The annual IFA consumer electronics show kicked off in Berlin this week, and there were some major announcements, including the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy Note III smartphone and Galaxy Gear smartwatch, new laptops and tablets from Toshiba, Sony, Lenovo, Acer, and Asus, and a few surprises from Alcatel One Touch and Qualcomm. But the most popular article on Liliputing this week? It was about a tiny, low-power computer that can run Android or Linux and which sells for as little as $45.
- CuBox-i mini PCs can run Android or Linux, sell for $45 and up SolidRun’s latest mini-PC measures 2 inches square, features a Freescale i.MX6 ARM Cortex-A9 processor, and can run Android or Linux. Prices start at $45 for a single-core model, and go up to $120 for a quad-core version.
- Lenovo ThinkPad X240, T440 notebooks get up to 17 hours battery life Lenovo’s latest portable ThinkPad notebooks get super-long battery life thanks to energy-efficient Intel Haswell processors and a dual-battery setup which lets you swap out batteries without shutting down the computer.
- Android 4.4 KitKat is on the way Google made a surprise announcement that the next version of Android would be called KitKat (not Key Lime Pie), and announced a marketing partnership with Nestle, makers of the chocolate bar. The statue on Google Campus looks pretty tasty (and fattening) too.
- Intel Atom Bay Trail benchmark test shows a big performance boost Intel’s next-generation low-power processors for tablets are due to hit the streets in the coming weeks, and if the early benchmarks are anything to go by, the move from Clover Trail to Bay Trail will offer the biggest performance gains we’ve ever seen in an Intel Atom update.
- Samsung Galaxy Note III: Bigger screen, smaller case, longer battery life Samsung’s new flagship phone with a big screen and a digital pen is official, and it’ll sport a 5.7 inch full HD display, a 13MP camera, the ability to shoot 4K video, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 or Samsung Exynos 5 Octa processor. It also packs 3GB of RAM and a 3200mAh battery.
- Xiaomi MI3 smartphone: 5 inches of Tegra 4 or Snapdragon 800 for $327 and up Samsung isn’t the only company with a new high-end phone. The difference is that Xiaomi’s phone doesn’t come at a high-end price. It’ll sell for about half the price of an unsubsidized Galaxy Note 3 (or Galaxy S4), but it features a 5 inch full HD screen, an NVIDIA Tegra 4 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, and a 3050mAH battery, among other things.
- LG introduces G Pad 8.3, a small tablet with big specs LG’s new 8.3 inch tablet sounds pretty nifty, with a full HD screen, a Snapdragon 600 display, and the ability to work as a second screen for your phone. But I do kind of question LG’s decision to keep referring to this as a pocketable device.
- XBMC media center adds Android hardware decoding, drops Windows XP support The XBMC media center app may have been originally designed to turn the Xbox game console into a media center companion for television sets, but it now runs on everything from smartphones to desktop computers. The latest build runs better than ever on (many) Android devices… but the team is dropping support for the aging Windows XP operating system, largely because there are no developers on the team interested in keeping support alive for Microosoft’s 12-year-old operating system.