Before You Buy 156 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: Coming up, we’ve got an Ice Diamond to look at, the new peri drone from CES, Father Robert will have a first look. Next Notebook for under $300, the Papago, smart scale, and I’ll see if my new t-shirt can take the mustard. It’s all coming up. It’s time to watch, before you buy.
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Leo: It’s time for Before You Buy. The TWIT product review show where we get some of the latest and greatest stuff and ask our hosts to take a look at it. Sometimes it’s a first look, that’s coming up with the new peri drone that is really cool. But sometimes it’s a more in-depth look. We take some time, we actually take some time to live with these products and that’s what Carly Perkins has done. We gave her the silliest product ever. This is called the InTouch Ice Diamond. What is it?
Carly Perkins: It’s a Bluetooth LED speaker Leo. And here it is. It glows. The tempo matches different color schemes. It does a lot of different things. So I’ll just show you what it comes with really quickly. So it’s the speaker here, comes with this awesome velvet pouch you can tote it around in. this is awesome. It’s luxurious and I love it. And then we have this remote here and you can make it dance across the room. We have a USB cable here and then a 3.4mm line input. You don’t need it but if you were having- if the connection wasn’t right for Bluetooth you can use it.
Leo: But you can use this wirelessly?
Carly: Wirelessly. From your phone yeah. I’m going to play some music, yeah. So, there is two different ways you can connect.
Leo: What are the kids listening to these days? Pitbull?
Carly: You know what, I still listen to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and a lot of great 60s and 70s stuff.
Leo: The kids, right on. The kids like good music. My era. All right.
Carly: Let me just connect real quick.
Leo: How is it as a speaker, does it sound good?
Carly: It sounds great. I actually used the speaker from about 30 feet away, down the hall, around the corner, down the hall, door closed, I could still hear the speaker great. So it has really high quality sound. It’s actually a 300% sound boost. And enhanced version of the Black Diamond that came previously before the Ice Diamond. So I’m just going to go ahead and turn this on.
Leo: I feel like a teenager would be into this at a party.
Carly: It’s great for parties. I used this at a Christmas party, at a Halloween party, I did. And I really love it.
Leo: Whoa. I feel like Glenda. Welcome to the Emerald City, holy cow.
Carly: Now ill connect to Bluetooth.
Leo: Its green, it’s blue. It’s brighter than I thought it would be. Even in the studio with the lights it’s pretty bright.
Carly: Now, the colors will dance. And you can do one bright color and it changes all sorts of- it has actually 16 million different colors.
Leo: You can turn it down?
Carly: You can turn it down, you can – so.
Leo: So if it’s too bright- you want to create a mood.
Carly: The really great thing is that the music color scheme and variation will match the type of music you’re playing. So this actually matches the tempo of the song you’re playing.
Leo: Is this a modern lava lamp for the 21st century?
Carly: It really is, it’s great. And it really lights up the room when you’re playing music as well, so.
Leo: It’s not stereo is it? Or is it two speakers?
Carly: There’s two speaker drivers. On the left and right side are the speakers, and then here you also have the- you can put the remote right in here if you don’t need that. And then here you have the bass above it.
Leo: So you don’t get a lot of bass with it sitting out there, but if you put it closer to the wall it would be a little more resonating.
Carly: You know, the bass quality is pretty strong. You can turn it up.
Leo: Do you have anything with a little more bass?
Carly: Yeah, let’s get you some bass. Any requests?
Leo: Anything with a boom, boom, boom. You know I like that boom, boom, boom.
Carly: Let me see if I have some Black Eyed Peas in here.
Leo: Oh that would do it. Yeah. So how much is the Ice Diamond?
Carly: The Ice Diamond retails at $149. So it’s a little pricer than some, but I feel like with the light and sound integrated technology it’s worth it.
Leo: Pros and cons?
Carly: Pros would be that it defiantly adds some great ambience for a party, for outdoor parties or holiday parties, as I tested it out with. It really adds something special beyond just the normal Bluetooth speaker. And also, it has great sound quality. It’s clear, crisp, even if you’re in the other room, you can hear it very well. And you can operate it using your phone. The Bedtime social app.
Leo: So really this is kind of a bedroom – kind of romantic thing. Bedtime social app.
