Before You Buy 110 (Transcript)


Download and watch the episode here:
Before You Buy 110

Show tease: Coming up! We’ve got some great new accessories for the IPhone 5, a lens and a keyboard. The newest Chromebook is here. This time it’s from Toshiba. And Asus has a Sub $700 touchscreen laptop for Windows 8 lovers. It’s time to watch Before You Buy! Netcasts you love from people you trust. This is TWiT. Bandwidth for Before You Buy is brought to you by CacheFly. At CacheFly.com. Before You Buy is brought to you by Scottevest, technology enabled clothing to carry all your gadgets, and more! Visit scottevest.com/twit. Now through February 24th save 40% off all their best sellers. That’s Scottevest.com/twit, and use the code TWIT13 at checkout.

Leo Laporte: Welcome to Before You Buy, this is the TWiT product review show where we get all the latest and greatest products, things you’ve been hearing about, into our studio, parcel them out amongst our staff, give them a change to spend some time with it. Give them a real world feel of what a real person thinks. We’ll kick things off with our producer, Shannon Morse. You know, I’ve played with the Olloclip lenses since the IPhone 4S. These are little clip on lenses that give the iPhone camera all sorts of new capabilities. There’s a new set out for the IPhone 5. Shannon Morse has this look!

Shannon Morse: Hey everybody! My name is Shannon Morse, and I’m the producer of Before You Buy. Whoo hoo! Today I’m checking out the new Olloclip lenses and accessories for the iPhone 5, 5S, and iPod touch, newest generation. So, Tony had previously reviewed the original Olloclip and he gave it a buy. Today I’m going to determine if the new Olloclip lenses and accessories still stand up to the same name. So first off is the Quick Flip Case, this goes on your IPhone 5, or 5S, or your iPod touch. And it is $50 straight up. It’s very plastic, it does not protect your iPhone very well, but it is perfect for taking pictures with the Olloclip lenses. You can also use it without an Olloclip lens by just flipping over your case, and using this as a brand new shutter button. It makes it so much easier and steadier than having to push the button on your phone every single time you want to take a picture. So pretty cool! Second off, I checked out the 3-in-1 macro lens. So this one is $70 and it gives you three different macro lenses that you can use, on the same little kit. One of them screws off and it gives you 7 times macro, 14 times, and 21 times. The biggest flaw I found with this one is that you really, honestly, have to have a tripod if you want to use this, and not have blurry pictures every time you get close to something. Especially if it’s your cat, and they’re moving around, and you want to get pretty cute little pictures of their whiskers. Very hard to do. The third one I was checking out was the 4-IN- 1 Olloclip lens. Also for I phone 5, 5s, and IPod Touch, newest generations. This one also costs $70 and it includes a fish eye, wide angle lens, a 15 times macro, and a 10 times macro. I found this one to be much easier to use, especially if I wanted to take pictures just hand held of my cats, or my rings, or whatever I have in my household. It was much easier to use, it was very simple. I was able to just unscrew the lenses, and that’s quite simple to use as well, and take pictures of all four of the different lenses included in this kit. The picture quality came out just like you would expect from an IPhone. And fish eye and wide angle lens pictures looked very, very cool, quite stunning and vibrantly clear. Quite fun to use. I love the quality of this lens. The third one that I checked out, well the 4th product, third lens. Was the telephoto/circular polarizing lens. So this one cost a little bit extra. It has a few lenses. It’s $100 for this one. It’s the brand new, big spanking new, big lens. It includes the telephoto on one side and the polarizing on the other. So the thing with this one, is if you’re outside and you want to take pictures and not have too much glare, or you want to get some really stunning vibrant pictures of the sky, you just tilt and turn the polarizing effect to the point that you’re happy. You can definitely see a really big difference with the quality and color of the sky and things like that, whenever you’re turning the polarizing lens from right to left. The telephoto lens, this one is really cool as well. This one gives you two times the zoom that your iPhone can usually get. So if you’re at a zoo and you’re looking at really, really big cats, you can get really close pictures of them and they’re still very clear, and very crisp, and beautiful. I had a lot of fun playing with each of these. They all include extra accessories if you want them. Like a little bag, which can also be doubled as a cleaning kit for your lenses. Very useful. As well as cute little lens caps and an adapter for your IPhone Touch. So let’s go ahead and move on to my pros and cons. Since each of these are Olloclip lenses, and all of them work and fit the same way on the IPhone, I decided to go ahead and include all my pros and cons into one list. So first off the pros. Each of these all have excellent quality. The design is very nice. Included in that design is a very snug fit. So whenever you’re using your phone and you’re out in the wilderness taking pictures of your friends hiking or whatever, you’re not going to have to worry about your lens falling off, especially since it’s very pricy. And third, it’s a compact size so you can just throw it in your pocket and take it out whenever you need to. Very cool. Now on the cons side. Of course, the screen protector, since it is a very snug fit, will tend to get damaged or come off on the edge of your camera whenever you’re trying to put on the Olloclip lens. It’s because it’s such a snug fit. So yes, that is a con because you won’t be able to protect your entire screen whenever you’re using one of these. And if you can get it on there, good on you! And second, they’re very expensive, each of them are over $50 and if you want to purchase them online, they’re not that much cheaper on Amazon, so it’s definitely an expense, if you want to get onto these type of criteria. So would I give it a buy, try, or don’t buy? Well these are definitely for the obsessive photographers. These are for the guys that are going to go out and take pictures on Instagram, like all day. The people that have thousands of followers on Instagram. So I would give these a buy, especially if you are a big time photographer, and you have an iPhone and you plan to keep your iPhone for a long time. If you don’t intend to keep your iPhone, or you plan to upgrade or change over to an Android phone, might not be the product for you, obviously. Again, I’m Shannon Morse, and this is the new Olloclip accessory line for the IPhone 5, 5S, and IPhone touch. And I’ll see you guys back in the studio. Bye!

