Better late than never: The best of IFA, 2014
From the waterproof Kobo Aura H2O, to the thinner than Macbook Air, Asus Zenbook UX305, one look at this photo essay of the products of IFA 2014 and you will know that only the best of the best have made it to this list, writes Rajiv Makhni.Updated: Oct 11, 2014 21:42 IST
Yes, this column is a few weeks late. I had the IFA 2014 Part One column out in record time (when the IFA was still on) and I had promised Part Two right after. But every single week was headlined by some serious breaking news in the world of tech.
Two new iPhones from Apple, plus the Apple watch release, then the Android One making world headlines, and right after BlackBerry with its radical Passport device. So, Part Two is a photo essay of all the other things at IFA 2014 and only the best of the best have made it to this list.
My favourite must-have from IFA. This Bluetooth keyboard has a great set of keys and can connect to three devices simultaneously. With a flick of a dial, you can type on a smartphone, a tablet or even your smart TV. And it works beautifully on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices too.
Archos Smart Beany
I love the idea. Clothing and tech should be cuddling up more in bed, but right now behave like absolute strangers. One of the exceptions is this: a Bluetooth-enabled beanie cap with built-in speakers. The only problem? Think of sticking that on your head in the Indian heat.
After the Vivofit, this is Garmin moving further into wrist grabbing space. This one tracks your fitness, alarm clocks you out of bed and keeps track of your sleep cycle. Pair with your phone to get notifications on calls, messages, calendar and email. Pity the battery life isn't like the Vivofit; that one goes more than six months without a need to get charged.
Kobo Aura H2O
I have no idea how many of you read in the shower, but if you do, then God was listening. The Aura H2O has a 6.8-inch screen, great contrast and is totally waterproof. Beach, pool, shower – you don't have to stop reading ever.
This is one of the better devices for professionals who don't want to be saddled with a boring, ho-hum, fat, ugly notebook. In its next generation, the Helix is more powerful and better looking and converting it from laptop to tablet is even more intuitive.
Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Toshiba Kira
This is the phone to wait for as it's a top-class package in an amazingly good-looking body. A stellar 6-inch display with a stunning 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution, an octa-core processor, LTE, a fingerprint scanner and a 13MP camera.
Rumour has it that the price in India is going to be jaw dropping. Hopefully that's because it's very well priced, not because it's too expensive.
Pronounce Kira as you would Meera. The Kira is a marquee product that aims straight at the Macbook Air.
A 13-inch 2560 x 1440 touchscreen panel, fourth generation Intel processor, 8GB of RAM, a backlit keyboard and DTS Studio sound technology. And all of this encased in a stunning piece of all-metal body work.
Huawei Ascend Mate 7
Asus Zen Watch
This is an all-stainless steel, thin, beautifully built watch. It curves to adapt to your wrist and comes with stitched leather straps. The insides are all Android-wear-enabled and it has more than a 100 different clock faces too. Definitely one of the more serious contenders for smartwatch of the year.
Asus Zenbook UX305
This was called the best notebook of IFA 2014 and for good reason too. It's much thinner than the Macbook Air at just 12.3mm and has a record-breaking 3200 x 1800 pixel resolution. It comes with a fast SSD and is the first off the block with the new Core M Intel chip. All thin and light notebooks will now be compared to this one for the rest of the year.
Alcatel Hero 2
The Hero was one of the best products at IFA 2013 and the Hero 2 is again in contention. It's a great phone with a fantastic screen and comes with two accessories in the box. An E-card and a remote control that can do 5-in-1 duty. Should be in India in another month.
3 new Lumias
Microsoft (yes, Microsoft not Nokia) launched three new devices just outside IFA. The Lumia 830 has a 5-inch screen, a quad-core processor and a 10MP PureView camera. Then comes the made-for-selfies, Lumia 730 with a 5MP front camera that really does take great front shots. And then there's Lumia 930 – a powerful device with a 5-inch full-HD screen and a 20MP PureView camera.
Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3
From HT Brunch, October 12
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First Published: Oct 10, 2014 19:13 IST