Before You Buy 150 (Transcript)

Show Tease: Coming up! I’d like to show you my futon! We’ll also go into the kitchen for a new thermometer from Idevice. Then we’ll look at the vision tech USB hubs. The Nitro Black edition Acer Aspire. And I’ve got the hottest phone on the market today. The Nexus 6. It’s time to watch Before You Buy.

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Before You Buy is brought to you by IFIXIT. You can fix it, and IFIXIT makes it easy with free step by step repair guides, high quality replacement parts and all the tools you’ll need. For 10 dollars off your purchase of 50 dollars or more, go to, and enter the code BEFOREYOUBUY at checkout. And by SmartThings. SmartThings lets you control and monitor your home anywhere in the world using your smartphone. To get started visit, and you’ll save 10% off any home security or solution kit when you use the code TWIT10 at checkout.

Leo Laporte: Welcome to Before You Buy, the TWiT product review show where we get some of the greatest stuff in the world, and we give it to our staff and let them bang on it until we get a sense of what it would be like to use it in real life. Shannon Morse is here, Snubs! Hello snubs!

Shannon Morse: Hi!

Leo: You are a brave person because this is a piece of furniture. This isn’t an easy thing to review. It’s not a phone.

Shannon: Yeah.

Leo: It’s not a laptop! Did we actually put this in your apartment?

Shannon: Yeah, literally. It was in my apartment, there were people on it. Several.

Leo: What is this? This is the DHP rocker Futon.

Shannon: Yes, it’s called the DHP Rocker Futon, and the reason we’re reviewing it here…

Leo: We’re not reviewing a futon because it’s furniture…

Shannon: It’s because it has a Bluetooth speaker on the inside.

Leo: Whoa!

Shannon: So you’ve figured out that you can do couch and bed. It can fit about three people, or seven small people.

Leo: But you’re saying there’s speaker’s built into it?

Shannon: Yeah, there are. There’s a bass amplifier on the back.

Leo: On this, okay.

Shannon: Yep, and then on both sides, on the left and the right you have two treble speakers. Now the issue that we ran into…

Leo: Treble or trouble? I think they might be trouble speakers.

Shannon: They’re kind of both. So the issue we ran into with this after connecting it to Bluetooth as well as AUX in, we tried it both ways. It turned out that the treble speakers kind of have a wiring issue. Where if you don’t kick it a few times, it just doesn’t really work.

Leo: But that could just be this one.

Shannon: Hopefully.

Leo: But that’s something to be aware of is sometimes the speakers don’t work. Can we try it? Can we hear it?

Shannon: Yeah, I think Carsten had it connected to his phone, so we’ll see if he can connect it to yours.

Leo: Carsten, play something with a solid bass. Is it going to kick? Is it like one of those bass

Shannon: The bass is decent. It kind of sounds like the music is being played in a different room, so it’s slightly muffled, and that’s probably because of all the cushion on the inside.

Leo: There’s a band on my couch! It’s also, somebody said in the chatroom, it looks like somebody took a front seat out of an old Chevy.

Shannon: It does. So as far as using it as just a futon, it’s not very comfortable. It’s very firm and the two edges along the sides are very tough. So if you fall on one, it kind of hurts.

Leo: Is that the music?

Shannon: That’s the music. It sounds really bad.

Leo: That’s terrible!

Shannon: It’s very low. The treble speaker is not working right now.

Leo: Kick the treble. Zach come here! Zach’s got the special touch! You know what it sounds like? Somebody is listening to music in the other apartment.

Shannon: So it did work, the treble did work this weekend when I had a party over at my place, and I had people listening to it. And one of the quotes I got from somebody was is somebody’s phone going off? Because it was so muffled. So this does cost 349 dollars. All the connections are over on your right side.

Leo: It’s cheap!

Shannon: It is! It’s a good price for a futon. The legs just screw into the bottom, so it’s very easy to set up. However, one of them the bolt was kind of lose, so it was kind of a pain to screw in. And you can see the side right there, you can see all the different ports that you have, you can control the bass and the treble. It’s very hard to review this when you’re just lying there.

Leo: I’m not very comfy.

Shannon: There’s also buttons for play, pause, preview, next, and you can also put in USB or an SD card.

Leo: Play some more music, now I know I can turn it up!

Shannon: He’s got some music going.

Leo: It’s terrible!

Shannon: It is, it’s so bad.

Leo: Kick it again.

Shannon: Honestly, I think the… I think the idea of putting a speaker on the two sides and a bass behind you just muffles everything and makes it a very unclear sound.

Leo: It’s broken.

Shannon: Even with the treble working, it’s very hard to understand, and now we broke it.

