Before You Buy 144 (Transcript)
Show Tease: It was only better time! Finally, affordable drones. The Sony Walkman is back, and we’ll look at the latest Chromebook. 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 Audible.com. To download the free audio book of your choice, go to audiblepodcast.com/beforeyoubuy.
Leo Laporte: Look at this! My smartphone, my Sony Walkman! The Walkman’s back, baby. Hi! Welcome to Before You Buy, the product review show where we get the latest and greatest stuff, give it to our TWiT staff and get a sense of what they think of it. I don’t know, maybe six months ago I reviewed a product called a transporter, a file transporter. It was early days and I didn’t like it. I said the software gets so confusing I just can’t recommend it. Well since then, I’ve started using it and they’ve improved the software a lot, and they’ve come up with some new form factors. Chad Johnson has the latest from the file transporter. The Transporter Sync.
Chad Johnson: The Transporter Sync. So what the Transporter Sync allows you to do is plug in a USB drive to the Transporter network that you already have. I’m turning the Sync over so you can see. That’s a USB plug in the back of it. This crazy drive right here is probably not what you’re going to have at home. This is just what I use at my house.
Leo: I just bought an affordable USB drive to plug it in.
Chad: Exactly. Any of the Western Digital, any USB drive that is powered by USB or USB 3. You don’t need 3 but it will read 3. So anyway, I just want to mention that any…this looks insane I know.
Leo: It looks crazy but if that’s the best you can do that’s okay.
Chad: This is me being crazy because I like to pull out drives. There’s some writing on it.
Leo: It’s a dead drive.
Chad: It’s not dead. See I crossed it out.
Leo: It’s not dead yet.
Chad: It’s not quite dead yet.
Leo: And so does that have WIFI or is it only wired?
Chad: Only wired. So it has a gigabit Ethernet plug on the back and then, of course, your power as well. So you’ve got power, gigabit Ethernet, and your USB. It’s a fairly light device and then along the edge you have an LED light. This is a status light. They give you a tiny little card to let you know what each of these means. So if it’s blinking between blue and green it means that it’s formatting the drive. Or if it’s blinking a specific color it’s lost its internet connection, something like that. Or it even will blink to tell you that your drive is full and that you’ve run out of space! Now, if you’re not familiar with the Transporter products, what they are is a private cloud. Like, you would have Dropbox, or sky drive, or Google drive even. These are all cloud drives where you can save something to them and then it will be available across all of your devices. Now, when you’re doing it with one of the competitors to transporter, you’re saving it onto their servers. Google, Dropbox, or Microsoft. So there’s a little bit of a security risk in that, and all our data is given to them. Transporter is the solution to that problem. By buying a device you have basically signed up to use their software, so that you can add your own hard drives and use your own internet, and your own storage, at your own homes or locations to create your own network of cloud for yourself. And it works really well. It means that there’s, so this is nice because there’s no monthly fee, and, especially with the transporter sync, if you just happen to have a hard drive already lying around, you don’t even have to spend the extra money for the other transporter products. Which include drives or something like that. So I really…the transporter sync is 100 dollars. So it’s basically 100 dollars to add an extra node to your transporter or to start your transporter system up. Now there’s software across basically all of the different platforms. MAC, PC, Android, IOS, which is great. On IOS specific, or on Android, and IOS specifically they offer really cool services like Mobile Upload where it’ll upload all the photos that you’ve taken automatically, so you have a backup of those precious memories which is really nice. Leo mentioned the software was a little bit confusing in the past and I’ve got to say they’ve really worked on it and it’s very simple now. If you’re familiar with Dropbox, and I’ll mention Dropbox because it’s the largest person in the space. It works basically the same, where you have a folder that is a folder that’s going to be synced into your network, and anything you add to that will be now copied over to this hard drive that’s connected to the transporter sync, or whichever transporter product that you have. There’s another feature they call the Transporter Library, and with the library, instead of basically cloning all of your data across all the hard drives you have, it’s only going to add it to the cloud. So basically think of the library as an archive if you don’t need to get at that data all the time, but you want to keep it in a secure place. So, you know, it would be perfect for photos that are really old, that you want archived but you’re not really going to be looking at them every single day. Other than that, everything gets cloned across all of the different devices. So that’s basically it for the transporter sync.
Leo: It does not include that hard drive. Just to be clear, you have to buy a hard drive.
Chad: Yeah. This is just saying it’s connected to something. Taking this out of the equation, the transporter Sync is really what you’re buying here.
Leo: It’s just that puck.
Chad: It’s just a little puck.
Leo: yeah. The other thing that’s good about that is if you have more than one transporter, for instance I have that at home, the old transporter here, they will sync with each other. So now you have off site backup, more than one copy. And I feel like that’s great peace of mind.
