Is the new Flip Mino camcorder worth $30 more than the bestselling Flip Ultra?

Summary:The super-popular Flip Ultra's incredible success has inspired plenty of competition that wants to ride the cheapo camcorder tsunami that the Flip set off. So less than a year after the Flip Ultra's September 2007 release comes Pure Digital's latest Flip, the Flip Mino.

Is the new Flip Mino camcorder worth $30 more than the bestselling Flip Ultra?
[Updated: June 4, 2008 @ 5:01 pm] The super-popular Flip Ultra's incredible success has inspired plenty of competition trying to ride the cheapo-camcorder tsunami that the Flip set off. So less than a year after the Flip Ultra's September 2007 release comes Pure Digital's latest Flip, the Flip Mino. Priced at $179.95 (the same price the 2GB Flip Ultra was launched at), the Mino is an incremental update to the Ultra (which has been dropped to $149, and is now only shipping in 2GB versions). So what does the 2GB Mino offer in comparison to the Ultra?? A short list:

* Built-in rechargeable Li Ion battery (vs. two AA alkalines or removable NiMH) = better battery life

* Pure Digital Video Engine 2.5 (vs. v2.0) = slightly better image quality

* USB connector flips straight (vs. out to side) = more compact footprint

* Direct upload to MySpace too (vs. only YouTube and AOL Video) = more sharing

* Only available in black and white (vs. black, white, orange, pink, and green) = fewer matching outfits

* New interface with touch-sensitive buttons (vs. "easy-press" buttons) = slightly easier to use

* Includes playback pause, fast-forward, and rewind (vs. just play and stop) = pause, fast-forward, and rewind

* 3.3 oz, 3.94 x 1.97 x 0.63 inches (vs. 4.9 oz, 4.17 x 2.16 x 1.25 inches) = even more pocketable

* Wide-range, omnidirectional microphone (vs. just wide-range) = better sound

* No underwater case available (vs. $49.99 underwater case) = no swimming

* Optional $15.99 AC adapter (vs. none) = quick and easy charging

Bottom line: The Mino is a slightly better (and sleeker) product, but unless you're posting on MySpace all the time, there's not much that's a must-have. I might even opt for the Ultra and put the $30 toward the underwater case.

Topics: Hardware, Social Enterprise

About

Janice Chen is an editorial consultant and has been covering technology for over two decades. Serving as editor in chief at CNET and Computer Shopper magazine for many years, she oversaw product coverage for the CNET and ZDNet websites. She has appeared on most of the major morning TV news programs and was featured weekly on CNN Headline... Full Bio

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