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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Samsung's new list of gadgets from IFA




Despite its recent setback with the Apple verdict, Samsung plowed through unveiling its new offerings at the IFA electronics trade show in Berlin on Wednesday. Among them is the Galaxy Note 2 with a 5.5-inch 16:9 HD Super AMOLED screen. The multitasker runs on 1.6 GHz quad-core processor and is powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Memory options are 16GB, 32 GB and 64 GB with a micro SD memory slot for expansion, and 2 GB of RAM. It has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G connectivity.

Note 2 is suited for multitasking with several features: Air View lets users preview the content by hovering with the S Pen; Popup Note opens the S Note application in a pop-up window; Quick Command can activate frequently used apps with the S Pen; and Screen Recorder can record a sequence of actions on the screen.

The S Pen in enhanced for a more natural writing and drawing feel. There's also the Easy Clip feature that outlines and crops any content on the screen to save, share or paste. Idea Visualizer lets users add illustrations by handwriting keywords.

Note 2 comes with an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 1.9 megapixes front-facing one, and can record HD video. Like with the Galaxy S III smartphone, photo features include burst shot, best photo and buddy photo share. Note II also has a feature called Best Faces, which lets users choose the most preferred face or pose. Personalize photos by leaving a handwritten note, which can be shared, with the S Pen.

CNet has a closeup look of the Galaxy Note 2, what they call a "phablet."


Galaxy Camera

If Note 2 is the Phablet, then the Galaxy Camera is the Phamera. This new device makes shooting and sharing easier. The camera has a 21x optical super long zoom with a 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and optical stabilization. It's on standby mode, so you can pull it out and shoot immediately without having to wait for it to turn on.

galaxycamerascreen.jpgThe camera has a 4.8-inch display with the HD LCD touchscreen. It runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and is 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi capable.

With the Smart Pro Mode, photo quality should rival professional quality. It has 10 modes, and all you have to do is tap the scene on the screen and the camera automatically sets it to the appropriate mode. It also takes full high-def video, and has a slow motion feature that shoots 120 frames per second. The voice control feature lets you adjust the zoom, set a timer, or shoot remotely.

The camera comes with a photo management manager that can organize or search images. A Share widget makes it easy to share photos on the social networks. If you have a group photo, take a photo a instantly share with other devices with Wi-Fi Direct. If you're not sharing immediately, you can backup your photos with the Auto Cloud Backup System. You can edit your images using the Photo Wizard's 35 editing features. 

ATIV line featuring Windows 8

Samsung embraces Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system with the new ATIV line of laptops, tablet and smartphone.


The ATIV Smart PC and Smart PC Pro are "hybrids": They have the power of a laptop, and look like one, with a full Windows 8 functions. But it has the convenience and portability of a tablet. How? Each has a detachable magnetic keyboard-docking system that can easily go from a clam-shell notebook to a tablet. The 11.6-inch full HD LCD screen with 10-finger multi-touch that can pinch to zoom, rotate images, scroll through pages, much like a smartphone or tablet.   

It comes with the S Pen for writing and drawing with or without the keyboard. The Smart PC is 9.9mm thick, has up to 14 hours of battery life, and comes with two USB 2.0 ports. The Pro is 11.9mm thick, can run up to 8 hours, and has two USB 3.0 ports. Both come with mHDMI, miniSD and two extra USB 2.0 ports on the keyboard.

ativ_tab.jpgNext up is the ATIV Tab with a 10.1-inch display and a full Windows 8-based PC experience: Microsoft Office comes preinstalled with a free 60-day trial. In addition to 7GB of SkyDrive cloud space, the Tab also has a USB port for additional file sharing "the old fashioned way."

And the Tab is compatible with many peripherals, including printers, monitors, and projector. Perfect for presentations?

samsungw8phone.jpgAnd last in the ATIV lineup is the Windows Phone 8 ATIV S smartphone with a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display. It runs on 1.5GHz dual-core processor and has HSPA+ connectivity for strong browsing and gaming. 


Now stop your drooling, because the U.S. release for these products or their prices haven't been announced.

A final thought, though.

Says Samsung: "ATIV, the reverse order of VITA meaning 'Life' in Latin, is a pledge by Samsung to make everyone’s life easier." Sounds cool and all, but the opposite of "life" is...?! Just saying..

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 5:14pm]


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