Chad: It’s amazing peace of mind.
Leo: Yeah, it takes a while, I was too terrified at first. But now my stuff is everywhere.
Chad: I’ve got to say, I’ll cover in the pros and cons but the fact that you’re not using anyone else’s bandwidth, you’re only using your own.
Leo: I love that. It’s just yours. It’s secure, uses SSL for the transport. The file format is unique. So you can’t take that drive out and look at it on some other things.
Chad: Yeah. Right. So the pros are, I’m going to say, that it’s secure. That it uses your own drive, so, if you’re a person who has a lot of drives laying around, it’ll cost you very little. And that there’s no monthly cost.
Leo: Love that.
Chad: On the cons, it did have a little bit of crashiness on the IOS App, but we reinstalled, did it live and it works.
Leo: You got it working.
Chad: It works fine. Now it could be a con, it might not be a con is that it uses your own internet speed. Which means if you have caps at your house, this could be a con. It also reformats your disk. So if you have anything saved on to the disk that you want to just plug in and start using with your drive, it won’t do that. It’ll completely wipe, especially with a USB drive, I feel like there’s a more likelihood that that would happen, by someone being like, oh I want all this data on my transporter!
Leo: Let’s start with a set.
Chad: Yes, you can’t do that, it’ll reformat everything.
Leo: My guess is that it has to do with the synchronization, they’re doing an additional information. They’ve added versioning by the way now. So…
Chad: It’s amazing.
Leo: You can keep old versions going back as long as you’ve got space forever. That’s I think, is that Windows only? I can’t remember. But it’s great to have that!
Chad: Now, you can also add up to four terabyte drives on the transporter Sync, which is just awesome.
Leo: How is their four terabytes of Dropbox?
Chad: So I did the math. Dropbox and Drive, Google Drive, cost nine dollars and ninety-nine cents a month per terabyte. For one Terabyte. Sky Drive comes in at the least expensive, at 7 dollars a terabyte a month.
Leo: 84 bucks a year per terabyte.
Chad: Right. Now drop box offers ninety nine dollars, but that’s just one terabyte for one year! So you could especially, if you have the USB drive lying around your house, that you can plug in and use, this is almost a no-brainer if you’re looking at a personalized cloud. Even if you have to go out and buy in, in the long run you aren’t spending the cost of having Dropbox or Google maintain it and you’re getting a really good deal. So buy, try, don’t buy, for the transporter Sync, coming in at 99 dollars, it’s going to be a very big buy. I really, really like it. And I want more, because exactly what you were mentioning about putting it in other places.
Leo: I love it.
Chad: I want to hide transporters all over the world, and make sure that all my data is secure.
Leo: Yeah! I have to say I’m really glad we did an update on this because I did say do not buy when they first came out. They’ve done such a great job of improving it. It’s now as easy to use, or almost as easy to use as Dropbox, it’s still a little bit confusing, but boy it works great.
Chad: It really does.
Leo: I’m really happy with it.
Chad: And I was transferring multiple gigabyte video files around, which I’ve used other services and sometimes they get a little mad at you, they’re like do you realized this is above three gigabytes, and with this obviously no problem at all with the transporter.
Leo: Thank you Chad Johnson, he is the host of OMG craft, now on his own. You’re on YouTube, right?
Leo: We’re thrilled you’re going to continue to do that. YouTube is a great place for that, everybody knows Minecraft is huge, and YouTube is great for that. But you also continue to do the GizWhiz with us. And the big shows, and that’s what really matters. Let us take a look, Father Robert Ballecer is here. And he’s, I knew this would happen eventually when drone quad copters first came out they were very expensive, very hard to fly. The AR parrot was the first I saw, but the prices have gone down, and down, and down, and finally here’s a drone, with a camera, that actually is affordable, but is it any good? We asked Robert to take a look at the Swann QuadForce video Drone.
