pocket HD camcorders multiplying by the dozens (most with 1080p functionality), we were starting to think Flip, er Cisco had fallen asleep at the wheel (or the Slide!), but the category pioneer has finally gone and updated its core Flip MinoHD and UltraHD lines with some much-needed features. Starting on the lower end, the 4GB Flip UltraHD is now just $149 --it'll capture one hour of 720p video at 30fps. That's a great price, but it's certainly the least interesting of the bunch -- the more notable additions are baked into the $199.99 8GB UltraHD, which is 20 percent slimmer with a new rubber casing and finally (finally!) gained image stabilization. Flip's still not playing the raw specs game, though -- the 8GB Ultra shoots 720p/60 video, which Cisco says maximizes video quality while keeping file sizes easier to share. Sure -- we don't think a 1080p/30 mode would have overly complicated things, but Flip's all about one-button simplicity, after all.
The 8GB Ultra also sports a new FlipPort expansion port, which is the centerpiece of the "Designed for Flip" accessory program. All kinds of things can plug into the FlipPort; highlights of the launch lineup include a Scoshe wireless microphone, an iGo pico projector, and a SeaGate portable hard drive / storage extender. Cisco tells us the FlipPort will hit the other Flip models over time, and that it's expecting tons of Designed for Flip accessories -- beyond those for the new FlipPort, there will be a Bower magnetic wide angle lens and loads of new cases. It's an interesting sort of complexity to offer on a camera otherwise almost aggressive in its simplicity.
The MinoHD line also nabs the new image stabilizer and 720p/60 video mode -- the new silver 4GB MinoHD will retail for $179.99, while the matte black 8GB MinoHD will run $229.99. All the new models can be ordered on Flip's website today, and if personalization if your thing, each can be customized with different designs or an uploaded picture of your own. We can't say there's a lack of new stuff, and while we're still a bit confused by the absence of 1080p recording and a still shot mode, there's something to be said for the company's studious focus on simplicity. Whether 720p/60 video can hold up to the competition's 1080p is still a giant question mark, but we just got our review models and we'll let you know how things go later this week. Until then, enjoy some of the beauty shots below as well as the full press release after the break.