Hottest gadgets at IFA 2012
IFA 2012 and it's very best gadgets are what we'll be bringing you through the next three days all over Pocket-lint, but this page right here, this page is the very best of them all. It's the best of the best, le meilleur, the ace in the hole, the cream as far as the hottest gadgets of Berlin and Europe's finest consumer tech trade show goes.
Throughout our time at IFA 2012, the team will be updating this page with the devices that really catch our eye - the best laptops, best TVs, best smartphones, best cameras, best anything else that we think deserves your attention. So, if we reckon something has a bright future, is highly original or just gets our tech juices flowing, you'll find it here. These are the hottest gadgets of IFA 2012 and the ones we think you should be taking notice of.
Catch all of our IFA 2012 news, as it happens, on our dedicated IFA 2012 home page.
HP Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook
A normal laptop. Remember those? You know, when where if you try to remove the keyboard, you're going to end up breaking it. Fortunately, HP hasn't forgotten folk that like a touch of the traditional and came up with the MacBook-looking HP Spectre XT TouchSmart mouthful, er, ultrabook for showing off at IFA 2012.
It's 17.9mm thick, weighs just over 2.1kgs and is just about ok for carrying around without slipping a disc. There's tiptop connectivity with Intel's Thunderbolt technology for the fastest transfer speeds as well as Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, SD card and HDMI connections plus Beats Audio inside too. Think MacBook Pro only HP. Hands-on
Philips Original Radio
Philips started with radio back in 1927, but it's most classic radio is the Philetta 254, released in 1955. Not one to ignore the retro trend, Philips has released the Philips Original Radio at IFA 2012, and we've laid our eyes on it, and lent it our ears.
The Philips Original Radio picks up on the design of the Philetta, with the same sexy knobs, but this is bang up to date when it comes to technology. There will be various options available (and different models for different countries) with the option to have an iPhone dock, or not. DAB+ and FM radio will be available. Hands-on
LG EA93 21:9 monitor
A lot of people will have admired the Philips 21:9 TV range only from affair owing to its prohibitively expensive swing ticket. Fortunately, LG has come up with an alternative option in the form of the LG EA93 21:9 monitor. The LG EA93 caters for the same 1080 vertical lines as a Full HD resolution offers, but the 2560 horizontal pixels make it far longer than a standard 16:9 display.
If you want that true cinema experience without the borders then this monitor might be right up your street. Although it'll trim off the extra height of an IMAX frame, so fans of Nolan's Batman trilogy beware. On the rear, there are all manner of connections including USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI. No idea on price just yet but hopefully not too silly. Hands-on
HP Envy x2
Ok. So HP also had a hybrid, and it looks really good too. The HP Envy x2 is a tablet/PC hybrid 11.6-inch device that runs Windows 8 and features the Beats Audio system that the manufacturer hopes will give it that extra edge over the rest.
Weighing 1.4kg when the keyboard is attached (0.68kg when not), the Envy x2 has a HD IPS panel, which should ensure decent brightness (400-nit), and front and rear cameras. There's NFC for use with media sharing and HP has added proprietary software, including HP Connected Photo, an app that syncs photos across multiple devices and offers basic editing options. Read more | Hands-on
Sony Bravia KD-84X9005
After tantalising us with its 4K projector at CES 2012, Sony has announced its first commercially available 4K television at IFA 2012 - the Sony Bravia KD-84X9005. We weren't able to get particularly close to the X9005, but at this scale that wasn't an immediate problem. Sony was showing off a 4K recording of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra on screen. Needless to say, it was pretty phenomenal.
The set includes the X-Reality Pro picture engine and 10 speaker units for what Sony describes as "superb audio quality". Price-wise there's no official verdict, but a little rumour bird told us it could be as much as 20,000 Euro. Yowch. Big bucks for big resolution but we sure do look forward to spending a little more time with this monster telly. Read more
Samsung Galaxy Note 2
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 tablet-come-phone is now official. The 5.5-inch "phablet" is run by a 1.6GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM. The touchscreen is made up of a HD Super AMOLED 1280 x 720 16:9 display, and Samsung claims that it's thinner, lighter and brighter than on the phone's predecessor.
The device comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean from the box, there's an 8-megapixel camera on the rear and a 1.9-megapixel one on the front. The rear camera is coupled with an LED flash while many of the features found on the Galaxy S III have made it to the Note 2: Best Photo, Best Faces and Low light shot. Read more | Hands-on
Philips Fidelio Portable Speaker
With the portable audio space bolstered by the likes of the Jambox, we're itching to get some proper review time with the Philips Fidelio Portable Speaker, with two models the P8 and P9, the Bluetooth speakers unveiled at IFA 2012.