Fr. Robert Ballecer: The QuadForce Video Drone is a self-contained remotely piloted quad copter kit, with an onboard camera, from SWANN. The box will find most everything you need to get up and running in minutes. The Quad, a remote, battery and charger, safety attachments, and spare props. Just add four AA batteries to the Remote. Connect the 3.7 amp 500 milliamp hour battery pack to the charger, then plug the charger into any USB power port. When the red light turns off, in between 30 and 60 minutes, you’re ready to fly. But before you take flight, first take a close look at your kit. The QuadForce measures 10 inches diagonally, and uses two sets of counter rotating 5 and a quarter inch props. Props are turned by 4 running motors. Slung under the quad is a Semos camera that can shoot 2560 by 1440 stills and 720 video at 30 frames per second. The camera rear loads micro SD cards up to 8 gigabytes and a two gigabyte card is included in the kit. Sliding back the camera reveals the battery tray and just a glimpse of the single board receiver and flight controller that keeps the QuadForce in the air. The remote control is a 6 channel 2.4 gigahertz, digital spread spectrum transmitter, capable of controlling the quad out to about 100 meters, or 330 feet for us imperial folk. The left stick controls throttle and Yah of the quad, while the rights tick gives you control of the forward, back, left right movement. The top left button toggles between high and low power, letting you choose between and battery life. Pressing the top right button triggers the camera, while long pressing the button starts video recording. A simple LCD screen at the bottom of the remote shows your current control inputs. While the buttons to either side of the panel activates your onboard laser, and Bombay, just kidding. Those buttons are totally fake. With the battery charged, it’s time to take to the air. Slide the battery to the battery tray and connect to the quad. Attach the landing gear and the prop protectors. Put the quad on a level surface and turn it on. The lights will quick flash for a few seconds while the flight computer levels itself. Once the lights turn to a slow flash, turn on the transmitter and advance the throttle all the way up and back down to bind the remote to the quad. When the lights turn steady on, you’re ready to fly. If you’re a beginner, start slow. Give it just enough throttle to get off the ground, and practice keeping the quad at the same altitude and location, then start moving the quad back and forth, left and right, to get a feel for how the controls work. Once you’ve got that down, go crazy! The body and props of the QuadForce are color coded, with yellow being the front of the vehicle. Combined with orange and green LEDS on the undercarriage, it’s easy to know which way your quad is pointing during flight. Unlike most toy quads, the QuadForce can be used indoors and outdoors as long as the wind isn’t too strong. The QuadForce can get up to quite a bit of speed even in its low power setting. The QuadForce is ridiculously fun to pilot. It’s responsive, forgiving, and most importantly for beginners, it’s really hard to kill. I crashed the QuadForce a lot. Into furniture, walls the ground, wood posts.
Chad: 50$ and it’s!
Fr. Robert: And more than its share of trees! Oh no! Not only is our review unit still running, but I haven’t even had to replace the props. The standard battery will give you about 8 minutes of flight, but I was able to squeeze an extended battery to the tray for an additional 3 minutes. Also, the onboard camera is absolutely horrible at everything. Stills were blurry, the lens wasn’t wide enough, and it’s pointing in the wrong direction to see anything interesting. But I found that to be an advantage, because removing the camera and the prop guards, bought me an additional 3 minutes of flight. Giving me 15 minutes or so of quad awesomeness. In all, the Swann QuadForce video drone is an affordable, durable easy to use platform for those who want to feel what it’s like to fly a real quad. While not paying much more than you would for a toy.
Leo: What? That is so cool, Robert Ballacer! Father Robert. So if you take the camera off, can you put a better camera on?
Fr. Robert: You could, but I mean it doesn’t support all that much weight.
Leo: It doesn’t have that much.
Fr. Robert: And even if you could put a better camera on, it’s such a shaky platform that you wouldn’t get a good video.
Leo: Ah. So this isn’t like the camera Quad copters that we’ve seen. You’re not going to get those great, you know, Ariel views. But it is good for learning I guess.
Fr. Robert: yeah, the video is sort of an afterthought, but I’m building for Know How right now, I’m building the full sized quad copters, this is really close to how those fly. So if you wanted to learn how to fly a quad copter you get this, versus those toys which are actually sometimes more expensive than this, and you can only fly in doors and they only really go up and down.
Leo: Yeah. Just remarkable. So pros and cons.
Fr. Robert: On the pros, crazy fun! Crazy! I cannot stress enough how much fun…
Leo: It looked like it! We saw it on the video.
Fr. Robert: We’ve been playing with this thing constantly for a month. Also incredibly durable. I actually crashed this thing into a building. The side of a third floor building. It fell all the way down, onto its props and nothing happened! It dinged it up a little bit, that’s it.
Leo: And you hit several priests in the home.
Fr. Robert: You did see the one with the piece zooming passed me, there was actually a priest behind me, so the very next thing you here after the zoom is Ahh!
Leo: Heavenly father!
Fr. Robert: Also, 50 dollars after rebates. Great price.
Leo: Now are the rebates available everywhere or should you shop around for this?
Fr. Robert: You should shop around. Fry’s has it for 70 dollars with a 10 dollar rebate. I found it online for 70 dollars with a 20 dollar rebate. Yeah, it’s just a really nice way to learn.
Leo: I like it.
Fr. Robert: How to fly a quad. On the con side, first thing is the camera, they might as well not have put the camera on there. All thought it doesn’t cost that much, and you can get decent shots as long as you’re outside in absolutely no wind. And the other thing is the trim controls, if you’ve been flying for a while you know the trim is important. Useless. They don’t do anything.
