Best tablets at IFA 2012 – or are they laptops…
At this years IFA tech show in Berlin most of the excitement has been around Windows 8 tablets and ‘half and half’ laptops that transform into tablets. They do so in a wide variety of weird and wonderful ways, read on for our top best tablets from IFA 2012 or see them in action in the video below.
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1. Toshiba Satellite U920T
Toshiba aren’t always top of the list in terms of laptop innovation, but the Satellite U920T is a fully functioning 12.5-inch ultrabook that slides down into tablet form. Due to launch in late October after the release of Windows 8 it uses Gorilla Glass for the display which should keep it safe from scratches, though there’s not much you can do about finger smears.
Here’s what Catherine had to say about it:
I was surprised at just how light this laptop was when I picked it up, though I’m not sure why as the ultrabook label should have given that one away. I think it’s because it actually looks pretty robust. Especially when compared to some other hybrid systems we’ve seen before which seem a bit more rickety. The sliding action works well and it’s easy to open and close – you actually slide it fully out before you tilt the screen up which means you aren’t trying to pull in two directions at the same time.
Watch our video of the Toshiba Satellite U920T in action.
2. Dell XPS Duo 12
Dell’s half laptop, half tablet, has a ‘converged design’ – or at least this is how Dell refers to it’s unusual method of transformation. Rather than the sliding action the most of these devices use, the XPS Duo 12 flips its screen so the actually body of the laptop doesn’t move. It’s designed to look like other models in the XPS range, and apart from the flip screen, it looks a spitting image of the Dell XPS 13.
Here’s what Catherine thought of it:
We’ve seen a number of these hybrids at IFA 2012 but this one looks to be a real standout. Rather than the creaky flip out keyboards or awkward docking designs adopted by some, this uses an ingenious ‘flip’ screen, which means the outer body doesn’t need to make any crazy moves.
Read more about the Dell XPS Duo 12.
3. Sony Xperia Tablet S
While the Xperia Tablet S doesn’t do a lot to stand out when it comes to hardware specs Sony has included a couple of useful features to make it easier for lots of people to use a single tablet by adding a guest mode and the ability to have several profiles.
Here’s what Which? deputy technology editor Andy Vandervell had to say about the tablet:
Guest mode means you can share your tablet with other people without fear of them poking around your email and generally making a mess. You can also setup profiles, select what apps are available, and choose between limited and unlimited settings – it’s a great feature for sharing your tablet with children.
Watch our video and find out more about the Sony Xperia Tablet S.
4. Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro
One of two of Samsung’s two Windows 8 tablets the Ativ Smart PC Pro has an impressive set of specs and comes with an attachable keyboard to make it easier to work on. However the finish of the product wasn’t quite up to some of the other models we saw.
Here’s what Andy thought:
On paper there’s lots to like. It’s a proper laptop — it’s got an Intel Core i5 processor, the full version of Windows 8 and enough ports to satisfy most people. However, it’s covered in ugly vents and it won’t be finding it’s way onto my Christmas list.
Watch our video of the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro.
5. Dell XPS 10
Dell followed a similar path to other with the XPS 10 – it’s a Windows RT tablet that comes with a keyboard dock. What’s interesting, though, aside from Dell’s typically stylish design, is that the dock has a battery too, and with it Dell claims an incredible 20 hours of battery life – a new definition for the phrase ‘all day battery life’. Whether it achieves such heights remains to be seen, but it’s us interested.
Here’s Catherine’s take:
The tablet section looks particularly sleek and the whole thing looks highly portable, as long as you don’t mind the slightly smaller screen and keyboard compared to a 11 or 13-inch ultrabook. If the XPS 10 lives up to its claims of 20 hours with the supplied dock then it’ll be seriously impressive.
Watch our video of the Dell XPS 10 in action
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