OH, SO 007
Very James Bond, the Sony NW-E8P Music Player ($425 from Japan Direct) is just a pair of headphones. Less than that even - it's just two pieces that clip over your ears, connected by a thin wire. The right earpiece has enough memory for an hour's worth of high-quality music, loaded in by connecting a cable from your computer. It's perfect for joggers and others who don't want wires dangling down while they run. The included Japanese software, though, is useless; owners have to go to Sony's Web site to download the U.S. version to play it.
TV TO GO
The Sharp MT-AV1 Portable Video ($399 from Dynamism, $329 from Japan Direct) is the precursor of what will certainly be a hot Christmas product - in 2005 or so. For now, though, what you get is a thrilling peek into the future of portable video. A colorful, palm-size square dominated by an LCD screen, the MT-AV1 hooks up to your TV (or better, your TiVo) to record up to an hour of video for playback on the road. Postage-stamp-size SD chips, available at most computer stores, can boost the memory, but the battery only lasts an hour while playing video. The video quality isn't stellar and deleting files requires navigating some Japanese-language menus, but it's an amazing way to catch up on the latest episode of The Sopranos while standing in line at the bank or in the waiting room at the doctor's office (anywhere you don't want to whip out, boot up, and manipulate a PC), and its recording capabilities make it a brilliantly sneaky gadget for transferring shows between your TV, PC, and PDA.