Announcements from Berlin’s IFA show continue to roll in. Yesterday saw Toshiba announce three Windows 8.1 devices. It seems hardware makers are sticking with Microsoft’s operating system despite last year noticeable lack of customer interest in Windows 8 kit.
Toshiba’s Satellite NB15T is the most traditional device: a 11.6-inch touch screen laptop. The Satellite Click is a detachable hybrid 13.3-inch while Satellite Encore is an 8-inch tablet. The laptop and the tablet use Intel Bay Trail processors which Intel, Microsoft and, presumably, Toshiba hope will give Windows devices a new lease of life.
Or maybe not. Packing a full version of Windows into an 8-inch tablet that has the processing power to make the exercise worthwhile will be the biggest test yet of Microsoft’s Windows 8. The Encore is the Microsoft-Intel answer to Apple’s iPad mini, but it’s 30 percent thicker and 50 percent heavier. None of that matters if the performance is there.
Also at IFA Sony unveiled its Xperia Z1 handset. The company sees the z1 as its comeback phone hopes the Android device will move it from sixth place in the global smartphone market to the third slot behind Apple and Samsung. That’s a big ask, you almost never see Sony handsets in New Zealand. The Z1′s key feature is a 20.7 megapixel camera, it has a 5-inch screen to match but reports from the show say the camera cannot shoot 4K video.
New Zealand is in the group of 13 countries that will get first deliveries of Microsoft’s Xbox One console on November 22. Xbox is Microsoft’s most successful hardware product to date. While XBox and Playstation have jockeyed for pole position in recent years, Microsoft is seen by many as the underdog in the console business at the moment. The company’s stance on DRM and game sharing hasn’t helped. With the slightly cheaper Playstation 4 also due to land before Christmas, there will be a lot of attention on how the two products fare.