V3 was at IFA in Berlin this week where major manufacturers including Sony and Samsung unveiled flagship products that will hit the market in time for Christmas.
We've rounded up some of the highlights and lowlights from Berlin, where we saw everything from Sony chief executive lay down the gauntlet to Apple and Samsung as well as Ford unveiling its cloud-connected concept car.
5. Lenovo offers unique alternatives to MacBook Air and iPad 2
Lenovo sneaked under the radar to deliver some exciting products – including its high-performance U300s ultrabook and a budget Android tablet.
The U300s is touted as being a MacBook Air killer, and we were intrigued by the unique book-shaped design, which gives it a thickness of 14.9mm from edge-to-edge. Not only that but the 13.3in device features the second-generation Intel Core processors, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and up to 256GB of SSD storage.
Meanwhile, the IdeaPad Tablet A1 is a budget 7in running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and featuring a Cortex A8 1GHz processor. With a price of $199, and with unique features such as offline-GPS navigation, the tablet could possibly find a niche in the market, considering that cut-price HP TouchPads went down a storm.
4. Sony Reader Wi-Fi impresses
In an attempt to take the fight to the phenomenally popular Amazon Kindle, Sony refreshed its range, adding crucial functionality to its Reader device.
The 6in Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T1) was beautifully crafted and weighed in at 168g and with a thickness of 8.9mm. We were very impressed by how light and comfortable it was to hold, and the touch screen made it easier to use than the Kindle.
As the name suggests, Wi-Fi functionality is a key addition, but Sony has also struck a deal with Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling to integrate with the forthcoming Pottermore web site. This looks like a shrewd business move that could help boost the popularity of its device with younger readers.
3. Stringer keynote
Sony has spent a large part of 2011 in the headlines for the wrong reasons, so it was refreshing to see Sir Howard Stringer, chief executive of Sony, acknowledge the firm's turbulent time in a lighthearted manner.
Turning serious, Stringer also took direct swipes at Apple and Samsung and signalled Sony's plan to dominate the tablet market. However, with many high-profile manufacturers such as Dell and HP struggling to make an impact in the mobile market, it will be interesting to see if Stringer will have to eat his words this time next year.
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