IFA just might be the biggest tech conference you've never heard of. Each late summer in Berlin, this sprawling show brings together some of the biggest companies in mobile. The show's so big, you could miss one day and be thrown for a loop. For example, today at IFA Samsung announced the Galaxy Note II, several companies unveiled new Windows 8 hybrid laptop-tablets, and we played with the world's first camera with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. There's even a first-of-its kind Windows Phone 8 device on the list. Find everything you missed during the first day of IFA 2012 below.
Samsung Galaxy Note II
Looks like Samsung thought the Galaxy Note was too tiny. The second-generation of the popular 5.3-inch phone/tablet ups the ante in more ways than one. Most noticeably, the screen is now 5.5 inches with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels, the device now contains a quad-core CPU, and the attached stylus supports more features than ever before.
Sony VAIO Duo 11 Ultrabook Hybrid
Sony deserves serious props for its 11.6-inch Windows 8 hybrid laptop. It's not so much the system's powerful internal specs that caught our eye (although availability with Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 processors and a 128 or 256GB drive is nothing to snark at). It's the design of the sliding keyboard that transforms the Duo 11 from a traditional laptop into a finger-ready tablet in a split second.
Toshiba Satellite U952t Ultrabook
The Toshiba Satellite U952t is a Windows 8 Ultrabook with a strong 12.5-inch Gorilla Glass display that slides up to reveal a full backlit keyboard and ClickPad. You'll also find a 3-MP camera on the back for snapping quick photos and an NFC reader built into the deck for transferring photos and other goodies from your phone. All this in a light 3.2-pound package.
Sony Xperia Tablet S
Talk about family-friendly tablets. Sony baked parental control software and personal user profiles for crowded households into the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) interface that powers the Xperia Tablet S. On top of that, the $399 slate includes a built-in IR remote control for controlling your TV and it works with a Surface-like keyboard dock.
Samsung Galaxy Camera
You wouldn't think you need the power of a smartphone on your point-and-shoot camera, but how else would you be able to get those snaphots into Instagram, Facebook, or other social networks without plugging the camera into a computer? Plus, unlike smartphones with built-in shooters, the Samsung Galaxy cam sports a 21X zoom and a massive 16-MP CMOS sensor that lets you crop further into photos while maintaining image quality.
Samsung Series 5 and 7 Slates
What's the best way to uses a Windows 8 tablet? We're not sure, especially with the Samsung Series 5 and 7 Slates providing so many options. These two 11-inch slates give users three ways to use Microsoft's new touch-friendly operating system. Both devices pack finger-friendly touchscreens, connect to a dead-simple keyboard dock, and pack S Pens with 1,024 levels of sensitivity. Now that's versatile.
Samsung Ativ S
Here's your first look at Windows Phone 8. Though Samsung didn't reveal much in the way of software, we do know that the Samsung Ativ S will pack a huge 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED 128-x720-pixel display. Other specs include a 1.5-GHz dual-core processor and a maximum of 16GB of memory. Now if only we could sneak a peak beneath the curtain to see that OS!
New Sony Xperia Lineup
Tablets weren't the only products on Sony's IFA list. The company introduced three new Xperia smartphones. All devices run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and the Xperia T and Xperia V boast 4.6-inch high-definition displays and 13-MP back-facing cameras capable of 1080p video. The runt of the litter is the Xperia J, a 4-inch device noteworthy for its 9.2 mm slim design.
ASUS Vivo Tab and Vivo Tab RT
In its Vivo Tab twin tablets, ASUS is taking a choose your weapon approach to Windows 8. Both devices tout touchscreen displays with 1366 x 768-pixel resolutions, but the Vivo Tab spins a full version of Windows 8 on an Intel Atom processor. Its brother, the Vivo Tab RT, uses a Nvidia Tegra 3 processor to run Windows RT.
Samsung ATIV Tab Windows RT
Not to be left out of the Windows RT action, Samsung also announced an ARM-powred slate. The ATIV Tab has a 10-inch screen, weighs 1.25 pounds, and houses a killer 8,200 mAh battery. Find out how the ATIV Tab stands out from Samsung's other Windows 8 tablets.