Gadgets

All the gadgets you need to know about at IFA 2016

Posted by
David Cornish
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In the crowded halls of Berlin's Messe exhibition centre, some of the biggest names in tech are amassing.

Each of them has a lorry-load of new gadgets, determined to wow the world and snatch the spotlight away from Apple's own solo PR stunt of 7 September

From incredible curved laptops to super slick speakers, here's our roundup of all the coolest tech of IFA 2016. 

A smart watch that actually looks like a watch

A smart watch that actually looks like a watch

A lot of smartwatches are ugly big beasts, sitting awkwardly on your wrist in a manner that begs the question of why you're wearing it if it's almost the size of your phone. Not so the ASUS ZenWatch 3, which actually looks like a proper watch. 

It's got a super-accurate fitness tracker, a two-day battery life with fast charge function and low-profile round screen. Expect it to roll out from October onwards.

Coming soon

A laptop that's actually two tablets

A laptop that's actually two tablets

This is properly clever; Lenovo's new Yoga Book looks and behaves like a laptop. But it isn't. It's two tablets sandwiched together, one acting as a screen, the other as a touch pad. Two versions will be available to buy, one powered by Android (making it more of a tablet), another by Windows 10 (making it more of a laptop). 

From £429.99

Lightning-powered earphones

Lightning-powered earphones

Okay, so they're not powered by lightning bolts; Libratone has a new set of noise-cancelling earphones that draw their power from the Lightning port of your iPhone. There's also a four button remote for controlling your playback preferences. 

Yet another big fat hint that Apple is ditching the 3.5mm jack, they'll be available for pre-sale soon.

Coming soon

Touch-controlled headphones

Touch-controlled headphones

Another Libratone release is the Q Adapt - a neat set of wireless on-ear cans that you can control with precise taps to the outside of the headphones. It claims to have a 15 hour battery life and has an adjustable noise cancelling function to help you cut out background noise. 

Coming soon

Another clever watch

Another clever watch

Samsung showed off two new models of its Gear S3 smartwatch: the Frontier  (the sporty looking one) has in-built 4G, which lets it take calls and stream music independent of your phone, letting you properly separate yourself from your phone. The Classic is a touch lighter, but requires a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone to do its thing.

Coming soon

A SatNav for your bike

A SatNav for your bike

Taken a job as a courier and still getting lost on your bike? TomTom's neat little Vio could help you out; this round disk is designed to slide onto your scooter mirror/handle bars, with a simplified touch control display. The GPS is powered by a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone, helping cut down on its bulk.

£149.99

A fitness tracker that'll tell you what you're made of

A fitness tracker that'll tell you what you're made of

Fat is bad. Muscle is good. In addition to logging your latest run, bike ride and sleep session, TomTom's touch fitness tracker will help you monitor your body composition to tell you what you probably already know: all that sweat isn't going to get you far if you don't ease off the booze and chips.

£129.99

A neat little modular PC

A neat little modular PC

This is the Elite Slice - which immediately makes it the best-named PC ever made. HP's little box of tricks is a modular computer, meaning you can snap on additional features like a DVD drive or speaker without any complicated unscrewing and wiring. Prices will vary on what you stick inside it, but you can squeeze a lot of impressive tech into this little guy. 

Coming soon

The world's thinnest laptop

The world's thinnest laptop

The Acer Swift 7 is so thin you could shave with it. Fine, it's not - but 9.98mm at its chubbiest end is still insanely svelte.

Despite its thin build, it still packs an impressive wallop with a fanless Intel Core i5. Expect it to cost somewhere at the sharp end of £999 when it arrives later this year. 

Logitech's silent mouse

Logitech's silent mouse

This is the M330 Silent Plus - a silent mouse from Logitech that reduces the 'click' of its buttons by a massive 90 per cent. 

So that's a really, really quiet mouse. Buy one for that guy in the office that loves clicking about for no good reason.

£29.99

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A fit 4K TV from Bang & Olufsen

It's hard to make an 'attractive' television. It's just a big rectangle. The BeoVision Horizon manages to look bloody lovely. 

Available with a 40 or 48-inch 4K Ultra HD screen, it can be hung on the wall, erected on a stand or wheeled about like the telly your teacher used to bring out when they couldn't be bothered to teach chemistry. 

From £2,495

A curved gaming laptop

A curved gaming laptop

Phwoar. Look at the screen on that. All 21-curved inches of it.

This is Acer's Predator 21 X ('Kitten 5' wasn't a marketable name, apparently), a high-end gaming laptop with eye-tracking technology (we've used it, it's ace), a huge graphics card and five fans for cooling the big lump down. 

There's no price yet, but keep your eyes on Acer's page for pre-orders later this year.

A wireless headphone adaptor

A wireless headphone adaptor

See this? This is a big fat hint from Griffin as to the nature of Apple's next smartphone - which is expected to ditch the 3.5mm headphone port.

Griffin's iTrip Clip (subtle) will let you convert any wired 3.5mm headphones into a set of wireless cans, thanks to this Bluetooth adaptor. It's probably going to be cheaper than anything Apple makes as well...

£19.99

A GoPro killer

GoPro has something of a monopoly on the action camera market, by virtue of making stunning adverts every time they release a new product. 

Garmin is offering a mean bit of competition in the form of the VIRB Ultra 30 - voice command control, GPS, 4K ultra HD. Just mind you don't do anything dangerous enough to break it, yeah?

Coming soon

A connected kitchen

A connected kitchen

We've been going on about connected homes for what feels like the better part of a decade - but the first properly useful smart appliances are finally edging toward your front door.

Take Bosch's new connected oven - a system that can be controlled remotely via the Drop Kitchen app, allowing you to adjust temperature, timings and other settings from a connected device. The app also doubles as an interactive cook book, so now you'll be able to sort dinner from the comfort of your sofa. You'll still have to make the meal though...

Coming soon

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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