Editors' note: This is the 2009 version of the Flip UltraHD. While it's still available through some retailers, note that the updated 2010 Flip UltraHD is now available.
You may have heard that Cisco will no longer be producing the Flip camcorder products. However, as long as they're still available on the market, you may want to consider buying one anyway. If so,, and if not, .
Every six months or so, Flip Video--slated to be absorbed by Cisco by the end of the year--puts out a new model or two of its popular YouTube-friendly point-and-shoot mini camcorders. Late last year it was the MinoHD. Now, for spring 2009, the company brings us two updated versions of the Ultra: a higher-end model, the UltraHD, which shoots 720p (1,280x720) high-definition video, and a less expensive Ultra, which shoots 640x480 VGA video.
On the outside at least, not much has changed from Flip's first-generation Ultra. But there are a couple of notable differences. For starters, the transflective LCD on the back is bigger, measuring 2 inches, compared with 1.5 inches. The buttons are also bigger and the UltraHD, which comes in black or white, has a sort of rubberized, matte finish that allows you to grip the device a bit more easily.
Most importantly, this model comes with a set of AA-size NiMH rechargeable batteries you can charge in the unit by simply connecting the camcorder (via its trademark flip-out USB connector) to the USB port on your computer. Alternatively, you can swap in a pair of standard AA alkaline batteries if you don't have time to charge. That standard battery backup option is a nice convenience, but there's a drawback: the batteries are bulkier and heavier than the slim lithium ion type built into the MinoHD. So by default you're getting a bigger, heavier camcorder--the UltraHD weighs 6.1 ounces versus 3.3 ounces for the MinoHD. That said, the UltraHD is still pocket-friendly, just not as pocket-friendly as the MinoHD.