Before You Buy 118 (Transcript)
Show tease: Today on Before You Buy, the Galaxy S5! The crazy hardcore mobile laptop, and the Logitech Harmony keyboard. Netcasts you love, from people you trust. This is TWiT. Bandwidth for Before You Buy is brought to you by CacheFly, at cachefly.com. This episode of Before You Buy is brought to you by audible.com. To download a free netbook of your choice, go to audbilepodcasts.com/beforeyoubuy. And by shutterstock.com. With over 30 million high quality stock photos, illustrations, vectors, and video clips. Shutterstock helps you take your creative projects to the next level. For 20% off your new account visit shutterstock.com and enter the offer code: Before You Buy414.
Shannon Morse: I love this song! Hi! Welcome to Before You Buy, this is TwiT network’s Product review show where we get all of our hosts, and some of our team members to come in and review all sorts of tech and new gadgets that you guys want to see. We have plenty of products today so let’s go ahead and start it off with our first review and this one is from Jason!
Jason Howell: Hello!
Shannon: Jason from All About Android.
Jason: How’s it going?
Shannon: It’s going great, how are you?
Jason: I’m doing fantastic!
Shannon: I’m so happy you made it here today without getting pulled over!
Jason: Uh, yeah, although I will say when I got pulled over it was because of the phone I’m going to review.
Shannon: That’s right.
Jason: No, it’s because I was stupid, but I happened to be holding the phone that I’m going to review.
Shannon: CA law says no hand held devices while you’re driving.
Jason: I wasn’t drive…. Well okay! I wasn’t driving, I was at the stop, but I was…
Shannon: You were flinging it around taking pictures.
Jason: But I was in the car, in the driver’s seat, flailing it about, taking pictures of my kids.
Shannon: You got some good photos.
Jason: I got some great photos! It captured a good moment.
Shannon: We’ll see you’re pictures are just a few minutes, but you’ve been playing with this for about a week.
Jason: Yeah, so this is the Samsung Galaxy S5 and yeah, I’ve been playing with it for the past week, and it’s a pretty large and in charge phone, as you can see here.
Shannon: It is big.
Jason: $199 on contract. You can get it for $500 no contract. And just to kind of go through some of the quick specks here…
Shannon: Oh! Fingerprint reader! Cool!
Jason: Fingerprint scanner, right? There you go. 2500 Megahertz quad core snap dragon 801, and I’ve got to say this phone flies when you’re using it. Games, whatever you happen to be doing with it. Everything super snappy and fluid. Has two gigs of RAM. 5.1 inch full HD super LED screen with 431 pixels per inch. It has 16 gigs of storage, built in. That gets trimmed down to about 10 gigs of usable storage, a little more than that when you’re talking about touch whiz, and software enhancements on top of that. But they kind of make up for that because the Micro SD card can hold 8 gigs of storage. So you can go nutso on storage on this thing if you want. 16 megapixel rear facing camera, it’s actually capable of recording 4 K video, and I have some samples we’ll get to here in a second. 2.1 megapixel front facing camera. Has a 28 hundred milliamp hour battery. Let me pull this open.
Shannon: And you can replace it, just like their old ones?
Jason: Yes, you can replace it. And the way that they did this, I think and I’m sure this is the way it is on the S4, I can’t remember unless I take a look, the battery is really long and slim. Now the phone is very large, but it’s also very thin. Pretty happy with, kind of, the size that they were able to get on the design here. And that’s, of course, a lot of times manufactures will say we don’t want to put in a removable battery because it’s going to bulk up the phone and everything. Samsung did a really good job with that, in making a long slim battery that still keeps the phone very slim.
Shannon: Now you’re pretty hardcore user, would you say?
Jason: Well I try to be, I certainly try to be, yes.
Shannon: Does the phone last for you all day?
Jason: That’s definitely a big key bonus about this device. 2800 milliamp hour battery, and they have a lot of really great power management enhancements. Actually when it gets down to 10% it’ll kick into this monochrome low usage mode, that extends, they say, extends up to 24 hours longer by just giving you calls and text messages. So kind of limiting your data stuff, so if you’re out and about and you absolutely still need those things, you’re going to get even more battery life. And my battery life with this went a few times, not plugging it in at night, and it easily went almost 48 hours, both times. Using it like I normally use a phone, so not like I was using it less at those times, so it was pretty great. Water resistant, it is IP67 water resistant. It’s not water proof, but that’s you know, rain, short dunk in the water. Not swimming in the lake.
Shannon: Oh darn.
Jason: And as a result, you do get this little cover here, so, but I’m not really a fan of port covers, but it’s essential if you want to protect the device. I have to say Samsung did a good job with the port cover. It’s kind of a silly kind of thing to mention, but so often when you have these port cover, they’re the hardest thing in the world to pry open, and that’s why they’re so annoying.
Shannon: Yes, they really annoy me.
Jason: Samsung did a great job of giving you a kind of easy to grasp to grab on to notch so you can pull it right out. And on top of that the headphone jack is just a normal headphone jack. There’s no cover on it, so good stuff there. Very awesome as far as protecting the phone.
Shannon: I notice the back has this weird perforation going on.
