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And now ... a compact cam.

The complicated instructions that accompany most camcorders undermine the premise that technology should make our lives simpler.

That's why I like the impulse behind the Flip Video Mino, the new camcorder from Pure Digital Technologies, a company in San Francisco.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The Mino is a lightweight camcorder not much bigger than your cell phone. It has a striped-down interface more like an iPod than a typical camcorder, making it fairly straightforward to operate.

With two gigabytes of memory, the Mino can store up to an hour of video, download it to a computer and send it to social-net-working sites like MySpace andYouTube. A USB plug pops out from the top of the camera, eliminating the need for extra cables.

You also won't need a wall outlet. The Flip Mino has a lithium-ion battery that juices up when the camera is plugged in to your computer. A full charge lasts for up to four hours of recording.

You can pay a lot more for cameras with more impressive specs, more memory and thicker instruction manuals. But if you want to take and share video as quickly and easily as possible, the Mino is a device that might fit both your budget and your carry-on bag.--J.B.

Device: Flip Video Mino

Price: $180

Grade:A
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Title Annotation:TechBytes; Flip Video Mino
Publication:Campaigns & Elections
Article Type:Product/service evaluation
Date:Aug 1, 2008
Words:215
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