Leo: That’s broken!

Shannon: It’s very hard to understand the treble in the first place.

Leo: I’m rebooting it. This is a couch where people like to monkey around with their furniture. Is it comfortable? Did you get anybody to sleep in it?

Shannon: Yes, I did, and it’s very uncomfortable.

Leo: Did your husband sleep on it?

Shannon: No. He did not want to sleep on it. I had a few friends pass out on it.

Leo: Oh hit it with a hammer! Go ahead, hit it again.

Shannon: You guys!

Leo: Sorry, stop hitting it! So what did your friends say about sleeping on it?

Shannon: He said his back hurt after he woke up.

Leo: And there was a strange tune playing all night. This is terrible.

Shannon: It’s pretty bad.

Leo: Okay, pros and cons.

Shannon: When it worked correctly all weekend, until Carsten broke it…

Leo: Oh it was Carsten that broke it, alright.

Shannon: So for my pros…

Leo: Fortunately I have my IFIXIT kit, I’ll just fix it.

Shannon: It does have a pretty easy setup, and it has plenty of controls, which I like. So you don’t have to move your phone around. On the con side though, it’s very muffled, even with the treble speakers working, it’s very muffled. So it’s hard to understand. It’s uncomfortable, and very quiet. So it’s definitely a don’t buy. Don’t spend 350 dollars on this.

Leo: Yeah, we were punking you, this isn’t a real product, we just were teasing you when you came back from your honeymoon we were jealous. No, that is a real product, the DHP rocker futon.

Shannon: They sell it at Target.

Leo: It is 350 bucks, I mean it’s not expensive.

Shannon: Yes, but you can find other futons at Walmart for less than that.

Leo: It’s not a stereo system, don’t use it for your stereo system.

Shannon: No, it’s for a kid.

Leo: Not even a kid! Thank you, Shannon. There you go, Target 349 dollars. It’s got four stars on the Target, but only two reviews.

Shannon: One review is horrible and the other one is like five stars.

Leo: Guess who wrote the five star review? Not Shannon Morse, thank you Shannon. Not me! Don’t point at me! Hey lets go to the kitchen. Tonya is, Tonya Hall, our producer and our host of Marketing Mavericks is a fabulous cook. She loves to cook, so we gave her the Idevice kitchen thermometer. She has this review for you.

Tonya Hall: Hi! I’m Tonya Hall, the host of marketing Mavericks on TWIT TV. And today I’m reviewing two thermometers. First up with the ThermoWorks Thermapen. It’s an ergonomic thermometer. It’s got a pretty thick needle at the base. It does get very, very tiny at the end, which is good, so the tip is small. It’s pretty simple, there’s not a whole lot to say, you have a display, which you can set actually in the back here to either Fahrenheit or Celsius. Once you have it set its pretty simple. You can actually stick it in your dish, and within about two to three seconds, maybe less, you’re going to have a very accurate read. You do get a certificate of calibration from ThermoWorks and they actually say that it is within .7 degrees Fahrenheit accurate. Which I would believe is probably true. Accuracy is really important to people who are cooking certain types of dishes especially. It isn’t just for the professional chef. It doesn’t have a light in the display, so if you’re using it in the evening for outside grilling, it might be a little difficult to read. Although ThermoWorks does sell a backlit version. All in all, this is a really nice thermometer. It’s going to give you an exact read very quickly, which again, if you’re cooking certain types of dishes speed matters. It is listed, I found it as low as 96 dollars. And the pros and cons. A pro would definitely be the speed. I haven’t seen a thermometer that quick. It’s very accurate. A con would be that the probe thickness, even though at the tip it’s fairly thin, it’s a little thick up top, so that could potentially let some juices out of  your meat. Another thing I would say as a con is that it’s not backlit and for only 15 dollars more, you could get the backlit version. But it’s a very large display nonetheless. I very much liked this, I definitely think it’s worth the money, and I give it a buy. Next up we have the iDevice Bluetooth thermometer. This is really interesting. It comes with two probes, which right now are nicely put together. It’s actually, a huge advantage, it has a nice little wrap around cord for storage and they fit together so this was really handy. The probes actually go, come off the device, like that. Which will go right in the back of the Bluetooth device. The device actually comes with two batteries. You just pop off the top, the top really just pulls right off. It’s just a little snug. So you just want to make sure that you realize it is actually going to come off. We actually had a couple people in here try it and no worries, it came off very easy, it’s just really snug. The iDevice is different than maybe some other traditional 20 dollar digital thermometers in a few things. One is that it’s got a display and that it only has two probes, but it’s actually Bluetooth. The app is what you’re actually paying for. The app is what sets it apart. Once you download the app and connect to Bluetooth, you can choose the temperature you want for your dish. Or you can use the built in settings. You have the settings for actual dishes, chicken pork, and roast. It’s also a graph that once you do download the app and you get your settings it’ll actually show you the progress of your dish as it’s been cooking. Which is really kind of neat. It’s very accurate. I did actually test it against the Thermapen, and they were almost identical. The Bluetooth works up to about 150 feet away, so if you’re cooking dinner and it’s going to take a while, you can certainly check your app on your phone and maybe, I don’t know, have a glass of wine, enjoy a visit with family or maybe throw the ball around in the backyard. Actually built into the app are a lot of other extras. Including that you might want to share what you’re doing with your friends. A lot of people like to upload pictures of food, well you might be one of those people. You can actually share it to Twitter, Google plus, Facebook, and even Pinterest. It also has iGlobes, which I don’t know if want to share with people where I am and what I’m cooking. I don’t know if people are going to want to come over for dinner, or what the real advantage to that is. But certainly that’s another option for you. It also has a timer, which could be helpful if you like that. And recipes! I didn’t find the recipes incredibly helpful, but it’s something that is included in the app. The pros are it is Bluetooth. And it’s got two probes. It’s also very accurate. There’s so many pros I could list, I like the fact that it wraps up, it stores nicely. On the cons, I would say a con would be that as, although I could share what I’m doing to Pinterest, I couldn’t actually pull anything from Pinterest. So if I was interested in, you know, checking some of the recipes that I have on my Pinterest board, I couldn’t work it the other way around. I could only post to Pinterest. That’s about it. All in all, it’s a really nice thermometer, and at 80 dollars I would definitely give it a buy, it’s worth it. I’m Tonya Hall and this is my review of the Thermapen and the Idevice kitchen thermometers.

