Gadgets of the month: the IFA 2012 edition

31 Aug 2012

Miss IFA, mascot of IFA 2012

With IFA 2012 taking place as we speak, the biggest gadget news this month has come out over the last few days. Here we look at new products from five of the biggest names in tech covering all sorts of devices, from digital cameras to laptops to speakers to TV sets.

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Is it a smartphone? Is it a camera? It’s the Samsung Galaxy Camera

Samsung had a lot to announce at IFA 2012, and not just the new Galaxy Note II or a range of Windows 8-powered devices. The South Korean company also unveiled its Galaxy Camera, a digital camera powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and a quad-core processor.

Samsung Galaxy Camera

The smart camera comes with a 21x optical zoom lens, 16MP BSI CMOS sensor and a HD LCD. It can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi and users can download apps via Google Play, for image editing sharing or even to do things that have nothing to do with photography, like check your email or play a game.

Samsung Galaxy Camera

The Galaxy Camera can be controlled using the buttons, 4.8-inch touchscreen display or even voice control for zooming and shooting. It comes with 35 photo-editing tools and a Movie Wizard for editing video. The Smart Content Manager intelligently creates folders, tags faces and even suggest deletions, while Auto Cloud Backup automatically saves photos to the cloud via Samsung’ s AllShare service.

Sony’s more user-friendly 3D projector

Sony is another brand that has launched a slew of new products at IFA 2012, including this full-HD 3D home projector. The VPL-HW50ES is available in black or white and claims to deliver a cinema-style 3D experience to your home. A full 30pc brighter than its predecessor, the VPL-HW50ES calls on Sony’s latest 3D technology to deliver clear, rich images in a more user-friendly device that comes with a built-in 3D transmitter, wider lens shift and minimal noise output.


The VPL-HW50ES will be available across Europe from the end of October.

Dell’s new Windows convertibles

Dell has expanded its XPS line-up with two new convertible tablets built on a new Windows 8/RT stategy.

The ARM-powered 10-inch XPS 10 runs on Windows RT and comes with a full-featured dock. It also claims to have a long battery life of up to 20 hours.

Dell XPS 10

The XPS Duo 12 convertible ultrabook packs a full-HD screen with 97pc more pixels than a standard HD display. The flip-hinge design makes for easy transition from laptop to tablet, which is likely to run on Windows 8.

Dell XPS Duo 12

Both devices will be available at the end of October.

Logitech UE remakes a classic

Logitech UE’s new Boombox speaker is a hark back to the ghettoblasters of days gone by with an aluminium handle for carrying it around (along with a strip of lino, if you’re feeling truly eighties). The wireless speaker runs on a rechargeable battery that gives about six hours of audio playback and it can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet from up to 50 feet away.

Logitech UE Boombox

The Boombox can be paired with up to eight other devices via Bluetooth and up to three can connect to it simultaneously. It will be available in September at a suggested retail price of €249.99.

Panasonic unveils largest ever LED TV

And finally, IFA 2012 saw the unveiling of Panasonic’s largest ever LED TV, the Smart VIERA TX-L60ET5, a 60-inch screen with polarised 3D and 500Hz backlight scanning. The smart TV is only 1.5 inches deep with a slim metal bezel, and comes with an A+ energy rating that will save on electricity bills.

Panasonic Smart VIERA 60-inch

Special glasses are required for 3D viewing and four pairs are provided with the TV, which can apparently transform even 2D images into 3D viewing.

The new Smart VIERA can be controlled by the Smart VIERA Remote app, which can also act as a game-pad or a tool to swipe and share images or movies from a mobile device to the TV screen. It also comes with four HDMI terminals and a web browser that supports HTML5.

Vodafone IrelandGadgets of the Month is made possible by Vodafone Ireland 

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.