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CNET First Look
Flip Video UltraHDThe Flip Video UltraHD may not be the sexiest minicamcorder out there, but it offers a respectable feature set and some of the best video we've seen from this type of cheap, YouTube-friendly camcorder.
[ Music ] >> David Carnoy: Hi. I'm David Carnoy, Executive Editor for CNET.com, and I'm going to give you a quick video tour of the Flip Ultra HD. 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 LCD screen is significantly bigger measuring in at two inches comparable to 1.5 inches. Buttons are also bigger, and this Ultra has sort of a rubberized matte finished that allows you to grip the device a little more easily. Most importantly, this model comes with a set of rechargeable batteries you can charge in the unit by simply connecting the cam cord to the USB port on your computer, or you can swap in a standard pair of AA alkaline batteries in a pinch. One thing we didn't like about the new design is the mirror trim on the sides of the unit. It looks good, but you'll find yourself continually wiping off the fingerprint smudges with the soft cover that ships with the product. As its name implies, this Ultra HD shots HD resolution 720p video. While it doesn't have an expansion slot for memory cards, it does have 8 gigabytes of internal memory, and that allows you to record about 8 hours of video. There's an HDMI output on the side, but alas, no HDMI cable's included so you'll have to buy one if you want to output your videos to an HD TV. It's not a huge deal, but Kodak, for instance, includes an HDMI cable with its latest HD mini camcorder. As for video quality, Ultra HD has probably some of the best video we've seen to date from one of these types of YouTube-friendly camcorders. Of course, the video can't compare to the video produced by a real HD camcorder that costs hundreds more. Now, you do have to keep the device still while shooting for best results, but it's a small step up from the video you'll get from Flip's more compact Minnow HD. It's worth noting that this model has the same chips and image sensors as the Minnow HD, but Flip has managed to refine the video processing via software to improve the picture. At the end of the day, the new Ultra HD may not be the sexiest-looking HD mini camcorder out there, but it does offer good video quality, and Flip camcorders are probably at the top of the class in terms of ease of use. We also like the whole battery set up even though it adds some weight to the camcorder. Would I get this model over the standard def Ultra, which doesn't come with rechargeable batteries and costs $50 less? Yes. Would I buy it over the Minnow HD? Probably, but if you want a really small, lightweight camcorder, the Minnow definitely wins. For now anyway. I'm David Carnoy, and that's the Flip Video Ultra HD mini camcorder. [ Music ]