Sound Off AUDIO AND VIDEO PLAYERS
By Alan Cohen

(FORTUNE Small Business) – >> Mini video player/recorder: PANASONIC SV-AV30-SD A/V $399.95 (including 64MB SD memory card) No question, Panasonic's minute A/V recorder is one slick gadget: a digital camera, voice recorder, camcorder, and MP3 music player all built into a case that could double as Barbie's laptop (not that I know if Barbie actually has a laptop). But notice I said slick, not perfect. There's a price you pay for cramming all those functions into such tight quarters. The video is choppy and not as sharp as I'd prefer, even on the unit's two-inch display. And the camcorder is mediocre and the camera low-resolution. Panasonic says users can record television shows for viewing on the go--a neat trick--but I couldn't test that on our preproduction model. If you want perfect, wait for Panasonic to beef up future models. But if you want to feel as if you've just rolled James Bond, this is your baby. www.panasonic.com.

>> MP3 player: NEUROS MP3 DIGITAL AUDIO COMPUTER 128MB version $249; 20GB version $399 First the Big Bang, then the genome. Now another of life's great mysteries is solved: Who played that song I just heard on the radio? The Neuros player's built-in FM tuner not only plays songs but lets you save a "fingerprint" of them for identification. Simply plug the Neuros into an Internet-connected PC, and its software will tell you the artist and title of the tune (getting it right the bulk, but not all, of the time). Also nifty is the MP3 broadcast feature, which plays MP3 music files stored on your Neuros over any FM radio--an excellent option if you want to stow the headphones for a change. www.neurosaudio.com

>> DVD player: TOSHIBA SD-P2500 $799.99 On the plus side, a portable DVD player means you'll never go anywhere without Vin Diesel again. On the minus side, a portable DVD player means you'll never go anywhere without Vin Diesel again. Sure, laptops play DVDs too, but not with the vibrant colors Toshiba's new portable boasts. The 8.9-inch widescreen display is a light load, weighing less than two pounds (without battery); a memory-card slot means you can view digital photos on the go as well. Dual headphone jacks let you watch with a loved one (or some random seatmate if you're feeling sociable). And when you get where you're going, component video outputs and progressive scanning turn this top-flight portable player into a top-flight player, period. www.toshiba.com --ALAN COHEN