Leo: The Olloclip is a definite buy! I have sets for all the old iPhones one after another, and I have to get the new ones too. But I just love it. If you do a lot of instagraming or iphoning camera stuff, it’s a wonderful thing to have! Tony Wang is here. Our editor and chief. This is a exciting, Tony. The new ChromeBook. They all kind of are somewhat similar. All sub 300. They run Googles Chrome OS, they’re simple and inexpensive computers. This one is Toshiba. What’s different about this one?

Tony: Well, this one is a little bit different. The biggest difference is 13.3 inches.

Leo: Big screen.

Tony: Big screen. A little bit bigger than the rest of them. The Aser that we reviewed on episode 106 with Radford. But I did go through the specs and they’re pretty much all the same right now. You’re all running Celeron. I didn’t know Celeron was still around.

Leo: Yeah. Intel brought it back.

Tony: Right. It’s 1.4 gigahertz.

Leo: A name no one loved in the first place. They brought it back.

Tony: Right. It’s like celery. Nobody likes Celery.

Leo: Exactly.

Tony: Two gigs of ram.

Leo: That’s good. That’s more than typical right?

Tony: Yes. Exactly so it’s definitely, if you look back on laptops from a few years ago this is sort of like…

Leo: it’s a Netbook.

Tony: Exactly. It’s a netbook running Chrome OS. It’s my first time using one so I have no idea what to expect other than people say, oh it’s not that great. But I actually really enjoyed it.

Leo: So the pawn stars in this Microsoft ad said, “Well when you’re not connected to the internet…you can’t run Microsoft office to it and when you’re not connected to the internet you can’t do anything.” Is that legitimate criticism?

Tony: Yes.

Leo: It’s true.

Tony: It’s true but it’s sort of like the Xbox argument where, when are you not going to be connected to the internet. We’re all connected to the internet.

Leo: Right, even on the airplane part of the time now.

Tony: Right, and when I’m home, I’m connected to the internet three different ways.

Leo: So were you able to live with Chrome OS and get stuff done?

Tony: Well because what we do here, we use Google aps so it was really easy for transitioning. I signed into my accounts, you can have multiple accounts. I was thinking about, I know people want to have a home iPad where everybody has access to it, but you have your own account. This is sort of like the home PC or the home laptop where you can have multiple Google accounts signed it. It’s really easy to use, I love the keyboard.

Leo: It looks just like a MacBook keyboard, that Chiclet style.

Tony: It functions just like a MacBook keyboard as well, and so that’s one of the pros is the keyboard. And also the price. $299 it’s sort of middle, top range ChromeBook.

Leo: It’s about 50 bucks more than the other guys, but that’s because it has a bigger screen, right?

Tony: Exactly, and with a bigger screen it has a bigger battery so it does get the advertised 9 hour battery time.