Jason: Yes exactly, so this probably on video looks maybe a little bit more premium than I’d say it feels in the hand. It kind of has that note style, it’s not quite pleather. It’s actually plastic, but it kind of looks like it might be pleather, or leather, but it’s not really. I don’t know, it’s okay, I think this is up to your personal taste. For me, I don’t know, I’m not a huge fan of it, to be honest the design of the phone in general, you can see on the sides here, these little like notched fake chromes sidings all around the device. Some people might think it makes it look premium. I feel like it makes it look kind of cheap.
Jason: Especially when you see it up close.
Shannon: I like matte black for a phone.
Jason: Yeah, exactly. Or you know, with the HTC one M8, it’s more of like, kind of metallic approach, less of plastic thing, and that’s really true to Samsung’s design aesthetic, they really go the plastic route, which a lot of people love. It’s just not my favorite thing in the world, but having said that it’s pretty decent design phone. Display is obviously… it’s beautiful. It’s a large, rich 1080P display. I love just looking, and using, and interacting with this display. Very big thumbs up there. Performance I already said, it’s super zippy. Boot up process is less than 10 seconds from turning it on to using it actively, so I was pretty impressed with that. And we might as well take a little bit of time and talk about the camera here.
Jason: Somehow I activated Google now, interesting. Don’t know how I did that, but there you go.
Shannon: Seems to respond pretty well though.
Jason: Yes, exactly. So one cool thing to notice about the camera on the S5 is it has the dedicated chip set. It allows for things like faster operation. It has phase detection on the auto focus, which is a different type of auto focus. So focus seems to be a little bit quicker with it. One thing the results were kind of mixed as far as that was concerned. But ultimately I was pretty happy with how it could lock into its auto focus. Good depth of field, most of the time. Lots of bells and whistles, all sorts of options to choose from when you’re…Samsung is really good at just listing this grid full of a massive amount of things you could turn on or off.
Shannon: Wow, it’s almost too much.
Jason: You almost need a map to know where all the options are, even though they’re displayed on the screen for you. Bryan, if you could show a few of the images. So beauty face is a front facing camera in this regard. And it kind of smooth’s out the skin, I don’t know, it looks a little too Photoshopped for me.
Shannon: It kind of reminds me of going to Walmart and having pictures done.
Jason: Exactly. But it’s an automatic thing, so that’s kind of neat, I guess. I thought that there was really great depth of field. When I was really close to something, it had something in the background. It was very easy to focus to the fore or background, and get a nice blurred effect on whatever wasn’t in focus. In good light, pictures were absolutely awesome. Off the charts great.
Shannon: The color is excellent!
Jason: Yeah, excellent color, maybe a little oversaturated at times. But I really like the picture there. Okay, so it has live HDR, this means that instead of processing HRD after the fact, you actually see the results of HDR on the screen as you’re doing it. As you can see between the two, is HDR on and go back to HDR off, you see Steve Gibson up on the monitor. This will kind of give you a difference of what the difference is between the two. It kind of rounds it out and gives you a nicer look. And you’re monitoring as that’s happening, so that’s very cool. Low light, this looks okay on this monitor right now, but if you really got up close and looked at this picture…
Shannon: It’s a little grainy.
Jason: Yeah, a little grainy in low light, but it is okay. Selective focus is a feature that it has, it’s kind of similar to what the M8 has, and is using two cameras for. You can be really close to an object, and then have the background be able to kind of say, yes! Blur out the background. You can see in this picture it didn’t do a good job of it. It captured the pulls, and then it often captured that gear. Totally blurred out Leo’s head. If you go to the next one, this one did it a little bit better, maybe it was the lighting. Steve Gibson in the foreground, and totally blurred in the background. So it’s kind of iffy. It was sometimes I got great results out of the camera, and some the features, sometimes not so great.
Shannon: I do like that it is 16 megapixels though. It’s a lot better.
Jason: Yeah, no 16 megapixels is great. This is another feature. This is virtual tour, so I was doing this a little bit earlier. And you were giving me a strange look here actually at the end of this video. And essentially it’s kind of like a live panorama, and it gives you this virtual tour of a place.
Shannon: So you can actually walk around?
Jason: Yeah, so you can walk around and it’s not video necessarily, it’s all stitched together photos
Shannon: So can you play it as a video?
Jason: That’s actually what I did here. I exported it as a video, and I can upload this to YouTube if I wanted. If you play it in the phone, it gives you a nice little map to show you where you’re at. There’s Snubs in the background.
Shannon: Making noises at Jason of course.
Jason: So there you go, that’s the camera. So all in all I’d say, pretty cool, not always the most dependable results, you don’t always know what you’re going to get.
Shannon: Okay! And you also said you did some 4K video, right?
Jason: I did. I doubt that’s going to play in the Tricaster. It’s…
Shannon: Yeah it’s stuttering.
Jason: But its 4k, and I’ve got to say 4K eats up your space fast!
Shannon: Oh yeah!
Jason: This is almost a minute and almost 5 Megs. So you’ve got to be okay with that too. Obviously, hopefully you know that going into it.
Shannon: that’s cool.
