Before You Buy 162 (Transcript)

Leo Laporte: Coming up a phone so hot we can´t tell you the name, We´ll take a look at something we wish we didn´t know the name, Misfit Flash. The new 3d 3DS, a look at the retractable usb mic from Samsung. And I have a $59 dollar Windows 8.1tablet. It´s time to watch Before you Buy.

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Leo: Welcome to Before you buy the product review show on TWIT where we get the latest, the greatest and this time really latest, greatest stuff. And give you a chance to see how it would be to use it in real life. Myriam Joire is here. She´s been really great getting us the latest, greatest, but this one is embargoed, was embargoed till 8 o´clock Wednesday morning.

Myriam Joire: Hey, hey. Yeah, was embargoed till 8 o´clock this morning. Right now.

Leo: And this is a phone a lot of people are very interested in. The new LG Flex.

Myriam: Yes, actually I´ll show you the back.

Leo: This is the second flex.

Myriam: Yes, I´ll give you a bit of history and context. So last year LG launched this one called LG Flex, which was a 6 inch phone and you have a Lumia that´s 6 inches so, let´s just, you know, give you an idea. A 6 inch phone is about this big compared to this guy here okay? So anyway, they launched the Flex, the G Flex and the trick of it was that it had a flexible display. It´s actually a plastic mold, and on last year’s model it was only 720p on a 6 inch display.

Leo: Yeah, I reviewed it and wasn´t crazy about it. But when you say flexible, I´m not going to bend this am I?

Myriam: Well you can, I mean, that´s not the intent. The intent is that you can do this, you can press on it and it bends effectively. It´s designed for that. But the point I´m making is that really what you´re looking at is the first kind of plastic flexible display on, there´s glass on top. It´s actually been specially treated to be even stronger than Gorilla Glass they say. Underneath it is a plastic substrate that is bendable. And they do that for their watches too. The LG G Watch R has a plastic oled and last year’s G Flex had a plastic oled. So last year was 6 inches, 720 p, but it wasn´t a very good display. Color quality was may, the contrast was, but this year. Check this out, we now have a 1080p amoled, 5.5 inches, 1080p by 1920, and look at how gorgeous these colors are.

Leo: You know, as long as you mention the Nokia Lumia which has a great oled screen as well, let´s show the 2 of them together because that may be a reference point that people recognize. It is equally good, I mean it is a gorgeous, gorgeous screen.

Myriam: These are gorgeous displays. And the thing I love about this amoled is I usually have a really hard time getting color rendition. You actually have the 1520 ips, it´s the Icon and the 930 that are amoled. But the biggest challenge lately is to get the color reproduction. If you don´t get this Flipboard icon here, nice little plug for Flipboard, it´s a really good quality red, and you look at even, all these colors look pretty accurate to me, the Twiiter icon, the Wallet icon up here. So, that´s the big deal here that they really managed to get the display tech to fly.

Leo: It is 1080p, they´ve managed to get higher resolution.

Myriam: And so it flexes and of course like I showed and it´s beautiful.

Leo: We´ve seen curved TV screens. Curving doesn´t necessarily make it better.

Myriam: No. But that´s just a gimmick. What I think is a gimmick. What they´re saying is it´s a taste thing. You like it? You want that design? The other thing is, I don´t know if you can get to me right now. It fits your head, right? So you talk to it, it makes more sense. It also fits better in your pocket it feels more comfortable.

Leo: That´s why I had problems with the original Flex was, well, it curves into your, I mean I don´t want it to curve in my pocket.

Myriam: Yeah, yeah, that´s true in the front pocket, but in the pants pocket, most people, you know, like it kind of falls, falls at this kind of hip spot, anyway, you know what I´m saying. The other thing they say, they claim, and they did claim that with the original Flex as well, was that it´s a little more rugged, because if it drops flat like this, it doesn´t hit the glass so all the forces are spread evenly throughout.

Leo: That´s a really good point, normally it would hit a rock, right there. And I know that that happened to Jason Howell and it smashed his Nexus 6, this time its solid.

Myriam: And so that´s the idea, and the other thing is that they´ve improved that coating that they used last year, that was a self-healing coating, so fine scratches are gone in 10 seconds now versus a minute before. But here´s the big thing,  you know, now this is all cosmetic stuff right, you want the meat of this right? The meat of this is, this is the first phone, that I´ve ever played with, that has a Snapdragon 8.10. So this is the next generation, 64 bit, the mother of all processors on the market today.

Leo: Is it faster? Is it better battery life? What do you get?

Myriam: it´s both. It´s so smooth, look at the frame rate on this and this is rui skin. If I in tall the Android launcher, it´s even more slick. So that´s the thing I really love about this phone is that it just performs you know, so well.

Leo: The 810 is a 14 nanometer processor right? Is that right?

Myriam: I´m not sure, I think it´s still 22, but you know, you look at the general fluidity of this URI and it´s just gorgeous.

Leo: Now, it´s not Lollipop obviously.

Myriam: It is Lollipop, that´s the other thing. This is the first LG, correct. So just to bring things back to normal what I usually do is I go into the play store, and install the goggle play launcher and life is better again.

Leo: Yeah, now you really are Lollipop.

Myriam: And you know what, I did that with the Android keyboard as well so now I have pretty much a Nexus like experience with Lollipop on the phone.