Leo: So there you go!  A definite buy for the i…what is it? The iDevice kitchen thermometer. Thank you Tonya. Tonya Hall, the host of Marketing Mavericks on TWiT and, of course, the producer of this show, along with Carsten Bondy. We’ve got another review from Chad coming up in just a little bit, but I thought I’d try to fix, you know, there’s no spudger, there’s no tool, but I bet you if you could fix it you could find a manual on IFIXIT for this couch. I think we ought to try it out. I have brought with me a couple of IFIXIT, wonderful IFIXIT things. You know what IFIXIT is, it’s a website designed to help you fix the things in your life. Not just your phone, your broken screen on your phone, but any project. Including yes, furniture. Appliances. IFIXIT’s tools are designed by…and repair manuals are designed by their teardown engineers as you know because we’ve done it on the show, hundreds of devices. They’ve built thousands of repair guides and in fact, you’ll find on IFIXIT, I don’t know, thousands of repair guides for things, even things like your game machines. Look at that. Is that a Natori 2600, holy cow! That’s pretty awesome! Now the tools are kind of wonderful. One of the things IFIXIT does besides the manuals, they sell parts. Look at that, a Famicon. They tore down a Famicon. But they also sell the hardware that you’re going to need, the tools you’re going to need, and I have to tell you if you’re looking for a holiday gift for a geek, the IFIXIT tool kit is absolutely awesome. This is the ProTech tool kit. 70 different tools to assist you with any mod, any malfunction, any misfortune, including the amazing. I bet you have one of these, don’t you Shannon?

Shannon: Oh yes I do.

Leo: Yeah, you have to. One of the amazing 54 bit driver kit. I think this thing is really a work of art. It has bits for just about anything. Let me take this apart a little bit, so you see there’s the driver, there’s also a flexi driver so if you have to go around a corner you can do that. And then look at all these bits, there’s pentalob, there’s torques, there are even bits, whoops…there are weird bits for things like McDonalds happy meal toys. Can you believe that? Stereo equipment, PC towers, Watches, clocks, tablets. The nylon spudgers can open things. The plastic opening tools. You can scrape things, cleaning heat sync mounts. Sometimes they put too much of that goo on the head sync, you can clean it off with these spudgers. The lightweight compact durable tool roll makes on the go easy. You can take this with you if you’re a professional, or just an amateur friend’s call on to help. I love that ruler, you just saw that go by on the video. That is so sweet, it’s got a little pocket clip for your pocket protector, and it’s one of the greatest little rulers you’ll ever find. So this kit, all told, with its, what is it? 74 different tools and pieces. 70 tools including the 54 bit driver kit is normally $64.95, and then they’re doing a deal because they also sell this magnetic project mat, which we’ve used. So the idea is as you’re taking stuff apart you put it on the magnetic thing there and you never lose it. It is totally awesome. Here’s the one we use every day. And Burke, you use it. Look at Burke’s got stuff on it, I don’t want to mess it up, but look at that! There’s little things on his, can you see that? I don’t want, well they won’t fall off. Because they’re magnetic! But the screws stay there, obviously if something is plastic it’s not going to stay on there. What are you building here burke? Uplink coupler, reattach top RHS, we can rebuild him, we have the technology. I’m a little worried! What are they up to? Anyway, you can get both the ifixit magnetic. This would be such a great gift for the geek in your life. The IFIXIT magnetic project mat. Plus the IFIXIT tool kit for $74.95 right now. And when you enter the code BEFOREYOUBUY at checkout you will save 10 dollars off on any purchase of 50 dollars or more. So go to, and use the code BEFOREYOUBUY. and the offer code BEFOREYOUBUY to get all of these great tools. Where’d my… it fell out, the flexible thing. Did you give me that? Oh thank you very much, I’ll put that right back in here! I love my IFIXIT tool kit. I have one at home, one at work. What is the wildest…have you ever fixed a McDonalds happy meal toy?

