Before You Buy 151 (Transcript)
Show Tease: On this episode of Before You Buy we’ll be reviewing some very interesting and nice looking Bluetooth speakers. Plus a chrome box, a new raspberry pie, and much, much more. All next on 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. This episode of Before You Buy is brought to you by littleBits, the easy way to build electronics with modular building blocks. Go to littlebits.com and enter the promo code BEFOREYOUBUY, and you receive 20 dollars off your purchase of 80 dollars or more. And by Jack Erwin. Jack Erwin sells men’s shoes made from the finest materials at honest prices. And they ship them right to your door! Check out their shoe collections at jackerwin.com/twit. That’s jackerwin.com/twit.
Sarah Lane: Hello everyone! And welcome to another fun filled episode of Before You Buy. Leo Laporte is off today so I am Sarah Lane, I am going to do my best to fill his shoes and talk about some really awesome products today. But I won’t be doing it alone. In fact, without further ado. Tonya Hall, who is a very, very frequent contributor to Before You Buy, and apparently also listening to music as well on this episode.
Tonya Hall: Yes!
Sarah: So what do we have here? Because it looks pretty nice from my side of the table.
Tonya: It is an audio engine. B2 Bluetooth speaker. It’s a really fine quality speaker.
Sarah: Look at that. The exterior looks really nice and sturdy.
Tonya: It is. Its hand finished actually. So it actually comes in walnut, zebra wood, and a black ash. So there’s options there.
Sarah: Alright so it looks really nice. What does it do that’s so special?
Tonya: Well. Let’s just start with the actual make of it. It’s about 12 inches wide, so it’s a little bit smaller than you think it’s going to be from the pictures. At least it was for me. It’s got 60 watts of power, so it’s actually got a lot of power behind it. You snap off the cover here, it’s some magnets. So you can see.
Sarah: So you can see the beautiful. It’s funny, at my home, I’ve got large versions of kind of the speaker. And it’s like an aesthetic thing. Some people like to have the protection on and some people prefer for it to look, I don’t know, the way speakers were intended to look!
Tonya: The way speakers were intended to look.
Sarah: Exactly. It’s like taking the plastic off your couch. Now we just want to look at them, nice and speakery. So you have options there for the way they look.
Tonya: You do. As you can see, they’ve got. Which camera here. It’s… I’m looking, and we need to move it around a little bit. There we go. If you can see here, it’s got a two, woofers. Two! Caviler woofers and some silk tweeters.
Sarah: Okay, the woofers and the tweeters, wonderful.
Tonya: Yeah, actually these, separate, are about 30 watts each so all together is where you get the 60 watts. It’s really weighty. It’s about 10 pounds so nice and heavy. It’s nice and sturdy, because the size is smaller you could, as you pointed out Sarah, put it anywhere in your room. You could put it on your shelf, somewhere on a desk, and it will fill up the room with sound. It does come with an antenna. I’ll turn this back around so you can see that. That’s actually a part of it, so you get a couple of different cords, you get this cord and the antenna here. Here’s the cord.
Sarah: Now this is a Bluetooth antenna?
Tonya: It’s a Bluetooth antenna which is kind of interesting. We had this conversation before the show started.
Sarah: Because usually Bluetooth antennas are hidden inside cell phones and things like that, so I guess this is supposed to help the range pick up from further away so you can have a little more flexibility on where you put the speaker.
Tonya: Yes, about 100 feet is I think what they claim. I didn’t quite get that far away. This I like too, it has an internal power converter on the inside, so it’s nice and clean. It doesn’t have an ugly cord to plug into. So that’s pretty simply it.
Sarah: Well what about the sound?
Tonya: I think that’s the important part.
Sarah: It certainly looks nice. I will say, if you’ve got a night stand or some other flat place where you’ve got room for this thing, it does look like a piece of furniture.
Tonya: It does.
Sarah: But the sound is why people would buy it, right?
Tonya: Super easy to set up. You would pair here, with the pairing. Once it’s paired all you have to do is pull up maybe some of your favorite music on your device.
Sarah: A little Bryan Adams.
Tonya: Poor Sarah Lane.
Sarah: Oh, I’m in 8th grade again, Tonya! I love it already!
Tonya: 8th grade?
Sarah: Something like that.