Leo: Nine hours? That is good!

Tony: Nine hours, with the display on medium brightness.

Leo: That’s really great. Now it’s not a touch screen right?

Tony: No, that would go for the pixels.

Leo: The pixel which is 1200 bucks or something.

Tony: Right. So the con obviously is its not full OS, But you don’t, the display is also sort of a con, its rated for 720P so it’s 1366 by 786.

Leo: It’s not the super high resolution screen.

Tony: Right

Leo: But at that price…

Tony: Right.

Leo: This is aimed at students, at businesses where the employee doesn’t need a whole lot of functionality. Something like ours where Google aps would work.

Tony: Right.

Leo: Do you think it would work in those kind of environments?

Tony: Definitely. I know it only has like 16 gigabytes of local storage, but you get free 100 gigabyte google drive storage, for two years. And I was worried about that but I actually found out that if you put anything in there in the 2 years you actually get to keep them, you just can’t modify the 100 gigabyte.

Leo: After two years. So fill it up now! (Laughs)

Tony: Exactly. So you can back it up.

Leo: Right. There’s some other advantages to the chrome OS. This isn’t really review, but the Chrome OS we’ve talked a lot about it. Security is great, you don’t have to worry. If you anything goes wrong you can power wash, it goes right back to the starting point. And because you’re logging into your Google account, it’ll know everything immediately as soon as you long in. All those things are good selling points.

Tony: Right. That actually brings up one point that I was having issues with. Was to log into the laptop you’re using your Google password. I know a lot of use last pass or one pass. I don’t know how that’ll work with that. Personally I just have a very, very long password.

Leo: Me too! And it is kind of a con. I have to enter my google password every single time. It’s a little frustrating.

Tony: Exactly. There was something I found that was a little frustrating. It was a warning sticker on the bottom of the laptop, saying that it might get really, really hot during use. Because there’s no fan built into this. I actually tried to stress it, and I was not able to get it to heat up at all, not like the MacBrook pro.

Leo: okay. You don’t hear the fan, because there is no fan.

Tony: No, there is no fan.

Leo: And you don’t feel the heat, because it doesn’t get that hot. Is it a metal case? It looks nice.

Tony: It’s completely plastic.

Leo: It just looks like metal.

Tony: Yeah, it’s very solid. You get a little bit of play in the touch pad.

Leo: How is the touchpad? That’s another thing, a lot of Chromebooks don’t have good touchpads.

Tony: I’m a person of touching, like, I don’t like the clicking on the touch pads, so it worked really well for me. It’s as responsive as a MacBook pro.

Leo: So we’ve kind of covered the pros and cons. The next question, buy, try, or don’t buy?

Tony: It’s a buy for me.

Leo: A buy! $299 for the Toshiba Chromebook. Just came out. And lightweight, portable. It’s Chrome OS.

Tony: its 3 lbs, so not too bad.

Leo: And I Like the battery life, that’s I think, better than anybody else on the OS, as far as I can tell. 9 hours! That’s great. Thank you Tony! Tony Wang, He’s the touch kind of person, we now know this about him. He’s also our editor and chief at the TWiT network. Do you wear, you wear scottevest stuff, don’t you?

Tony: I do.

Leo: Do you like it?

Tony: Yes!

Leo: Don’t I love it! I’m wearing it all the time. Scott Jorden, who started Scottevest, wanted to make clothing for geeks like us, with pockets. But I have on the website, they say how many pockets sold, it’s in the 10s of millions of pockets sold. I have to say, there stuff is getting better and better and better. This is a nice one. I actually have several of these. I have one in navy, this is the polo shirt. They call it bamboo, because, well feel that. Is it cotton?

Radford Castro: It feels like…

Leo: Well I already kind of gave it away. It feels like cotton but it isn’t. This is a synthetic based on bamboo apparently. That wears well, it’s very comfortable, it wicks beautifully. It looks like a great polo shirt, but look. Like all the Scottevest clothing, it’s got hidden pockets! In fact, sometimes on Scottevest clothing, they actually have to put stuff in the pockets so you’ll find them. This one is right up here by the button. You could put a phone in there. There’s a side pocket as well. The nice thing about Scottevest, is you can walk around and no one will know where your stuff is. They have an antipick pocket guarantee. They’ll pay you $1000 bucks if your pocket gets picked wearing Scottevest clothing. I wear it when I travel all the time. The vests are great for photographers, right, you’re a photographer.