Leo: I love it that these buttons don’t do anything. They just put fake buttons. Does the LCD do anything?
Fr. Robert: Oh yeah, so you can see what you’re giving to it with that. Sorry if I scared you there.
Fr. Robert: Yeah, so looking at this if I were going to give this a try, buy, or don’t buy. This is one of these products that is definitely, definitely a buy.
Leo: It’s almost a must buy, just don’t think that you’re using it for a camera. I love how you can throw it. I’ve never seen anybody just throw a drone and it flies.
Fr. Robert: Yeah, the flight computer is powerful enough that it will level itself.
Leo: It says, oh I know what’s going on. You’re torturing me. Do you believe that Sony still makes a Walkman? By the way, Father Robert Ballacer, host of Enterprise Tech, Coding 101, and Know How, on this Network. We just love him! This is a, I remember buying my first Walkman at Macys. It was a cassette player, had headphones, it had a microphone button, and that wasn’t anything fancy, it just turned off the sound so somebody could talk to you, and it was really expensive. I think like 500 bucks, my first Walkman, but that was, I hate to say it, like 30 years ago. What is the new Walkman like? Well we gave it to Tonya, Tonya Hall who produces this show and is also the host of Marketing Mavericks and she gave us this review.
Tonya Hall: Hi! I’m Tonya Hall, the host of Marketing Mavericks here on TWiT.tv, and I’m going to review a product from Sony. It is the Sony NWZ-A17 Walkman. Yep, that’s right. I said Walkman! And I tell you what, it is actually pretty cool. I mean, it’s been a while since we’ve seen Walkman’s, but this one is a little bit different. It’s a high res audio listening device, which isn’t exactly anything that’s out there right now that’s like this, so it really is appealing to the music fan that’s into high res audio. It’s better than CD quality music, it’s at 192 kilohertz, or 24 bit. It’s something you’re not going to be able to listen to in MP3 player, or your phone. In fact, I would say most of us probably listen to music now on mobile devices and this is Sony’s attempt to give you the high res version of that same experience. So the device does a lot of different things that are similar things you would find on an MP3 player or other mobile devices. It’s got FM radio, Photos, videos, you can listen to podcast. Like This Week in Tech, or maybe Marketing Mavericks. You can see the menu is pretty simple, there’s a video on the display. The sound quality, I have to say, is pretty amazing. You can actually here the breaks between instruments. It’s a really interesting experience. It does have Bluetooth capability, but candidly, if you’re interested in using NFC, or Bluetooth, it’s not going to pay off because, again this is high res and you’re not going to get that high res quality. It comes with 64 gigabytes of storage, but it also has a place for a micro SD card. And you can add another 128 gigabytes of memory. So you’re going to need that for these high res file sizes. The amount of hours that you’re going to get on this is, if you’re listening to, I don’t know, like lower end, like MP3 type music, they say you can get 50 hours. But if you’re listening to high resolution, it’s probably going to be closer to around 30 hours, and it is pretty easy to charge. It does come with a charging cable, and it was fairly quickly I charged it. So let’s talk about pros and cons. The pros are its got great sound, and you can actually hear, like I said, the space between instruments. I loved the music with this. It was, I really didn’t want to take off my headset. But you know, there are some cons too. Price, its $299. That’s pretty expensive. So if you’ve got a way to listen to music, or you’re using MP3, or you use your phone, that might be a better solution for you. I wouldn’t buy this just for listening to podcasts or FM radio, or some of the other added features. I would get this for music only. And you’re going to need headphones that are going to accommodate the high resolution. So that’s going to be another added expense. It also doesn’t have WIFI and there’s no, it’s not a touch screen. Which I think is kind of a miss, but that could be coming. So I would say that if you’re interested in really refined listening quality with music, or you know somebody who is and you’re looking for a gift idea, it is a Walkman, so there’s kind of the nostalgia in that at 35 years, I think Sony is trying to make a comeback with their Walkman device. But I would say, it is a buy. I’m Tonya Hall, and this has been the review of the Sony Walkman NWZ-A17.
Leo: So $299, Tonya loved it. Now I have to say that sounds like a lot, but the Pono player, which really started this high res music trend from Neil Young is 400 bucks. Mine should come any day now. I’ll do a review of the Pono comes. Same idea though. You know, maybe the Pono is better because it might use higher quality components but surely the digital audio composer, the deck.
Jason Howell: And the Pono has a more unique design, I’d say.
