This updated version of the Flip Video MinoHD is likely to win plenty of fans. For starters, the FlipVideo Flip MinoHD Chrome has a sleek new look, replacing the black plastic exterior with a shiny metal back. This should help reduce scratches (there's also a plush fabric bag to keep it in).
Another design change sees glowing red LEDs light up a strip at the back of the MinoHD when the FlipVideo Flip MinoHD Chrome is plugged into a computer to charge or when recording is in progress.
There's also now an HDMI port at the bottom of the FlipVideo Flip MinoHD Chrome next to the tripod thread, so you can connect the MinoHD directly to an HD TV and view your video footage on a large screen.
Other elements remain the same: the large red record button, the trademark flip-up USB connector and the recessed play and delete buttons are all present. Unfortunately, the FlipVideo Flip MinoHD Chrome's zoom is still limited to just 2x, and is not even optical zoom but digital.
FlipVideo has stuck with 720p video at 30 fps but has upped the FlipVideo Flip MinoHD Chrome's capacity to a maximum of 8GB, good for 120 minutes of filming. Criticism of the cramped 1.5in screen has been taken on board and you now get a larger 2in LCD with 960x240-pixel resolution. As a result, you can get a better idea of the quality of your footage you've taken before you bother uploading it. Sharp screen detail is now the order of the day.
Colour has been improved too. We took the FlipVideo Flip MinoHD Chrome out on the sunny streets of London and found it captured vibrant greens and reds well, but was not that great at compensating for sun reflected from white walls. However, unlike other camcorders we've recently reviewed, purple fringing didn't seem to be a problem. The camcorder didn't perform particularly well in low-light conditions though. Footage was rather fuzzy with a green tinge.
Integration with the FlipShare software is excellent. It installs straight from the device and allows you to pick and choose what to keep and what to discard, and preview clips fullscreen or in YouTube-friendly windows - and then assemble a series of clips or upload individual scenes to a video site.
There are a couple of niggles with the new FlipVideo Flip MinoHD Chrome, but the video it captures is now more worthy of display on a large screen, helped by an HDMI port necessary to do so. We’d like a better zoom, but we can’t argue with this camcorder’s design, resolution support or capacity.