ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

The Coolest Tech From The IFA Tech Show

The Coolest Tech From The IFA Tech Show

The Coolest Tech From The IFA Tech Show
04 September 2015

How's your computer holding up? Starting to fancy one of those smartwatches your mate from IT is sporting? Need a new smartphone?

Chances are, your next dream gadget is being shown off right now at the IFA exhibition in Berlin, a showcase of the latest, greatest gadgets from biggest names in tech (well, apart from Apple). 

We sent's tech editor David Cornish to explore the halls of this year's exhibit to find the tech that you'll be upgrading to in the months ahead.

From the newest smart speakers to the next touch-screen laptop you're set to lust after, these are the coolest gadgets he found.

Lenovo Smartcast projector phone

When Lenovo showed off its Smartcast projector phone concept earlier this year, it looked like a pipe dream: a phone with an interactive projection display.

It actually works - and it's bloody marvellous.

Do you need a keyboard projected onto your desk from a smartphone? Probably not. Will you play Angry Birds by dragging your fingers across your desk. Probably once. But if developers get behind this tech, there could be some awesome experiences lined up when it arrives in August 2016.

Acer Predator Z35 curved monitor

You mean you're still playing video games on a flat screen? Pah.

This arch of gaming delight is a set of three Acer Predator Z35 gaming monitors. Eye-watering HD (2,560x1,080-pixel resolution, if you're a numbers type) and it makes the average racing game look realer than real life. 

Lenovo hologram smartwatch

A bizarre, unnamed concept model from Lenovo, this smartwatch features a small 'prism' viewer, protruding from the lower edge of the smartwatch screen.

Open a Google Maps page, flick the screen down toward the viewer, and if you hold the prism up to your eye, you'll be able to look around the map's street view function as though the watch offered a tiny window into the street. 

You're not going to watch a whole film through it, but it's a cool gimmick nonetheless. 

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro

Tablets used to be a simple case of engineers producing dark magic to stick as many gizmos into the thinnest piece of metal imaginable.

Not so the Yoga Tab 3 Pro. This forgoes sleekness with its cylindrical bottom edge, hiding a bigger battery, larger "sound bar" and a headline-grabbing projector - capable of casting a decent 70-inch image onto the nearest wall or ceiling. Why? Because... Netflix. They've even partnered with the streaming service to make a permanent entertainment widget on the desktop.

Polaroid Snap

Instant photograph is back - and without the filters.

This is Polaroid's new (old) 10 mega pixel digital instant print camera. You point it at a thing, take a photo and in under a minute (an age by modern standards) print off a two-by-three inch colour photo to stick on your fridge. 

Will it reconnect people with the lost art of taking photos selectively? Only if they can readjust to buying film for £25-a-pop.

Sony Xperia Z5

Forget Samsung. Pass on Apple. If you want a sensible (Android) smartphone with a killer camera, the Xperia Z5 is the new way to go.

A vast 23 megapixel sensor powers the camera on this majestic number, housed in a 5.2-inch screen that makes bigger models look flabby. That said...

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium

...if you want a head-turning handset, your new champion is the Xperia Z5 Premium.

No photo was ever going to do the 4K screen justice, but rest assured that the Premium makes all other phone screens (including the iPhone 6) look bland and lifeless. 

What's it going to do to your battery life? Best look at the pretty colours and try not to think about it.

Lenovo Ideapad 500s

With Windows 10 changing up the world of laptops, a new wave of hardware is set to flood shelves and wish-lists alike.

This is Lenovo's "proper" laptop (not a hybrid): a 13.3" FHD screen, up to 1TB hard drive and a ruddy big graphics card to fuel your Netflix sessions. 

Xiro Xplorer V Drone

Drones are getting smart. Really smart.

The Xplorer V comes with an HD camera, can follow you around without a controller, has a GPS auto-pilot and a 'return home' function. We're certain we don't need one, but boy do we want one. 

Moto 360 smartwatch

Motorola's latest attempt at the smartwatch is more customisable than ever: there's a 46mm and 42mm model, with a range of leather and metal straps, customisable casings and face options. 

That little black bit at the bottom of the screen hasn't gone though, which means it's not quite a circular watch face. 

Moto 360 Sport smartwatch

Much like the 'sport' version of the Apple Watch, the new Moto 360 has a sweat-friendly version.

Sitting astride a resin strap, there's a GPS chip dedicated to tracking your runs, and an improved LCD display that's easier to read in direct sunlight. 

Lenovo Vibe S1 smartphone

There's not a lot to separate this smartphone from the rest of the Android crowd, with one important exception: dual selfie cameras.

