Android cameras, smarter TVs and Windows 8 tablets ahoy: IFA 2012 roundup
IFA, the gigantic Berlin tech expo, is going down right now, and while it’s set to run through to Wednesday, we’ve already seen some of gadgetry’s biggest names lay down their cards and show their wares. Everything from mobile firsts to smart TVs and Windows tablets have hit the headlines in the past few hours, and we’ve got the pick of them for you right here in our IFA 2012 news roundup.
Sony strikes back
Fresh off its impressive PS Vita showing at Gamescom earlier this month, Sony turned heads at IFA yesterday with a strong line up of gadgets. On the mobile front, we saw a new flagship Android phone, the Sony Xperia T, packing a huge 4.6-inch screen and HD display to make the Samsung Galaxy S3 worried. Alongside the T, we were introduced to the Sony Xperia J and Xperia V.
The J is a 4-inch Android phone with similar specs to the newly released HTC Desire X. The Xperia V however is a 4.3-inch brute much like this year’s Xperia S, with a 13 megapixel camera – and 4G connection speeds. It’s not headed for the UK sadly, but Sony’s new Android tablet, the Xperia Tablet S, is. It’s a 9.4-inch slate running Android 4.0 with a slightly more ordinary shape than its curly predecessor, but it comes packing a keyboard cover much like Microsoft’s Surface tablet will. Speaking of Windows tablets…
Windows 8 tablets
IFA has also seen a bevy of Windows 8 tablets surface. Samsung was first out of the block with the Samsung Ativ Tab, a 10.1-inch model running the version of Windows 8 specifically designed for tablets, Windows RT. It’s just 8.9mm thick and comes with Microsoft Office preloaded, so you can work on the go with ease.
Rival Asus meanwhile outed its two Vivo Tab Windows slates. They’re bigger than your average tablet, with 11.6-inch screens: one runs Windows RT on a mobile processor, while the other runs the full fat Windows 8 on an Intel Processor, but comes in a shade thicker.
The Android camera arrives
Nikon is not alone in announcing an Android-powered compact camera this month. Samsung introduced the Samsung Galaxy Camera at IFA yesterday, and it’s an absolute monster. A 16 megapixel camera with optical zoom lurks behind the enormous 4.8-inch screen, which runs Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” and all the latest apps. There’s a 3G connection thrown in for good measure, so it’ll be interesting to see if the business model of buying your camera on contract from a mobile network takes off.
The laptablet is back
It’s not just Windows 8 tablets we’ve seen so far at IFA. Hybrid models with slide out keyboards are back in vogue. Samsung’s Ativ Smart PC is a Windows 8 tablet with a clip on keyboard, a bit like a Microsoft-powered Asus Transformer tablet, while Sony’s VAIO Duo 11 actually hides the keyboard in a slide out section underneath the screen. The latter is a serious powerhouse to rival the likes of the MacBook Air however, with a powerful Intel processor and up to 8GB of RAM – that’s a lot of memory for running games and juggling apps at the same time.
Smart TVs get smarter
Thought smart TVs were already clever? They just got even brainier. LG added a game download service to its smart TVs, while Philips’ new smart TVs don’t even have a frame around them – that’s right, they’re all picture.
Samsung topped them all though with the dazzling ES9500 and ES9000 TVs, with expensive but beautiful OLED screen. The 55-inch beasts can actually let viewers watch two different shows on the same full screen at the same time, using 3D glasses which block out every other frame (but so quickly you don’t notice). Clever, eh?
What’s been your favourite thing so far at IFA? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.