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

But getting onboard these new trends come at a cost

By , IDG News Service |  

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.

Here are some of most interesting trends at IFA 2012 and the products they have spawned:


LG Electronics, Sony and a number of other vendors all showed so-called 4K TVs, which increase the resolution from the current 1,920-by-1,080 pixels to 3,840-by-2,160 pixels. The term 4K comes from the horizontal resolution.

To take full advantage of the format a big TV is needed, which the TV manufacturers have realized. The screen on Sony's XBR-84X900 measures 84 inches, as does LG's UD (Ultra Definition) 3D TV.

But despite how beautiful the carefully-selected video clips looked on the show floor, there are a few obstacles, including price. LG's TV will cost about US$22,000 when it starts to roll out in North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America starting in September. There's also a lack native 4K content to watch, which will make it even harder for the technology to take off in the near future.

Hybrid tablets

IFA 2012 was definitely the coming out party for tablets based on Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems, which have been developed with tablets in mind. The Windows 8 tablets use Intel processors and the Windows RT devices use processors from ARM.

The PC vendors seem to believe that tablets need a keyboard that can be folded away when not in use or detached when not needed. An example of the latter premiered with Microsoft's Surface tablets, and is also used by Samsung Electronics' ATIV Smart PC, Asus Vivo Tab and Hewlett-Packard's Envy X2. Besides the form factor, the products also have the same screen size, 11.6 inches.

What they will cost when they ship later this year is still a mystery, although Samsung said that in Sweden its ATIV Smart PC will list at 6,400 kronor ($950) excluding tax.

All-in-one PCs

While there were many tablets based on Windows 8 there were also a lot of all-in-one PCs, including new families from Lenovo and Samsung, and products from Toshiba and Acer.

For example, Lenovo's IdeaCentre B340 and B345 will come with 21.5-inch, high-definition touch displays. Users will be able to scroll documents, browse the Web or flip between pictures and movies using various touch gestures.

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