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Flip Slide HD is Flip's first media player: Catch ya on the flip slide

The Flip Slide HD is so keen to get out there and start showing off its PMP skills, it's appearing in shops before it's even been officially announced

Strange goings-on in the US: no, not the university offering students a money-back guarantee or the mystifying continued success of Justin Bieber. We're talking about the Flip Slide HD, a mini-camcorder sneaking into shops more stealthily than Tiger Woods coming home from a cocktail bar.

What's unusual is the Slide hasn't been officially announced by Flip, yet Engadget reports at least one reader has already parted with $280-worth of hard-earned yankeepounds to take one home. It seems Best Buy, soon to be resident of this parish, is selling the Slide.

The Slide follows the the Flip Ultra and Flip Mino, and is the first to move away from the trademark candybar design. Instead, it slips the Slide into portable media player territory, with a new headphone slot, bigger 16GB memory and a touchscreen dominating the rear of the camera. This screen slides up at an angle, so you can set the Flip down on a table and watch your videos.

The Slide features the signature flip-out USB arm that gave the company its name, but it's the plasticky two-piece version of the early Flips instead of the new Mino's sleek metal one-piece. It does keep the HDMI connection seen in the second-generation Mino, though.

The simple control layout of a big red button and a selection of controls now appear in virtual form on the touchscreen. When the screen is slid out for gobbling up your mediafilms, a touch-sensitive strip is revealed that lets you swipe your way through video.

Sadly, with all this extra oomph, the Slide HD still only records 720p video at 30fps, which has been left behind by the Kodak Zi8 and Sony Bloggie range.

Flip's UK releases are usually six months behind US launches, but seeing as the Slide HD hasn't even been announced officially, who knows when we'll see it. We've contacted Flip and we'll keep you posted.