Jason: Real quick on the software, and then I’ll give you my pros and cons here. This is touch whiz, and from my previous experience from touch whiz, this is definitely toned down, a little bit more along the stock Android line. If touch whiz could ever get closer to stock Android, but it’s still obviously Touch Whiz. Didn’t really get in the way, still though, options are just overwhelming. If you pull down that settings menu on your OS, Granted it’s nice to have instant access to turn things on or off, but it’s still kind of overwhelming. You have to stand here and stare at it to really understand what you’re looking at. Maybe if you use it regularly every day, you’ll know exactly.
Shannon: You’ll get used to it eventually.
Jason: Yeah. Left of the home screen, instead of being Google now, which it is on the stock Android, you get this kind of My Magazine thing, which I suppose is kind of great, if you’re using it, I didn’t find it very useful myself. Some nice features, there’s something called one handed operation, if I could get it to kick in. Oh there it is! So if you are using a phone with one hand.
Shannon: Oh! This is good for my hands because I have tiny hands!
Jason: Exactly! If you’re using one hand, you swipe from the outside to the middle and back, both side works, and it’ll bring it over to you. So that you can temporarily make your screen a little smaller and use it with one hand. Because it is quite a large screen otherwise. There’s that, they have a lot of features, Samsung is really good at throwing all these features in there. Again, you have to ask yourself, are these features something I’m going to use all the time? Some people really get into them. Other people, it just kind of bulking up the space. That’s why you have 10 gigs of useable storage on here, instead of 16. So the features are neat, no doubt. Are you going to use them? That’s a question you have to ask yourself.
Shannon: Alright, so pros and cons?
Jason: Pros and cons. I’d definitely say the display. Battery, I was super impressed with the battery and the power management. It’s securely protected, I’m sure you saw at the beginning of this review, I’ve been using the fingerprint scanner the whole time I’ve been using it. I’ve been more or less happy with it. One thing I’m going to say, real quickly. Because I’ve seen a lot of reviews miss this. You can store up to 3 fingerprints, and when you do, I’ll show my screen for a second. I’ll just kind of show you, when you’re learning it, I think everybody’s tendency is to go like this with your fingers. You want to store one like this with your thumb. That way if you’re ever one handed you won’t need to pull the other hand out to hold the phone.
Shannon: Smart! Yeah!
Jason: So if you do that it totally works. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about that with the fingerprint scanner, but anyway. It’s securely protected, and the performance is fantastic. As far as the cons, the design aesthetic, kind of the plastic approach, you’re going to love it or hate it. Maybe you’re going to put a case on it, and that’ll help if you don’t like the plastic approach. But keep that in mind. The camera, a little too inconsistent, but you know, it has the capability of recording great pictures. And the software, it’s toned down, but there’s still a little bit of extra bloat there. Samsung did move some of their apps into the app store, so that it isn’t installed by default, and that’s a great start, but there’s still a lot to maneuver through there. My verdict, I’d buy it. I think it’s a fantastic phone if you know what you’re getting yourself into. If you’re not like me, deadest into getting a Vadela, or Google experience phone, and you want something that has a little more bells and whistles. The Galaxy S5 is a fantastic phone, and I’d definitely consider it.
Shannon: Awesome! Thank you so much Jason!
Shannon: I kind of predicted that you’d give it a buy.
Jason: You did?
Shannon: Kind of!
Jason: Well some people I think weren’t so sure that I was going to.
Shannon: Well it is a good line.
Jason: It is a good line.
Shannon: They do a very good job on their interiors, on the hardware. So we’re going to go ahead and move on. But before our next review though, Jason, I have a question for you.
Jason: Uh oh!
Shannon: Do you listen to audio books?
Jason: I listen to audio books all the time actually.
Shannon: Me too! I’ve a 30 minute commute whenever I come up here, and it is so much better whenever I listen to audiobooks. Let me tell you a little bit about one of my favorite websites. It’s called audible. This is where you can download all sorts of digital audio books. Whatever your choice! You can get anything from nonfiction, to fiction, periodicals, sci-fi, and fantasy. Those two are my favorites, I love those! They’re leading providers of audio books. So you can get more than 150,000 downloadable titles. And, of course, for listeners of before you Buy, Audible is offering a free audio book, to give you a chance to try out their service, and I definitely suggest it, especially if you’re a commuter like I am. One audio book that you may consider, this is one of my favorites, it’s called Reen Dee. By Neil Stevenson. It’s a very, very long audio book, but you can get it with our trial offer. It’s a really, really good book. I’d definitely suggest it for anybody into the hacker type speak, and kind of a gamer. It’s a very good book. It had me listening even after I got home from my commute. I’d have my speaker phone on and listen to it while I was…
Jason: That’s when you know it’s really good.
Shannon: You just don’t want to turn it off!
Jason: I’ll pull into the partio parking garage, or the driveway at home and I just stay in my car for another two minutes.
Shannon: So if you want to download this is audio book for free, or another one of your choice, you have plenty of choices in there 150,000 titles. You can go to audiblepodcast.com/beforeyoubuy. That’s all one word. Audiblepodcast.com/beforeyoubuy. And of course, we thank audible for their support of Before You Buy. Thank you so much! And I am continuing to be a member of Audible myself. Now we are going to join Padre in just a few moments with a Dell precision Mobile Workstation laptop! I love these things, I know you guys have wanted to see it for a while now, so we got it on the show! Padre, take it away!