Shannon: I fixed a broken lock pick practice lock.

Leo: You broke the lock and you had to fix it?

Shannon: Keith broke it, my husband broke it. And I fixed it with the IFIXIT.

Leo: And don’t forget to use the offer code BEFOREYOUBUY, that way they know you saw it here, and you’ll save 10 dollars off your first purchase of 50 dollars or more. Alright, we’re going to move on now. Chad, the old redhead is here to review the VisionTek USB hubs. Let’s see what he thinks.

Chad Johnson: Hello, my name is Chad I’m with TWIT and Before You Buy, and today I’m reviewing two chargers to help charge your USB devices. These are from VisionTek, each of them have seven USB ports. Although, both of these, these are different models, they have different features across the different models. Let me start off with the one that has the least amount of features. And that’s the VisionTek 7. USB charging hub. The only issue that I have is right off the bat, I need to say that this is not a USB hub, in that it will extend the amount of USB’s that you can add to a computer. Especially with this one, all it does is add ports for charging. I wish they would have called it a charging station, because that would have cleared up a lot of confusion in my book. It’s pretty simple. It just has the seven ports along the top. Four of them are for one amp out, and three of them are for two amps out. The construction is fully aluminum. It’s fully enclosed aluminum case. On the top you have your power port and you also have a power button. Other than that, pretty simple. It has a little LED on the top to let you know if you’re in charging mode, or if you’re not. This comes in at fifty dollars. At $49.99. So next is the VisionTek 7 port charger. But this has four USB 3 ports on them, and it does connect to your computer. So you can actually extend the amount of USB connections that you have on your computer and, at that, it’s USB 3 which is super-duper fast. Which is really, really great. Now this is also a tiny bit confusing because it has seven ports, but actually only four of them, I found, actually extend, this is what I found on my MAC, actually extend the USB. These bottom three are only for charging. Which I couldn’t find really anywhere in any of the documentation. Same construction. Fully aluminum, feels really solid. It feels like you could throw this into a backpack or some travel gear, and you’re really not going to worry about it banging up at all. It has, as well, two ports at the bottom that will do one amp and one port that will do two amps. USB 3 will give you, what they claim as 900 milliamps. And we have an Android app that kind of shows off the amps that we pulled. Please take note that the cable that you use can determine how much amperage goes through. There’s a whole bunch of factors in that, so we weren’t pulling exactly 900 and we were actually pulling more than an amp out of the one amp, but there’s a whole bunch of factors that go into that. This hub can be used without the plug, the power plug. If you just need the 900 milliamps out of the USB 3, or want this to just be an extender. The DC in is not required. Some things that I wish would have been included. Either a little bit more weight, so that this wouldn’t roll around on your desk, or some sort of non-slick pads added to the back. This just being put on my glass desk, rolled all over the place. For the USB 3 version, this comes in at $54.99. So 55 dollars versus the 50 dollars on the non-extended USB cable version. So for the pros and cons on both of these. For the pros, I think ample port coverage. The fact that it also has two amp ports and the fact that it is so well constructed. For the cons, I wish that they would have added some sort of non-slick back and also plain old verbiage on the box to let you know that you’re not going to get extra ports on your PC on a few of these ports. Or just to let you know a little bit clearer which ports are pass through, and which ones aren’t. Buy, try, don’t buy, for the VisionTek seven port USB hub chargers. I’m going to give both of these guys a buy. Just make sure you know that, especially with the 50 dollar version, that doesn’t have USB, it’s not going to extend any USB ports, but putting this next to your bed would be really great. I hope that in the future they add some sort of non-slick option to this. But other than that, really rugged devices that I think are pretty okay priced for what you get. Thanks so much for watching this review. You can check out more at or See you next time. Bye!

