The Flip SlideHD has been out for a few months now and the price is currently $249 in places like Best Buy or $199 if you’re shopping on Amazon. That’s down from the original list price of $279 when the Flip SlideHD made its debut. The big difference between the Flip SlideHD and Flip UltraHD models is a slide up touch screen that provides you a much larger screen for viewing videos in playback mode. The touch screen functionality doesn’t really add much, but having the larger viewing area certainly improves on all previous Flip camera models. Does that mean I think you should buy it?
Flip SlideHD Features
In addition to the sliding touch screen, the key features of the SlideHD include 16GB of storage for between 3-4 hours of recorded video, a tripod mount, headphone jack, and HDMI out.
Flip SlideHD short on Accessories
The SlideHD also includes the Flip camera standard flip out USB jack for connecting to your computer. This USB connector acts both as the means of getting video from your Flip SlideHD to your computer as well as the source for re-charging the SlideHD battery.
As the most expensive Flip camera in the lineup, I would expect a few extra features in the box. The Flip USB connector suffers from not providing a connection to a wall jack and also not easily connecting to some computer USB ports. At the bare minimum, the box should have included a USB extension cable.
The HDMI connection also suffers from lack of easy connection. You need to purchase a special HDMI cable with one standard end and one mini end in order to make the connection, which means most new Flip SlideHD owners will be making a substantial investment in extra parts.
I realize Cisco is hoping you will buy their USB extension cable, HDMI adapter, and power plug, but that adds an extra $100 to the price of the SlideHD, which makes it look like less of a deal.
Flip SlideHD or iPhone 4?
If you already own an iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S, or some other new generation of smartphone, you don’t really need a Flip SlideHD. The video created by the iPhone 4 is at least as good as the what the SlideHD can do and automatically plays in iTunes without any additional work. You might be able to make a case for buying a SlideHD instead of hassling with the 3GP video created by most Android phones, but even then the video from the phones looks great even if the format is a little cumbersome to use in editing software.
Bottom line on the SlideHD
If you don’t already have a highly portable video recording solution, the SlideHD is an excellent choice. If you are trying to choose between the UltraHD and SlideHD, spend the extra money and get the larger screen, you’ll be glad you did.