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Hybrid tablets and 4K TVs top trends at IFA in Berlin

Mikael Ricknäs | Sept. 3, 2012
This year at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin vendors introduced and demonstrated a plethora of ultra-high resolution TVs, hybrid tablets based on Microsoft's upcoming operating systems, as well as the first device based on Windows Phone 8.

Windows 8 is due to start shipping on Oct. 26.


OLED (Organic Light-emitting Diode) technology holds the promise of exceptionally thin TVs and images that have better contrast ratio and less motion blur.

At IFA, LG and Samsung showed based on the technology. Both are capable of reproducing 3D content. Using a feature called Multi View, as well as glasses with integrated earphones, two people can watch two different shows at the same time on Samsung's ES9500.

On the show floor both sets produced great images, but as has been the case since OLED TVs first arrived the improvements come at a steep cost. costs around ¬9,000 (US$11,290) in Europe.


Integrated NFC (Near-Field Communications) is showing up in an increasing number of products including, at IFA, Samsung's ATIV Tablet, Sony's Xperia T smartphone and the Vaio Duo 11 hybrid tablet and Asus' Vivo Tab.

But the technology hasn't necessarily been included for making payments, which is the area that has received the most attention. Sony users will be able to touch their phone to new NFC-equipped speakers and headphones so that music jumps from playing on the device to the speakers or headphones.


IFA has never been a launch pad for the hottest smartphones, but there were still some interesting products at this year's show. Samsung announced the first smartphone that will run Windows Phone 8, the ATIV S which has a dual-core processor and a 4.8-inch HD screen.

Screen sizes above 4.5 inches is becoming standard on high-end smartphones, with the notable exception of the iPhone. At IFA, Sony announced its new flagship model, the Xperia T, has a 4.6-inch display and 13-megapixel camera.

On the lower end, HTC introduced the Desire X, which has a 1GHz dual-core processor and a 4-inch super-LCD screen with 800-by-480 pixel resolution. HTC hopes it can attract cost-conscious buyers with a camera that can shoot video and take still pictures at the same time.

Intel had a good show thanks to the launch of new hybrid tablets, but the company's smartphone push also took a small step forward with the introduction of the ZTE Grand X IN, which is powered by the Intel Atom Z2460. The smartphone has a 4.3-inch screen with 960-by-540 pixel resolution, as well as an 8-megapixel camera, support for HD Voice and an FM radio.




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