From new ultra-light and super-thin notebooks to TVs you can draw on and designer 3D glasses, the coolest tech toys and latest gadgets were on grand display this month at the IFA technology fair in Berlin. Technology companies have high hopes for these new products.
Click ahead to see 10 of the coolest tech toys for 2012.
Launched at IFA 2011, Samsung's Galaxy 7.7 Tablet is 7.89 millimeters thin and weighs only 12 ounces (335 grams). It incorporates the company's “Super AMOLED Plus” display technology, which it says delivers “brilliant, high-contrast colors and a beautiful, crisp viewing experience.” The device has a battery that provides up to 10 hours of video playback time, Samsung says.
With a 7.7-inch screen, as the name suggests, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 features a 1.4GHz dual core processor and is available in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB.
The Galaxy Tab 7.7 also features access to Samsung’s Music Hub service, which offers 15 million songs for preview, download, and play. The Readers Hub service features a library filled with more than 2.3 million books, 2,000 newspapers, and 3,000 magazines in up to 49 languages, Samsung says.
However, the Galaxy 7.7’s promotional run at IFA was shorter than expected, as a German court ordered the company on Sept. 2—in the middle of the electronics show—to stop promoting the device in the country. The reason? An ongoing patent war with Apple.
Also launched at IFA 2011, Samsung's Galaxy Note has a 5.3 inch display, the largest screen size available among smartphones. This means less scrolling and screen transitions, Samsung says.
PowerPoint presentations, web pages, news apps, and e-books can be viewed with minimal scrolling or zooming, according to the company. The “pen-input technology,” called the S Pen, allows users to draw and send handwritten images and notes via text message, email, and instant messaging.
LG's mouse has a built-in scanner, which the company says will "open a new era for scanners."
Users will click the Smart Scan button on the left side of the mouse, then swipe it over the material to be scanned. The scanned image can then be saved in a variety of file types, or dragged and dropped into a document or application, LG says. LG's Optical Character Recognition technology converts scanned text into a Microsoft Word document that can then be edited as required. The 2-in-1 device can scan page sizes up to A3, larger than most conventional portable scanners, according to LG.
Easily the most futuristic-looking among devices launched at IFA, Sony's head-mounted "Personal 3D Viewer” is slipped onto your head to give the experience of a movie theater-like virtual screen, Sony says. The device has separate panels for the left and right eye in order to display independent HD picture quality to each eye, resulting in 3D vision, according to Sony. Aimed at gamers and film fans, it comes with built-in surround-sound headphones.
Toshiba's 3D televisions, launched in Europe at IFA on Friday, create the illusion of depth without the need to wear special glasses by sending images of different perspectives to the right eye and others to the left eye.
Want to look cool watching 3D TV? A range of designer 3D glasses by the likes of Lacoste and Calvin Klein is available. Pricing is similar to that of a regular pair of designer glasses, but with a curved lens, the glasses are suited to 3D viewing.
Just 12.2mm slim, the Cyber-shot TX55 is the world’s thinnest camera. It captures 16.2 megapixel still images and full HD video. The camera’s back panel has an 8.3cm/3.3 inch touch-screen for showing off photos and movie clips.
It also features 3D shooting options. By pressing the shutter button once, the camera grabs a pair of frames in quick succession, estimating depth to create a three-dimensional still image.
Panasonic unveiled its new Viera television range, which includes technology that converts 2D images to 3D.
Technology companies argue that the relative scarcity of 3D content is delaying its adoption. As a result, they are incorporating technology that can convert 2D images into 3D format for TV sets. LG demonstrated a 2D-to-3D game converter at the IFA fair.
"Small- and medium-sized game companies will be able to offer 3D versions of their existing 2D games without major investments in human resources, cost, or time," LG said.
This TV can be connected to a computer. Users then activate the “PenTouch” mode on the remote control. In PenTouch mode, users can access files created on their PCs and manipulate them, edit them, or move them around the screen.
Pen batteries can be recharged through USB ports on the TV or PC. Using PenTouch software, which is provided with the TV, users can draw pictures directly onto the screen and then save the files for further editing. Alternatively, users can try to play a game of Angry Birds using the Pentouch.
The LG PenTouch TV uses a scratch-resistant glass screen and comes with a stand that has been designed to provide more stability when owners or their children are using the PenTouch feature, LG says.
Toshiba unveiled its Portégé Z830 Ultrabook devices at IFA, one of several tech giants to launch a new super portable notebook. Weighing about 2.5 pounds (1.12 kg) and less than a half-inch (15.9 mm) thick, the devices will be available during the fourth quarter of 2011 in Europe.
Acer's Aspire S3 launched at IFA and will go on sale in September. It resumes in 1.5 seconds and features large hard drive capacity. Acer says it connects to the Internet in 2.5 seconds and adds that the device’s "high-efficiency" battery requires less charging, making it more appealing for environmentally conscious buyers.