Leo: There you go! Chad Johnson, he says a buy! A USB hub is a good thing. Everybody should have a power USB hub, or two or three. Hey Father Robert is here, you know he loves Acer, I love Acer. I have an Acer Aspire, the S7, right? That’s my windows laptop. They’ve got a new one, the V15 Nitro black edition. This sounds pretty sweet. Let’s get a review. Father Robert Ballecer is here, Father?

Father Robert Ballecer:  You’re a gamer, or a graphics professional. You want an ultrafast, stylish notebook with a high resolution, large color balance screen, a fast processor, even faster storage, a ton of memory, and you don’t want to break the bank. Usually high performance and affordable don’t go together but usually didn’t have the Aspire V15 nitro black edition from Acer. A gaming notebook with a 4K screen and enough horsepower to drive it. All for under 1,500 dollars. Our review unit. The VN7591G measures 15.34 inches by 10.14 inches, by less than an inch thick and 5.29 pounds heavy. It backs a fourth generation Intel Hazwell quad core i7 47 10HQ running at 2.5 gigahertz with a turbo speed of 3.5 gigahertz, and 6 megabytes of cache. 16 gigabytes of dual channel DDR three memory feeds the CPU and compliments the two gigabytes of dedicated GDDR 5 that feeds the N video G-force GXM, in other words, holy crap! All that power pushes the pixels for the Nitro’s black signature bragging right. A 15.6 inch 3840 by 2160 four K ultra HD screen. In the past I’ve been critical of 4K displays on notebooks because I haven’t really been able to tell the difference between a 2K and a 4K panel that’s less than 17 inches. The nitro black changed my opinion because of one thing. The matte finish. Unlike glossy displays that can hide pixels behind super saturated colors and glossy lensing. The screen on the Nitro black lets you see every beautiful pixel. And because it is a matte finish, you’ll get far better color reproduction than you would on a glossy screen. It’s a media professionals dream. Let’s talk about storage. On many notebooks, you’re forced to choose between an ultra-fast solid state drive, an ultra large hard drive, or a hybrid drive that gives you the capacity of a hard drive, and some of the speed of an SSD. Not with the nitro black. Acer packed it with both of the M2 slot hosting a 256 gigabyte SSD, and a 2.5 inch SATA bay with a one terabyte hard drive, and unlike most hybrid setups, you can access each storage device separately, meaning you get to choose what goes on your super-fast storage and what can be put on the rotating drive. All this tech means that the nitro black benches quite well, it scored an average of 3010 with a love of 2966 in PC mark 8, 6100 in PC mark 7, and 5149 in 3D mark 11. But the nitro black isn’t all specs. It feels solid, with just a little flex in the backlit full size keyboard with numeric keypad and the oversize multi touch pad. Acer uses a rich backing on the screen to prevent smudges and covered the user surfaces in a rubberized texture that just feels good. Audio in the nitro black is good. Definitely the best notebook audio I’ve heard all year. Four speakers provide plenty of volume and even an abundance of bass. Thought the down facing speakers sometimes can be muddled on an uneven surface. The connectivity expansion and networking on the nitro black is also good. With a caveat. It sports a combo audio port, 3 USB 3.0 ports, full HDMI, and an expandable gigabit Ethernet jack, media card reader 80211 AVG 11 with a marble input and sensitivity. And a 720 P web camera. What it lacks is display port or thunderbolt expansion. The three cell batteries rated for four hours, but you’re probably not going to see that unless it’s at its lowest power setting. Doing standard web browsing with the WIFI on, I ran the nitro Black empty in just under three hours. Watching video with the WIFI off, I drained the battery in about 2.5 hours. Gaming online or rendering video dropped the battery life to just over one and a half hours. You’re going to want to pack the power adapter. In the end, the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black edition, VN7591 G is a desktop replacement notebook that does exactly as advertised. Give great performance, gaming style, and functionality at a price point that’s tough to match.

Leo: Well there you go, there’s a look at the 19… I like the name, the Nitro.

Fr. Robert: Black edition.

Leo: Black edition, and it is black. But now, see I was thinking about my Acer 7, which I loved. It’s thin, it’s light. This is not thin or light.

Fr. Robert: yeah, so this is going for the opposite market. So the S7 is all about portability. It’s a lot of power but it’s an executive notebook. Those are going to run you between 1600 and 2000 dollars. This is a 1500 dollar notebook with a 4K monitor, with a quad core I7, with 16 gigabytes of memory, with dual setup.

Leo: I do have to say the monitor looks great.

