, however this type of battery does ensure for longer
life and keeps its charge for around 2-hours. Thankfully the charging is relatively quick via the USB and this
is easily one of the better products available for the mini camcorder.
fun and clever little product!
Recording Time: 1 Hour
Screen: 1.5” Transflective
Video Resolution: High Definition,
Frame Rate: 30fps Progressive Scan
Video Format: H.264, MP4
Average Bitrate: 9.0Mbps
Battery: Internal Li-Ion
Battery Life: Up to 2 Hours