Fr. Robert Ballecer: I’m Father Robert Ballecer with TwiT TV, and this is the Dell Precision M3800. At .31 to .71 inches thick. 14.65 inches wide, and 10 inches high, the M3800 is a swell 4.15 pound, dell business class notebook. Dell brought the weight of the machine down, by using a combination of aluminum and carbon fiber in the chassis. Making it durable, while giving it a mean profile and forward looking style. The m3800 is powered by a 4th generation Intel Haswell. I74702Q Quad Core CPU. Running at 2.2 gigahertz. Bootable to 3.2. With 6 megabytes of Cache. The CPU sits on top of 16 gigabytes of DDR3 1600 megahertz memory, and is supported by integrated Intel 4600 graphics. As well as a discreet and video quadro, K1100M with 2 gigabytes of dedicated Gddr5 memory. The integrated graphics will be engaged during normal usages for better battery life, while the quadro will be automatically activated when more graphics horsepower is needed to drive the pixels. Speaking of pixels, the M3800 has a lot of them 6 million 840 thousand to be exact. The m3800 sports a gorilla glass covered 6.6 inch ultra-sharp 3800 by 1800 LED backlit, QHD plus panel, complete with 10 point multi-touch overlay. The screen is bright and color is well saturated. The viewing angles are generous and it might quite simply be the most beautiful screen I’ve ever seen on a laptop, PC, or MAC, bar none. Storage comes in the form of a PCI express 512 gigabyte Samsung. S4mc18sata SSD, providing 516 megabytes per second of read, and 401 megabytes per second of write. Networking is provided by Intel duel band wireless and Bluetooth adapter that supports 802 11, A, B, G, and NAC, as well as Bluetooth 4.0. There is no integrated gigabit Ethernet port, so you have to use a USB adapter for wired network access. The left side of the machine sports a full size HDMI output, a mini display port. 2 USB 3.0 ports, a combo audio jack, and a battery life indicator. The right side of the unit adds a media card reader, a USB 2.0 port, and a third USB 3.0 port. The keyboard is properly spaced, solid with decent travel, and feedback. And user toggled backlit keys. Likewise the multi-touch track pad is responsive and gesture enabled. Properly weighted for fast but accurate touch. Two speakers below the palm rest provide passible sound, even if not overwhelming. But enough about specs. Let’s hear about the performance. In PC mark vantage. The MC3800 scored 20738, putting it firmly in the desktop replacement realm of the venerable bench mark. Though the quadro graphics card, and the 3800 by 1800 resolution means that the M3800 isn’t really made for gaming, it’s still has enough power to eke out a score of 8594 in 3D mark vantage. All that power does take a toll on the M3800 in the form of battery life. Run time is so-so. With a 91 watt hour lithium ion battery. Providing about 6.5 hours of moderate use. Beyond the bench marks, the M3800 is a joy to work with. The combination of the quad core CPU, generous amounts of system memory, and fast SSD means that everything was faster. In particular adobe premiere was brilliant on this notebook. Flying through rendering tasks faster than the MacPros we use here at TWiT. Even the ventilation was done right. With dual fans, and a heat spreader keeping sound to a minimum during regular computing tasks. The Dell Precision 3800 is available now, pricing runs from $1,799 to $2,630. Let’s start with the cons. The first thing has to be price. $2,555 is a lot of cheddar, but I’m not saying it’s not worth it. You do get a lot for your money. This processor, this screen it is a mobile desktop replacement. Sill $2,555 is a lot of money! The second thing has to be battery. Even with this 91 watt hour battery, we were getting between 6and 7 hours of life, and that’s if we really really squeezed. It just doesn’t compare with a lot of other notebooks. Now granted, it has a bigger screen, it has a dedicated graphics processor, it has a faste CPU, but still if it’s going to be mobile it probably should last a little bit longer. The third thing is the lack of an itegrated Ethernet port. Now I know there’ll be people out there who will say why not use an USB dongle. And that’s true, you can do that! But if this is really a business class notebook, to me, it says that should be integrated into the packet. I shouldn’t have to carry around an extra piece to get the functionality out of my business class machine. Now let’s look to the pros. On the pro side of course, is the speed. They just really packed this thing with everything you need to go fast. It’s got that dedicated graphics processor, it’s got a quad core i7, it’s got 16 gigabytes of memory, it’s got 512 gigabytes of SSD, and a PCI express slot. It’s just packed to the gills with all the things to make it go! But again, it’s not just about speed, it’s about style. I love the magnesium/aluminum/carbon fiber construction. It feels good. It feels solid and more than that, it just looks good. Everything from the cover, to this rubberized surface. Just feels as if they’ve put their homework into giving you a notebook you can use, and show off. And that can be important. The last thing I really like about this is just the accessibility of all the features. The ports are spaced right on both sides. It just feels light, it feels really, really fast and it feels like I can carry this around and have it be my daily driver without it being either too heavy or too fragile. IN other words, when I compare the pros and the cons, well the Dell Presision M3800 is a definite buy! I’m father Robbert Ballecer with Before You Buy!
