We heard it was coming, and now it’s here: Today, Flip officially takes the wraps off of its new Flip Mino HD. The $229.95 camcorder retains the compact Flip design, but adds the ability to capture up to one hour of high-definition video.
Video quality isn’t the only thing that gets an upgrade: The Mino HD will come with the FlipShare software, which gets a new name and some new features. It allows you to organize, edit and upload videos to YouTube, MySpace, or AOL Video, and share them via e-mail. You can also use it to add music and title and credit sequences to your videos. Pure Digital (the company behind the Flip) says the new software features an easier-to-use drag-and-drop interface and is compatible with both Mac and PC.
The new Mino HD weighs 3.3 ounces; Pure Digital says it’s the “world’s smallest HD camcorder.” That means you can expect it to be smaller that its chief competitor, the Kodak Zi6. The Zi6 is cheaper, though ($180), and sports a 2.4-inch display — that’s larger than the Flip Mino HD’s 1.5-inch screen. The Kodak camera also comes with expandable memory in the form of an SD card slot (it supports cards up to 32GB), while the Mino HD is limited to its 4GB of internal storage.
If you like you gadgets customized, you’ll be happy to hear that the Mino HD is “designable.” That means you can forgo a bland, black design and get a Mino HD decked out in one of the patterns available at theflip.com. You also can create your own pattern.
The Mino HD’s 720p video will likely be overkill if you’re only interested in sharing videos on YouTube. But if you’re looking for a cheaper, more compact alternative to a full-fledged HD camcorder, the Mino HD may interest you.
We haven’t been able to fully test the Flip Mino HD’s video quality yet, but the company is sending us a review unit to play with at the NewTeeVee Live conference this week. If you’re attending the conference, look for my colleague Chris Albrecht — he’ll have the camera at the show, and he might just let you try it out.