Tony: Yeah.

Leo: You can put all your stuff in there. 100 pockets. 144 total pockets in one of these jackets! There’s pockets in the pockets. The X-ray feature shows you where everything is. Pockets for your phone, your glasses. The patented personal area and network allows you to run wires through the jacket for your headphones or a battery charger. There’s even pockets big enough for an iPad. The special clear pockets designed for your touch devices, so they can still be protected inside the jacket but you can still control them. I just love Scottevest stuff. I’ve been wearing Scottevest stuff for life. For men and women. It’s great. Now I want you to go to Scottevest.com/twit. Why don’t you do that Brian? Because Scottevest.com/twit, you’ll see 14 products to celebrate their 13 anniversary sale. Those 14 best-selling items are 40% off right now, when you use the offer code TWIT13. 40% off, stuff for men and women. I love that trench coat. Lisa got one of those, they’re just gorgeous. Scootevest also has those puffy jackets. What do you call those? The puffer jacket. Great for the cold weather if you’re back east, you know you need something like that. The Molly jacket for the ladies. Women’s trench coats, the fleece 7.0, which I wear every single day. The fleece is light but it’s warm. And of course, all those pockets. Lisa loves her Lucy cardigan. It’s good looking, but it has pockets everywhere. It’s clothing that’s not just designed. It’s engineered, not just designed. So 14 of their best selling items 40% off, now through February 24th, you have until 9 PM mountain time, Feb 24th 2014 to take advantage of this offer. Make sure you use our code TWIT 13, and you want to see what items are on sale visit Scottevest.com/twit. And you know, if you’re watching this after the sale date ends. After the 24th, try the code anyway! Scotts known for like crazy stuff, where he’ll just kind of, ‘Oh, yeah sure! I’ll give you that.” Scottevest.com/twit. Use the code TWIT13 at checkout. Hi Scott Jorden! We love you, and we love our Scottevest! I should give you some stuff Tony, we got a big shipment. You have it all, right?

Tony: I have the button up shirt.

Leo: Isn’t that nice? I have all of those checked ones. Yeah! Those are really good! I wear those, when I’m off. Okay, I’m going to tell you right now, I’m wearing Scottevest underwear. It’s got pockets, I won’t tell you where! Scottevest.com/twit. You’ll love it, try it today! Alright moving on! Before You Buy is on the air! Next, it’s time for some headphones. We decided to give Brian’s brother Greg the Urban Ears, the Kinivo and the Griffin woodtones. Let’s take a look. A headphone rundown with Greg Burnett.

Greg Burnett: Hi! I’m Greg Burnett with Twit.tv and Before You Buy, and I’m doing a headphone round up. That means I have three moderately priced headphones to review for you guys. The Zinken DJ headphones by Urban Ears. The Kinivo BTH240 Bluetooth headset. And the Griffin Woodtones. The Woodtones are a good pair of headphones, they sound good, and they’re comfortable. Which are your two top priorities when it comes to headphones. But they’re about $60, and I think that’s mainly a bit pricy. Mainly because of the fact that they’re made out of wood. A very good average set of headphones. It just doesn’t bring anything particularly good to the table, other than the fact that they’re wood. Up next is the Kinivo BTH240 Bluetooth headset. Now these headphones are pretty cool because they’re Bluetooth wireless. They have 10 hour battery life and they’re pretty mini. They fold up and come with a little velvet pouch that you can pop them into. Perfect for bringing them to a gym, going with you for a run. They’re only $30, so you can imagine the sound quality on these is not spectacular. Saving the best for last, we have the Urban Ears Zinkin DJ headphones. So why are they DJ headphones? Well they have a matte finish, and kind of a strange rubbery material on the ear cushions. Also, it has another port, so someone else can plug into your headphones and listen to what you’re listening to. Moving on to the pros and cons for all three headphones. The Griffin Woodtones. Again, comfortable, cool looking. Cons though; expensive, and doesn’t really do anything particularly awesome. The Kinivo Bluetooth headset, portable, and cheap. Cons; not amazing sound quality, and not super comfortable either. Finally moving onto the UrbanEars Zinken. Well designed, they give you everything you need as a DJ for under $100. Cons; they are kind of small, especially for someone with a big head like me. I’m giving the Zinken headphones a buy. The Woodtones a don’t buy, and the Kinivo Bluetooth headset a don’t buy. I’m Greg Burnett with twit.tv and before you buy. Thank you and see you next time.