Carly: Yeah. So this is the app here, you can operate the sound and the lights straight from your phone. Say the remote is feeling a little small for you and you want to be able to look at it while you’re in bed, that’s something that you can do and you can coordinate it to work with your alarm system.
Leo: What about the cons?
Carly: So I think the con is the price, because it is a little bit higher than some Bluetooth speakers, but I still feel like it’s worth it. Another con is that sometimes there is interference when you’re in the next room using the phone as opposed to using the remote in view of the speaker, it can sometimes interfere, but it’s not consistent. It’s really intermittent, so I don’t think- it’s not a con that would keep me from buying the product.
Leo: Alright, so you give it a buy?
Carly: I give it a buy.
Leo: You found this easy to use the software?
Carly: Very easy to use. And rare mix ups with the sound, it was really pretty clear and crisp.
Leo: Carly Perkins, one of our producers here, tap dancer extraordinaire, and gives it a buy for the Yan Touch Ice Diamond.
Carly: So you have the rainbow lights. A little mood lighting. A little show dancing. Very romantic. And you can do one solid color.
Leo: Carly Perkins, thank you. A buy on the Yan Touch Ice Diamond. Father Robert Ballecer, as you know, is in Vegas for CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, and I really wanted him to go look at- you know he’s a drone nut- I wanted him to go look at the new Parrot AR drone. They introduced the first AR drone a few years ago at CES and Robert has a first look. Take a look.
Father Robert Ballecer: I’m Father Robert Ballecer with Before You Buy. We’re here at CES for a first look at the Parrot Bebop. Parrot is known for the AR drone. It was one of the very first mass produced, mass accepted ways to get into the air. I’m standing here with Francoise who is going to explain what the difference is between that and the Bebop. What is the Bebop?
Francoise: It’s the latest helicopter from Parrot. So it’s really light and really safety. And we can show that with a small video camera that is stabilized. On the Air Drone 2 you didn’t have the stabilization of the camera. Here you have a 180 degree camera lens. And so you have a 180 degree video. And so you move the window that you recall on the sensor and so you have a stabilized camera and it’s really light. It only weighs 400 grams.
Fr. Robert: I think that’s one of the secrets, the reason why I like this so much is because it kind of looks like a toy. I’m used to building bigger quad coptors and I expect gimbles and really big motors. This is using 1800 series motors, it’s really, really light, but it’s deceivingly capable. You’ve been flying this thing over the crowd the entire night and it has some very nice performance. It’s got some pick up. Now what’s the range on this? Let’s say I just wanted to take this out for a flight, how far away could I get before I started losing touch with my controller?
Francoise: So with a tablet, it’s at least 200 meters. With some tablets that have better performance you can go farther than that. And also we have the sky control, and that’s a remote control that we designed especially for the Wi-Fi. And so you can go up to 2 kilometers with it.
Fr. Robert: And that’s actually got me really excited because I’m used to using sticks. I always fly with sticks and with the sky controller I now have the option to use the screen to control the camera but I use the sticks to control the craft. That’s fantastic. Let’s run down some of the other specs really quickly. Of course it’s got GPS so it’ll hold location. When you put it into a spot it’ll stay in that spot until you tell it otherwise. It’s got the ability to move the camera digitally so you can pick what it is that you want to look at. It’s got 11 minutes of fight time. It comes with 2 batteries plus one additional one if you get the flight controller, and it’s available now. So I guess the only question is, how much can they pay for this?
Francoise: So for the Bebop only its $499, and for the sky controller its $899.
Leo: Okay, well you’ve made a convert out of me, I definitely want to take one of these for a spin. We’re going to see if we can get you one non first look before you buy. Take this thing out into a field and see how it performs. Until then, thank you very much for a look at the Bebop.
Leo: So there you go. The Bebop. I can’t wait to get one. That’s a first look though. You know who is going to get one immediately is Father Robert and we’ll have a full review of the Bebop from Parrot. $500. That’s a good price for what you get. Now it’s time for OMG Chad. The old redhead. Host of OMG craft at patreon.com/omgchad. That’s where he makes sandwiches for all comers.
Chad Johnson: Yep, I’ll eat them too.
