Tagged With ifa 2016

Kaby Lake, Intel's latest processor family, wasn't supposed to exist. Earlier this year Intel announced the end of its well-known tick-tock release schedule, whereby it trots out a new processor every September. The tick is the shrinking and improvements of the current microarchitecture, while the tock is a whole new architecture. Instead last year's "tock", Skylake, was going to hang around a while, with no new "tick" in sight.

Lenovo's Yoga Book is, hands down, the most interesting and innovative gadget that I got hands-on time with at the IFA 2016 trade show in Berlin this week, at an event where everything purports to be innovative. In the same way that the original Microsoft Surface Pro revolutionised the hybrid tablet-laptop world, the Yoga Book is the next evolution of that, with a keyboard that isn't a keyboard but instead an entirely touch-sensitive panel.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

We've all struggled with dodgy Wi-Fi at home. It's really hard to find a decent router -- even an expensive and powerful one -- that can cover every room, nook and cranny of your house with fast and more importantly reliable wireless. That's usually because your router sits in one place, likely near the front of your house where your internet connection is. Netgear's new Orbi router, though, has dedicated Wi-Fi satellites that evenly distribute fast wireless over a dedicated network.

Ever since LCD TVs hit the scene about 10 years ago, we've seen small and incremental changes -- better backlighting, higher quality panels. The last couple of years has been tumultuous, though, and 4K is now a thing (you'd be silly to buy a TV without it). With that done, TV makers are back to the minor iterative updates. But it's 2016, and even those updates are pretty damn cool.

Over the past few years, Sony has repositioned itself not as just a middling peddler of TVs and Blu-ray players and home audio gadgets like soundbars and Bluetooth speakers, but also the mass market leader in high resolution, super high quality personal audio devices. It's something the company has had credentials in since the original '70s Walkman, which genuinely revolutionised portable music in a way that wasn't equaled until the iPod.

Now, in 2016, at the 70th anniversary of Sony, the latest Walkman is the pinnacle of quality. That has culminated in a digital audio player that will cost you $4299 in Australia -- and that's before you buy an equally high quality and equally expensive pair of headphones.

Sphere's BB-8 bot was one of the coolest toys to come out of the Star Wars: Force Awakens glut last year. It was a minuature version of the little dude from the movie, but controlled by your phone (and hackable via Sphero's other apps). But now the BB-8 bot is all grungy looking and can be controlled with the FORCE.

At a press conference in Seoul, Samsung has confirmed that it will recall around a million Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones that have been sold to consumers and shipped to retailers around the world. 50,000 Galaxy Note7 owners in Australia -- will join a massive recall conducted over potential battery fire risks.

The average GPS satnav is a boring rectangular affair that will stick out like a sore thumb if you tried to mount one to a scooter. But just because you drive a curvaceous classic Vespa doesn't mean you won't ever get lost, so TomTom has created an adorable circular satnav designed to complement your scooter.

High-resolution audio purportedly provides a vastly superior listening experience to the highly compressed MP3s we've all been downloading for years. Convincing people to ditch their massive music collections and carry around a separate high-res player hasn't been easy for Sony, but surely high-res audio adoption will now skyrocket thanks to this new $US3680 ($4869) gold-plated Walkman, right?

If you've got a lot of movie and TV files floating around your computer you're doing a disservice to your free time by not installing Plex. It's a gamechanger app that lets you instantly stream all your media to any phone, computer or TV in your vicinity. Originally an offshoot of the popular XBMC (now Kodi) media player, Plex operates as a server that delivers your content, be it downloaded TV shows, ripped DVDs of movies or old family videos, to clients that operate on every single device that plugs into your TV or has a screen. It's simple to use, available on everything and ridiculously handy for people with large media libraries.

The DJI Osmo is an amazingly powerful videography tool for the smartphone generation, incorporating multiple-axis stabilisation and a dedicated 4K camera. But if you don't need 4K, or if you're more concerned with Snapchat than you are with Tropfest, then the Osmo Mobile is your new go-to -- it's a "smartphone extension" with three-axis gimbal stabilisation and smooth panning control. Y'know, like a selfie stick if you fed the selfie stick those pills from Limitless.

In Australia, we love soundbars -- they're compact, but offer sound quality that's a massive step ahead of even the best TVs' integrated speaker systems. New advances in surround sound like Dolby Atmos don't play well with all-in-one soundbar designs, though, which is why Samsung's new K950 soundbar has wireless rear speakers, and 15 different internal speaker drivers across the surround setup, some of which bounce sound off your ceiling.

Samsung's seventh Gear S device is its most refined by a long, long way -- and Samsung finally thinks it's a timepiece every bit as good at being a watch as it is a smartwatch. Taking the fight directly back to the Apple Watch -- expected by some to be re-launched in a couple of days at Apple's iPhone 7 event -- the Gear S3 now supports Samsung Pay, has the toughest glass watchface yet, and includes built-in GPS for accurate fitness tracking.