IFA 2013 has brought us new smartwatches, phones, tablets, phablets, notebooks, and whatever it is we’re supposed to call Sony’s new lens cameras, but the announcements just keep rolling in. Earlier this week we brought you up to speed with LG, HTC and Acer’s latest products, but now we’re moving on to the newest gizmos from Toshiba and Asus. Let’s get to them.
Toshiba Unveils an 8-Inch Windows 8 Tablet
Chief amongst Toshiba’s IFA lineup this year is the Toshiba Encore, which will take on the Acer Iconia W3 and become the Japanese firm’s first 8-inch Windows 8 tablet. It’ll arrive this November for $330, and when it does it’ll sport a fresh coat of Windows 8.1.
The Encore will come with an 8-inch, 1280×800 resolution display, sport 32GB of expandable storage, and run on a new quad-core Bay Trail chip from Intel. It’s made of a matte plastic material that weighs 16.9 ounces and measures at 0.42 inches thin.
Toshiba claims it’s developed the Encore “in close collaboration with Microsoft” in order to get the most out of Windows 8.1, and to that end the tablet will come with dual microphones and 8- and 2-megapixel cameras for Skype sessions, along with a full copy of Office Home & Student 2013 and a “free streaming pass” to Xbox Music.
Continuing Toshiba’s stab at affordable new Windows 8 products is the new Satellite NB15t laptop, which will launch this November for $380. It’ll run on Windows 8, and it’ll come with an 11.6-inch touchscreen display. (Toshiba hasn’t specified its resolution, so don’t expect much.) Internally, the Satellite NB15t will be powered by an dual-core Celeron N2810 chip, 4GB of RAM, 500GB of HDD storage, and 802.11ac WiFi capability. It’ll weigh 3.3 pounds.
Finally, there’s the Toshiba Satellite Click, which set you back $600 and will be sold through Best Buy and Toshiba’s own site sometime this month. It’s a detachable PC whose 13.3-inch screen can be removed and become its own tablet. That tablet sports its own 500GB hard drive and its own battery.
The rest of the device sounds fairly standard, but notably, it’ll be one of the first devices to utilize one of AMD’s new “Temash” chips–more specifically a dual-core 1GHz A4-1200 processor, alongside 4GB of RAM and AMD’s Radeon 8000 graphics.
Asus Brings Tablets, Phablets, Convertibles and Ultrabooks
Asus has been one of the busiest manufacturers at IFA, unveiling a range of products spanning from Ultrabooks to tablets to convertibles. Many of these products were either refreshes or the same products that the company showcased at Computex this past June, however.
First up is Asus Zenbook UX301 and Zenbook UX302, which were previously known as the Zenbook Infinity and will become Asus’ new flagship Ultrabooks when they’re released. No details on pricing or availability yet, but we do know that the devices’ lids will be coated in Gorilla Glass 3, giving them a shinier look and, theoretically, better protection from dings and scratches.
Both Ultrabooks will sport 13.3-inch displays, with the UX301’s coming in with a 2560×1440 resolution and the UX302’s sporting a 1920×1080 resolution. They’ll both have up to a Core i7 Haswell processor and Intel’s HD graphics (with an optional Nvidia GeForce GT 730M GPU on the UX302), and they’ll both run Windows 8.
Rounding out the rest of the notebooks’ specs, the UX301 will have 4 or 8GB of RAM, while the UX302 will have 2 or 4GB of the same. The former measures at 15.5mm and weighs just over 3 pounds, while the latter comes in at 17.2mm and 3.3 pounds, respectively.
On the budget end of Asus’ “standard” laptop offerings is the X102BA, which’ll likely be cheap but doesn’t have any official availability or price details yet. It’ll feature a 10.1-inch 1366×768 screen, a dual-core 1GHz AMD A4-1200 “Temash” processor with Radeon 8180 graphics, 2 or 4GB of RAM, 320 or 500GB of HDD storage, and Windows 8 bundled with a full copy of Office Home & Student 2013.
Moving onto Asus’ newest convertible PCs, the company is using IFA to show off the Transformer Book Trio it unveiled at Computex. As a refresher, it’s being touted as a “three-in one”–besides being a standard Windows 8 laptop, its 11.6-inch, 1080p display can be detached and become its own Android 4.2 tablet, or it can be hooked up to an external dock and become something akin to a desktop PC. Asus hasn’t given any pricing or availability details for the device just yet.
It’s also revealed a refresh to its Transformer Book, now dubbed the Transformer Book T300. Like the Transformer Book Trio, the laptop’s 13.3-inch, 1080p display can be removed from its dock and become a tablet, only here it’ll stay of the Windows 8 variety.
It comes with Intel’s newest Haswell chips and integrated graphics, up to 8GB of RAM, a 6,710mAh battery, and either 64, 128 or 256GB of SSD storage. It’ll weigh 2.4 pounds as a standalone tablet and 4.2 pounds when all hooked together. Again, nothing to say for when it’ll be available or how much it’ll cost.
On the tablet side of the spectrum is the Transformer Pad TF701T, an Android 4.2 slate whose 10.1-inch display sports a resolution of 2500×1600. On its own, the tablet comes with an Nvidia Tegra 4 chip, 2GB of RAM, 32 or 64GB of storage, and 5- and 1.2-megapixel cameras.
But Asus is touting the machine as being good for productivity too, as it’ll offer a dock to go along with it and a copy of Polaris Office pre-installed on the machine. It also says that the slate will get 13 hours of battery life on its own, and 17 hours when docked.
Less productivity-oriented are Asus’ new MemoPad tablets, the MemoPad 8 and MemoPad 10. The 8- and 10-inch slates don’t have prices or release dates yet, but they’ll both have 1280×800 resolution displays, 1.6GHz quad-core processors, up to 16GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, and, according to Asus, about 9 hours of battery life. Both will have 1.2-megapixel front cameras, but the MemoPad 8’s rear shooter will sit at 5-megapixels while the MemoPad 10’s will be at 2-megapixels. They’ll both utilize Android 4.2 under Asus’ own skin.
Update (9/6/13): On the higher end of the spectrum is the MemoPad FHD 10, which was just announced today. That one sports a similar frame as the standard MemoPad 10 (albeit black), but packs a 10.1-inch 1920×1200 display, a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2560 processor, 2GB of RAM, 5- and 1.2-megapixel shooters, and 16 or 32GB of storage. It\’ll arrive later this month for $330 or $350, depending on how much storage space you\’d like.
Finally, there’s the FonePad Note 6, which we also got a chance to use at Computex earlier this year. It’s still in an odd grey area between phone and tablet, although Asus is positing it as an Android 4.2 tablet for people “who don’t want a separate smartphone just for telephone calls and internet access on the move.”
It’s got a 6-inch 1080p display and is powered by an Intel Atom Z2580 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16 or 32GB of expandable storage. It’s 10.3mm thin and weighs 0.46 pounds, and it comes with a 3,200mAh battery that Asus rates as providing 6 hours of juice. Most notably, it supports 3G and HSPA+ networks, allowing people with big enough hands to make phone calls right from the phablet. No pricing or release details to share here either.