It might not let you make phone calls, listen to some tunes or play games, but the Flip Mino HD camcorder does what it does exceptionally well.
Essentially a pocket sized, solid state camcorder, the Flip Mino HD manages the tricky feat of being both affordable, genuinely useful, and intuitive to use.
With a sticker price of £120, the flip will give you up to an hour's HD video recording time using its built-in memory.
Transferring content from the Flip Mino to a PC or Mac doesn't require a diploma in rocket science either and is as easy as hitting a button on the Flip's left hand side to pop open a spring-loaded USB connector that docks with a spare USB port.
The FlipShare suite of utilities and editing tools are stored in the Flip Mino's internal memory and can be easily installed with a few mouse clicks.
You don't need to be a Peter Jackson or James Cameron to drive the Flip either thanks to its incredibly intuitive control layout. Video is viewable via its 1.5 inch LCD screen.
In use the Flip proved to be a manual-free experience. Recording video was as simple as pushing the large red record button and hitting it again to stop.
Zooming, whilst possible wasn't terribly smooth and was digital so using maximum zoom wasn't a pretty experience as it caused both camera wobble and some pixilation. That said, the Flip also has a tripod mount on its underside should it be needed.
The quality of the Flip's HD video was brilliant, even shooting indoors under low light conditions. Whilst low light footage did have some pixel noise, footage taken outdoors with natural lighting was crisp and noticeably HD.
Small enough to throw in a jacket pocket or purse, the Flip HD is simple, handy and portable. For family gathering, sports events or holiday trips, packing the Flip is a complete no brainer as it can be quickly fired up to avoid missing fantastic footage opportunities.
The bundled FlipShare software allows you to easily upload footage to YouTube which proved incredibly useful, allowing relatives both here and abroad to quickly gain access to family holiday video.
Best of all, uploading video to YouTube also means I didn't need to hang onto gigabytes of videos consuming vast amounts of valuable hard drive real estate.
Video content can also be burnt to DVD, or emailed (you can also store video on a hard drive). FlipShare's basic editing functions also allows you to trim, cut and rearrange clips as well as adding background music and titling. The Flip Mino HD can also hook up to most TVs using the 2.5mm socket on its base and a bundled composite audio/video cable.
Flip Mino HD verdict - £120
Good design translates into got rock solid usability. Given its diminutive price tag, the Flip Mino HD definitely boxes well above its weight when it comes to capturing and sharing HD video. Whilst semi-pro camcorder aficionados probably wont want to film a prequel to the hobbit using the Flip Mino, for casual use it's flipping brilliant.Reuse content