IFA 2012: Our Top Tech Picks From The Show

IFA is Europe’s largest consumer technology show and this year’s show was easily the biggest yet and proves that consumers’ insatiable desire for shiny new piece of tech doesn’t seem to be slowing down. If anything it seems to be gathering pace despite the glum economic news. Here’s a our top picks of what impressed us at this year’s IFA – we’ve got desktop PCs, Smartphones, 4K Screens, Windows 8 Laptops and Cameras.


Clearly Asus have been hanging around with the guys over at Alienware as the their latest gaming goliath shares the same design cues of Alienware’s futuristic case designs. Not only does it looks like something you’d find a Star Wars droid factory, but its got the specs to match its sci-fi roots. It’s powered by a future-proof Intel i7 running a mammoth 6 cores, to keep it cool there’s liquid cooling, for super-fast gaming they’ve included dual 128GB solid state drives and Nvidia’s GTX 690. If there’s a gaming PC on the market that can match the unbridled power of Alienware then this is it. This gaming rig will run circles around almost all of its competitors and will cost you a cool £1,949.95.

Sony 4K KD-84X9005

Forget 1080p, it’s all about 4K. For those of you who don’t know some of top tech companies are already planning what will replace HDTV – and so far 4K and 8K is where we are at – that’s 16 times as many pixels you’d find in your shiny new 1080p TV. Sony’s new 84-inch 4K set was unveiled to the public for the first time and shows what you can expect from the next generation of HDTVs.

According the Kaz Hirai it will be able to convert existing movies, TV shows and photos into a 4K resolution – which is a mammoth 3840 x 2160. Although there’s no footage on sale at that resolution it’s thought that the next version of Blu-Ray will be 4K compatible. Not only do you get 9 million pixels their engineers have squeezed in 10 separate speakers into the set to create virtual 5.1 surround sound.

There’s no word on pricing yet, but Sony says the KD-84X9005 will be out by the year’s end and will no doubt cost a small fortune – still, its nice to dream.

Sony Xperia T

The Xperia T is Sony’s latest flagship handset and because of that label it’s packing some serious specs; there’s a 4.6-inch HD Reality display powered once again by their mobile Bravia engine, it has an impressive 1280×720 screen and comes with special shatterproof glass.

Somehow Sony has managed to cram in a 13 megapixel rear camera that goes from sleep to snap in under a second. You’ll be able to shoot in 1080p on the rear camera and take video calls in 720p via the front facing camera.

The new handset comes with a host of clever technologies including an NFC chip, which alongside Sony’s ‘One-Touch’ software will allow you share photos, videos and just about anything you can think of just by touching handsets.

Other juicy specs include Playstation certification, a 1.5 Ghz processor, Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream) and the handset comes in black, silver and white.

Dell All-in-one XPS

Dell is gearing up for the launch of Windows 8 in a couple of months and their new all-in-one Windows 8 computer is aimed squarely at early adopters. While Dell actually launched its 27-inch all-in-one XPS early this year their latest version comes with a few new party pieces; a touchscreen and a new tilt stand meaning it can be used at varying angles from upright to almost flat.

Dell has gone to great lengths to make sure their new all-in-one is a powerhouse. It features an as yet unspecified Intel i7 processor, 2TB of storage, Nvidia GeForce GT 640M and 8GB of RAM.

As well as a killer specs list the new XPS all-in-one comes with an impressive screen boasting 2560 x 1,4440 resolution – while it’s still a way off Apple’s latest Retina displays, it is on par with its main rival the iMac. The screen comes with touch capabilities and is able to recognise 10 individual fingers.

The Dell XPS One 27 Touch UK and US release date is set for late October to coincide with the launch of Windows 8.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Samsung has unveiled their latest Android-based smartphone at this yesterday’s IFA and as many had expected it’s the sequel to the Galaxy Note. The Note was originally launched at last year’s show and its only fitting that IFA got the sequel.

The Note 2 comes with a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD screen (0.2-inches bigger than the last) and has a mammoth specs list which means this is easily the most powerful phone on the market. Throw in a stylus pen, which has been given a bevy of fancy new tricks, and you’ve got a phone that has almost every base covered when it comes to functionality.

