IFA Berlin is one of the leading trade shows for consumer electronics globally. It sets the stage for tech brands to launch exciting products and consumer technologies and give visitors a chance to try these out in person as the show picks back its physical avatar. As always, many OEMs took to the floor to show off their cool new tech, including foldable laptops, AR glasses, and of course, some more laptops and smartphones.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold Gen 2
Lenovo introduced its second-generation laptop with a foldable screen, and it fixes virtually all of the pain points of the first one. The screen is larger, it has a proper 1.35mm ThinkPad keyboard, and the product is totally redesigned.
Another major improvement is that under the hood, it comes with Intel’s 12th-gen U9 processors, which are designed to have performance cores and efficiency cores. This makes for better power management when you’re on the go. For comparison, the original model had Intel’s Lakefield chips, which were the first with a hybrid architecture, but they weren’t very good. There was only one performance core.
The new ThinkPad X1 Fold Gen 2 has a 16.3-inch 4:3 display, which can be used on a stand when unfolded, or can be used in laptop mode with a 12-inch 3:2 display. The keyboard is the same that you’d find on a ThinkPad X1 Nano, with the addition of a similar touchpad to the ThinkPad Z13, trading off the physical buttons in favor of a combo solution that lets you also use that space as an extension of the touchpad.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold Gen 2 is coming in November, starting at $2,499.
Lenovo Glasses T1
The concept of Lenovo putting a display on your face isn’t a new one. It actually did this with the ThinkReality A3, which let you put up to six virtual monitors on an AR screen. You’ll notice that with the Lenovo Glasses T1, there’s no ‘Think’ branding, so this actually isn’t a business product. It’s aimed more at consumers, and it’s less about being an extension of your desktop.
You can still use it to extend your desktop with one virtual monitor. It’s also not spatially anchored, so if you move your head around, the screen moves with you.
But rather than connecting to a PC, you can choose to plug this into a phone, using Motorola’s Ready For experience. Ready For is a UI that’s optimized for what you want to do, such as streaming or gaming. For example, you can connect an Xbox controller and start playing games streaming from Xbox Cloud Gaming, all while you’re on the road because you’re wearing glasses that put a big display in front of your face. Or, you can just use it to watch Netflix.
The Lenovo Glasses T1 are coming to China later this year and other markets in 2023. Pricing hasn’t been announced.
Asus ExpertBook B5 OLED
Asus has been one of the longest-running supporters of OLED technology on laptops, with a good chunk of its lineup offering OLED panels. Now, we’re seeing them in the company’s business laptops too, starting with the new ExpertBook B5 and B5 Flip. Both of these laptops come with IPS panels by default, but you can upgrade to stunning Ultra HD+ OLED panels, and it’s probably one of the best displays you’ll find on any business laptop.
Plus, these laptops come with powerful specs, including up to an Intel Core i7-1270P with vPro support, and up to a whopping 40GB of RAM thanks to a soldered 8GB chip and a SODIMM slot supporting up to 32GB. Asus also gives you the option to get discrete Intel Arc A350M graphics if you want a bit more GPU power. With two M.2 slots, you also get plenty of storage.
Above the display, you can get a webcam with Windows Hello facial recognition, and the laptops also include a nice suite of ports. There are two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, RJ45 Ethernet, and a headphone jack, so you get plenty of connectivity. And in the case of the ExpertBook B5 Flip OLED, you also get a stylus built into the laptop so it’s always ready to go.
The Asus ExpertBook B5 OLED lineup will launch in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Honor MagicBook 14
The Honor MagicBook 14 was first revealed in China earlier in 2022, but at IFA 2022, the laptop is being launched for the European market. Its IFA 2022 avatar comes with a 12th-gen Intel Alder Lake Core i5-2500H, and two graphics options: the base variant with integrated Intel Xe graphics and another with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050 GPU. Either way, you can expect to get some good performance and value out of this machine, especially considering its price point.
As for the rest of the laptop, you get an aluminum chassis that houses a 14-inch 2K display in a 3:2 aspect ratio. The IPS panel claims a sustained maximum brightness of 300 nits. There is a 75Wh battery on board, although the charger you get depends on the graphics option you choose: 65W charger for the integrated graphics model and 135W charger for the RTX 2050 graphics model. Connectivity is also well-taken care of with 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports, 1x HDMI 2.0, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The MagicBook 14 is available for €1,099 for the integrated graphics model, and for €1,299 for the dedicated graphics models, via Honor’s HiHonor website and on Amazon.
LG UltraGear OLED gaming monitor
LG has been making some really interesting OLED monitors lately, and at this year’s IFA, we got a new gaming-focused one from its UltraGear brand. The new LG UltraGear OLED gaming monitor promises a fantastic experience for gamers everywhere, starting with the huge 45-inch curved panel that’s going to be great for immersion. It comes in WQHD (3440 x 1440) resolution and a 21:9 aspect ratio for ultra-wide gaming.
It’s also got a 240Hz refresh rate, ideal for fast-paced e-sports gaming, and the OLED panel also enables 0.1ms response times so you never miss a beat. Plus, 98.5% coverage of DCI-P3 means color reproduction should be great for media consumption and content creation.
Because not all gamers are on PC, the monitor also comes with HDMI 2.1 so you can make the most of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles with 4K support at up to 120Hz with variable refresh rate (VRR). It’s as big as a TV, too, so you can even play on it from further away, as you would with a regular console setup. You can also use the remote controller to change the monitor’s settings.
We don’t yet know when the LG UltraGear OLED (45GR95QE) will be available or how much it will cost, but it’s certainly worth keeping your eyes peeled.
