The headlining Flip camera gets HD and is better for the move. (June 5th, 2009)
Product Manufacturer: Pure Digital (Cisco)
- HD video at a still-affordable price.
- Good form factor; HDMI out is new.
- Very user-friendly hardware and software.
- Much more storage; longer recording than Mino HD.
- Replaceable battery.
- No optical zoom; same image quality as before.
- FlipShare is quick but still limited.
The Ultra HD is Pure Digital's flagship camcorder and carries 8GB of memory in addition to its high definition (720p) recording. Flip also offers the small form factor Flip Mino HD. It commands a thirty dollar price premium for the smaller size, but it offers only half the amount of memory that its full size brother can manage; in theory, the Ultra HD is likely to be much better. But are the savings and extra capacity worth a handful of sacrifices?
physical design, screen, and ports
Although the Ultra HD's form factor is distinctly larger than the Mino's, in practice it's is still light and manageable. The casing is a rubberized plastic on the front, top, and back and a polished gray plastic on both sides. The rubberized plastic feels sturdy enough for its size but the shiny, polished sides easily pick up smudged finger print marks. Our review unit was a matte black color, but the Ultra HD also comes in white and is more practical in that form.
The screen is a transflective TFT screen that is bright and still viewable in day light. Measuring two inches from corner to corner with a resolution of 960x240, the screen is extremely sharp and a pleasure to view; it has a clear plastic cover protecting the screen and so doesn't get destroyed in a pocket. The change is a tremendous leap over even the recent Mino HD and is much better-suited to getting a sense for the final output.
On the right side of the camcorder you’ll find a small power button on the top and a place to attach the wrist strap on the bottom. The left side holds an HDMI port -- an appreciated new feature on the Ultra HD -- and a flip out USB connection to connect the camcorder to your computer. The flip out USB port works well and snaps back into place easily. Perhaps the best feature, however, is its expandability: the bottom of the UltraHD has a release button to open the battery compartment and a tripod mount. Unlike the Mino HD, the built-in battery pack is replaceable and will work with any typical AA set. That makes the Ultra HD the only real choice of the two HD Flips for travelers.