Sony unleashes debut hard-drive 'corder

Our techie tarot cards recently brought the words 'camcorder' and 'hard-drive' together as a prediction for 2006 – sure enough, Sony has unveiled its

Our techie tarot cards recently brought the words 'camcorder' and 'hard-drive' together as a prediction for 2006 – sure enough, Sony has unveiled its first model with internal storage, the DCR-S100.

It could be an interesting tussle between the current champ, JVC's Everio GZ-MG50, and this newbie – both have 30GB hard-drives which completely negate the need for pesky tapes or DVDs, although the Sony has an impressive 3MP CCD, which should give it significantly better image quality, particularly for big screens. If you have a tendency to throw your 'corder around, you'll also be pleased to hear that it's got G-sensor shock protection to guard its innards.

Other bonuses are the built-in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound to make sure your relatives enjoy a totally immersive holiday video experience, and a swivelling 2.7in LCD display. The DCR-S100 will be out in May for $1100 (about £630).

The hard-drive war won't be two-way for long, though. Toshiba has also announced a couple of its own contenders – the 30GB GSC-R30 has a US price tag of $800 (£455), and while the GSC-R60 goes for $1000 (£570). Both have a 2MP CCD, although further details are sketchy at the moment – we'll bring you more updates from the Battle of Camcorderie's frontline when we have them.

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