Leo: It’s a triangle, it looks like it’ll hurt. This is nice, although it reminds me an awful lot of the zoom HD. It’s almost identical. Anyway thank you Tonya Hall, Marketing Mavericks. And now Jason Howell is here, he’s the host of All About Android, produces TNT, you’re going to help me out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I’m hosting TNT.
Jason: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Leo: Monday, oh god. So he helped already.
Jason: See, that’s what I’m here for.
Leo: Isn’t he great? So Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Jason: I believe those are your days.
Leo: Mike is taking a week off, he’s going to Jordan to complete the process of marrying off his son.
Jason: I’m pretty sure he hasn’t taken anytime off since he started at the beginning of the year.
Leo: Not at all, this may be the last time off he ever takes.
Leo: And that’s why I volunteered. He was saying well who should… I said I’ll do it! Now I really regret it, I’m scared to death!
Jason: Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.
Leo: Will you?
Jason: Carson and I together, we can make this happen.
Leo: I’ve never hosted TNT, this is so exciting. SO we gave you, appropriately, because you’re an Android expert. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S. This is a 10 inch tablet?
Jason: 10.5! Competing with…
Leo: The Nexus 10, that kind of, that realm.
Jason: Yeah, possibly competing, you know, well definitely competing with the Apple IPad, because this is not an inexpensive tablet by any stretching. The five hundred dollar version of this is 500 dollars.
Leo: The 500 dollar version of this is 500 dollars?
Jason: Or sorry. Sorry. The WIFI only.
Leo: Alright, just like the IPad, same price as the iPad.
Jason: Exactly, if you want LTE this is running on Sprints LTE network, this is $649, on sprint.
Leo: And that’s witch how much memory, storage?
Jason; This right here is 16 gigs of storage, with a micro SD slot.
Leo: Alright. So not a lot. This sounds like they actually tried to hit apples price exactly.
Jason: That’s kind of what they’re doing here. That’s absolutely what this is attempting to compete against, for a media device though, I’ve got to say this is a really great tablet, you’ve just got to be okay with the fact that you’re dropping a lot of money on a tablet, and these days in the Android tablet space, I think people are more and more use to spending less than that.
Leo: What’s a Nexus 10, 16 gig WIFI? It’s like nothing.
Jason: It’s got to be around 4 or 400.
Leo: Is it even that much?
Jason: It might be less than that, I haven’t checked in a while.
Leo: Well we’re due for a new one.
Jason: Besides Nexus 10 is almost yesterday’s news, right?
Leo: It’s super annulated.
Jason: yeah, but this is a really great tablet, I had a lot of fun playing around with this. Just to dive into the specs a little bit, this is a 10.5 inch display. 2560 by 1600 high res display. It’s an amulet display, actually the largest amulet display on a tablet. The largest Amulet tablet display there is right now. 270 pixels per inch.
Leo: That’s one reason it’s expensive.
Jason: It is, and that’s one of the big features of this tablet, is just its fibering. It’s got that amulet kind of sharp vibrancy to it. Colors just pop, everything looks really sharp and colorful. It has 3 gigs of RAM. It’s running 2.3 gigahertz QUALCOMM snapdragon 800 processor.
Leo: Just an 800? That’s an older processer.
Jason: It’s a little bit older. The WIFI only version of this is running one of Samsung’s Exnos Octo-core processors, but they didn’t move that into the LTE version.
Leo: Right, so this is actually a slower processor than the Galaxy S5, or the Galaxy Note 4.
Jason: Yeah, I guess so. So much of this actually reminded me of the S5. Right down to the styling, if you take a look at the back, love it or hate it, it has that dimpled back.
Leo: That’s not metal though, or is it?
Jason: No, it’s not metal, it’s plastic, but I’ve got to say…
Leo: It looks like metal.
Jason: Definitely people have pointed out that I’m not very kind to Samsung when it comes to their plastic approach. I generally apparently am not. This plastic doesn’t bother me though. There’s something about the feel of it that almost feels kind of like a tight leather, or…
Leo: yeah, it feels good!
Jason: Like a lighter metal, as you say. So yeah, and it’s really comfortable. It’s a large tablet, so you’ve got to be okay with holding this in your hands and it not getting uncomfortable over time. And I feel like it accomplishes that.
Leo: Plastic of course, doesn’t bend as readily, or if it does it rebounds. It’s better for the radios because it doesn’t get in the way.
Jason: Yeah, but I’ve played around with some plastic devices that felt cheap.
Leo: No, I know.
Jason: This is a more expensive tablet. You want it to feel a little bit more premium and it actually does pretty great.
Leo: Does feel great.
Jason: Yeah, I don’t what mode I got into here, but this is the perfect mode for showing off the screen.
Leo: Wow that is gorgeous.
