IFA 2012 marked the complete transition from what was a home entertainment showcase to a full-on electronics and gadget tradeshow, complete with the latest and greatest tablets, Ultrabooks, and HDTVs. As a result, IFA 2012 may have been the biggest IFA to date.
Windows 8 tablets and Ultrabooks dominated the trade show. Microsoft’s upcoming OS provides an entirely different user experience from all previous Windows, as well as competing platforms, and its touch-centric interface lends itself to hybrid devices that straddle the line between Ultrabook and tablet.
However, hybrids are also sporting the Android OS – the biggest innovator being Samsung, whose star product, the Galaxy Camera, was absolutely the biggest hit of the event often dubbed the ”European CES.”
With that in mind, here are some of the most innovative products at IFA 2012, which just ended this week in Berlin.
Samsung Galaxy Camera
The Samsung Galaxy Note II was expected to be the most interesting device Samsung was going to present at the Berlin show, however, this hybrid between Samsung Galaxy S III and a digital camera caused greater interest than the pen-toting “phablet.” Smartphones are killing the point-and-shoot camera market these days thanks to advances in smartphone camera tech, constant connectivity, and excellent camera apps. So, Samsung is turning the formula around with a device that should find some significant market share. Skeptical? Remember, many doubted the first Galaxy Note would find an audience precisely a year ago (who needs pen input anymore, right?), and now it’s one of the best-selling Android devices in the world.
Its features are very impressive: Galaxy Camera combines a smartphone with the basic specifications that are identical to the Galaxy S III (a quad core Exynos processor and 4.8-inch HD display) and a digital camera with a 16-megapixel sensor, 21x of optical zoom and a pop-up Xenon flash.
Samsung Galaxy Note II
The device presented by Samsung two days before the official commencement of IFA in Berlin and before Galaxy Camera is a sure market hit – Galaxy Note II. The first Galaxy Note was revealed at last year’s IFA and its successor comes on the heels of its success (over ten million Galaxy Notes were sold in the past 12 months). Samsung Galaxy Note II is a serious upgrade of the previous model, and it is reminiscent of a Galaxy S III on steroids due to the specifications, as well as its design.
Galaxy Note II’s features do not fail to impress: it comes with a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD screen, a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels, which offers a pixel density of 267 ppi and a 16:9 ratio, and of course, S Pen support.
Sony Vaio Duo 11
Sony unveiled its IFA lineup the same day as Samsung. As a result, Sony’s presentation was unjustly overshadowed, because the Vaoi Duo 11 deserves some attention. This wonderfully designed Ultrabook turns into a tablet as the 11.6-inch screen glides towards the keyboard. The device is then .7-inches thick and weighs 2.8 pounds. The display has full HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) and imaging is fantastic. The display’s diagonal is 11.6-inches and it comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro. It also includes VGA and HDMI outputs, two USB 3.0, Wi-Fi N, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, a digital compass, NFC, as well as front and rear cameras. It also includes RAM up to 8GB and storage up to 256GB SSD.
84-inch 4K TV (Sony, Panasonic, LG, Toshiba…)
Speaking of home entertainment, television sets with 4K resolution were a smash hit at this year’s IFA. The biggest manufacturers of this market presented concrete 84-inch models, ready to be delivered. ‘4K‘ is a colloquial term for a resolution of 4096 x 3072 pixels (12 megapixels), and it comes from the 4,000 horizontal lines it displays. The stated resolution only makes sense on larger screens, like 80-inches and above (the difference between Full HD and 4K cannot be spotted with the naked eye on smaller display diagonals), and the imaging truly is amazingly sharp. Still, there is little to no commercial 4K content, whether on Blu-ray or broadcast via digital cable TV, but we can expect it soon, just like the new editions of gaming consoles and games prepared for 4K.
Even though Asus presented TAICHI two months ago at Computex, it still impressed at IFA. This is an 11.6-inch ultrabook (there is a 13.3-inch version as well) with a double sided touchscreen – one on both sides of the keyboard cover. When the ultrabook is closed, it turns into a tablet. Once it is opened, it can be used as a notebook, as well as a device for smaller presentations by simultaneously turning on imaging on both displays. Selecting the imaging mode runs fast as the suitable key is pressed. TAICHI is exceptionally fast, light and slim, as if it were a regular tablet. It can perform a cold-boot in less than 10 seconds. The device has the latest generation Intel Core processor (third generation), Windows 8 and Full HD resolution on both displays.
IFA Coverage on TG
TechnologyGuide had boots on the ground for IFA 2012. Check out our full IFA coverage from across the TG family of review sites: