Nothing\u2019s worse than delays when you\u2019re waiting for a hot new gadget. Just ask the tens of thousands of people who queued up all night for the PlayStation 3 when it made its global debut in Japan Nov. 11. The console had originally been due out in the early part of the year but was held up by several problems. Judging by the lack of stock in stores, it\u2019s still difficult for people who want one to do so before the holidays.So it\u2019s nice to see Panasonic living up to the promise it made at this year\u2019s Ceatec show with the HDC-SD1 camcorder. This small-size, high-definition video camera records straight to a Secure Digital\u00a0(SD) card. If you hate dealing with tapes but want home movies in high-def glory, this might be just the thing\u2014if you can afford it. By comparison, you could pick up three PlayStation 3 consoles for the price of this camcorder, assuming you can get your hands on them.Panasonic HD Camcorder\n\nThe HDC-SD1 from Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic) records AVCHD-format video directly to an SD memory card. A 4GB memory card, which costs about US$200, can accommodate about 90 minutes of video when recorded at 6Mbps. The video is 1080i (1,080 horizontal lines, interlaced scanning), which is just below the 1080p (progressive scanning) system judged to be the highest of several video quality levels that fall within the high-definition bracket. It also has a 3CCD (charge coupled device) sensor behind the lens. It goes on sale in Japan in December for 180,000 yen (US$1,527) with a bundled 4GB card. Overseas launch plans have not been announced.Check out Panasonic\u2019s\u00a0Japanese site.Kenwood Media Keg\n\nKenwood\u2019s Media Keg provides yet more evidence that music players will get smaller and smaller until we can\u2019t see them anymore. The device, which has the HD10GB7 model name, contains a 10GB hard-disk drive, measures just 44 by 62 by 17 millimeters, and weighs 78 grams. It has a 1.5-inch organic light-emitting diode display on its front with a small keypad positioned directly under the display. You can play MP3, WAV and Windows Media audio files, including those with Windows Media DRM10 digital rights management. It will go on sale in Japan in early December for around 40,000 yen (US$344), and while no international launch plans have been announced, the on-screen menu supports Japanese, English, French, Italian, German, Dutch and Spanish.Check out Kenwood\u2019s Japanese site.More on Kenwood\u2019s Media Keg.\n\nTurboLinux Wizpy\n\nTurboLinux, perhaps best known for its Linux operating system, has a new MP3 player that is sure to interest geeks everywhere. The Wizpy does all the kinds of things you\u2019d expect from a music player these days\u2014MP3, AAC, Ogg, JPEG images and Divx videos\u2014and has a surprise:\u00a0a partition with an install of the TurboLinux Fuji operating system. This means you can hook this up to a PC\u2019s USB port and boot into Linux and access installed applications. TurboLinux advertises it as your own OS in the palm of your hand, and it certainly looks that way. The Wizpy will be out in Japan in February with no word yet on availability in other markets. There\u2019s no word yet on price. It weighs just 60 grams, which makes it lighter than most cell phones.Check out the Japanese TurboLinux site.Toshiba 8GB SD Card\n\nHot on the heels of Panasonic\u2019s SD Card camcorder (see above) comes word from Toshiba that it will soon begin selling an 8GB high-speed SD memory card. The card will be available in January and supports the "class 4" high-speed data writing specification. Toshiba\u2019s new card should be able to hold about three hours of high-definition video from the Panasonic camcorder. The card will cost about 40,000 yen (US$340) in Japan. It will go on sale in Japan, North America and Europe in early January.More on Toshiba\u2019s 8GB SD Card.NEC Tough Laptop\n\nDrop it, freeze it, drench it\u2014do whatever you want to this new laptop from NEC. Well, almost anything. The "Shield Pro" FC-N21S laptop can withstand dust, extreme temperatures (between minus-20 and 50 degrees Celsius), water and drops of up to 90 centimeters\u2014just make sure that the machine is switched off and the lid is closed. The convertible-type PC has a 12.1-inch touch panel LED-backlit screen and runs on an Intel Core Solo processor at 1.2GHz. It will be available in January for between 250,000 and 300,000 yen (US$2,165 and $2,600). A model with an 8GB solid state disk made up of flash memory chips will also be available.Check out NEC\u2019s Japanese site.More on the NEC Shield Pro notebook.\n\nIOData Bath-Proof HDD\n\nSo, you\u2019re in the tub and have an urgent need to back up data? Not to worry, IOData Device\u2019s latest hard-disk drive is just the thing. There\u2019s a 1-inch hard-disk drive inside the case, which is waterproof and shockproof to\u00a01 meter. Connection is via USB 2.0. There are two versions, one with 8GB capacity and one with 12GB, and both will be available in Japan in mid-December for 15,700 yen and 21,000 yen, respectively. IOData didn\u2019t announce international launch plans.Check out IOData\u2019s Japanese site.R&D Corner: Samsung develops thinnest LCD\n\nHolding out the promise of even thinner cell phones, Samsung Electronics said it has developed a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen that is no thicker than a credit card. The panel is 0.82 millimeters thick and means, according to the company, that manufacturers will be able to trim up to 2.4 millimeters from the thickness of a cell phone. That\u2019s good news for consumers looking for slimmer and sleeker handsets. The LCD panel should be in production in the second half of 2007, so it will likely turn up in cell phones late next year or in 2008.More on the ultra-thin LCD from Samsung.-Martyn Williams, IDG News Service (Tokyo Bureau)Related Link:\n\nNovember\u2019s Coolest GadgetsCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.