The worst five products at IFA

It hasn’t all been popping champagne corks and swapping back slaps at IFA 2011, some products received a collective shake of the head and others a collective scratch. From amazing 3D binoculars to the wonders of a twitter fridge, we bring you our worst five products at IFA 2011.

1. Sony Tablet P

An attempt to catch the eye of ladies with handbags and just about anybody else who’s uncomfortable parading around their oversized tablet, the folding Sony P was a sound idea.

Boasting dual, 5.5 inch screens that could act independently or together as a single screen, the concept of a ‘pocketable’ tablet was fantastic, but in the Tablet P’s clam shell design badly executed. The problem is that when the screens are folded ‘together’ there is still a significant gap between them – somewhat defeating the point.

We hope the brains at Sony Towers will get together and give it another go – perhaps with a folding OLED screen. It certainly has potential.

Read our full Sony Tablet P first look review

 2. Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

The Galaxy Tab 7.7 could quite comfortably find a home in our best products from IFA list. Our first look review saw us fawn over the simply stunning AMOLED screen and its ability to slot a dual core processor into 7.89mm thickness. It’s a very definite rival for the iPad.

So how did it get dumped into the worst category list? Halfway through IFA a Frankfurt judge slapped a temporary injunction on the product as part of Apple and Samsung’s ongoing arm wrestle over patents and intellectual property.  It was quickly snatched from the stands and became the product no one at Samsung dared mention.

With the court case pending before IFA and having lost previous showdowns with Apple in the courtroom, perhaps Samsung should have kept the Galaxy Tab 7.7 under wraps until they had kissed and made up with Steve Jobs.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 first look review

3. Sony DEV-5 digital 3D Binoculars

At IFA 2011 3D was everywhere – from glasses-free 3DTV to a wraparound 3D viewer – we saw some great concepts and ideas. Sony’s 3D binoculars were not one of them.

Given their similarity to the futuristic binoculars in The Empire Strikes Back, it’s possible Sony’s DEV-5 digital 3D binoculars were conceived after a late night watching Star Wars and too much Pepsi. We can’t see the point.

It may have escaped Sony’s attention but the eyes in our head have all the technology needed to turn a pair of binoculars 3D. Yes, the DEV-5 does offer the ability to record what you’re seeing in HD 3D with up to 20x zoom, but, again, you have to wonder who needs this – obsessive bird watchers, David Attenborough, Imperial Storm Troopers?

Read our full Sony DEV-5 digital 3D binoculars first look review

4. Toshiba AT200 Tablet

While it might be hard on the Toshiba AT200 to call it worst in show, it is thoroughly ordinary. Designed to tempt iPad users away from Apple, the AT200’s blockbuster claim to fame is being the ‘thinnest 10.1 tablet ever’. At 7.7mm thick, that may well be true, but the margins are minuscule. The headlines also stop there.

The AT200 doesn’t have any key features that help it stand out from either the iPad 2 or similar Android tablets. In fact, it lags behind older competitors in some areas, including a potentially sluggish 1.2GHz dual core processor. It’s too early to write off the AT200 but if it wants to be competitive, it will need to be very competitively priced.

5. Samsung Smart Fridge

Have you always wished you could access Twitter, Facebook and even the weather from an eight-inch LCD screen on your fridge? No, neither have we.

Even those who are likely to consider this wi-fi enabled fridge – possibly in a flash of ill thought out desperation as a gift idea to pushy relatives – are already likely to own a desktop, laptop, smart phone, tablet and numerous other easier ways to update their social media status.

Of course, if you somehow manage lock yourself inside your own kitchen while no one else is in the house, this would be £2000 very well spent. Or you could just install a £20 phone.

See our video round up of the top ten home innovations from IFA 2011

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2 replies

  1. These opinions seem awfully biased. Ex; apple’s fight against samsung looks like an admission that samsungs devices are superior. Hardly a reason to claim one of Samsungs tablets is bad. Toshiba’s AT200 may not be perfect, but it does have an upper hand to most of its current competitors. iPad2 and the tegra2-based android devices are really bad when it comes to decoding H.264 high-profile. The OMAP4 chipset and supporting GPU used in the AT200 blows these out of the water. There’s a reason why several STB-manufacturers decided to drop the tegra2-platform from their designs once the shortfalls of the platform were exposed.

  2. @P Your observation about Apple’s possible perception of Samsung’s superiority is only one of several possible explanations of the “battle”. There are other equally valid reasons if you think about it for a while.

    I’m surprised to hear your comments about the iPad2 being “really bad” at decoding H.264 video. H.264 has been a central feature in QuickTime – itself a core technology for Apple – since it debuted in, if I remember correctly, 2006 when QuickTime 7 was released. Given that they’ve been working with it for at least five years, I doubt your assertion is right in this case (though I freely admit I’m no video expert). Do you have any independent testing that you can point at to clarify this?

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