Samsung Announces PL90 With a Flip-like Pop-out USB Connector

Samsung has just announced a new budget compact camera that could indicate the company’s desire to carve out an entirely new niche in the market. A few years ago, the Flip Video camcorder made waves by offering users a cheap, convenient way to take videos. Its low price, simple controls, and convenient pop-out USB connector appealed to casual users and it’s since become one of the most popular consumer camcorders on the market. Today, the Flip camcorder is emulated by several companies, including Samsung. However, the HMX-E10 is last week’s news. This pseudo-Flip-like camera is all-new.

The Samsung PL90 is a compact digital camera with a pop-out USB connector, just like the Flip Video and the HMX-E10. This is the first time a USB connector was built into a snapshot camera, instead of the standard mini-USB or proprietary port requiring a cable. This means that, like the Flip, you can just plug the PL90 into any USB port without looking for a cable. It’s a very minor feature, but it’s just that sort of convenient design aspect that made the Flip so much more popular than other, more feature-rich camcorders. Adding to that a very friendly $150 price tag, and it’s clear Samsung wants to see this design catch on.

Besides the USB connector, the PL90 is just a basic budget compact. It boasts a 12-megapixel resolution, a VGA movie mode, a 2.7-inch LCD screen, and a 4x optical zoom lens. The camera also features Samsung’s usual assortment of software features, including “Smart Auto” mode, “Self Portrait” mode, and a face detection feature.

The Samsung PL90 ships in September.