IFA 2011: what to expect

Europe’s biggest tech fest kicks off tomorrow in Berlin (well, the press conferences do, anyway). We’ll be bringing you all the news as it breaks, but what can we expect to see among the bratwursts and the mullets?

We’ve got a raft of predictions right here, so if you want the scoop ahead of the rest of Europe, click through for more tablets you can shake an HTC stylus at, videos of the best kit in action, new operating systems and the craziest desktop accessory of the year.

Toshiba Excite

Reasons to be excited? Well Toshiba’s tablet tops our list of hopefuls. It’s a super slim effort, said to replace the Toshiba Thrive that hit the US a while ago but sadly never made it to these shores. As well as this leaked picture (courtesy of Notebook Italia), Toshiba recently filed a trademark for a tablet computer called the Excite, so all signs point to this being it. Let’s hope this one makes it to Blighty, rather than languishing over there in the States.

HTC Puccini

We know HTC is renowned for its leaks, but this is just ridiculous. There have been no fewer than three leaks for the HTC Puccini: in May, July, and August; HTC’s CFO even confirmed it himself ahead of the official announcement. So this is pretty much a dead cert. Expect a 10-inch screen, Android Honeycomb, and a 1.5GHz processor to go with it.

Sony S1 and S2

Just like last year, IFA’s set to be a tablet fest. Sony announced its entries into the tablet game way back in April; since then we’ve had leaked screens confirming they’ll run Android Honeycomb 3.2, as well as videos showing off them getting sweet with PlayStation Suite. We’re hoping for confirmed specs and a proper hands-on when we touch down in Berlin. They’re due next month, for Pete’s sake.

Samsung Galaxy Q

A 5-inch tablet? Yes, sounds like a phone to us, but the Samsung Galaxy Q is said to be touted as a tablet, a follow up to last year’s 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab. Rumours say it’ll have a 5.3-inch Super AMOLED screen, dual core processor, and will run Android. The Dell Streak 5 was the most ignominious 5-inch tablet, and that didn’t fare too well, being discontinued shortly after release, so we’ll have to wait and see about this one.

New Acer Ultrabook

Intel announced it’d ploughed $300m into developing Ultrabooks earlier in the month, so we’re expecting a follow-up to the Asus UX21 come IFA. (If you’ve not heard of them, Ultrabooks are extremely slim laptops that rival the MacBook Air both in dimensions as well as power.) Lenovo, Asus and Acer all have Ultrabooks in their ranges, we’re expecting big things of the new ones. Come on Intel, let’s see you put that dosh to good use!

Windows Phone Mango handsets

We think it’s no coincidence there’s an HTC event planned for tomorrow, IFA’s opening day. And it’s the same day WP7 Mango is due to drop. We’re expecting handsets from HTC, LG, Samsung, and the rest of the gang getting friendly with Microsoft’s new version of its mobile OS.

LG Mouse and Scanner combo

Probably the most bizarre announcement expected, LG’s LSM-100 is a mouse that doubles as a scanner – just run it over something to scan it straight to your desktop. Bonkers.

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