Consumer virtual reality is coming of age, at least Samsung thinks it is, and a tie-in with Facebook-owned Oculus and the new Samsung Gear VR for the Galaxy Note 4 is how it will deliver it. The head-mounted display is, as the rumors suggested, an adapter to turn a smartphone into a 3D wearable; I tried the system on for size at Samsung Unpacked 2014.
Samsung isn't short on smartwatches, but the Gear S is something a little different. Wrapping a 2.2-inch curved Super AMOLED touchscreen around your wrist is one thing, but the Gear S also includes a 3G connection for use away from a smartphone. I grabbed some hands-on time at Samsung Unpacked at IFA 2014, where the Gear S has shown up alongside the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge.
The stylus has redeemed itself, and it has Samsung to thank for that. The South Korean company has been hammering away at its S Pen technology since 2011, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the latest result of that work. Hardly a surprise in Berlin this week - its three generations of forebears each arrived at pre-IFA show - the Note 4 nonetheless has plenty to prove. Read on for my first impressions.
Samsung promised curved OLED in a big way, and the Galaxy Note Edge delivers, taking the new Note 4 and bending the edge of its display for an altogether unusual approach to phablets. Building on the curved Super AMOLED concept Samsung showed off last year, the Note Edge turns its right bezel into a touchscreen ticker. Question remains, is this a revolution in form-factor or just a gimmick?
ASUS has revealed the ZenWatch, the company's first Android Wear wearable, headed to stores in Q4 for under $200. Following Samsung and LG in using a square face - in this case a 1.63-inch 320 x 320 AMOLED touchscreen - the ZenWatch borrows some of the more premium materials you might more commonly associate with traditional watches, like a leather strap, rose-gold-colored casing, and curved glass.
Your GPS can get you where you need to go, but what about when you don’t know where that is? Garmin’s nuvi GPS devices are already wonderful, and their newly introduced advanced series take it a step further. By tapping into Foursquare, and a new Direct Access feature, your Garmin can tell you where you should be heading, no matter what it is you want to do.
There’s a miniature Chromebox coming your way this upcoming season made by Acer. It’s called the Acer Chromebox CXI, and it can work with or without a fancy Acer monitor. You do need some sort of monitor to work with it, and a keyboard, and a mouse.
Along with a variety of notebooks and other oddities Acer’s revealed this week comes a couple of neat new tablets. One is the Acer Iconia Tab 8 W, the other is the Acer Iconia Tab 10. The first works with Windows 8.1, the other works with Android. There’s also an expanded Acer Iconia One tablet with an 8-inch display.
Earlier this year we got our hands on the Acer Aspire Switch 10 - now the device has been rebooted with a new Full HD display at IFA 2014. Alongside this new device, the Acer Aspire Switch 11 has been revealed. These devices will both be available this Autumn.
Just as the Acer R 13 line brings on six positions of transformation, the Acer R 14 line provides four. This is a slightly more "traditional" transforming notebook - that’s a thing now - with a body that works with 360-degrees of freedom. One hinge, folding back as far as you please.
This week Acer has revealed two new notebook lines, the Acer R 13 Series and the Acer R 14 Series, both of them coming with convertible form-factors. This means that the notebooks don’t just open and close, they convert from one usability structure to the other. The first Acer R 13 model, for example, works with an Exel Aero hinge, bringing on a "U-frame structure" which allows its user to fold the device into six different modes.