Leo: So this is a new category I think is interesting. Google has done so well with the Chrome Book at $250-350, that a number of Windows machine manufactures have come up with equally inexpensive, kind of Chrome Books, but running Windows. HP started this- and part of the reason that this happens is because Microsoft, for screens of 9in or less, gives away Windows. So they don’t have to pay for the operating system.
Chad: Right. But this is 10.1. So they apparently paid for the operating system.
Leo: Who makes this? This is the Nextbook.
Chad: This is the Nextbook and that’s apparently who makes it. They’re the manufacture and everything. This is a very inexpensive, this is not just a notebook, but it’s also a tablet. It’s one of these convertible sort of situations. Its running Windows 8.1, you get a year subscription to Microsoft office 365. Which comes with a terabyte of sky drive.
Leo: That’s what Stream is doing too. It is that Chromebook model where you have complete office suite, you have cloud storage, and does this have a lot of storage?
Chad: 32 gigabits. And that’s a total 32, so with the OS and programs installed, you get like 26.
Leo: So you can save some stuff but the idea is not to save everything right.
Chad: Exactly. It’s a 10.1in screen, resolution is 1280x800. It’s decent. It’s not full HD but it is past that- for me 720 is the minimum that you need in a screen. And this is above that. You’re going to have all your wireless connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0. The processor in here is the Intel Atom processor. This is a quad core 1.83 gigahertz. It has a battery, its 6000 milliamp hours. They claim 10 hours. I got 6 hours when I was browsing, normal screen brightness. That sort of thing. There is a webcam on the front. It’s in a weird place. I think they expect you to use it this way. But that’s a very low resolution .3 megapixel camera. And then on the back is a 2 megapixel camera. And on the top is where you have your buttons. You have power, lock, volumes, and then a Windows key. On the top, and there is one on the keyboard too. But normally when you’re using this in tablet mode, the only way to get back to the Windows home screen is you have to push this really tiny button on the side. It is a touch screen. You have your headphone, in and out, headphone and mic jack. You have your power jack, which, this is something I didn’t like, is its power connector is one of these sort of pin power connectors. I really wish this would have been micro USB. If you break this or lose it then you have to go buy theirs. Micro USB for your USB, you have HDMI, and then an SD Card slot which can take up to a 64gigabite SD card and then microphone and light sensor as well right there. So in using this day to day it’s slow. It only has a gig of memory for Ram. If I was to create a new tab, it just takes forever and then I’m going to type in what I want, it takes forever. You can tell, it’s really a slow experience when you’re using this. The good thing is that it’s full Windows 8.1. So you can get any desktop app, not sure if you’d want to run it on here, but you can have full version Skype. You could essentially do a little bit of photo editing and things like that before you put it up onto the Cloud, which is kind of nice. Now the big, big, awesome, cool thing about this is the price. From Walmart you can get this for $170, on Amazon you can find it for $270. And it comes with the keyboard, which a lot of these you’ll just buy the tablet for that price, and the keyboard will be another almost $100 sometimes.
Leo: So this competes with the HTC Stream. This is a new category. It think we’re going to see a lot of these.
Chad: Extremely inexpensive.
Leo: Inexpensive kind of chrome book competitors running Windows. So pros and cons?
Chad: For the pros, it’s defiantly the price. If you need to get this for a family member who you know is not going to- for a student, or a kid. Or maybe you have a project that really needs a touch screen computer and you want it to run Windows, perfect. It’s under $200. Another pro is that it includes the detachable keyboard instead of being separate, and the free year subscription to Microsoft 365.
Leo: And remember, unlike a Chrome Book, a kid can play Minecraft on here. This is a full computer. Did you try it with Minecraft?
Chad: I didn’t load up Minecraft. I could barely run the browser. I didn’t even want to see that.
Leo: But it could run Java and it could run Minecraft.
Chad: It could, absolutely. For the cons, I really disliked the charging cable being this pin, I wish they would have been micro USB. The keyboard hinge is magnetic, so it can easily detach when you would rather it not detach, there’s no locking capability. The small storage on the device being about 26gigabites of usable storage, and this is top heavy. If you’re going to use the actual touch screen-. This is also as far back as it hinges back. So if you have it in your lap sometimes you want more, that’s it. It’s as far as it hinges. If you hinge it any more it would fall over all by itself. There is a few other things like the touchpad on the thing isn’t very great. So would I recommend someone buy this? Probably not. But I can totally tell that there’s a market, I’m giving it a try, because I –
Leo: If you have $200 dollars to spend on a computer, and you need a windows computer, this is it.