Shannon: Alright! Thank you so much Padre! That was interesting, and oh you have it right here!
Fr. Robert: Yeah, this is a sexy, sexy beast!
Shannon: Mind if I bite it?
Fr. Robert: Actually you could, it’s gorilla glass, so you hurt your teeth. Now one thing I did notice thought, this was sent with windows 7, which is actually very popular because a lot of businesses you know…
Shannon: It’s great for work.
Fr. Robert: Yeah. But with Windows 7, I don’t think it’s ready for the hardware that’s in here. IN fact there are a couple of drivers that are unknown, you know, like in the device driver. So I’m almost positive if you actually shipped this with the operating system it was designed for, Windows 8, then the touch screen would work better. The power saving functions would work better and you’d probably get longer battery life.
Shannon: Ah! Good point! Yeah, the battery life was a little low wasn’t it?
Fr. Robert: Yeah, but it wasn’t, again this is designed to be a desktop replacement. You know, it’s not quite a gaming notebook because the battery life would be incredible short. You could take this on a flight. The battery would probably last between here and the east coast if you really watched your, you know, how much you used it. But it’s for those people who need a lot of screen real estate, who want a no compromise video card, who want a quad core I7, and a huge SSD. That’s all in here, but of course you’re going to pay for it.
Shannon: Great! Well thanks again, this is Father Robert Ballecer and you can see him on Thursdays at TWiT.tv/Kh, and for Know How, and Also with me at Coding 101, w hich plays at 1:30 PM?
Fr. Robert: That’s right. All pacific time.
Shannon: Thursdays. I always forget what time it plays. Anyway, let’s go ahead and move on to our next review. This one is from Liz, and she has a pair of headphones that I’ve been looking forward to because she wears these things every day in the office.
Liz: Hi! I’m Liz From TWiT, and I’m going to be reviewing some wireless headphones for you, because I’m a person where I’m a little bit out there and do a lot of talking with my hands. So it’s nice not to have to worry about cord. So I’m going to let you know about two fantastic Bluetooth headphones that I adore. The first one I’m going to review is the Outdoor tech privates Headphones. These are amazing. Personally the reason why I love these so much is because they actually have controls on the headset. Which means I don’t ever have to be around my phone, I can be listening to music when I’m gardening, and I can just be like, nope didn’t like that song. Nope, didn’t like that song. Oh I did like that one! Go back, volume up, volume down. Wait someone is talking to me, I can just hit pause. Another big plus about these is the sound quality. These are great. I can actually be listening to something and if I want to also be able to hear someone yell at me, I can have it around my neck, and these things can blast. Also the nice thing about these guys is that they have up to 10 hours of charge! It has up to 35 feet range. I could have my phone at my desk bouncing away, I can go in the kitchen at TWiT, I can make myself some oatmeal, I can walk in the bathroom, these things are still getting great reception from my phone. So for my pros: remote control on the side of these is fantastic! I love it! For cons, the price is a little steep These are $99, but I really do think you are getting your money’s worth out of these. Really comfy fit, not the most slim looking, or stylish looking I guess you could say. On to the next one, is the JBL J46BT. These guys are Bluetooth in ear headphones. The nice things about these is these allow me to shut out the entire world, I can work, I can workout, I can do my little Zen thing listening to something. Can’t hear anybody, feels like I’m not even wearing these things. They have up to 5 hours in one charge and they’re 4.0 Bluetooth wireless device. For the pros: these are actually really small. I’ve seen a lot of other Bluetooth inner ears and they’re huge to be able to Bluetooth. The range is good. The design is great, really great quality of sound, loving it! Cons: If you’re like me and you’ve got, you know, smallish ears and some accessories, they are a little uncomfortable how they kind of try to go in all the way. Once you get them in they’re good, they’re just a little hard to get in. $98 is a little steep but they’re definitely worth the price. For these two fantastic Bluetooth products, I have to give them both buys! These guys are fantastic if you want to just be away from your phone, no you’re indecisive, you don’t know what you want at first, just like me. No I don’t like that, no I don’t like that. Wait and turn it down if you’re saying something, pause. Love it. But these are so slim, so compact, love having these in my purse, be able to pull them out whenever I want to and shut out the world. Both buy! BHack to you guys!