By capturing two images of your mug, Lenovo is banking on users getting creative with their selfies, cutting out their 'face' and superimposing it onto other backgrounds with a couple of clicks - a task that usually takes a good half hour of fiddling on Photoshop. 

Expect to see a lot more social posts of friends pretending to be hanging out with Kanye/on Mars/your ex.

Lenovo Ideapad Y700

The new daddy of gaming laptops.

If you take a great deal of pleasure - and social status - in killing your friends, you're going to want one of these to help you gain a significant lethal edge.

It's all about the numbers with gaming laptops: there's an optional Intel Skylake Core i7 or i5 processor, a 4GB GTX 970 Nvidia graphics card, Blu-ray optical drives, DDR4 RAM and... we've lost you, haven't we?

Acer Aspire R13

There are many ways to make a laptop. Some let you unclip the screen, others going for a mad hinge with huge movement. Acer's Aspire R13 attempts something altogether different - a screen that can swing, pivot and lie flat, depending on how you're using it. 


Acer Revo One

You don't have to hide PCs under your desk any more.

Micro and mini 'towers' have been around for a while, but Acer's Revo One is one of the most ascetically pleasing options you can plonk next to your pen pot. It's got a 2TB hard drive, an SD card reader and can power up to two dirty great 4K screens at once. And it's only a little taller than a can of coke.

Toshiba Satellite Radius 12

Well this is swish.

A 4K touch-screen, gleaming metal body and a variety of hardware options all perfectly capable of keeping the new Windows 10 ticking along. There's even an 'HD webcam', for the most horrifyingly realistic Skype chats you've ever had, and a fully folding hinge. At £999, this Radius 12 is firmly in Mac Air territory, but you get a lot more bang for your buck.

Lenovo PHAB Plus

It's a tablet smartphone. Or a smartphone tablet. Either way, your jeans' pocket is about to feel woefully small.

The PHAB Plus is built around the fact that seven per cent of our smartphone use is for phone calls - we're mainly using them for video and music playback. Hence a 6.8" FHD screen.

Never mind your pockets, you're going to need bigger hands.

Samsung interactive whiteboard

You're probably not going to encounter this unless you spend your days teaching in a classroom environment, but it's cool nonetheless. 

Chalk boards are ancient history, white boards are on the way out and this is the new normal - interactive screen displays, capable of mimicking classic black boards or linking up with a computer output. Your kids are going to think you were educated in a different century.... which you probably were.

Samsung Cycling

Samsung wants you on your bike. Ideally, with a Galaxy S6 attached.

Google continues to do everything imaginable with the right hardware, from mapping your cycle route to giving you live feedback on your arrival time and speed. Just remember to stop for the red lights.

Samsung 360 R5 Speakers

Your speakers only send sound in one direction? Get with the times.

Samsung's latest effort at an 'omni-directional' audio unit can emit sound to every corner of a room without loss of quality. Which means you're going to need to warn more than just your immediate neighbours about your next house party.

Lenovo ideapad miix 700

No, it's not a Microsoft Surface.

This is Lenovo's flattering clone - the MIIX 700. It's arguably a better execution of Microsoft's hybrid, with a kick stand that can assume any position you want thanks to a better hinge, a big screen and a solid build quality. Imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery. 

Thermomix TM5

Fancy cooking like Heston Blumenthal?

Well you're going to need more than a Thermomix TM5 - but it's not a bad place to start. Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant has an array of these machines in its kitchens, using its 12 functions to mix, knead, steam and bake, breaking down complex recipes into simple steps that can all be performed with this single machine. Goodbye cook book.

Sony Action Cam (HDR AS200V)

GoPros are great. But if you want a video that doesn't jerk around with the violence a down-hill mountain bike trail usually involves, you'll want a Sony Action Cam.

The SteadyShot function on this little cam is the major selling point, reducing bumps and kinks in footage to a stable stream of video. It's also more likely to survive a serious fall than you are. 

Huawei Watch

Huawei has always been good at taking existing product designs and making them better (their cheaper iPhone clone helped them become a major presence in China).

Their new watch is a little bit of everything that's gone before - the designer aspect of the Apple Watch matched with the functional roundness of the Moto360. They're going to sell a heck of a lot of them.

Logitech BLOK iPad case

Want to protect your sleek, expensive iPad? Stick it in a big box.

That's part of the logic behind Logitech's BLOCK cases - chunky, square builds that will cocoon your gadget before any of its delicate edges or screen hits the floor. Perfect for those of us who are all thumbs.