Chad: The things that I really care about is screen density and – yeah. So that is the Nextbook quad core 8.1 tablet from Nextbook.
Leo: I think Nextbook is actually quite good, they’ve got a very good reputation so… a try. For the Nextbook. $179 at Walmart, $270 from Amazon.com. You can buy it at Walmart online. Thank you Chad. Chad Johnson, he still creates OMGchad, hosts the GizWiz, and he appears regularly on Before You Buy. And if you want to support his great Minecraft show, go to patreon.com/omgchad.
Chad: Thank you.
Leo: Alright, Shannon Morse, by the way, their new show is debuting this week, after This Week in Twit, the Tech Thing. Shannon is his cohost and we had her review the Papago! GoLiFE Fit Smart Scale. Shannon, weigh away.
Shannon Morse: Hello everyone, I’m Shannon Morse for before You Buy and this is the Papago! GoLiFE Fit Smart Scale. Yay. This thing costs $80 on Amazon or other places online and it’s basically a Bluetooth weight scale for up to 4 different people. It’ll measure in kilograms or pounds so you can use it wherever you are or whatever you choose to use it with. I should also mention it has this thing called a pregnancy reader on it as well, so if you are pregnant, and you want to weigh the differences in your weight during your trimesters, you can do that too with this. Kind of cool. This works with the GoLiFE Fit app. and that’s the main reason why I wanted to check this out. This app is set up in English for whatever you want to set up your actual account with it. You’ll just plug in things like your name, current weight, male or female, things of that nature, so it can figure out and give you a relative example of your set up on your app. However, if you try to set this up on the website, it’s in Chinese. So you should probably do it in the app. The app is very easy to use, it’s all in English. And the setup within the app is very simple. It’ll synch manually with the scale every time you decide to use the scale, so unfortunately you do have to have your phone somewhere within reach whenever you turn on the scale and weigh yourself, and you have to move down and synch the app manually every time you want it to update. Because it’s updated over Bluetooth. With the Bluetooth setup, I found that it was relatively simple, I just had to do about 3 clicks within the app to get it to set up and to synch with it. However, whenever the scale turns off, it’ll disconnect and you have to resynch. That can get kind of annoying. Now you can hide the scale readings on the scale if you want to set up your account with 4 different people. So luckily you don’t have to show everyone your weight every time you get on the scale. Just in case you don’t want to. In the app you can view your weight, weight target and your BMI with the scale. If you have the Care Smart Band with this as well from Papago, you can view steps, distance, calories and your sleep time. On the back of this it’s easy to charge it and get it all set up. It takes 4 AA batteries and it lasted my entire week of testing. And now for pros and cons. First, it is a very accurate scale. It’s a very easy to use app for all your smartphones and it does have a 4 person memory which enables you to use 4 different people in memory and that’s pretty cool. It also has a guest mode which is nice if you don’t want to memorize somebodies weight. On the con side, manual synching, I wish it was an automatic synch from point A to point B, my smartphone. Also, you do need the Smart Band for a lot of the app uses, and the setup on the website is still in Chinese, and the app is English. But what if I wanted to set up my account on the website? That’s a pain. So is this a buy, try, or don’t buy? I was going to give it a try, but I’m going to have to say don’t buy. They need to update their website and they still have some issues with the synching capabilities. It should be automatic. Again, this is Shannon Morse and this is the Papago GoLiFE Fit Smart Scale.
Leo: Okay, don’t buy for the Papago. Thank you Shannon Morse. I just got this from a company in Australia. Called the Thread Smiths. Thethreadsmiths.com. we’ve seen hydrophobic clothing before. That is clothing that resists water. But anything can be hydrophobic, it could be made out of rubber, no problem. This is 100% cotton. But some sort of weird nanotechnology, they swear that this t-shirt, that sells for just under $50 on thethreadsmith.com, will resist anything and there is only one way to review it. And that’s for me to put it on and get squirted. By the way, let me just read this so you understand here. They call this the cavalier. It’s 100% cotton and incorporates a lotus leaf inspired nanotechnology. That completely repels dirt and liquids leaving the surface of the fabric crisp, dry and without stains. They call it water fearing nanotech.