Tonya: So that’s actually turned up at maybe a fourth of the volume, so…
Sarah: I will say, and I’m sort of slightly behind the speaker right now, so obviously I’m not even in prima place, it does feel like powerful sound.
Tonya: It is powerful sound, but you made a really good point, I did notice if you walked around the room you didn’t get quite the experience. You definitely want to make sure it’s positioned so that you can get the most optimum sound. But it is quite loud.
Sarah: It’s lovely. Although, I would say you probably wouldn’t have this in a place where you could walk behind it. Because again, like you said, the power cord is hidden in the back, and really the nice area of the speaker is towards the front, not the back.
Tonya: Correct. So you know, I mean there’s that. I definitely think for the quality that you’re getting this is actually, I was really impressed with this audio engine product. I did not expect it to be quite this quality of sound, but it was really nice. Pros and cons, I would say the pros are, one of the things if you’re concerned about dropping the money, which I haven’t said yet, is actually 299 dollars, so roughly 300 dollars for a speaker. If you’re concerned with that, there’s an actual option if you buy it directly from Audio Engine they have a thirty day trial that you can try out the speaker. You’re going to want to keep it, but I’m telling you if you do try it there, if you buy it from another source, can’t guarantee that. But the sound quality it great. I really didn’t’ see anything I could find as a con. I just couldn’t find the things that I thought would be cons were definitely not. So it comes with a couple of cases, which is kind of nice. They definitely want you to feel taken care of. So a couple of microfiber cases to keep it nice and the finish is nice. Like I said, it does come in three options.
Sarah: This looks like sort of a walnut finish here.
Sarah: I would agree with you if 300 dollars is too much for a speaker then you’re looking for something else already. But if you’re on the fence that thirty day trail period would be really special. Especially if you’ve got a room that sound might bounce off of oddly, or high ceilings, or that sort of thing.
Tonya: Yeah, if you’re on the fence I’d definitely give it a try for sure. But I’m actually going to say it’s a buy.
Sarah: you’re going to say it’s a buy! I was wondering what you were going to say just now.
Tonya: Suspense was building.
Sarah: Thank you for trying it out Tonya.
Sarah: So this is the Audio Engine B2 premier Bluetooth speaker. 299 dollars. Tonya Hall says it is a buy! Thank you Tonya!
Sarah: Alright, let’s take a quick break before we go any further. I’m pretty excited to show you what I’ve been building lately, this is from littleBits. If you haven’t heard of littleBits it is moving electronics design from people who are electricians, and build very complicated equipment with lots of little parts to something that is really accessible to everyone! In fact, it makes a really great gift. Anyone who uses electronics as modular building blocks, or if you don’t, this is actually a great place to start. In fact, before I go any further, let me just show you an example of how littleBits work. So you kind of have these little, these little parts that attach together quite easily. They’re obviously color coded, and you know they attach well when they magnetically snap together. So you’ve got battery power, for example. This goes into my power circuit. I’ve attached it to something that’s going to make this buzzer go, and so because I’ve got everything, I go ahead and turn on the power circuit. I have a really annoying thing for my coworkers. In fact, anytime Burke gets too near me then I just do this, and he knows to back right up. Now it’s not just audio of course, I’ve got all sorts of options in here! I’ve got a sort of a glow in the dark wire of some kind. It would have been good for Halloween. The point is that it’s really easy and it’s kind of educational as well to put together these little projects. If you’re artist or designer or engineer. If you’re a student, maybe you’ve got little kids and you think they really would be interested in things like this. You have a kid who’s always taking apart electronics at home. This is perfect for those tinkerers, the hobbyists, those programmers. And littleBits has a growing library of modules that range from really, really simple. You know, like powers and sensors and LED lights to more complex, like programmable and wireless technology as well. Over 60 modules can be used in virtually limitless creative combinations. The sky is really the limit. And you can imagine what you can make just by some of the simple stuff I put together so you can go out and do it. Perfect holiday gift. LittleBits has something for everyone this holiday season. Musicians, programmers, and gadget geeks. Or just home enthusiasts. Hey maybe you’re snowed in. It’s a snow day. LittleBits is perfect. Bring that out, the kids will have a ball. If you’re a new customer you can get 20 dollars off purchases of 80 dollars or more by just going to littlebits.com. That’s littlebits.com, and entering the promo code BEFOREYOUBUY, all one word. Free shipping in the US by the way. That’s littlebits.com with the promo code BEFOREYOUBUY. And thanks to littleBits for sponsoring this episode of Before You Buy. Alright, I’m really excited about our next review. It is the Raspberry Pie A+ and it is going to be reviewed by none other than our friend Aaron Newcomb. Take it away Aaron.