Shannon: I’m back over in the living room, and that was Liz with her outdoor tech earphones. I love those things, they’re so pretty! And of course, if you guys ever want to see anything in particular that we haven’t reviewed yet, you can always email us over at firstname.lastname@example.org. Both Carston our producer and myself both get those emails so we’ll be happy to check them out if you do email us! Now before we go onto our next review I wanted to do another sponsor. This is somebody interesting who I’ve been checking out quite a bit lately. They have a lot of really good images and videos. This would be Shutterstock. If you haven’t checked out shutterstock yet, you can find the perfect image for everything you might be doing. Whether it’s a creative project, maybe you’re working on a new website and you need to find a really good stock image. So they have over 30 million high quality stock photos, illustrations. They even have vectors, which is great. Great Vector art. And video clips. Shutterstock images from around the world, they get pictures from professional photographers, and they have all sorts of cool illustrations from artists. They review each image individually for content and quality before adding it to itls library. SO you know that you’re going to get really good stuff over at shutterstock. They add 20000 images every day, so every time you visit you’re going to find something new. I love that part. And they have flexible pricing, so you can choose individual miage packs or monthly subscriptions for the best deals. So you can download 25 images a day with this standard subscription, and you can download any image in any size and pay only one price. So it never changes, which is great. Shutterstock gives you the images that you need to get your creative projects to the next level. They have sophisticated search tools so you can look for anything. Hey I have an idea. I am planning a wedding Bryan, lets look for flowers. In fact, I need coral flowers, Coral colored flowers. How about that one. And this will give me some great ideas for some flowers I can use. Oh those are pretty! Some pretty vintage roses, this is perfect! Great I can come up with some pretty excellent bouquets for my wedding. I could use those on my wedding website! Ha, there we go! Now, if you’ve never checked it out yet, sophisticated search tools, they have a shareable lightbox, if you want to use that. So you can save images to a lightbox gallery, access them any time and share them with other team members if you need it for work. And they have a really cool iPad app, it’s award winning. So you can search on the go, you can use it to display images during presentations and what not. And they also have a global marketplace, they have multilingual customer service, in order so you can get dozens of international countries, and you can get full time support throughout the week, no matter where you are, or what you’re doing. So you can try shutterstock today by signing up for a free account. No credit card needed, just start an account, begin using shutterstock to imagine what you’re next project could be like. And save images to a lightbox to review later. And once you decicde to purchase, which I know your’e going to do it, because this site is awesome. Use offer code: Beforeyoubuy414, new accounts will receive 20% off any packages. That’s shutterstock.com and for 20% off new accounts use offer code: BEFOREYOUBUY414. And of course, we thank Shutterstock of their support of Before You Buy 414. Now, let’s move onto our next review, I was really excited about this one, because I am a home theater freak. I love this stuff! Now this one is from Aaron Newcomb, he reviewed the brand new Logitech harmony keyboard.
Aaron Newcomb: Hey! I’m Aaron Newcomb here and I’m here to talk about the Logitech harmony smart Keyboard. This thing is really awesome! What it is is, if you know about the harmony hub, which is basically this little device here, it actually connects to all your devices, and everything from this little hub. You just put it somewhere within range of your devices, you use that and you can use either the harmony promote that comes, the expensive one you can buy with it, or you can just use your cell phone. Which is great, your smartphone. But this actually adds in another device which Logitech is known for. Their peripherals, or in this case their computer, or their keyboard. So this adds in a keyboard for all those times when you want to connect to your high definition or your home theater PC, your HT PC at home, or maybe you’re running XPMC at home, or you don’t have a keyboard. All that kind of stuff you want a keyboard for, now you can do that. And it’s only 50 more than the harmony smarthub itself. So it’s 150 dollars form Logitech, and it adds this nice little keyboard. There’s a lot of really cool things about this device that you should know. So first off, it connects up to 8 devices around your living room or whatever area you have your TV in, so that’s great. It adds the Harmony, all the harmony compatibility that you get with all the various devices, and how easy it is to set up because it’s a harmony product. One thing that’s kind of nice about it is, it comes with a couple of these little USB dongles that you can put into your PC or your home theater PC, laptop, whatever, and control those. So that’s nice, you actually get two of them. A lot of times when you get a wireless keyboard it comes with one, and when you want to control another device you have to get up out of your chair, move the dongle over to the other thing and all that, but this comes with actually two dongles, it also comes with an extender so some peripherals have the USB plug buried way underneath the case where it’s hard to get to, you can actually just plug this into the extender and then plug the extender into your USB socket, so that’s nice. It also comes with a little repeater, an IR repeater. So you can hide the hub if you want to, and stick this out in front of your devices, and use that instead. So what I’m going to do, I have an activity programmed into the app, and all I have to do to start that activity this one is called PCTV, so this could be an HPTV in your house, or something plugged into your big screen tv. All you have to do is tap on that, in fact, you can’t hear this, but I could hear the TV coming on, so the TV is warming up and coming on. It’s actually making a connection to my computer, and it’s telling the keyboard to go ahead and connect VIA the USB dongle. So now I actually have a nice little remote on the screen that I can do things with. For example, if I have this program to control the volume on my laptop, so if I turn mute off, it actually turns mute off on my laptop, or back on. And I can adjust volume, and change channels, and hit play and forward, and other things as well. But that’s really as easy as it is. Turn the TV on behind us, and it gives me now, control over functions on the TV, or on my laptop, depending how I