Chad: How do you wash it?
Leo: You put it in the washer and nothing happens. Alright.
Chad: Yeah, you don’t need to wash it.
Leo: Hydrophobic technology in the past has been synthesized as a spray on application, but that’s potentially carcinogenic.
Chad: I have a plunger that’s hydrophobic.
Leo: Right. You demonstrated that and it worked. The patented technology free of carcinogens, safe for regular wear. Okay. So what I thought we’d do is- we’re not going to do it in here, because I don’t want to get stuff all over. Okay, let’s do the ad for Smart Things. And then I’m going to put this on and Lisa is going to squirt me. But I thought we’d make this more interesting, it’s going to be, what’s more hydrophobic, my head or this shirt? We’ll take bets in a bit. First I’ll tell you about this. This is great. This is SmartThings Technology. SmartThings was a Kickstarter project that made money for the hub. The hub was the whole idea was, there are lots of different ways to automate your home, but nothing talks to anything else. SmartThings, the Hub, becomes the hub for everything. For your Wemos, for you Hues, for your Sonos, for your Nest. Everything all together. Plus, SmartThings makes, I think, the widest range of sensors. This is the smart power outlet. A lot of companies now are just playing catch up with SmartThings. The moisture sensor. Motion sensor. So what you can do is go to Smartthings.com and we’re going to get you 10% off and of their home security or solution kits. The home security kits is kind of self-explanatory, it’ll protect your house with cameras and lights and everything. I like the solution kits though, because this is a great way to start with home automation. Water detection, lighting automation, they focus on a task and give you the tools you need to do that. But always, you get the Hub, and the Hub can then be expanded past that to do everything else. It is very, very clever. And because of the association with Samsung, Samsung showed some appliances that are going to work with the SmartThings Hub too. So this is really getting bigger and bigger and the new Hub is very exciting. Anyway, I want you to visit SmartThings.com/twit and use the offer code TWIT10. You can get started on either a solution kit or a security kit and get 10% off plus free shipping within the US. Smartthings.com/twit. It’s like a CES coming to you. All the things that we’ve been promised for so long about home automation actually work now. Thanks to SmartThings. Really a great idea. Alright, it’s time for me to strip down. Get the ketchup and mustard ready. I’m going to put on the Cavalier. $48 US, and I think we need to do this outside. If I did this inside, I think we’d stain the carpet. Although, I have to say, I think the carpet is hydrophobic, if you saw what happened at New Year’s Eve. I can’t believe this is stain free. We had people come in and work all day the next day to clean that up. I’ll keep the t-shirt underneath on because it’s cold out there. We’re going to go outside. Sriracha is a big stainer. Worse than ketchup and mustard? I’ll leave the label in in case it doesn’t work, we can send it back. Some fresh mustard... it just runs right off. The question is, is it soaking in, and I can tell you right now, I can feel it so it might be. Look, it’s coming right off the shirt. It works. It comes off my pants fine. My tummy is not dry. So it’s somewhat hydrophobic. It’s not completely not staining. There you go, the pros and cons. The cons, it’s a little expensive, $48 for a cotton t-shirt. Pro is, its natural cotton. It’s not any special synthetic material. Feels very comfortable. Stretchy, fits well. I have to say, at $48 it doesn’t seem to have done much better than my regular old non hydrophobic pants. I’m going to have to say probably do not buy. Sorry about that. I want to thank our reviewers, Carly Perkins who joined us, Snubs, Chad Johnson and Padre. Thank you for being here. We do before You Buy every Tuesday about 4pm pacific time, 7pm eastern time. You can watch while we do it. See most of the show, but the whole show is always available at twit.tv/bib. And on our YouTube channel at Youtube.com/beforeyoubuy. We even put individual reviews like this- actually, you know what, I think it’s mostly gone. The sriracha really stained there. Youtube.com/beforeyoubuy. Don’t forget, email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to get us to review a product or have some thoughts about the products we review. Thanks for being here, remember, you’ve got to watch before you buy.