It's an entirely different kind of gadget lust felt when you know that the thing you're drooling over is dogged by the horrid words "Europe Only," or "U.S. release details pending." Here at PopSci, we get that a lot, but never is it more palpable than the one time a year we cross the pond for the annual IFA electronics smorgasbord in Berlin.
This year's IFA is just wrapping up, which means it's time to look back on the whirlwind of the last few days: what looked great, what didn't, what got us excited, and which technologies we're most excited about. The big themes this year were convergence, new ideas about 3-D, and thin everything--two of those three are represented in the Samsung Galaxy Note pictured above. Stay 'til the end for a couple show-floor sights that turned more than a couple heads.
Taking a unique approach to device convergence, Samsung has chosen not to incorporate a phone into a tablet, or even a phone that clips into a computer. The Korean electronics company today announced a device that guides the smartphone and tablet together, meeting in the middle. The 5.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Note may at first glance appear to be a bloated Galaxy smartphone, but with the inclusion of a stylus and a totally new type of screen, Samsung claims the Note will take its place as the only device you'll ever need.
This is the week of the Internationale Funkausstellung (er, International Consumer Electronics Show) in Berlin, which is pretty much just what it sounds like. It's one whopping, European CES. The trouble with IFA for us on the State-side, though, is that a lot of companies forget one key thing: the magical Internet can cross water. Because of that, a lot of "new product announcements" are "things we have already seen," so it takes a little more effort (and flexing what's left of my undergrad German skillz) to figure out what's worth paying attention to.
Over the last two days, the IFA press preview has kicked up some real goodies -- even before the show floor opens to the public today. IFA '09 has already shown us a real taste of how our home theaters will look in the next half-decade, laptops on serious diets, and a couple cool new toys.