Jason: So on the back, 16 gigs of storage, on the back you have the 8 megapixel rear facing camera. And it’s got some nice little design touches here. Kind of the chrome like surrounds on some of the items just all around. I don’t know, it elevates the feel of the quality.
Leo: It looks pretty classy.
Jason: And it also has this kind of like bronze, goldish color that’s pretty pleasing. 2.1 megapixel front facing camera right there. 7900 milliamp hour battery. It is WIFI 802.11 AC compatible, so that’s good. It does have the biometric fingerprint scanner, I turned it off because it would just kind of plague the entire review. But you just kind of swipe your finger over it.
Leo: Oh, so this home button is also a fingerprint reader?
Jason: Above it, yeah is a biometric finger
Leo: That’s like the S5 and the Note 4. I’m not crazy about physical home buttons.
Jason: Neither am I.
Leo: It’s not googly.
Jason: Nope, I’m not too crazy about it either. It’s totally Samsung’s thing though, and they’re sticking to it. So they’re not going anywhere with that. And it is running 4.4.2 KitKat right now. I imagine an upgrade to version L whenever that comes out. It’ll probably be a few months when that happens.
Leo: Like tomorrow.
Jason: Yeah, supposedly.
Leo: We’ll see.
Jason: So very similar in design to the S5. Almost like a blown up S5, quite literally. You know, it’s super thin, and light. That’s another thing that’s really striking about this, and thankfully for such a large tablet you want it to be thin and light and comfortable, and it is. It feels durable. It does have the IR blaster on the top.
Leo: That’s neat, so you can use it as a remote control.
Jason: Yeah, And I’ve got to say after playing with this as my remote control at the top, I don’t want to go back to my normal remote control.
Jason: It is like, it’s awesome. Just kind of going into Watch on, which is their service.
Leo: They have their own TV app.
Jason: Service. And you sync it to your…
Leo: What boxes…
Jason: What boxes, which TV you have, so I can control my TV, or satellite box.
Leo: That is nice. That is neat.
Jason: Instead of going into the guide, you know, on the screen... I can do it right here. Just go to the DVR, of course it’s not connected to the DVR, but it’ll pull up the schedule, and you just kind of pull up the entire schedule with nice images, it just makes the whole TV experience so much greater.
Leo: Before you do pros and cons I have a couple of questions. The SD card, what’s the top size SD card it can take?
Leo: And is that a flash on the back? What is that second lens?
Jason: Yes, that’s a single LED
Jason: Exactly. Camera, once again, it’s a tablet camera so…
Leo: I saw some of the pictures, they’re okay!
Jason: What do you think of my beauty face by the way, does my skin look so beautiful? That’s without, that’s the original, see that…
Leo: I like playing with that!
Jason: This is the front back, what is that called, switch camera…
Leo: So it has all of those too.
Jason: that’s my head on Tony’s body, a little creepy. You know, a nice beautiful..
Leo: It doesn’t look bad.
Jason: No some of the pictures a great, it comes down to good light, great pictures. Bad light, pretty grainy.
Leo: I feel like they should start putting… Greg, come on. I feel like they should start putting better cameras in tablets, I almost expect Apple to do that on Thursday.
Leo: To finally acknowledge that people are using tablets to take pictures. You see them everywhere!
Jason: More and more. Or like myself, people like to
Leo: It’s pretty crisp.
Jason: Why would you take your tablet to take a picture? Often that’s what people have with them. People are taking them to games, sports games, or whatever. That’s just what they have.
Leo: Pros and cons.
Jason: Oh by the way, before we get to pros and cons, just real quick. This is Samsung touch whiz of course.
Leo: Oh touch whiz!
Jason: Some of the features a great, it’s got a kids mode, which is really cool. My daughter actually kind of loved that. It has paper garden, which is kind of Samsung’s way of bringing magazines into the tablet experience and everything. Especially with this display, everything looks awesome
Leo: I could see reading a magazine like that! Wow!
Jason: There’s that, there’s watch on, which I already talked about for TV control.
Leo: You can tell it’s touch which because it has that lame app icon in the lower right there. That’s how you get to the app drawer.
Jason: Yeah, endless scrolling. But ultimately touch whiz has come a long way, you get used to it if you’re in the Samsung ecosystem and you’re used to the touch whiz, you’re going to find everything you need here and some bells and whistles, and that’s not a bad thing.
Leo: You wouldn’t want to use your S5, and then come to a tablet that doesn’t use touch whiz, it might as well have everything.
Jason: Yeah, especially if you like it.
Leo: I think it looks good, I do have to say.