Aaron Newcomb: Hey everybody! Aaron Newcomb here with another review for Before You Buy. I’m so excited about this one because it’s something I’m really into. And we’re going to be talking today about the raspberry pie model A+. This is so exciting to me because I do some much work with building things and making things, and almost every project I do it seems like these days is based on the raspberry pie. Now the Raspberry pie Model A+ is the fourth generation of the raspberry pie, and you can buy it right now online for only twenty dollars! This is a fully functioning computer, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the raspberry pie. This has video out. It has HDMI out, so you can plug it right into your monitor. It has USB connection, it’s got audio out. It’s got storage in the form of an SD card, and it’s got onboard memory, everything you would have, all the components you’d have in a basic computer, desktop computer, and laptop computer. They’re all right here in this tiny, tiny platform, and like I said it’s available for 20 dollars. Which is a huge plus. Now if you don’t know much about the evolution of the raspberry pie, I’ve actually brought some in so you can see real quick before we get into the specifics of the A+. Raspberry pie started out with model B actually, Model B intuitive was the first one, and it’s about the size of a business card. A little bit bigger than a business card or a credit cart. Then they came out with the model A, and then they came out with the model B+ which added a lot more GPIO pens, more USB connections as well as efficient power handling mechanism so they’re actually able to use less power for the pie to operate on, which is why the added in additional USB ports. But then just a few weeks ago they came out with the latest and greatest model, which we want to talk about today, the Model A+. The great thing about this is just like the model A before it. It does have less memory on board. It has fewer USB ports, but essentially, it has no Ethernet, but essentially other than that it’s just like the model B+, and because they took off some of those components, they were able to shrink this down into an almost square shape. Not quite square but almost square. And you can see the difference here, this is the model B+, this is the model A. If I hold them up together, you’ll see the difference here is actually considerable. All this left over here is the extra space on the model B+ that they took off for the model A. So what you can with this, boy just about anything. The great thing about this, I complained about the model B+ when it first came out because I really wanted just a model B with more horsepower and they didn’t give me that. They gave me other things which were great, but they didn’t give me more horsepower. But I don’t have the same complaint with the model A, because what you’re going to use the model A for is those small embedded projects where you don’t really need the horsepower. You’re not going to use this probably for example to do a retro pie cade project where you’re doing mime immolation and all that stuff. You could, but it’s probably not going to be your first choice. You might use this to set up a little weather station, for example. You might use this to set up a CC TV system that is basically recording a little bit of video and not doing much of anything else. You might use it for maybe a project where you need to have rudimentary web input, for example like a robot. You might code up a little web interface where you can drive your robot around. This would be perfect for that because it doesn’t require a lot of CPU memory resources. So I’m okay with this not being upgraded from a horsepower or CPU perspective because of the types of projects that this is going to be used for. So that is the raspberry pie Model A+, I would highly recommend it to anybody that’s interested in doing things with Raspberry pie, especially if they’re looking for small embedded type projects where you’re going to tuck this away some place and probably never see it. Not going to run the Ethernet or anything like that. You just want it to run some Servos or maybe run some LEDs, or something like that. This would be perfect for that. So pros and cons. Pros, obviously the size. The smaller size for those projects is fantastic. The fact that it uses less power is also fantastic because you can power more things. You can even hook up an external USB hub, powered USB hub to the USB if you needed more USB devices to power. So there’s nothing wrong with that. And then the other thing is these forty pens. They maintained these 40 GPIO pens that were on the model B+. They brought those over and used those on the model A+ as well. So that’s really good. They didn’t cut anything down there because that’s one of the biggest complaints people had with the original raspberry pie was not enough input and output ports to interphase with. Oh and also the best pro of all I almost forgot! The price! As I mentioned before 20 dollars! So if you wanted to get a model B+, you’d be paying 35 dollars. The Model A before this one was 25 dollars. They were able to drop the price of this down to 20 dollars so it’s super accessible, and you can buy it online today from lots of different sources. The only cons I would say are the, if you did need some additional horsepower to do something, you may start with the model A and be a little unhappy with the performance you may have to upgrade to a model B. But again, if you’re careful of the projects you use this for, you’re not going to have any problems with horsepower. So my recommendation obviously on this one, is you can tell from my excitement is a definite buy. Go out and buy one of these things and enjoy it. Start a project. If you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re looking for inspiration certainly search online, or get involved with the local makerspace. They can help you come up with some project ideas or some fun things to do. Maybe get your kids involved and teach them about programming, computers, and doing fun, fun projects at the same time. So once again, my recommendation on this is a definite buy. Thanks a lot for watching.