There weren’t many smartphones directly launching at IFA, but the Honor 70 managed to gather a crowd for itself, thanks to its unique and striking design. The diamond-like pattern on the back of the device reflects light in a mesmerizing pattern, one that is sure to make people notice. The two large camera islands also demand attention, and they pack in good hardware to keep that attention in place.
Once you move past the design of the phone, the Honor 70 is a well-rounded package. You get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G Plus SoC on the inside, with 8GB RAM, 128GB of storage, and 5G capabilities. The display is a nice 6.7-inch FHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate and HDR 10+ support. Most of the magic is in the camera setup, with the primary shooter being the headlining Sony IMX800 54MP sensor, a 50MP ultrawide sensor, and a 2MP depth sensor. The front camera is a 32MP shooter. You also get a 4,800 mAh battery, which complements well the 178g weight of the device. For software, you get MagicUI 6.1 based on Android 12, and yes, there is GMS support right out of the box here.
The Honor 70 starts at £479.99 ($568) in the UK and €549 in the EU for the base 8GB+ 128GB variant. The phone will be available at Honor’s HiHonor website, Argos, Currys, and Amazon.
HP Elite Dragonfly Folio
HP added a third member to its Elite Dragonfly family in the days leading up to IFA. It’s the Elite Dragonfly Folio, a new faux leather-bound convertible that follows in the footsteps of the Elite Folio and the Spectre Folio. It comes with Intel’s 12th-gen U-series processors, and a 3:2 OLED display.
On top of that, it comes with an 8MP webcam, increasing the quality of HP’s already best-in-class cameras. Indeed, we got to try one out, and the camera quality is excellent. If you want the best webcam, you buy an HP, and that’s important in the age of working from home.
Ultimately, it’s just a great all-around product, with an excellent keyboard and a stunning OLED display. It’s a folio-style convertible, meaning that you can use it as a laptop, you can use it in presentation mode like in the image above, and you can fold the display all the way down as a tablet.
The HP Elite Dragonfly Folio is available now, starting at $2,379.
AMD Ryzen 7000
It’s time for a new generation of desktop processors from AMD, so that’s always exciting before we even know anything about it. The company boasts a 13% boost in IPC, when it was shooting for 8-10%. The L2 cache has been doubled to 1MB, and the TDP goes up to 170W. And while it’s taking in a lot of power, AMD also boasted better power efficiency, offering 1.47x the performance per watt that Intel is getting with 12th-gen.
It also supports PCIe 5.0, which is going to offer double the bandwidth of PCIe 4.0. That means faster storage, and depending on the board you choose, faster graphics. For memory, AMD chose to only support DDR5, retiring DDR4 from its new AM5 platform.
And yes, it does require a new 1718-pin LGA socket as part of AM5. AM4 lasted five years or five generations, so its time has come and gone. The company says that it’s going to use AM5 for its new chips through at least 2025.
AMD’s Ryzen 7000 processors will be available later this month.
Acer Chromebook Vero 514
PC manufacturers have been trying to make their products more sustainable, but none have gotten quite as far as Acer. Last year, we saw the company introduce the Aspire Vero, and now, we have the first sustainability-focused Chrome OS laptop, the Acer Chromebook Vero 514. The chassis of this laptop is made using 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastics, and it’s unpainted, which gives it its distinct textured look while helping preserve the environment.
The keycaps on the keyboard also use 50% PCR plastics, and even the touchpad uses 100% recycles ocean-bound plastics, meaning it’s actively helping reduce the amount of plastic in the oceans. On top of that, the display panel is 99% recyclable, so even after the laptop is out of commission, it can still have some use.
Thankfully, it also doesn’t miss out on the latest specs, coming equipped with 12th-generation Intel Core U15-series processors, up to 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. For a Chromebook, those are very solid specs. Plus, you get a Full HD screen with optional touch support.
The first configuration to launch in the US will come with an Intel Core i3-1215U, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD, and it will cost $499.99 at Best Buy.
Sony Xperia 5 IV
There weren’t too many smartphones at IFA 2022. One new smartphone release did grab our attention, and it surprisingly came from Sony. The new Sony Xperia 5 IV (read as Xperia 5 Mark 4) is the fourth iteration of Sony’s compact flagship. The words “compact flagship” hold a lot of weight since there aren’t too many of these around anymore. So it is always worth appreciating when an OEM crams as much power under the hood as it can, while still retaining a smaller form factor than other glass slab smartphones.
Powering the Xperia 5 IV’s 6.1-inch 120Hz FHD+ OLED display is the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. While it isn’t the absolute latest (the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1), it still is a very respectable SoC that should be able to handle just about everything power users can throw at it. There’s plenty of RAM and storage here, just as you would find in other flagships. But what once again sets this device apart is the fact that Sony is still giving you not only a microSD card slot for storage expansion but also a 3.5mm headphone jack. The battery on the device is also fairly large for its physical dimensions, and you get IP68 dust and water resistance as well. This phone also shares its primary and ultra-wide cameras from its larger sibling, the Xperia 1 IV, meaning you get a capable shooter here as well.
There really isn’t a whole lot of compromise happening on the Xperia 5 IV. This means that not only is it one of the premier choices for a compact smartphone, it also has enough to make it a great option even when you aren’t looking for a smartphone that is small. The only real kicker is the pricing — with a $999 price tag, it sits right alongside premium flagships, and one can definitely argue that it deserves to do so.
That sums up our picks for the best of IFA 2022. What announcements stood out for you from IFA 2022? Let us know on our social media channels!