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IFA show Berlin 2012, Five top pieces of business tech: Technology

Five top pieces of business tech from the IFA show

By Oliver Milman
Thursday, 06 September 2012

Feature-Android-TomTom-thumbThe falling cost in technology has been widely credited for lowering the barriers to entry for new start-ups.


But to stay at the forefront of innovation, start-ups have to weigh up whether to invest significant sums of money in the latest tech devices that claim to boost productivity, save time and improve communication.


The annual IFA show in Berlin, which finished up yesterday, calls itself the largest consumer electronics showcase in the world.


A raft of tech businesses showed up to unveil their latest gadgets, ranging from internet-enabled cameras to gargantuan TV screens, many of which are yet to be released.


But which of the devices on show would be handy for busy Australian entrepreneurs?


We’ve picked out five pieces of tech that are likely to catch the eye of start-ups in the future:



1. Samsung Galaxy Note 2




Samsung may have been hit with a whopping $1 billion fine for infringing Apple’s smartphone and tablet patents, but it hasn’t stopped the company from rolling out new products.


It is pinning some of its hopes on a bigger, better version of its Galaxy Note smartphone, which was unveiled to an expectant crowd at IFA.


The second iteration will be of interest to on-the-move entrepreneurs – it has a longer 5.5 inch display, has twice as much RAM as its predecessor at 2GB, has longer battery life and uses Google’s new Jelly Bean software platform.


It has a new stylus hidden within its body to tap away at spread sheets or diary appointments. The stylus even allows you to preview items by tapping on them and save them by drawing around them.


The screen is sharp and the processor is speedy. The large size of the phone will draw odd looks if you hold it to your face for calls, but reviewers confirm that it can still fit within your pocket (unless you’re a skinny jeans kind of person).


Click here for the official website.


2. Sony Vaio Duo 11




A reoccurring theme of this year’s IFA is the move towards hybrid tablet/laptop devices that offer practical keyboards as well as touchscreens.


Dell’s XPS 10 is a handy option, but eyes were most drawn to Sony’s well-known Vaio brand. The new Duo device looks like a standard laptop until you slide the screen down on top of the keyboard, turning it into a tablet.


The device has a stylus, Windows Pro 8 installed as standard, and although it weighs a not insignificant 1.3kg, it is just 17.85mm thin in its tablet mode.


The Duo won’t be released until October, with pricing information yet to be released.


Click here for the official website.


3. Sony Vaio Tap 20




Sony took the hybrid trend a step further still at IFA with its Tap 20 offering, a huge slab of a tablet that appears to be some sort of tech answer to the coffee table book.


The 20-inch display screen weighs a hefty 5.25kg. It comes with a battery and has a kickstand if you prefer to prop it up rather than lug it around like a tablet from table to over-sized table.


Powered by Windows 8, this beast has 10 connectivity points, 4GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive.


It appears that Sony are planning to pitch this device at families, but IFA attendees have reported that the Tap 20 would fit snugly onto workstations in the office and prove a useful collaborative tool in meetings.


Click here for the official website.


4. Panasonic 145-inch 8K Super Hi Vision TV




Forget High Definition – Super Hi Definition is now at the cutting edge of screen visuals, as demonstrated by Panasonic’s monster new TV.


If presentations are a key component of your business, then screens such as Panasonic’s will be the kind that lead the way in the next few years.


Review site TechRadar says the gigantic screen provides a “jaw-dropping…almost IMAX-like experience” for those gazing upon its crisp pixels.


It’s expected the TV will carry a hefty price tag, but if you really want to wow potential clients or investors, your presentations will struggle to look shabby on this device.


Click here for the official website.


5. TomTom for Android




It may have been placed firmly in the shade by Google Maps in recent years, but TomTom made a valiant attempt to get back on businesses’ radars (pardon the pun) at IFA.


The Dutch firm introduced its new Android GPS location app at the tech conference, combining all of its navigation features in one place.


There’s an HD traffic update component, an intelligent route decider – which plots ways around known traffic jams – and a speed camera locator. It remains to be seen if this new app will keep TomTom in mind for travelling business people.


Click here for the official website.


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