Jason: It’s really great. So obviously the pros, the screen is a really huge feature here, and it’s light. I actually really like a lot of the accents on here. The battery was pretty good. I would say the battery was pretty respectable and didn’t give me any problems. And I would say Touch whiz is improving, we’ll see if that continues. The con, it’s a little bit more expensive, and I don’t know if that’s a con necessarily, just an entry price point. But it’s not something you can put down as affordable, it’s a premium tablet. Some of the materials are going to turn people off, they feel it they’re paying the same price as an iPad, they want to get premium materials they want metal, or aluminum casing. Whatever, so that might turn people off. But I was stretching on that one. And then the camera again, some good some bad.
Leo: What is the battery life?
Jason: Battery life? What is it rated for… I did not write down its rating. But I did not have a problem with it. But honestly, with a tablet…
Leo: If you can get through the day, that’s all you need.
Jason: Absolutely. That is not a problem.
Leo: You can charge it every night.
Jason; But I don’t know exactly.
Leo: Samsung, I counted it, has 43 different tablets, it’s crazy.
Jason: Yeah, they throw everything against the wall.
Leo: This is the Galaxy tab S.
Jason. 10.5 There is an 8 inch model as well.
Leo: 500 dollar starting price, buy, try, don’t buy?
Jason: I would say buy! I would say if what you want is a premium tablet, and you want it running android, and you want it for a media device, watching movies, playing games is really great on this. I’d say if you’re cool with dropping that kind of money, then yeah there aren’t a whole lot of other tablets to put it up against.
Leo: Watch and wait, because we’ve heard rumors that google will do a new Nexus 10.
Jason: Nexus 9, HTC.
Leo: Or is it the 9?
Leo: Maybe even tomorrow, we don’t know! We know Shamoo is probably coming out tomorrow. One last question, how’s the speaker on that?
Jason: Speaker is good.
Leo: Be good for audio books, you think?
Jason: You know, I’ve never used a tablet to listen to an audio, book but I’m sure it would be fine.
Leo: Let’s get audible on there and try it out!
Leo: One of the things is audible is great. Audible.com is the world’s best audio bookstore. 150,000 titles. And they have apps for android, apps for IOS, apps for windows phones, for desktop computers and what’s great is when you listen on one device it puts you right at that point, it puts a bookmark in it and you pick up another device and that’s where you start off. In fact, if you have the kindle app on there, because Amazon owns Audible, you can also buy the text of many books and using whisper sync, you can read, I was doing that with the Goldfish. Reading it on the Tablet, and then picking up the audio book when I got in my car, right at the same spot. That is pretty awesome! Audiblepodcast.com/beforeyoubuy. We’ve got a special deal for you, your first book is free. You’re going to sign up, if you go to audiblepodcast.com/beforeyoubuy for the gold account. That’s the book a month club. You’re first month is free though, you can cancel at any time in the first 30 days, you pay nothing. You’ll also get the daily digest of the New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal. I think that’s a great thing to have on your tablet, you can put it on your phone and your tablet, and listen and pick up whenever you are. I’m a huge fan. I want you to try it today. Audiblepodcast.com. Do you listen to audio books on Audible?
Jason: I have an audible subscription. I have for almost four years now and I’m always listening to a book. Right now, I’m listening to Paul Stanley’s Autobiography of Kiss.
Leo: Of Kiss?
Jason: I’m a big…
Leo: He was the kitty cat right?
Jason: Let’s see, was he the kitty cat or the star child? I can’t remember. I was never even a huge kiss fan to be honest with you, but I will listen to those books anyways. I’m a huge fan of the music, like rock, autobiographies and stuff.
Leo: I just listened to Graham Nash’s, I listened to Beetles Biography tune in. I love the same thing. Biographies, fiction, nonfiction. Look I want an Audible all night and listen to boogie woogie every day. Is that a kiss star? There he is, star child.
Jason: He’s reading his own book, so it’s really good.
Leo: I told Jean, put your tongue back in your mouth and get on stage! That’s, but see its fun because you hear them. Its graham Nash and he’s telling the stories, it’s awesome. Audiblepodcast.com/beforeyoubuy. Try it today. So you might see, sitting in front of me, a familiar brand name, Acer, and above that the word Chrome. That means this is the new Chromebook from Acer. Acer has done really well with Chromebooks, actually a lot of companies have, I think the Chromebook has taken off in education, and anywhere where you want an inexpensive computer that’s secure. Lately, you know, when I first saw the chrome OS I thought why would you buy that when you could just buy a regular computer, and then, you know, all you can do here is browse, it’s basically the chrome browser in the operating system. They have a little start menu here, in fact, as Microsoft has abandoned it, Google has brought it back with all the apps on here. Including the google app, sound cloud, Evernote has a great app. And now Evernote, by the way, you can use the Android version of Evernote, and a few other apps. They give you more and more android apps.
Jason: In chrome OS, that’s crazy.