Fr. Robert: It’s absolutely beautiful, but one of the things I absolutely like and I mentioned this in the review, is they didn’t do the glossy coating. A lot of manufactures will put the glossy to sort of super saturate the color and make it pop. But when you don’t do that, when you use a matte finish, you actually get much more accurate color reproduction. So when you’re a graphics professional, this is what you want to be looking for, not the whole glossy stuff.

Leo: Oh interesting. And you say the sound is pretty good too.

Fr. Robert: Oh when you listen to this it’s, there’s some people who don’t like the sound because it’s downward firing, but it’s nice and rich.

Leo: It sounds better than the Sofa. That was downward firing as well!

Fr. Robert: And it’s even got a subwoofer in the back.

Leo: I feel it.

Fr. Robert: So I mean, it’s a notebook audio, and you’re not going to get all that much out of notebook audio, but it’s still better than what you normally get out of a notebook.

Leo: It sounds better, and it’s actually more comfortable than that futon so that’s a winner. So let’s get the pros and cons.

Fr. Robert: Pros, cons. First thing has to be the screen. Screen is beautiful. I didn’t believe in 4K screens on laptops this small. But with the matte finish you actually can tell. I had this right next to a 1080P and a 2K at the same size, and I could tell that this had a finer dot pitch. The other thing is it’s just powerful. Powerful, powerful, fast CPU, lots of memory. The fact that they did the dual drive setup so you have an SSD and a hard drive means that you don’t have to compromise space or speed. You get both of them and also it’s the fact that it’s at a really good price point. 1500 dollars for something like this, it’s actually not all that much.

Leo: Windows 8.1 obviously.

Fr. Robert: Right.

Leo: Core I7. Is that the I7 for the 1500 or is that additional?

Fr. Robert: No, this is the 17 for 1500.

Leo: That’s pretty good price.

Fr. Robert: Yes, very good price. On the con side, the first thing has to be it doesn’t have a display port, or thunderbolt bus. I kind of miss that, because it’s a 4K laptop. You’re probably going to want to hook this up to a 4K display. You could do that through HDMI but you’re going to be limited to like 30 frames a second. Or 30 hertz refresh, not particularly great. The other thing is the battery life, I know it’s a desktop replacement, but if I’m rendering or gaming, it’s an hour and a half.

Leo: That’s ridiculous.

Fr. Robert: It goes up to 4 hours, but you need the adapter. But for what it is, which is a gaming desktop replacement that I can also use for graphics editing, video production I’ve got to give this a buy!

Leo: Alright!  Buy, the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition. Do they have a white edition? A gold edition?

Fr. Robert: No but they have a nitro that’s not the black edition. That does not have the 4K screen. Everything else is the same but without the 4K.

Leo: Ah, so really what makes it the black edition is that screen.

Fr. Robert: Exactly.

Leo: Got it. Father Robert, he’s the host of this week in enterprise tech, the host of Know How, he’s the host of Coding 101, and the host of Farther Roberts corner. PACO. Padre’s corner. Anything else? Did I leave anything out?

Fr. Robert: No.

Leo: You don’t want to do more shows?

Fr. Robert: I’ve got time. I sleep at night, so…

Leo: We love Father Robert. Thank you for being here. Hey, you know, this is, if you’ve got a little time, this is a kind of a Know How kind of a story. This is the SmartThings home, smart home kit. It starts with the, it was a Kick starter project and their goal in the kick starter project was to kind of make the Rosetta stone that would, well that’s not quite right. The key that would unlock all the other protocols. So you can use your SmartThings hub, of course, with other SmartThings units. They have quite a few. But you can also use it with your hew lights, you can use it with yours Sonos, your next, your drop cam, your Schlage lock. Where’s the camera, where am i? There we go, I took it out of the camera, there we go. This is the hub and what have you got there?

Fr. Robert: This is the presence sensor, so when you walk in…

Leo: Oh this is cool. You glue this to the kids and you know when the kids are home or when they’re not, for instance! What they’ve done is put together kits because maybe that’s a little intimidating so they have the solution kits. Which gives you a simple way, starting with the hub to solve simple problems like keeping a drip from turning into a flood with the moistness sensor. The moist sensor.

Fr. Robert: Humidity!