Sarah: Thank you Aaron Newcomb. It is a buy! We love buys! But Aaron is not the only one who’s been reviewing stuff this week. In fact, our next reviewer is none other than Shannon Morse, Before You Buy Shannon Morse, how is going to be taking a look at the Sprint Pocket wife, Shannon?
Shannon Morse: Hey everyone, I’m Shannon Morse, and this is the Sprint Pocket WIFI ZTEMF9755. So it’s a mobile hotspot basically, from Sprint. You can get this for about 50 dollars on a two year contract. It also costs $216 just out of pocket, with no contract. Or 9 dollars a month for 24 months with sprint. This basically just allows you to connect to the sprint network over your own private WIFI hotspot as opposed to a public hotspot. Which could not be very security conscious. So you can connect up to 10 devices at once over WIFI, or just one tethered as well. On the back, if you open up the nice little port back here, you have a removable battery. This is a 2700 milliamp per hour battery. So you can get about 10 hours of usage out of it. At least that’s what I was able to get. On the front it does have a touch screen which will go off automatically after a few minutes, or it will stay on if you keep it on and keep touching it. It is a touch screen, so it’s decently responsive. I noticed after I gave it a little firmware upgrade during my usage with it, the responsiveness of the touchscreen actually went up, so it’s a lot better now. It is very small, its only 4.2 ounces, and the size of it is about 4.6 inches by 2.4 by only .55 wide. So you can easily take this with you. You can stick it in your purse or your backpack and take it wherever you need to go. Very good for travel. Now the Sprint service connection. This is the thing that will probably make it a buy, try, or a don’t buy. For me, I had iffy results. I used this in San Francisco, in Richmond CA, and in Petaluma CA. And each place gave me very, varying results. In San Francisco it was very good. I had really good connection, it was over 10 megabits per second upload, and about 5 download. In Richmond CA I got 1.27 down. Which is pretty slow to be honest. And then in Petaluma I got about 5 down. So decent again, it really depends on where you live, and what kind of connections you’re going to expect from Sprint. That’s probably going to determine if you want to buy this or not. It runs on Sprint Spark. This is an enhanced LTE speed with Sprints new tri-band approach. This allows you to do much faster LTE if you’re in an area where you get one of the new towers. You can also do 4G LTE and 3G. This works with all different Wireless devices. Windows PCS, Macs, and Lenox PCs as well. So yea! No problems connecting to this Sprint pocket WIFI by ZTE. Now the pros and cons. On the pros, you have very good options on the screen. It’s very easy to manage and to set up, and it has good WIFI range. So if I walk away with my cellphone off several different feet. I’m not going to have an issue keeping connected to this. So I don’t have to keep it in my pocket all the time. And the battery life was awesome. So I got ten hours on it and that’s what they promised. Great. Now on the con side, the sprint signal was not that great for me. I had issues depending on where I was. I don’t feel like Sprint has the excellent coverage that a lot of their competitors have in 2014. Also the screen is not very sensitive. I noticed a definite increase in the sensitivity after I did that firmware update, but I still noticed a few times where I’d have to press it two or three times for it to actually understand what I wanted to do. So is this a buy, try, or don’t buy? Well I’m going to say try. If you get good signal it’s worth it. If you don’t get good signal wherever you’re living, you probably don’t want to buy one from Sprint. Again, I’m Shannon Morse, and this is the Sprint Pocket WIFI by ZTE.
Sarah: Thank you Shannon Morse. As Shannon said, if you’ve got a good signal, this is definitely worth it. It sounds like another buy. Joining me at the news desk, our news desk actually. We take turns.
