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Europe’s Most Fascinating Gadgets

The technology trade show, IFA, is taking place these days in Berlin, Germany. It is “as if CES, Mobile World Congress and an appliance convention all got together and had a child.” According to CNet.

The long running and open to the public event offers the most up to date smartphones, TVs, laptops and smart home sensors.

Better Blu-ray – Samsung introduced their new Blu-ray player. The UBD-K8500 -the world’s first ultra-high definition player, will let you have 4 times the resolution and 64 times higher color expression compared to a standard Blu-ray. The system will be available next year with a price tag “Less than $500”.

New TV – LG’s EF9500 is the first 4K OLED TV. The 65-inch screen will cost you around $7,000 and the smaller one, the 55 inch, $5,500. The OLED delivers better images that other TVs with perfectly dark shades of black and a very bright white on screen at the same time. 4K resolution adds to the clarity of the picture.

Sony’s phone – Xperia Z5 Premium, one of 3 new phones Sony introduced, goes further than other phones such as Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and shoot pictures at 4K and display it in 4K which results in very clear pictures.

Asus Vivo Stick – This device, which looks like the bigger brother of a regular memory stick, ushers a new category of computers that are inside a small plastic case. It connects to any screen via HDMI, and has 2 ports for keyboard and mouse for example. It runs windows 10 and is basically a small computer in a stick! Connect it to your TV, connect your mouse and keyboard and you will be able to use your TV as the computer screen. It doesn’t have a release date yet, but will cost only $129 in the US.

Acer Revo build M1-601 – A modular PC system where different sections and components can be easily added or swapped. It starts with a base unit that is under 5 inches square and contains the CPU and the motherboard. The stacking units add hard drive, ports, and other features. Just pick the units you want and skip those you don’t. The components connect to one another with magnetic pins which means no cords. Just stack them and they link up. It goes on sale in Europe in October, starting at about $230.

Home appliances – Samsung and LG came out with clever washing machines in January and displayed them at the CES in Las Vegas. Now a Chinese company is joining them. The Haier double-decker duo (washer and dryer) is coming next year. Smart Window Refrigerator, another 1st, has a two way panel on the door. When you step closer to the fridge, a sensor activates a light inside that renders the door transparent. You can see what’s inside without opening the fridge. SmartThings came out with the smart home hub version 2.0 which lets you control everything in your home (door, temperature, lights) with your smartphone with Bluetooth technology.

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