Leo: I feel like Chrome OS is really maturing, and is actually an operating system I would recommend for a lot of people. I ask people these days, what do you do with your computer, they say, email and surf the net. I say, you ought to look at a Chromebook. So this is the latest Acer Chromebook and actually I have a couple of Chromebooks, I don’t need a new Chromebook. But I was very interested in this one for a couple of reasons. First of all, 1080 P screen, not a touch screen, which is a little disappointing, but a very high res screen, which is great if you’re going to watch Netflix on this, which you can. It’s a little tough to use for me with my bad eyesight.
Jason: It looks a little flat.
Leo: You know, the viewing angle is not great, so tilt it. That’s one negative. And you can use chrome, you can make the text bigger so I don’t think that’s a real worry. But it’s nice to have that kind of resolution. The other thing that was very interesting, was this is the first Chromebook to use the new N-vidia Tegra K1 processor. This is a very fast quad core processor. It’s an arm processor, and that’s a little bit of a departure for Chrome OS. Chrome OS will run on Intel which it mostly does. It’ll also run on arm, and they’ve loaded this one up, it’s a quad core 2.1 gigahertz processor. 192 kudu cords in the GPU. I mean this is a very powerful system. They put 30, now you can get your choice, but I got the high end one, which is four gigs of RAM, 30, by the way, really important I think in Chrome OS to get 4 gigs of RAM. Don’t cheap out and get two.
Jason: Because you think that you’re just doing web browsing and you don’t need that much, but honestly you need…
Leo: You’ll fill it up. It also has 32 gigs storage, which is twice as much as typical. Plus 802.11 AC, which I really like. If you have an AC router, you’re going to get much higher WIFI speeds. Two USB 3 ports, which is really great. A full sized HDMI port, that’s kind of nice, because than you can hook it up to your TV without a special cable. And, of course, the usual microphone and headphone slot. So, 1080P screen, K1 processor, makes this a very nice, very cool, very thin, it’s only 3 pounds, light weight Chromebook. It is a good battery life. I was hoping for better, because we’re running at 1080P screen. Acer is only rating it for 11 hours. I’m getting between 8, 9 and 10 hours, you know what? That’s plenty for a laptop, I’m not going to complain. This is a nice machine. It’s kind of closer to the midrange machines that we have been looking for in Chromebooks. Not the really cheap ones, but not the pixel, the google pixel, which is 1200 dollars. This is $379 as equipped on Amazon. Which I think is a very nice price for a very usable computer. Now the pros are, of course, 4 gigs of RAM, 1080P. That new K1 giving it battery life. But the cons, it’s not a touch screen, you can get touch screens now, and I think touch actually in some cases works quite well on a Chromebook. It’s not like Windows 8.1, it’s not a necessity.
Jason: You don’t have to have it, but I find reasons to use it.
Leo: Exactly, If you’re scrolling or something like that. Also, something to be aware of, because this is an arm architecture, not an Intel architecture, there are a very chrome extensions that actually don’t work. They’re designed to run with Intel, and some of the low level stuff won’t work. Bastian didn’t work for me, it’s mostly games, and things like that. I’m sure as more and more of these K1 processors come out, you’ll see that fixed. Also, this is not the 64 bit version of this processor. It’s the 32 bit. There will be a new Acer 13 inch Chromebook with a 64 bit processor sometime soon. I think this is a great, inexpensive, notebook, with a lot of high end features. I have to say it’s definitely a buy, but it’s kind of among equals. The Acer C720 is also excellent, HP, Dell, many others make excellent Chromebooks. It isn’t the perfect midrange Chromebook, I’ve been looking for quite yet, but still it’s just beautiful. Thin, light, and for a lot of people, all the computer you need. So a buy if you’re in the market for a Chromebook. Thank you very much everybody! I want to thank all of our reviewers. Chad Johnson. And Father Robert Ballecer, Tonya Hall, Jason Howell. Thanks to you too, for joining us. We do this show every Tuesday right after Security now, if you can tune in, we’d love it. But if not don’t worry, we make this show available in more ways than any show on the TWiT network. Not only can you get the full version of the show from twit.tv/byb. We’ve got a YouTube channel where we put the full version, but also each independent review by itself. It makes it easier for you to share with family or friends, who are maybe looking for a Chromebook or tablet. You could just share that particular review. That’s at youtube.com/beforeyoubuy. You can also subscribe everywhere netcasts are aggregated, you can find us everywhere, just search for the TWIT network, or Before You Buy. Thanks for joining us. If you have a product you’d like us to review, email us at BYB@TWIT.TV. And before you leave us there’s one thing I’d like you to remember, you’ve got to watch Before You Buy! We’ll see you next time.