Mike Elgan: Yes, yes we do.
Sarah: Claiming the news desk between Tech News Today and Tech News Tonight, yeah I’ve got those right. Is Mike Elgan. Hello Mike.
Mike: Hello, Sarah, How you doing?
Sarah: I’m doing really well. So you’ve got the Acer Chromebox CXI today, as we were setting up for the show some people in the chatroom were saying, Oh! Is that what I think it is? So what do we have here?
Mike: Yes it is. Well we’re all familiar with the Chromebook which is a laptop which basically uses a browser as an operating system and these are great. Some people love them, and some people hate them. This is the desktop version of that. They’re multiple variance. This is Acers new one and I’m just going to cut right to the chase and talk about the benefit of this. Which is that it’s cheap. And by cheap I mean both that it’s inexpensive, it starts at $179.99, that’s for the two gig version. And $219.99 for the 4 gig version. Those are the two only options. The device itself is not flimsy. It’s not problematic. This is a good product right here. It has tons of ports. Two USB in the back, two in the front, you can plug in the included keyboard and mouse if you want to, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The mouse, let me show those very quickly. This is literally a peripheral part of the product. This is a pretty good mouse, and this is a really horrible keyboard. This is a terrible, terrible keyboard. You want to just throw this in the trash..
Sarah: What’s wrong with it?
Mike: Well it’s just cheap and flimsy. It’s $179.99 product so how good is the keyboard going to be? Not very. So you can get rid of that. The good news is that this supports Bluetooth so you can take your nice Bluetooth keyboard you probably already own. You plug in the display you probably already down, or a TV, it supports HDMI and display port, so you can very easily plug it into your HDMI port on your TV and turn your TV into essentially a giant non portable Chromebook. So again this is a Chromebox CXI. Now, one of the good things about this that’s a differentiator, and again, the chromium based devices are all pretty much the same, when you boot it up you’re in chrome, you’re on the internet, using Gmail, using chrome browser, and everything Google offers there. One difference is this thing has something called power wash. So you push one button and it wipes everything clean, completely factory restores it, so it’s very, very quick to loan it to someone or let somebody use it.
Sarah: And all your search history is gone and all that stuff that Google loves to save.
Mike: And of course, you can download files, people think you can’t because it’s supposed to be in the cloud, but of course, you can download files on a Chromebook, Chromebox. So you’re going to have lots of files if you download pictures or whatever it is you’re downloading and that’ll just all be erased. Any trace that you were there is gone forever. Now, of course, whenever we are with family in the holidays everybody is like what do I do? This doesn’t work, that doesn’t work? It’s so cheap, I’m just tempted to hand this to Uncle Fester and say look, here just use this and you know, of course, you can’t get viruses, you can’t have a lot of the problems you get with windows or even with the mac, or even with iPad’s, because there’s basically no there, there. There’s no local operating system, so you can’t get any of those sorts of problems. So this is just a fantastic product, but I’m curious Sarah, I know you’re an Apple fan, I’m an Apple fan too. What do you think of the chrome books, the chromeboxes? Do you like that idea?
Sarah: I definitely like the idea for anybody who is like, and this applies to kids in school, as you mentioned uncle Fester, maybe people who are still kind of locked into that oh, I sit at the computer, I do things at the computer and that includes things like email, or maybe looking up things online here and there. Maybe checking Facebook, that sort of thing. I think that the Chromebook, particularly, are great because they’re portable and they’re cheap. This is even better because I think in many cases having a laptop that you kind of explain how it works might not be a selling point for somebody who already has an older monitor or maybe even an Acer monitor, and you say this is your computer! This is how small they’ve gotten these days. And they don’t really miss the lack of onboard storage because that’s not what they’re doing anyway. And as you said, it’s limited storage, but there is some.
Mike: Yeah, and I like to have computers all around the house, but I don’t really have enough to go around. But I have old keyboards here and there, I have an old monitor, so I can just put one of these things in the kitchen with a monitor, and I’ve got a computer in the kitchen that I don’t have to take my iPad in there, or whatever. And risk it getting something on it. And one other thing that’s really cool about this. It has a mount, it comes with a little mount that lets you mount it on the back of the monitor so you can pretend like you have an IMac.
Sarah: Alright! So as long as you can reach back there a little bit, you are good to go.
