EVERY September, the luminaries of the tech world (minus Apple) gather in an exhibition hall in Berlin to launch their must-have products. IFA is perceived as the world’s leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances and showcases new phones, TVs, laptops and several other gadgets from the world’s best firms. Among the various products launched at IFA 2014, we would like to take a look at the latest laptops/hybrid tablets.
Acer Aspire R 13 and R 14
THE Aspire Aspire R 13 features a 13.3-inch, Gorilla Glass 3-equipped display that rests on what Acer calls an Ezel Aero Hinge, which allows it to rotate 180 degrees and into six different positions. You’ll be able to choose between a full-HD (1920 x 1080) or HD (1366 x 768) display, along with a choice of Intel Core i5 or i7 processors for maximum grunt.
Other specs include up to a 1TB SSD with RAID-0 support backed up by 8GB of RAM, and an optional Active Stylus Pen with palm rejection for doodling and capturing screen content.
Asus Zenbook UX305
ASUS unveiled the Zenbook UX305, which it claims is the “world’s slimmest 13.3-inch QHD+ laptop”, measuring a svelte 12.3mm at its thickest point. It features a similar tapered wedge design to previous Zenbook models, and Asus hasn’t held back on the bling, fitting it with “diamond-cut metallic highlights”. It weighs 1.2kg and houses Intel’s new Core M processor with a 128GB or 256GB SSD for storage.
Lenovo Y70 Touch and Erazer X315
AS the name implies, the notebook houses a 17-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 touchscreen. Under the hood, the Y70 combines a quad-core Haswell-series Core i7 processor and up to 16GB of RAM and NVIDIA GTX 860M graphics chip, with a 4GB 860M GPU being the highest-end option. As for storage, you can opt for either a 256 SSD or a 1TB hybrid hard drive with 8GB of cache. Battery life, meanwhile, is rated at five hours
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
SONY’S sized-down slate is out to strike at the iPad mini, rocking an 8-inch full HD display and weighing a respectable 270 grams. In that small frame you’ll find a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM, LTE support, Android 4.4 KitKat, and up to 16GB of internal memory with an option to boost it to 128GB via microSD. On the back is an 8.1 MP camera, offering video recording at 1080p. Meanwhile you’ll have a 2.2 MP snapper on the front, which also gives 1080p for video chat.
Toshiba Chromebook 2
THE 13-inch Chrome OS laptop scores an all-new design that’s sharper, thinner, lighter and more angular than the original Toshiba Chromebook. Better yet, the new Chromebook 2 comes with an FHD option – that is, a 13.3-inch 1,920 x 1,080 IPS panel. And this time around, Toshiba roped in audio partner Skullcandy to specially tune this Chromebook’s speakers for deeper bass and more precision vocals.
Lenovo’s ThinkPad Helix
THE new Helix arrives later this fall with a thinner, fanless design, not to mention longer battery life. The other key specs — 400-nit (1080p) display, dual 5MP/2MP cameras.
It has an active digitizer for pressure-sensitive pen input. Best of all, it used proper laptop-grade processors, ensuring you’d get performance more in line with an Ultrabook than a standalone tablet. Other than that slimmer profile, the other big improvement is in battery life. The tablet now promises up to 12 hours with the keyboard dock, versus 10 on the original.
HP Envy X2 13
THE Envy X2 13 is HP’s answer to the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, with a tablet design paired with a cloth-covered keyboard cover that attaches with a minimalist magnetic latch. The Envy X2 13 has a 13.3-inch display, two built-in speakers, and up to 256GB SSD. There are full HD (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) resolution and front-firing speakers for better sound and the HP is using Intel’s fast-yet-efficient Core M processor.
Enter the new rugged CAT S50
CATERPILLAR, a company best known for making construction equipment, is launching a new smartphone called the S50. Cat’s new S50 smartphone is designed to be rugged. An 8 MP rear-facing camera is included, as is a front-facing VGA camera .
The main selling point of this device is its durability, which Cat promises to be IP67 certified dust- and waterproof. It’s completely dust tight, and able to block out water while immersed at up to one meter (3.3 ft). Additionally, the 4.7-inch touchscreen features wet finger tracking, which basically means that even if the screen or the finger of the user is wet, the capacitive screen will still be able to read touches and function normally. The screen is also made with shatter-resistant Gorilla Glass 3.
Moving away from the durability, Cat is additionally touting this as a phone that features solid specifications. To start, it has Android 4.4 KitKat installed, which is the latest version of the popular mobile OS. It also comes with an MSM 8926 Quad-core 1.2 GHz processor, which is on the upper-middle range of mobile chips. That’s powered by 2 GB of RAM, with 8 GB of internal storage for apps and other files.
An 8 MP rear-facing camera is also included, as is a front-facing VGA camera. Videos recorded on the rear camera feature a resolution up to 1080p/30 fps.
The Cat S50 smartphone includes an 8 MP rear-facing camera As for connectivity, the device features 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, and a microUSB port for charging. A 2,630-mAh battery is installed, and Cat promises that it will offer up to 16 hours of talk time.
While the S50 has full access to Google Play, Cat is also introducing its own curated app store, aptly named the Cat Phones App Store. With this, Cat promises over 1,000 apps that it thinks it users will find useful. Selections range from popular apps to lesser-known ones.happy wheels