set it up. Now I’ll switch to using the harmony keyboard so you can see how that works. The keyboard itself, it’s a little small, but it’s basically the same size as the keyboard on my laptop. Not much different, the only thing I found difficult to use was the backspace and shift. Some of the shift buttons and some of those extended keys on the keyboard are a little bit smaller, so I’m used to hitting them, they’re not quite there. So when I reach up with my pinkie sometimes I hit plus instead of backspace. Otherwise, the keys you’re going to be typing with the most, are actually pretty comfortable. So let’s go ahead and switch applications. Here’s Word. So you can see it’s very quick, it responds very quickly. So you can see there’s no delay using the USB. This also connects via Bluetooth so if I want to connect using the built in Bluetooth I can do that. It’s very comfortable. It’s comfortable on the table, it’s comfortable on your lap, it’s big enough to fit on your lap. Well not being really clunky and cumbersome. It also has a nice finish on the keyboard which is very important. So it’s not going to slip out of your hands when you’re using it. So that’s also really cool. So that is the keyboard portion of this. Now, there are other functions on the keyboard as well. So there’s volume functions just like you’d find on your laptop. So there’s functions to change form DVR, or bring up a menu. And there’s also the color coded buttons down here at the bottom, if you’re used to having a remote that has the green, blue, kind of miscellaneous buttons. Those are there as well, so you can use those right from the keyboard if you want to, or you can do it form your phone, either way. So let’s wrap this up, pros and cons, you cans see them on the screen. Fairly comfortable, full sized keyboard. So like I said, some of the buttons are a little bit jinky, they’re small because they wanted to squeeze them onto this form factor, but otherwise they’re fine. Connects to 8 different devices which is great because so many people have so many devices in their living room right now, that they want to control. This connects to Roku, Xbox, PS3, PS4 is coming soon. Obviously it connects to your laptop, or home theater PC, all Bluerays, laptops, whatever you want. Everything that Harmony is known for. It’s going to connect to. The centralized hub, which is nice to connect to all your equipment, that means you don’t have to change things around manually as you’re setting on your couch. Everything goes through your hub, so of course, USB functionality, infrared are connects, it all goes through the hub, so the hub manages what’s connecting to what, and what it’s sending signals to. It also has really easy set up for beginners or advanced users. SO nice little walkthrough screens to show you how to get your TV up and running, but if you really want to control things and go down to, when I press this button I want it to send this signal you can do that as well. Now the cons, there’s no backlight on this keyboard. That’s the one thing that kind of irks me, because you’re using this probably in a low light environment and maybe need to type something in. I run into this all the time at home where I need to type in my password for a certain service on my smart TV or something, and guess what? No back light, I’ve got to turn on the light, or dig out my phone or something because I can’t see a key. So that’s one major con. Now one small con, is the central hub, because everything is running through here you have this on powered connected, or else you can’t use anything. Which was a little bit of a pain because I’d like to be able to use this keyboard just to take it with me on the road and connect to my laptop and use it, or connect to my phone or something and use it as a separate keyboard. You can’t do that unless you have the hub. So you’ve got to have the hub, that’s a little bit of a con too. Over all, I would totally recommend buying this product. If you’re in the market for a new remote, and you’d really, you know, I’d rather use my smartphone, I don’t want to use an old fashioned remote, I’d rather just use that. I totally recommend buying, especially if you have an HTPC or a laptop, or some sort of computer that you also want to connect to your TV and use at home, so total buy recommendation for me, I’m Aaron Newcomb and thanks for watching.
Shannon: Alright, We’re back! And of course, you can see Aaron Newcomb on Floss! I love Floss! That’s a great show! Now, we have Leo Laporte! With the Automatic. This thing is cool, so this is for your car?
Leo: Yeah, this came out about a year ago, and I must have bought it, because it came in the mail a couple of weeks ago. And I don’t remember, I know I did, it’s so funny it’s been so long I guess it’s been back ordered. So every car, almost every car since 1996 has had something that’s usually right in the front dash under the steering wheel, called an OBD2 port.
Shannon: Yeah! This is where your mechanic will plug in a little device to tell you what’s wrong with your car.
Leo: Yeah, the diagnostic port. Exactly, but for some time there have been OBD2 devices that you could plug in and then get your own information. Some of them have memory which store trip information, parents use it on their teenagers.
Shannon: Does this mean I can hack my car?
Leo: You can, but not with this! In fact there’s a person around here who shall remain nameless, who hacks his Outie, he actually has software in his computer a USB2 OBD device where he can get into the car computer. That’s not what this is for, in fact, automatic builds this as a device that will train you to drive better. Now this is not new, as I mentioned the OBD2 port has been consumer accessible for years, and there’s a lot of companies that make these kinds of devices. The Selling point of the OBD2 is it’s simple, it’s easy to use, and it works with an iPhone.
Shannon: Right! I’ve never gotten an OBD2 product myself because it’s very hardcore and very advanced.
Leo: Well nothing hardcore about this, and maybe that’s one of the negatives. All you do is plug it into the port, not hard to find. Actually that’s probably the hardest thing to do is find the port. But usually it’s very easy to do. It’s under your dashboard, took me seconds to plug it in. It beeps at you, then you download their automatic software. iPhone right now, the beta of Android just came out, I use it on the Android platform, and you’ll enter in the 6 digit code that is unique to each of these. This uses Bluetooth LE which is nice, because that means it automatically pairs with the iPhone, and with Siri, all you have to do is get in the car and the iPhone will see it. And it records your trip. It also has these little beeper alarms in here. It’s trying to teach you to be a better driver so it gives you beeps on excessive acceleration, it gots brrrp, not a big loud beep, just a little brrrp. If you go over 70 miles an hour it beeps at you.
Shannon: Oh it’d be beeping at me constantly!