Leo: We call him Grog around the studio. Greg Burnett, and he’s a headphone fanatic. Thank you Greg. Our last review comes from our chief of engine…actually it’s our second to last… our penultimate review. Steve Gibson is coming up in a second. But our Chief of Engineering, Radford Castro is here. We give him a lot of the kind of enterprise grade notebooks. This is a new windows 8 notebook. The Asus VivoBook V451L. The VivoBooks are kind of Asus’ less expensive stuff, right?

Radford: Yes, it kind of sits there with those who are just wanting to use the laptop. But this one has touch this time around. And they’re trying to reach that particular market, where they just want to mess around with the laptop, do a couple of things, and it does, for the most part, do a couple of things but it comes short on a couple of those as well.

Leo: Well tell us all about it? Let me see, is this metal?

Radford: Yes, it is.

Leo: Well that’s nice.

Radford: And right off the bat, I mean, you can tell just looking at the laptop, it’s pretty thick.

Leo: it looks like a MacBook air, but a little thicker right?

Radford: Yeah, thicker and heavier. This is 4.7 pounds.

Leo: Oh! That is heavy!

Radford: Yes! No SSd it’s a regular hard drive at 500 gigabytes. Looking at 6 gigabytes of DDR3 ram. And 1080P webcam but the funny thing is, it’s not a 1080p display. It’s actually at 1366 x768.

Leo: That’s where they always cut corners isn’t it?

Radford: Yeah, they always cut corners there! And they always cut corners in the processer as well. It’s an I5.

Leo: Okay.

Radford: By 200.

Leo: Now come on! And I5 is fine!

Radford: It’s okay.

Leo: For most people, you don’t need more than that right?

Radford: Yeah, but the thing is, you’d expect a little bit more battery life which this does not do.

Leo: Is this 4th generation Haswell.?

Radford: yes, it is. But it’s the hard drive that’s really killing it.

Leo: yeah.

Radford: It kills the battery life. But everything else, you know, you’re looking at you know, some of the stuff that you’d normally see on a regular laptop, your DVD drives and stuff like that. Brian, if you could show them some of the screen shots or at least some of the gallery of the sides.

Leo: I do like touch for, Oh look! You’ve done all the benchmarks! Holy cow!

Radford: Yeah, so this is actually geek bench. 3D mark, passmark. And these bench marks, this is mostly at the CPU, level because the graphics are not really that important at this level. But that’s kind of what you’re getting at. There’s a really huge gap. So looking at this right now, it’s a huge gap between an i7 and an I5 for this particular model. But the thing that holds this back is the hard drive. The thing that makes it stand out too, is the fact that you’re running on lower resolution. You’d expect a little bit more performance. Here’s a thing that’s also not so great. Let me show you the display here.

Leo: The display looks a little bit washed out.

Radford: It might be a little washed out, but it could just be the angle. Again it’s a 1366 by 768. This is a typical game though, that you can usually play on most Windows.

Leo: Despicable Me: Minion Rush.

Radford: Despicable Me: Minion Rush. Kids and adults play it all the time. And it’s free, but if you look closely, it says sorry this ap cannot be installed, your pc might not meet the minimum requirements. So for some crazy reason, even though this is an I5, this doesn’t run it.

Leo: That’s disappointing.

Radford: Very disappointing. So aside from those things, I mean, you’re looking at a laptop that can do of course, the normal stuff that you’d expect to see. It’s pretty snappy. But this is something that is expected of all Windows 8 type of machines. But the thing that kind of sticks out right now, is the fact that the price is at $699. It sounds like a good deal, but then when you compare it to other alternatives out there.

Leo: So for that price, the $700 price range, there are better choices.

Radford: Yes.

Leo: Let’s get the pros and cons on the…

Radford: So the pros, it has good amenities, it has a drive, it has a number of ports in it, it has a two in one card reader.

Leo: That’s nice.

Radford: Yeah, and it has… I don’t know what the super multi DVD is, I would assume it would run all different types of DVDs and stuff like that.

Leo: There’s a spinning optical drive in there?

Radford: Yes there is.

Leo: Oh! Alright!

Radford: So if you’d attribute the drive and the hard drive.

Leo: No wonder.