Philips has been focusing on design recently and the understated simplicity of the Fidelio Portable Speaker gives it a retro cool look, with the controls running across the top. Constructed with wood, metal and wrapped lovingly in a leather case, it feels solid in the hand and it smells great too. What, you don't smell your gadgets? Shame on you. Hands-on
Asus Vivo Tab (RT)
Asus kicked off IFA 2012 with the announcement of two new tablet devices. The Asus Vivo Tab and Asus Vivo Tab RT bring the successful Transformer concept to Windows 8. The name comes from the Latin verb "to live", with Asus describing the new tablet devices as ideal for work and play.
Based around an 11.6-inch Super IPS+ display, like the Transformer range of Android tablet devices, the Vivo Tab will feature a dock to turn this Windows 8 tablet into a fully fledged notebook. With a thickness of just 8.7mm and weighing 675g, the Vivo Tab is a slick-looking device, exhibiting Asus's growing experience in tablet design. Read more | Hands-on
Panasonic has announced an upgrade to its 3D Full HD LCD projector range in the shape of the PT-AT6000 (otherwise known as PT-AE8000 in the US). The stand-out feature is that the PT-AT6000 is 20 per cent brighter than the company's previous model, which should be enough to counteract any picture dulling when watching 3D. There's also a huge improvement to the crosstalk issues.
Core specifications include 2,400 lumens of brightness, Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, a claimed contrast ration of 500,000:1 and a new 220W lamp. There's also generally far better control of 3D with both a Picture Balance mode and a slider scale for the parallax strength of the image. Hands-on
Is it a portable games machine, is it a tablet, is there any difference any more? Archos has announced the launch of a new 7-inch device with dedicated buttons set to take on the PS Vita and pals. The GamePad combines physical gaming controls with a full Android-powered tablet with touchscreen, analogue sticks and all.
The GamePad runs a 1.5Ghz processor with a Mali 400mp quad-core GPU to handle the graphics side of things. Unlike some Archos tablets in the past, the new model is also Google certified so you get access to the Google Play store and it promises to automatically map keys to your favourite games very much in the same way Sony Ericsson did with the PlayStation phone, the Xperia Play. Due out at the end of October 2012 for less than £130. Read more
Ultimate Ears 9000
The king of the debuting on-ear headphones range from Logitech's Ultimate Ears is the Bluetooth-enabled, active-noise-cancelling Ultimate Ears 9000 model. With a detachable cable, it's possible to use these 'phones wirelessly or, when the batteries deplete, passively via the cable.
They're chunky and comfortable thanks to the generous padding of the memory foam cushions, and are designed to fold up into themselves for transport. Not only do these look visually sharp, they also sound as sweet as the headband's padding is soft - though we'd expect nothing less for the £299 price tag. We reckon these over-ears ought to give some of the similar-priced competitor models out there a run for their money. Hands-on
Samsung Galaxy Camera
There have been camera phones, phone cameras, cameras and simply phones but finally Samsung has come up with one that we’re not quite sure what it is at all. The Samsung Galaxy Camera is a connected camera. There's a 3G and Wi-Fi version as well as a 4G and Wi-Fi version. What all of that means is that you can connect your pictures to the cloud and the cloud to your picture whenever and wherever you like.
It runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, has a 16-Megapixel 1/2.3” BSI CMOS unit and it’ll capture light focused at it through a 23mm wide angle lens - a piece of glass far superior to that of a camera phone. What’s more, that lens will also offer you up to a whopping 21x optical zoom. Yes, optical, not digital. Read more | Hands-on
Sony Vaio Duo 11
The Sony Vaio Dual 11 sports a surf slider build with a full Qwerty keyboard, but consumers can opt to stick to a slate tablet mode and use the 11-inch touch display. A digitised stylus is included in the tablet device. Again, one could argue that this is, in fact, a laptop. Because, again, it is, but the duo is meant to be a tablet every much as it as meant as an Ultrabook.
Like the Tap 20, the Duo 11 and features Sony's new Clear Audio+ sound technology for a an improved sound experience when watching video or listening to music as well as a choice of high end Intel Core CPUs and Intel HD graphics. Coming at the end of October. Read more | Hands-on
TomTom for Android
Old news if you're an iOS users but this is one smoking hot product for those on Google's Mobile platform. TomTom confirmed at IFA in Berlin that it will be launching its TomTom for Android app in October.
TomTom navigation, map and traffic technologies will be incorporated into the new app the company said. More details, pricing and availability will be announced closer to the launch date but, for now, expect IQ Routes, HD Traffic and more. Read more | Hands-on
The Sony NEX-5R is the latest interchangeable lens mirrorless camera which, quality-wise, ought to be the same as its NEX-5N predecessor according to Sony, but the sensor has been adapted to include phase-detection "pixels" at the sensor level, covering 99 areas.
Design-wise the NEX-5R has added a new thumbwheel and a function (Fn) button to the mix and the tilt-angle, touch-capable LCD screen can now also flip all the way up for self-facing shooting - ideal for self portraits. Add in Wi-Fi and an app store and it's one seriously intriguing product. Hands-on