Leo: Not exactly. Moisture. There’s energy saver, there’s outdoor lightening automation. The SmartThings maker. That’s the solution kits. They also have home security kits. They all are at a reduced price when you use our offer code. So I invite you to go to The offer code is TWIT10, and you’re going to take 10% off of either a home security kit or a solution kit. And get yourself started, and then you’ll find there’s lots more you can do once you get the hub. And by the way, it’s all controllable with a smartphone, IOS, Android, and Windows phone. Don’t feel left out if you use windows phone. Smart Things has something for you. You know what’s going to happen next year, in 2015, they’re going to start working with a Samsung line of appliance so you can have the hub control your washer, your dryer, they even have a robotic vacuum that they control. So that is really exciting. Air conditioners, you have total control over your home. and save 10% off when you use the offer code TWIT10. Alright, we can clear the decks here. Put away those sensors. I know you’ve got a Know How setup for this but let’s put these away right now. And I’m going to show you some big phones. Are you ready? It is the year of the phablet, there’s no doubt about it. It all started a couple years ago when Samsung released a Galaxy Note, which was the first phablet. The first Galaxy Note was, I’m thinking 5 inches. Which seemed really big at the time. People would say what is that thing? And you’d say well it’s my Galaxy Note. One of the things that distinguishes the Note, of course, is the stylus but the big screen is what really attracted the eye. They’ve since gone 2, 3, and now this is the Note 4. 5.7 inches, in fact you can credit the galaxy note with Apples IPhone 6 plus. Which is a 5.5 inch screen. People, Apple realized people want big screens. Well there is a phablet to beat all phablets, and it’s just come out and it’s from Google, and we’re talking about right here, this is the Nexus 6. This is the newest Nexus release. One of the reasons people love Nexus phones, of course, is because Google makes a point of keeping it pure Android. This is the first phone to come out with the latest version of Android, 5.0 lollipop. So it’s a great phone if you want to look at Lollipop. It takes advantage of it in some interesting ways, 5.96 inch screen. It’s really a top of the line device. It has snapdragon 805 processors. Quad core 2.7 gigahertz. 3 gigs of RAM. And the screen is another one of those 2K screens. It’s 2560 by 1440.

Fr. Robert: That looks gorgeous.

Leo: Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s a beautiful screen and I think it competes well against the IPhone 6plus and the note four, all three of which have High res screens. Not quite as high res as the iPhone. One thing I have a little bit of an issue with is they get these great big phones, they put great big batteries in them. More than 3000 milliamp hours. But then they also put high res screens that drain the battery faster. You know, we’ve noticed with all of the QHD displays, they just don’t get the battery life that something like you use the 1pluse one, that’s a 1080P display, gets great battery life. IPhone does an amazing job with its 5.5 inch display, also 1080P, great battery life. I can tell you, because it’s been on all day, oh somebody charged it! Darn it! But I’m getting about 12 hours of battery life, maybe a little bit more, that’s disappointing. People had hoped that lollipop would give you better battery life and doing things like coalescing wake locks, something Apple does very well on IOS, maybe it’s doing that, but I sure don’t feel a big difference. I’m being really a little unfair to it because I don’t run the Google launcher, so let me put the home, by the way, there’s the beautiful new material look, and you can see it on the settings. I liked lollipop. And this is a great implementation, let me go back to the Google now launcher because you’ll see a little bit more of lollipop in the launcher, in the way the screens look and all that stuff. Of course, you’ve got Google now there. So the Nexus 6 pure Android 5.0. High end flagship phone at a high end price. There are two models. There’s a 32 gigabyte for 650 bucks and for 700 bucks you can get sixty-four gigabytes. Comes in two colors. This is the midnight blue, which is really almost black. Its bluish black and they have a silvery white one. It’s hard to get, in fact, I got on the store and ordered it as soon as I could and I wasn’t able to get it. Now you know, this is the pure edition from the Google store. Moto maker also sells a pure edition, or you can go to your carrier, but then you’ll get the, for instance, the AT&T death star logo on here, and some of the AT&T software as well. I think some people who buy Nexus phones don’t want that extra carrier cruft. So let’s take a look at the pros and cons. I should say, before I go much further, really the reason I brought the Note 4, the IPhone 6 plus and this phone, Is those are probably if you’re looking for a big phone, your three most prominent choices, and when I compare the nexus 6 to the Note four I feel like the Nexus 6 is kind of the iPhone of Android phones. Does that make any sense?

Fr. Robert: Elegant.

Leo: It’s elegant, it’s simple, and it’s very clean in its look. One of the things I love is the front facing speakers, which means the sound, in fact let me play a little…do you want to hear a little music?

Fr. Robert: Yes, please.

Leo: I’ll play a little music for you. The sound is good. They get loud. I’m not sure the bass is fantastic but you wouldn’t really expect that frankly on a little phone. It’s great though if you’re listening to podcasts or audiobooks because the voice sound is really great. I’m having a little trouble getting the WIFI, here we go. I’ll play a song here from Bryan Enno and David Burn called Very, very hungry. Let me turn it up and you can hear what it sounds like.  It’s not bad.