Radford: Then you’re looking at less battery life obviously. It has Ethernet points so that’s kind of a plus.

Leo: Well that’s nice. And HDMI.

Radford: yeah, HDMI and it has pretty armor. You’re looking at something that it’s pretty nice on the outside, design wise.

Leo: This is metal also?

Radford: Yeah, brushed aluminum.

Leo: So it looks pretty high quality. Asus is pretty good at doing stuff like that.

Radford: Yeah, when it comes to like appearance, they’re always good at that sort of thing.

Leo: The sacrifice is the screen resolution.

Radford: The screen resolution.

Leo: Because it’s got a spinning drive.

Radford: The battery life.

Leo: The battery life isn’t great, and performance is kind of only mediocre for the I5.

Radford: Yeah, it’s very mediocre.

Leo: So those are the negatives. The pros, the price is right.

Radford: The price is okay, but compared to what we’re seeing out there right now, it doesn’t stand well against them.

Leo: Well I get a since of where you’re going with this. Is it a try, buy, don’t buy?

Radford: Unfortunately, I’m going to have to give this a don’t buy. Simply because of its price, and the fact that you’re getting weak performance per dollar.

Leo: You should get more for what you pay.

Radford: Yes.

Leo: That’s Radford Castro, our engineering director at TWiT and the Asus Vivotab what was it? 451.

Radford: The 451.

Leo: Thank you. Great to have you once again Radford. So there was this, actually I gave mine away already. You know Ryan Seacrest, the host of American Idol and Americas top 40. Host of everything, basically. You know, does that New Year’s Eve thing. Who would ever do a New Year’s Eve show? That’s crazy talk. So, Ryan likes his iPhone 5s, but he misses his blackberry keyboard. So he somehow convinced a company to make a keyboard, called the Typo, now I know one person, and one person only, who loves the physical keyboard so much so that he’s barely given up his blackberry. Oh here it is! His name is Steve Gibson, I gave it away, but you’re giving it back already? No, no we’ll give it back! We talked to Steve Gibson earlier today about his experience with Ryan Seacrests, Typo. That guy, here’s Steve Gibson, He is, as you know, the Host of Security now, on the Twit network. And he is also a keyboard authisonato. Steve joins us right now to give a review of the Typo. It’s for the 5 and the 5S. And it’s actually a case that includes a physical keyboard for the IPhone. You slide your iPhone in there. The keyboard lights up, you can type. Now, Steve, Andy Inacco pointed out that Typo is probably not the best name for a keyboard, but we’ll give him a pass on that one. What do you think of it?

Steve Gibson: Okay, so I don’t want to oversell it, because there’s absolutely tradeoffs associated with it. I would say, if you hate typing on a touch screen, as much as I do. Then it’s probably worthwhile. I think that based on the timing of its availability and announcement, relative to when the 5S phone came out. They probably designed it before they Apple 5 added the touch ID, because one of the…

Leo: It covers it up doesn’t it?

Steve: Yes, in order to make the overall size modest. The increase in size, they cover up that whole lower region with the keyboard. I hail from loving my Blackberry. Although, now that I’ve switched over to the IOS, and because Blackberry has pretty much given up the ghost. I really liked the Blackberry keyboard. They of course, Typo, has famously been sued by Blackberry, over how much the Typo people like the Blackberry keyboard. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The Blackberry benefits from more width on its keyboard, so you’ve got a little more space on the Blackberry, but I picked it up and was able to start using it immediately. I love the fact that the keyboard has a backlight when it’s dark. I’m sold, for myself, this is what I want. I do miss that I don’t have touch ID, so that’s part of the tradeoff. Also, the, it charges separately. It uses Bluetooth LE in order to talk to the phone. So you have to have Bluetooth on all the time. I haven’t ever exhausted the battery, because what I do is when I plug the iPhone in, I plug the keyboard in at the same time, so they’re both charging. And just overall, it is, I think a tremendous experience, if you’re somebody who misses the, you know, misses your Blackberry, and sort of wants the best of both worlds.

Leo: It reminds me of the black Berrybecause these are the same kind of domed keys as the Blackberry has.

Steve: It’s got that sort of, funky kind of sculpture where the ones on the right sweep to the right, the ones on the left sweep to the left. It is absolutely the case, that they stole the design from Blackberry. No they did! The courts will have to decide if that was a bad thing or not. If there was actually anything that Blackberry can protect. And I wouldn’t mind if Blackberry made a keyboard, as long as somebody does. I mean, I got a bunch of them because I didn’t ever want to be without them. They’re very much my palm pilots.

