We're still sorting through all the gadgets that were released at last week's IFA electronics conference in Berlin (there were a lot), but we already have a few favorites on the horizon. Check out these five gadgets that we can't wait to get our hands on in the coming months!
If you're on the hunt for a low-cost tablet, look no further than the $200 Lenovo IdeaPad A1. This seven-inch Android 2.3-running tablet will be stocked with an A8 processor, dual cameras (the rear said to be 3MP), and have 8GB of on-board memory. There will be a few other versions to choose from — 16GB at $249 and 32GB for $299 — but since you'll have expandable SD memory on all models, upgrading for more storage will be pretty simple.
The A1 will be WiFi-only, but you'll be able to download apps from the Android Market or the Lenovo app market. The bright blue backing puts it at risk for looking cheap, but according to those who've already had some hands-on time with the A1 say that it's got some pretty solid construction.
Recognizing the changing ways consumers are using point-and-shoot cameras, Samsung has introduced the MultiView MV800 digital camera ($280), which comes armed with a three-inch-wide flip-out display. Flip the LCD touchscreen out 180 degrees to expertly frame a self-portrait shot. Adjusting the screen also allows for more graceful low-angle shots on the ground without crouching down and high-angle shots far above your line of sight.
With 16.1 megapixels, 5X optical zoom, 26mm wide-angle lens, and HD video technology, image quality is likely to match the cool body of the camera. The camera packs tons of photo software in its slim body as well. Activate the camera's live panorama by holding down the shutter and capturing a scene; instantly, see the panoramic results. In addition to basic in-camera editing and touch-up functions, there are photo add-ons like Magic Frame, which features 12 templates that place faces in images. One option is adding a friend's face to a panda bear body —a bit random, but it could be fun. The Funny Face feature bends or warps images and Smart Filter 3.0 adds effect filters to a picture, no smartphone app necessary.
Samsung is on a roll at the IFA conference this week, not only announcing a pair of tablets but also a huge new smartphone called the Samsung Galaxy Note. The massive 5.3-inch screen is the biggest we've seen on a mobile phone, but the Note could also double as a tiny tablet to run alongside Samsung's seven-inch and 10-inch Galaxy Tabs.
As mentioned above, the Galaxy Note comes with a 5.3-inch, HD Super AMOLED screen. Since the size will allow users to do more, the Note has an included stylus — called the S Pen — to make writing notes, sending emails, and drawing digital art easier. The Note will be backed with a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and HSPA＋ and LTE connectivity for fast upload and download speeds. Though the Note may look like a small tablet, it's not running Android's tablet-optimized Honeycomb OS. Instead, it's packed with Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
Additional features include dual cameras (an 8MP rear facing and 2MP forward facing) and can capture and play back 1080p HD-quality video images. It also comes with optional NFC technology, so you'll be ready for mobile payments once they're more widely accepted.
Get a look at the Note in action in the demo video below, and then tell me — would you carry a 5.3-inch smartphone?