Leo: Not the whole time! It just beeps once when you hit that point of acceleration. It also beeps with hard breaking. Those three things are bad for mileage. It has, I think a very elegant app. Now again, this is not the iPhone version, although it looks a lot like the iPhone version. That scores you, this is my most recent drive to work. I got a 100 because I didn’t fail any of those tests! I didn’t go over 70 mph, I didn’t hard accelerate, or hard slow down. You cannot, now here’s one negative, you cannot change those parameters, so you have a highway where you can go 75 and you do in this country some highways. It doesn’t matter! 70 is the limit! Some have complained that almost anything is seen as hard acceleration. It also tells you what the cost of the trip was, so my 2.2 miles drive to work cost .56 cents. But that’s not based on local prices or on the kind of gasoline I use.
Shannon: oh! And we’re in CA and our gas prices are pretty high!
Leo: But it’s a rought idea. You can see previous trips, in fact I have quite a few trips on here, and each trip has a nice little map of the trip, and so forth, so you can see, let’s get that map up again. So you can see, you know, that was a short trip!
Shannon: Moving your car.
Leo: To the parking garage, yeah. But you get the idea. But this also has some additional nice features, if you ever had, by the way it automatically knows what kind of car you have. Some cars it can get more material from than other cars. For instance, automatic says they can’t tell my fuel mileage from my car, but they’re going to project it. I found that not to be the case, I think the cars vary from their capabilities. It’ll also tell you if you have an engine check light, what is going wrong. And it’ll also give you a map of nearby mechanics. I think that’s kind of neat. I didn’t have anything go wrong, so I can’t tell you how well that works.
Shannon: It’s pretty handy though.
Leo: And it’ll tell you where you parked. Which is really handy. You can see your previous parking spot. Get a map to it, it gets you close enough you can at least beep the keys and see if you found it. The software on this is what’s really kind of sweet. 99 dollars though, as you’ll quickly learn is a lot for this kind of device. There are OBD2 devices on Amazon, in ebay for 17 dollars. I picked up this one for the same price 100 bucks. This is the kind of a highest end of these devices it’s the OBDlink MX. It doesn’t use Bluetooth LE, doesn’t work with the iPhone, only works with Android phones, but it tells you a whole lot more. There is an Android App, that works with the automatic, in fact, it works with any of these, called the Dash. This is the Dash app, as you can see, not quite so elegant, but some additional features. For instance, I can share my stats on my google plus page. It also tells you a lot more about what you’re doing. It’ll show you your engine temperature, your RPMs, in real time, so all this stuff is coming off that OBD2 port, but the Automatic doesn’t know anything about it. So the automatic is… I’ll give you the pros and cons right now. It’s easy to set up, it’s kind of cool, it might improve your mileage and driving habits, just by this little alarm.
Shannon: It’ll condition you.
Leo: It’ll condition you, and it works with the iPhone, which most of the others, in fact I couldn’t find any others that did.
Shannon: And it works with Android as well?
Leo: It works with Android. Oh one more thing this will do, it calls 911 if you have an accident. Based on your accelerometer suddenly stopping.
Shannon: Oh that’s cool.
Leo: I don’t know how it does it. But some cars do that, my Ford Sync does that. That’s a nice feature also. And it finds parking, 911 calls, improve your mileage. There’s some neat things, the software is very elegant. It’s over-priced compared to the competition, competition does this and a lot more. And I just feel like the fact that I can’t configure my top speed, or how much my gas costs, that seems like a failure.
Shannon: Yeah, you need to be able to have customizations.
Leo: Yeah, and I should point out, that’s the software. Presumably this software can be improved. It has been almost a year since this came out, so, I don’t know whether they intend to improve it or not, but I would ask them to do that, but as of right now I would have to say that the Automatic is a do not buy, because it is over-priced and you can get the competition that does a whole lot more.
Shannon: Very true.
Leo: Easy to use though, and if you don’t want to spend time kind of geeking around with one of these things, maybe it’s a good choice.
Shannon: I don’t know! Maybe I’ll spend some time geeking around, we’ll see.
Leo: It’s kind of cool. You can also sneak this in your kids’ car and see how fast they go.
Shannon: You could totally track them all around the town.
Leo: No memeory on this, and that’s another point, it doesn’t always pair, and if doesn’t par with your phone, and you know Bluetooth, then you will miss your trip. There’s no memory in this so you can’t get it back.
Shannon: Ah, ok. Good to know.
Leo: So what I ended up doing with both of these devices is firing up the software and saying I’m leaving now, I’m leaving. And when it said okay, then I drove.
Shannon: Cool! Well, thank you Leo! I’m sure we’ll see you back on the show next week.
Leo: Once in a while I get things! I get stuff.
Shannon: Yeah! Oh you got plenty of gadgets for us!
Leo: I bought this for my own money.
Shannon: Well thank you Leo, and of course you can see Leo here at TWiT.tv, pretty much all over the network. You’ll find him. Of course if you like this show you can always share it with your friends. Check out our youtube channel. It’s at youtube.com/beforeyoubuy. And our Twit.tv net work page is twit.tv/byb. And our email again is email@example.com. I’m Shannon Morse, I hope you enjoyed todays show. And or course before you buy and of your gadgets, you’ve got to watch, Before You Buy. See you next week!