Mike: That’s right!
Sarah: You’ve got a hidden computer.
Mike: Of course it’s got headphone jacks. Pretty much everything a pc has in terms of jacks and ports. So I’m going to give this a buy, simply because it’s a Chromebox that’s very inexpensive. It works. And everybody should have, you know, a couple of these around the house I think.
Sarah: Exactly. Especially for the price. The keyboard is junk, but you probably have a Bluetooth keyboard. That’s something that could be picked up relatively easy. Also comes with the mouse as well, as you said. It’s kind of cheap, but it certainly looks sturdy and like you said, you could hide it if you really don’t like to look at it all.
Mike: Yep. Give ChromeBox a chance, that’s what I’m saying.
Sarah: Alright. Well Mike Elgan, thank you so much. That is the Acer Chromebox CXI, price starts at 179 dollars. Quite a buy! If he does say so himself. Alright, you know what? I’m excited to talk about right now? And that is shoes. These actually aren’t shoes for me, I’m just going to go ahead and pick some up right now, but I know a lot of guys who need way cooler shoes than the ones that they wear. I’m not talking about you Mike.
Mike: Yes, you are.
Sarah: No I’m not! I’m talking about lots of people I know, you can tell a man by his shoes. It says a lot about him. These are Jack Erwin’s. It really sounded like I was throwing you under the bus right there but I, it’s just a man thing. Look at these shoes! These are beautiful, beautiful shoes. You might say, well you know, yeah sure, that’s not really my style because I can tell that they’re very expensive, right? Sure, high quality shoes, I’m not that kind of person, I’m just a regular guy who likes to wear his shoes and I don’t want to go nuts. That’s why Jack Erwin shoes are so nice, because they’re a very fine quality that you would think, oh! You go into a department store, you’re going to pay $500 to $800 or more for a pair of shoes. But Jack Erwin’s the shoes don’t cost you a fortune, they just look like they do! They use the same materials, same tools, the same craftsmen, as the most expensive brands in the world. These shoes are lovingly handmade in Spain, century’s old tanneries in Italy and France. I mean these are the real deal, and I’ve got to tell you guys, they’re quite fashionable. I love those high-tops. If you look closely at the finish, the soles and the upper are both hand stitched leather. The quality is very, very obvious. That’s why Jack Erwin is so great because theyv’e figured out a way to give you high quality shoes for a fraction of the price. Disrupting the men’s shoe industry. Forget going to the department store, this is where it’s at! They cut out the retailers, they sell it directly to you, shipping is also free and returns are free. So there are a lot of perks here. You would literally pay three to four times as much at any fine shoe store for the same quality that Jack Erwin has. Buying shoes should be fun, right? Are you a guy and do you hate buying shoes? Alright well that’s why you need Jack Erwin in your life. Now to get the right fit, Jack Erwin’s are cut a full size big. They run big. So if you are a size 10, a US size 10, you would go with a size 9. Of course you know if you don’t have the right size, you can exchange for the right size. But that’s something to keep in mind. It’s just the way that they do things at Jack Erwin. Now it’s the time of the year where you’re probably invited to one or two or more holiday parties. This is the perfect occasion to wow people with a nice brand new pair of shoes. You want to look nice. Don’t wait, look sharp with a pair of Jack Erwin’s. Go see the shoes that I’ve been lusting over here on the set. I just love this color, brown color. You don’t always want to wear black shoes, you want brown, maybe gray, black, and you’ve got all sorts of options at Jack Erwin. Jackerwin.com. that’s jackerwin.com/twit. I’ll say that once more. Jackerwin.com/twit. All offerings are limited and they change pretty frequently so get yourself a pair before these guys sell out, although Jack Erwin will give you more when they get new inventory as well. That’s jackerwin.com/twit. And BYB thanks Jack Erwin for their support. I’m going to go ahead and move these shoes off the desk. Because I finally, finally have the opportunity to do a true review of my new IPad Air 2! It’s funny Leo and I host IPad today, and You would think, I’ve talked about my new IPad Air 2, which has got the gold back, by the way, but I haven’t really given it a proper review besides yeah, look I’ve got the new one type of a thing. So what’s nice about the IPad air 2, and this is by the way fully loaded. So it’s 128 gigabytes. This is the WIFI and 3G model. I use AT&T as my provider. I have a grandfathered in unlimited plan which I refuse to get rid of. Out of my cold dead hands rather. This also supports touch ID as well, because it’s one of the new