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Tiny PCs, high-end handsets featured at Berlin gadget show

A man tests a Sony 'Project Morpheus Virtual

A man tests a Sony 'Project Morpheus Virtual Reality' device after a press conference at the company's stand at the IFA 2015 tech fair in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. Credit: AP

BERLIN - A 5-inch PC and a smartphone that doubles as a scale to weigh objects are among the new gadgets being showcased this week at Europe's flagship technology show, the IFA in Berlin.

Here are some highlights:

PC on a stick: Tiny PCs powered by Google's Android have been around for a while, but Windows is increasingly entering that market. The ASUS VivoStick PC, priced at $129, is among the most impressive of its kind to feature Windows 10 in a stick just over 5 inches long. Plug it into any modern TV and you can use it as a computer. Aside from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, 2GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, it sports the latest Intel Cherry Trail chip, two USB ports and an audio jack.

Weight for it: Huawei launched its Mate S, billed as the Chinese smartphone maker's first top-range handset with prices starting at $650 -- though initially not available in the United States.

Along with some impressive specs comes an unusual feature: The phone can be used as a scale to weigh objects. This is made possible by the phone's Force Touch capability, something Apple is expected to put in its next iPhone.

Modular computing: Acer is taking the traditional PC apart so users can put it back together again. The Taiwanese manufacturer launched Revo Build, a module computer starting at under $200 and shipping this quarter. Users can add to the black base unit by attaching a dedicated graphics card, a sound block, a portable hard drive and even a power bank to wirelessly charge certain smartphones.

Instant photos: Polaroid is going back to basics with its instant camera. By stripping away the LCD screen and halving the price to $99, Polaroid hopes to boost sales of its new Snap camera in time for the holiday season. -- AP

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