These 8 New Back-to-School Tech Products Caught Our Eye

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these 8 new back to school tech products caught our eye
these 8 new back to school tech products caught our eye

The IFA, an annual mecca for electronics enthusiasts, has just concluded its 2023 edition. Whether you were closely following the event or keeping tabs from afar, this year’s IFA was a mix of the expected grandeur and some surprising absences, coupled with the undeniable rise of Chinese electronics brands. In this comprehensive review, we’ll take a deep dive into the highlights and lowlights of this year’s show, painting a vivid picture of the trends and innovations that emerged.

Before we delve into the specifics of IFA 2023, it’s essential to provide some context for the uninitiated. The IFA, held annually in Berlin, stands as one of the world’s largest gatherings dedicated to the world of electronics. Attracting nearly 200,000 visitors each year, the event draws professionals, journalists, and tech enthusiasts from all corners of the globe, all eager to explore the latest breakthroughs in a wide array of categories, ranging from cutting-edge TVs and PCs to smart home technologies, batteries, electric bikes, smartphones, tablets, and beyond. In essence, the IFA is a true technological mecca where innovation takes center stage.

One of the most conspicuous aspects of this year’s IFA was the notable absence of several industry heavyweights. Sony, a longtime participant and crowd-puller, shocked attendees by not having a presence at the event for the first time in history. This absence was felt keenly and left many wondering about the brand’s future strategies. Similarly, LG Electronics, while present at the event, chose not to deploy any French spokesperson on-site, signaling a shift in their engagement approach. Perhaps the most glaring omission was that of Huawei, a giant in the world of electronics, which opted to forego the event entirely.

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However, as the saying goes, where some see empty spaces, others see opportunities. Chinese electronics brands seized the moment with both hands. Honor, in particular, commanded a prominent position at the event, boosting its presence and visibility significantly. But Honor was not alone in this endeavor; many other Chinese brands, both established and emerging players, made a strong showing at IFA 2023, underscoring China’s growing influence in the global electronics industry.

While IFA usually serves as a platform for groundbreaking product launches and innovations, this year, the event seemed to be marked more by repetition than revelation. Many of the announcements appeared to be retreads of products already unveiled at earlier expos like CES 2023 and MWC 2023. Nevertheless, tech enthusiasts were not left entirely disappointed, as there were still some noteworthy surprises to brighten up the event.

One such standout was the Xgimi Horizon Ultra, a 4K video projector that combines elegant design with advanced features. Running on the Android TV 11 system, this projector offers native Ultra HD definition, thanks to its “wobulation” technology. What sets the Horizon Ultra apart is its compatibility with Dolby Vision, promising incredibly precise colors with an impressive 95% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space. This feat is achieved by ingeniously blending an LED light source with a laser source, resulting in a remarkable light output of 2,300 ANSI lumens.

In the realm of smartphones, Honor took the spotlight with its new folding smartphone, the Honor Magic V2. Its standout feature is its remarkable thinness, measuring a mere 4.7 mm when unfolded. Additionally, Honor presented a concept smartphone, the Honor Magic V Purse, which mimics the form of a handbag, showcasing the brand’s innovative design prowess.

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The IFA also witnessed the introduction of air conduction technology, a small but notable revolution. Brands like Shokz and JBL showcased new headphones incorporating small speakers at the entrance to the ear canal. The Shokz OpenRun Pro, for instance, leverages this technology for bass delivery via bone conduction. Shokz has gone even further, releasing headphones solely based on air conduction technology, known as the Shokz OpenFit. For JBL’s Soundgear Sense headphones, the focus is on providing a comfortable listening experience without being harsh on users’ ears.

Lenovo introduced the intriguing Lenovo Legion Go, a device that can be likened to a Steam Deck with detachable controllers. Under the hood, it boasts similarities to an Asus ROG Ally and features a QHD+ display. The detachable controller can also function as a mouse, and it runs on Windows 11, offering a unique gaming experience.

In a surprising move, LG brought a novel product to IFA: the StandbyME Go, a suitcase containing a 27-inch Full HD+ 60 Hz screen with a battery life of 3 hours. This innovative concept is aimed at both die-hard campers and professionals seeking to make a demonstrative impact.

Urbanista, a Swedish audio product brand with a strong green focus, showcased the Malibu, its first portable speaker based on solar charging principles. The speaker charges using solar panels on its upper side, boasting an impressive battery life of around 30 hours, which can extend to 45 hours when exposed to sunlight or a strong light source. With an IP67 certification, it’s designed to withstand various environmental conditions and is set to hit the market in September at a price of 169 euros.

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SwitchBot garnered attention with its S10 robot vacuum cleaner with three different bases. Building on this success, the company introduced the K10+, a robot vacuum cleaner specifically designed for compact spaces. Despite its diminutive size (roughly the size of a large dinner plate), it boasts the intelligence of larger models on the market. It also includes a self-draining base and allows for wet mopping, making it a potential savior for those with smaller living spaces. Pricing and availability details are expected later in the year.

Unistellar, a manufacturer of digital telescopes, aimed to democratize stargazing with its eQuinox 2 and eVscope 2 models. These telescopes can be controlled via a smartphone or tablet, simplifying the process of locating celestial objects. The eVscope 2 even allows users to observe stars through an optical eyepiece, providing a traditional telescope experience. During the IFA, Unistellar introduced a filter designed for daytime and solar observation, with safety in mind, given the dangers of direct solar viewing. These innovative telescopes are priced at 2499 euros for the eQuinox 2 and 4499 euros for the eVscope 2, with the Smart Solar Filter available for pre-order at 248 euros.

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