models. And man, it’s lovely. Like I said it’s gold on the back, it’s white on the front, because that’s just sort of the way I roll. And, you know, when I first picked it up and held it, and I held it against the iPad air, the original air, I realize that it’s lighter but it doesn’t really feel that much lighter to me. It does feel slightly thinner, slightly lighter, but nothing that I think that I would notice after holding for maybe an hour reading in bed, say, that type of a thing. But that is there, it’s negligible to me anyway, but that is definitely there. Now, I do have the WIFI plus cellular plan. Which makes any iPad just a lot more of a mobile product. If you’ve only got Wi-Fi, sure there are a lot of places you can connect to your iPad but you’re not going to be able to whip it out on a plan if you’re sitting on the tarmac for a while. Those are the situations that I really think the cell plan makes a huge difference. That said though, the iPad air 2 starts at what, 499 dollars. This model is $829. So that’s significantly more expensive for the kind of iPad that I actually want. The base model actually wouldn’t really work for me, at least the way that I use IPad’s now. Another thing about the air two is that it’s got, its faster processor, there’s more memory. It’s supposed to be able to render high intensity graphics much quicker. I think Apple threw out a percentage, like 68% faster than the iPad air. I have noticed very little, however I also have an old air that has like 400 apps on it. This has, I’m starting over, I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf, so I have much fewer apps on this particular model. So it’s humming right along, but I think it would probably bog down the same way if I loaded up enough apps, that you know, let’s face it some are sort of sketchy and don’t work that well, on my new iPad as well. Touch ID is a freaking life saver. Now I’ve got an iPhone, I’m a MAC, Apple person. Everything is either mac or IOS in my world. And really, at this point, all I need is touch ID on my magic track pad. And then I’ll be good to go. Once you have touch ID it’s really hard to go back. That was always something that kind of bothered me, once I had it on my phone, I really wanted it on my pad because it felt inconsistent otherwise. I think you hear where I’m going with this. I am an IPad fan, I love the air 2. I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. Those are the pros, its fast, its light. It is the best iPad out there. Unless you want a Mini, or course, which is smaller, the IPad air 2 is the best iPad you can buy, absolutely. It’s also the newest. You’ve got the app store at your fingertips. If this is your first iPad that’s a great thing as well. Because you’ve got access to all the apps you wanted access to in the past. On the pad, on the apps even if they’re universal for the iPad and iPhone are just a lot more fun on a larger screen. And then of course, you’ve got that touch ID and you have the gold option as well, if you want to get fancy, you weren’t able to get a gold iPad until now, so that’s kind of cool. I like my gold, I’ve got to say, you know, gold makes me feel very, very wealthy. The cons, I don’t really notice a huge speed difference. And also, it is expensive for the top of the line model. Which I have. Like I said, 850 dollars, not everybody has that laying around. That’s an expensive gift for someone else, or for yourself. So when I put all that stuff together, I say it’s not a try because I guarantee you’re going to love it, if you want an iPad this is the one that you want. But I think that you really have to take into consideration what generation you’re coming from. Do you not have an IPad, is this your first one? Get the air 2. Figure out if you want the base line model, maybe you just want Wi-Fi. That’s up to you. But this is a beautiful, a beautiful, beautiful device. If you are already in possession of an iPad air, or maybe you’ve got a mini and you kind of really like it, and you think oh retina mini that’s all good. If you’re trying to convince yourself you need this, I say hold off. It’s not a big enough difference for you to justify parting with that much money. So I said it’s a buy. I said it’s a buy, but you know there are some contingencies involved. So that’s where I’m going to stand with the iPad air 2. It’s a buy, but make sure you are the target audience. Alright, we’ve come to the end of our Before You Buy program. Thanks to everybody for joining not only me but Tonya Hall, Shannon Morse, Aaron Newcomb, and, of course, Mike Elgan. Thanks for being here on the set with me, Mike. And Leo is a little under the weather today, so he kind of let me take over the show for him. I thank you for that Leo, I hope you feel better soon. Of course he’ll be back next week hosting the show as usual. Until then, thanks for joining us everyone. And remember, you’ve got to watch Before You Buy!