Leo: that’s another cause for concern, we talked to Rene Ritchey and Andy Inacco, both who received them at CES, but they were prototypes, we should say, and they’ve gone through quite a few. They’ve broken I think, Imore, broke eight of them. But yours, have you been using it pretty steadily since you got it last week?

Steve: Yeah, I have and I’ve had no problems.

Leo: You know there is another issue, you may never use this, but normally on IOS7 you swipe up from the bottom, and you can’t with this thing on. Oh, I did it! But it was with great difficulty.

Steve: Yeah, I did. I’ve had the same problem, I’m glad you mentioned that because it’s difficult to get started down as close as you need to. There is a keyboard button on the keyboard,

Leo: A home button.

Steve: Well no, there’s a home button, but there’s also key button. You hold that down for four seconds in order to turn off the Bluetooth to save the battery, if you wish.

Leo: Oh ok.

Steve: But if you press it normally, then it requests the Apple keyboard to come up, that allows you to get to all the extra special characters, any Mojies and international keyboard, and other things that you may have on your traditional keyboard. I don’t think I’m going back, I’m liking, I’m much faster, and much more accurate, on this than I was, sort of painfully typing characters on the Apple keyboard. I think I’m a convert, I don’t want to oversell it though, because I would say you are giving up a lot of things, you can’t give your own case, it is a case, so you lose any case that you might be in love with.

Leo: So we usually, do on Before You Buy. Pros and Cons. I’m going to give you one pro, its backlit so you can use it in the dark.

Steve: That is nice, of course the natural keyboard is backlit too.

Leo: Yeah, well I guess so, it’s always on. It’s also a physical keyboard, so if you’re a physical keyboard fan this is, to my knowledge, the only way you can have one on your iPhone. It’s also a little larger and it takes over your case. Those two would be cons. You do have to charge it up separately, so you have a battery issue with it. And we’re not sure about reliability, it may be, those are prototypes, these devices are a little bit more reliable.

Steve: And if they all die, I’ll go back but I’ll use it until then.

Leo: And you paid how much? 70 bucks?

Steve: No, I think it was $100, it was $99. And they’re now saying that they’re not able to provide them as quickly as they wanted due to the demand and backlog. I don’t know what their production capabilities are.

Leo: They say, sold out! New orders shipping mid march.

Steve: Yeah.

Leo: So it’s Typo keyboards.com $99 as you said. So then the next, only one thing remains Steve. We always decide, we always announce, is it a buy, try or don’t buy?

Steve: Oh I think it’s so much a function of who you are. I really do.

Leo: So we’re going to say try, right?

Steve: So if you hate typing on a touch screen, this really does work.

Leo: Steve Gibson, he’s the host, the man in charge, We call him the explainer in Chief, of Security Now.  Every Tuesday, 1 PM pacific, 4 PM eastern time. That’s 2100 UTC on TWiT.tv. There you go, a big buy for Steve Gibson. But I would say that Steve has only had it for a week. A few people like Rene Ritchey and Andy Inacco, who have had it longer say they’ve had a lot of failures, again those might have been prototypes, so we’ll watch with interest. So if you’ve got to have a keyboard, that might be the solution for you. $99 for the Typo keyboard. A buy for Steve Gibson from Security Now. Well this was a great show. Thank you Steve, Ryan, I mean Radford. Who’s Ryan? Oh Seacrest. Ryan Seacrest, we don’t thank him. He wasn’t here. This is the only show in the world he doesn’t do! Tony Wang, Shannon Morse, Greg Burnett. Thank you, most importantly for joining us. We do Before You Buy on Tuesday’s right after Security Now. You can watch live but you can also get the individual reviews on our YouTube channel, Youtube.com/beforeyoubuy. Or get the full show at tiwt.tv/byb, audio and video available after the fact. We also encourage you to subscribe. If you subscribe you get it each week. It’s in ITunes, the Xbox music store, everywhere better podcasts are aggregated. If you have a suggestion for a product you’d like to see reviewed, we’d like to review it for you. Email us at byb@twit.tv. I’m Leo Leporte. Thanks for joining us. Remember, you got to watch Before You Buy! We’ll see you next time. Bye, bye.