On the inside there’s a quad-core Exynos processor that has been clocked at an eye-watering 1.6GHz and is flanked by a healthy 2GB of RAM to keep things ticking along nicely. It’s so fast it runs rings around almost every Android phone available and even makes the S3 look positively lumbering.

The note comes with some great hardware too as the smartphone will sport an 8-megapixel back camera with an LED flash plus a decent 1.9-megapixel camera on the front for video calls. The Note 2 also has many of the great features from its slimmer brother the Samsung Galaxy S3 with camera features such as Best Photo, Best Faces and Low-light Shot all on the Note 2, plus video playback formatting for MKV and 1080p movies plus most other video and image formats.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will also come with NFC connectivity and 4G connection functionality (currently not known if this is for the UK or not!) plus standard features such as Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0 and Wi-Fi. The phone measures 80.5 x 151.1 x 9.4mm and weighs just 180g with a large 3,100mAh standard li-ion battery.

HP SprectreXT Touchsmart Ultrabook

Windows 8 has been designed to be a touchy, feely operating system – so over the next 6 months you should expect to see a shed load of new laptops which combine touchscreens with Windows 8.

Well, that’s exactly what HP has planned with it’s bizarrely named SprectreXT Touchsmart Ultrabook, which combines a multi-touch display, massive processing power, and a suite of software to keep you busy.

The SpectreXT comes with a 15.6-inch touch screen housed in a smooth, all metal design which sees the screen go edge-to-edge with a sloping design on the bottom of the chasis. The lower chassis has a tapered design, reminiscent of a MacBook Air. At its thinnest it measures 17.9 mm, with the entire laptop weighing in at just 4.77 pounds.

The SpectreXT is HP’s first Ultrabook that comes with Intel’s Thunderbolt port, it can be used for super-fast file transfers and can even be used to connect a second monitor. Elsewhere you’ll get a Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and HDMI ports and the processor is a 3rd-generation Intel i5 Core.

To sweaten the deal, HP is a throwing in a raft of essential pieces of software and support packages. You’ll get a full version of Adboe Photoshop, Premiere Elements 10 and a year of Absolute Data Protect. There’s a years worth of Norton Internet Security and the HP SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook also includes 90 days of complimentary HP SmartFriend Setup Service to help you get setup.

The HP SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook is set to ship this December, with models starting at $1,399.

Samsung Galaxy Camera

Clearly Samsung thinks it’s onto a winner with their Galaxy range of products, so much so they’ve basically bolted their Galaxy S3 onto a digital camera – it might sound like a rather strange collaboration, but when you lay eyes on the Samsung Galaxy Camera it becomes apparent it’s a marriage made in digital heaven.

The resulting combo boasts a 16 million CMOS sensor, 4.1-86.1 mm f/2.8-5.9 lens – on the front there’s a stunning buttonless 4.8-inch touchscreen, boasting a resolution of 1280 x 720.

Most of the camera’s clever controls are accessed through a user interface baked into Android 2.3. And thanks to its phone heritage, the Galaxy Camera includes 3G and Wi-Fi, so you can snap and share images.

This year’s IFA show was a cacophony of tablets that want to be latops and laptops that want to be tablets. Toshiba’s slide ‘n fold Satellite U920t one of the many that caught our eye.

The U920t comes with a 12.5-inch TruBrite IPS HD touchscreen display, capable of recognising 5 fingers. There’s up to 256GB hard disk, 8GB of RAM and the usual bevy of expansions and ports including: a HDMI, SD slot, 2 x USB 3.0 ports as well as Intel’s Wireless Display (WiDi) capability. The device measures 326.5mm x 213mm by 19.9mm thick and weight starts from 1.45kg.

The Satellite U920T also features two integrated cameras: a 1MP front-facing camera with an Ambient Light Sensor, and a 3MP rear-facing camera with Auto Focus. In addition to the scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass, the U920t also includes Intel Sensor Solution, allowing users to take advantage of games and applications by making use of a 3D acceleration sensor, magnetometer, gyroscope and ambient light sensor.

The Satellite U920T will be available in Q4 2012.

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- who has written 609 posts on UK Gadget and Tech News, Reviews and Shopping.

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