Flip refreshes UltraHD and MinoHD video cams

Cisco Systems debuts four Flip Video mini camcorders with better video, image stabilization, and a new accessory port. Check out our full review of the new UltraHD, too.

From left to right: Flip Video's UltraHD 1 Hour, UltraHD 2 Hour, MinoHD 1 Hour, and MinoHD 2 Hour. Cisco

After the disappointing SlideHD came out in April, we were hoping Cisco Systems' Flip Video would refresh our favorite model, the UltraHD. It did, creating two different versions of it. And while Flip was busy refreshing those, it updated its MinoHD model as well.

First, the UltraHDs. There are now one- and two-hour versions with 4GB and 8GB of storage, respectively. These are separated by more than the storage capacity, though. The one-hour shoots video at a resolution of 720p at 30 frames per second, while the two-hour captures 720p at 60fps, which gets you much smoother results. The two-hour also gets you electronic image stabilization, a rechargeable battery pack, and a slimmer body. Read the full review of the 2010 Flip UltraHD 2 Hour.

With the MinoHD, the advantages are size and style. The newest MinoHDs look like the old ones, but they, too, shoot 720p video at 60fps with always-on electronic image stabilization. Other than recording capacity, the only difference between the two MinoHDs is color: the one hour comes in silver, and the two-hour comes in black. Both can be personalized as well.

For those holding out for a Flip with a mic jack or removable memory, this isn't the year. Instead, Flip developed a proprietary port called a FlipPort. The port will allow you to outfit your Flip with Designed for Flip products such as a wireless microphone, battery extender, or external storage. There's also a mobile pico projector in the works. Of these new models, the UltraHD 2 Hour is the only one with the FlipPort. And since it also has 720p/60fps video with image stabilization, 8GB of storage, has a removable rechargeable battery and takes AAAs, and sells for $199.99, it's the best of the four.

If style matters to you, all of the new models can be personalized through Flip's Web site with "thousands of designs from artists, celebrities, and iconic brands" or you can upload your own image.

Here's how all of the models stack up with pricing:

UltraHD 1 Hour

  • 4GB (1 hour of video)
  • 1,280x720 (30fps)
  • Video format: H.264 (.MP4)
  • 2-inch LCD (320x240 resolution)
  • 2x digital zoom
  • AA-size batteries
  • Mini-HDMI out
  • 2.2x4.3x1.2 (WHD); 5.7 ounces
  • White, magenta, blue, or personalized
  • $149.99

UltraHD 2 Hour

  • 8GB (2 hours of video)
  • 1,280x720 (60fps) with image stabilization
  • Video format: H.264 (.MP4)
  • 2-inch LCD (320x240 resolution)
  • 2x digital zoom
  • Removable rechargeable battery or AAA-size batteries (3)
  • FlipPort/Micro-HDMI out
  • 2.1x4.2x0.9 (WHD); 4.5 ounces
  • Black, white, or personalized
  • $199.99

MinoHD 1 Hour

  • 4GB (1 hour of video)
  • 1,280x720 (60fps) with image stabilization
  • Video format: H.264 (.MP4)
  • 2-inch LCD (320x240 resolution)
  • 2x digital zoom
  • Non-removable rechargeable battery (1.5 hours battery life)
  • Mini-HDMI out
  • 2x3.9x0.6 (WHD)
  • Silver or personalized
  • $179.99

MinoHD 2 Hour

  • 8GB (2 hours of video)
  • 1,280x720 (60fps) with image stabilization
  • Video format: H.264 (.MP4)
  • 2-inch LCD (320x240 resolution)
  • 2x digital zoom
  • Non-removable rechargeable battery (1.5 hours battery life)
  • Mini-HDMI out
  • 2x3.9x0.6 (WHD)
  • Black or personalized
  • $229.99

Lastly, for those of you thinking, "What's the point of a Flip if I can get the same video or better from my smartphone or iPod Touch?" check out the video below. It's Donald Bell's side-by-side of the iPod Touch versus last year's UltraHD. The Flip is clearly better, but on top of that you won't be sharing storage with your music, videos, apps, and other data or worried about killing your battery.

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