Fr. Robert: It’s actually not bad.

Leo: You can hear some of the bass in there. It’s very listenable. It gets pretty loud, this is all the way up. I like the idea of left and right front facing speakers, but just like the HTC1, which does the same thing, that means the phone is going to have ears. It’s going to be a little bit bigger at the top and the bottom and that’s maybe a negative. It has a beautiful screen but not quite as beautiful as the Note 4. The Note 4, to me, is the Windows of Android phones. It’s a little clunky, a little awkward, and a little more powerful.

Fr. Robert: It’s all business.

Leo: It’s all business. This kind of looks, and it is a very elegant phone. I’ve think they’ve done a very nice job. Pros and cons. State of the art phone, great QHD display. It is pure Android, but on the con side, you may say, well my Motorola makes this, am I going to get the features of the Moto X? And you do not. It doesn’t have active display, you can’t shake it to turn on the camera, it doesn’t know when you’re sleeping, it doesn’t know when you’re in a meeting. You can add third party software to do that. But frankly I was hoping this would be a Moto X with a giant screen and a giant battery. It isn’t. It’s much more like the Nexus 5 with a 5.9 inch screen. That’s kind of, so that’s a negative to me, it doesn’t have those moto features. Also a negative, the battery life a little bit less than desirable. Its’ better than the Moto X, it’s between 12 and 16 hours. It does support quick charging, which means you can get it back up pretty quickly, within half an hour you can get 50% charged. So if you do run down, as long as you have access to a charger you can fill it up. Of course, no removable battery, no SD card. The back does not come off easily. IFIXIT did give it a high repair score, they say once you get the back off is not easy, you’ve got to spudge it off. You can repair the stuff inside. So that’s a pro as well. And maybe a con a little bit, we expect Nexus phones to be inexpensive. It’s not. It’s pretty much the same price as any of these other flagship phones.

Fr. Robert: It’s a premium price.

Leo: It’s a premium price, 650 to 700 dollars. Unsubsidized. Good news is it’s available from all the carriers, so you will be able to get a carrier subsidy on this. Buy, try, don’t buy? I think it’s a, I probably should say try in the sense that you should try this, you should try the Note four, you should try the iPhone 6 plus because all three of these giant sized phones, and I would include maybe the Sony Experia Z3, the LG G3, these big phones, if you like big phones, each has its pros and cons. But they’ve done a very nice job. I love lollipop, I guess we’re going to get lollipop on more phones soon.

Fr. Robert: I hope so.

Leo: I didn’t mention the camera, it’s a 13 megapixel OIS built in. Dual flash. I think a very good camera. Probably better than the Moto X, not better than the Note 4 or the iPhone 6 plus. It’s a decent camera, but it’s definitely a, I should say try, but I’m going to say buy, because I don’t want you to think it’s not a great phone, it is a great phone.

Fr. Robert: It’s a qualified buy.

Leo: It’s a qualified buy in the sense that there are other choices out there and it’s really a personal decision you have to make. You have to look at all the choices and see which one suits you. You might want a kind of more windows, more utilitarian, businessy kind of phone. But this sure is elegant, and you know, I don’t feel like, do you feel like it’s too big? We’re both big guys.

Fr. Robert: No but I love big phones.

Leo: I like big phones too.

Fr. Robert: I use the one plus1 and it’s a big phone. Actually this feels really nice.

Leo; Yeah, and I have to say that’s another con and it doesn’t have the moto maker features. You can’t get the leather back, you can’t get the wood back, and you can’t really customize it in any way. On the other hand, it feels good. It’s got the curved back, it’s got the Motorola dimple in the back, so for such a big phone you’re not going to operate it one hand, but it feels pretty good in the palm of hand. So I like this phone. I think it’s a great phone. It may very well be my daily driver. Right now it’s between this and my Note 4. I just haven’t decided to give up that pure Android experience, lollipop is pretty sweet, as it ought to be, as all Android devices are. Anyway, there you go. A buy for the Nexus 6, but a qualified buy. Thank you Father Robert Ballecer, great to have you on the show. Chad Johnson, Shannon Morse, who am I missing?

Fr. Robert: Tonya!

Leo: Tonya! Of course, Tonya and you know who else I forgot? You! We do Before You Buy on Tuesday before, or onto the internet by the end of the day on Tuesday, you’ll find it at for the whole show. We also have the whole show plus individual reviews on our YouTube channel, And, of course, you can subscribe wherever you subscribe to your podcasts. Or just get the twit application on iPhone, Android, Windows phone, there’s even one for Roku and make sure you download each and every episode. Remember, you’ve got watch Before You Buy! We’ll see you next time. Bye, bye.

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