Best of IFA 2012 – vote for your favourite [Video]
IFA is an annual tech trade show held in Berlin – it’s the largest such show in Europe and the traditional venue for launching products before Christmas. This year has been dominated by Windows 8, mostly by ‘half and half’ laptops and tablets.
Here’s our round-up of the best products from the IFA 2012 show.
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To see all our content from the show visit our IFA 2012 category.
1. LG’s 55-inch OLED TV
IFA is traditionally chock full with brand new TVs, but not so this year. All the same, it’s a TV that tops our list. LG plans to release this 55-inch OLED TV – that’s Organic Light Emitting Diode by the way – later this year. It’ll cost an eye-watering £6,000, but this is really a look at the future rather than the here and now and it’s a very bright one. Here’s what senior researcher Catherine West had to say:
I’ve got to say I was impressed, to be honest it’s hard not to be, in terms of picture quality and colour brightness, the display on this model really does look great. The 3D element is likely to split opinions more, but it was the smoothest 3D viewing I’ve seen (and I’m someone who normally wants to throw the 3D glasses on the floor in the first five minutes).
An honourable mention must go to the Samsung’s own OLED TV, which is also rather special. Read more about the LG 55-inch OLED TV.
2. Samsung Galaxy Camera
It’s always good to see a product that’s a little ‘out there’ and the Samsung Galaxy Camera fits the bill perfectly. It’s a camera with a great big 21x optical zoom, but the interesting bit is it has a massive 4.8-inch touchscreen and is loaded with the latest version of Google’s Android OS. The result is a camera that’s accessible but very creative, and which can upload photos to the web in no time. Here’s deputy tech editor Andy Vandervell’s take:
Android is the star here. It lets you select filters on the fly, previewing exactly what your photos will look like, or tweak them afterward and then upload them. Samsung’s designed the interface so it’s easy to make changes quickly, including every effect you can imagine and the ability to crop photos and so on. It’s weird, but kind of wonderful.
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 2
There are still lingering doubts about a 5.5-inch smartphone in the practicality stakes, but there’s no denying it’s impressive to behold. The screen is great – a TV and film addict’s dream come true – and the stylus makes an innovative standout in a world of ‘me too’ smartphones. Here’s what Andy made of it:
When Samsung launched the original Galaxy Note last year, I confess I was sceptical. I might even have laughed. Its second attempt, the Galaxy Note 2, has almost converted me.
Watch our full Samsung Galaxy Note 2 hands-on video for more info.
4. Toshiba Satellite U920T
Okay, so the name isn’t exactly top 5 material, but of all the tablet/laptop hybrids we’ve seen at IFA 2012 – and believe us there’s a lot of them – Toshiba’s impressed us the most. Unlike the similar Sony Vaio Duo 11, it impressed with its build quality. By default the screen is flat in tablet mode, but it slides up to reveal a qwerty keyboard. It has all the features of a typical portable laptop, which is great news, though perhaps not for your wallet.
Here’s Catherine’s take:
This is certainly one of the better hybrid options we’ve seen. And it’s a proper fully functioning laptop, rather than a tablet with an attachable keyboard, which means it’ll be able to cope with more demanding tasks.
Read more about the Toshiba Satellite U920T
5. 4K TVs
More or less every TV manufacturer had a 4K TV on display. What is 4K? It is, in round terms, 4x the resolution of a full HD 1080p TV or 4096 x 3072 to be precise, vs. the 1,920 x 1,080 pixels of most current TVs.
As the diagram above shows, you could effectively fit a 1080p TV inside a 4K one. The upshot is pictures that are truly breathtaking to behold – incredibly sharp and packed full of detail. In truth you’re unlikely to see one in the shops in the near future, and if you did you’d probably faint when you saw the price. But some films are being shot in 4K, mainly for the cinema, and in time it is perfectly possible we’ll be sitting at home watching a 4K TV.
Liked what you saw here? See all the news from IFA 2012 and to pick out your favourites and vote in the poll below.
4K TVs (28%, 77 Votes)
LG's 55-inch OLED TV (23%, 62 Votes)
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (19%, 53 Votes)
Samsung Galaxy Camera (18%, 50 Votes)
Toshiba Satellite U920T (12%, 33 Votes)
Total Voters: 275
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