Leo: That´s good to know, there must be other BlowWare on there from LG.

Myriam: A lot. This is a carrier phone for SK telecom in Korea, it´s unlocked so I´ve got it on AT&T on lt here, but it does´t support T mobile´s lt.

Leo: When is it available in the US? It´s not available here.

Myriam: So it´s not yet available, there´s no specific…there, I´m on the Google launcher now.

Leo: That looks pretty clean.

Myriam: So that´s much better right? We like that better.

Leo: It´s got the Lollipop icons. That´s a little non standard, the white background but.

Myriam: No, that´s actually Lollipop. Yeah, on my Nexus that´s what it´s like. They´ve changed the background. So look at that animation, see that? That´s nice 60 frames per second right there. So, um, it´s not available in the US, it probably will be at some point, because this is actually technically a better phone than the G3. You don´t have a quad HD display. I have the G3 here next to it so we can compare.

Leo: I don´t want the quad HD, i´m happy with 1080p. That kills battery by the way.

Myriam: Exactly. So here are 2 phones like, check them out.

Leo: Which one looks better? This looks better.

Myriam: Let me actually crank the brightness so that they have the same brightness on both and you can see, check it out.

Leo: Now, it´s too bright. The IPS almost has a yellow cast compared to

Myriam: So we have IPS quad HD on the right and 1080p amoled on the left.

Leo: If you look at text, which is normally where you´d see the high res difference, it does´t look bad at all on the 10p.

Myriam: So, other than the display you get a better processor, and if you look at them in the back, you can see how similar the camera lay out is.

Leo: That´s still that weird back camera button, rocker for the volume.

Myriam: And guess why the camera lay out is the same? Because they have the same laser auto focus op here. And they have a better even further improved optical image stabilization on the camera.

Leo: Do you like it? I was a little underwhelmed with the LG g3

Myriam: I think the LG G3 camera with the right camera software is the one of the best cameras on Android.

Leo: And that laser focusing

Myriam: it really is fast and this improves on that. I´ve taken some really beautiful shots with this phone. But you know the biggest problem is the stock camera app, it does´t give you fine control with manual settings. I´m using a V5, it really helps, but on the G3, this is probably going to happen to the G Flex too, is the community. The forum guys, I took the G2 camera app, tweaked it to make it compatible to the laser auto focus and put it on the G3 and it´s gold. Now you have exposure, you have iSO, all the stuff you want. So I figure they´the going to do it with this phone too.

Leo: So this will, because it´s Lollipop, support Google´s new V2?

Myriam: Well, Interestingly when you install camera FV-5 on this, it should see that´s its Lollipop and has the api´s but it does´t give you the fine control and the raw support yet. I assume there´s something that needs to be clicked somewhere in the api so that happens. It can be done. I mean Sign engine mod supports de api´s on non-Lollipop phones on the 1 plus, so.

Leo: So, give us the pros and cons. This is again, we should reiterate, this is not available in the US, but is available in Asia, Pacific.

Myriam: So, mostly Korea right now, um, also another bunch of specs probably useful to you guys, is 3 gigs of ram, 30 new gigs of built in storage. SD card is removable in the back, let me show you. It´s a 3 thousand million power battery though.

Leo: What kind of battery life are you going to get?

Myriam: A day and a half, 2 days, it´s great. And micro SIM too so you don´t have to use a special modern sim if you don´t have one floating around. And, um, you know, great battery life, great camera, great display but not Quad HD, so you know. Pros and cons to that, less resolution but better battery life.

Leo: I don´t mind that at all, I think the Q HD thing was misguided.

Myriam: And then the processors, finally 64 bit, Lollipop, the best processor you can get on the market, so you know, I would absolutely say this is a buy, but I think, since it´s not really available in the US yet, I would say wait for it to become available with a carrier.

Leo: You can buy in South Korea. And we don´t know what the price will be but we presume it will be the usual.

Myriam: No, I figure it´s going to be in the 650 range as usual, this is a pretty high end phone.

Leo: Can I just hold it?

Myriam: Yeah, absolutely, play with it.

Leo: I really like the back. I think it´s a nice back.

Myriam: It´s a kind of a fingerprint and dust magnet. I have a shammy here if you really want to go at it.

Leo: Everytime you use the phone, you want to rub it down. And it does feel nice but does anybody really hold the phone up to their face anymore? No, actually that´s a good point. And does the curve, which is very slight, maybe only a few degrees, does it inhibit in any way typing?

Myriam: No, actually I find it looks kind of, you know my glasses are pretty strong and they kind of distort my field of view a little bit and this kind of curveness to me seems to give it a more natural vibe you know. A convex feel that I get on a perfectly flat screen, but, I mean, It´s a gimmick in terms of the curvature.

Leo: The curve is about esthetics, not about functionality.

Myriam: Does it look cool? Do you like the looks of it? And specially this beautiful red finish I thinks it´s great, some people hate it. The other option is like this kind of boring gray that you see here on the G3.

Leo: The other thing that people don´t like about curves, and I´ll put it over here so you can see it, is when you do lie it flat on the table and you want to use the keyboard, you´re getting, where are you, where´s your hand? You´ll get all this rock, you can´t type flat. But people who like to do that know to stay away from curved backs.

Myriam: And another thing to remind you, a lot of people are wondering about the back button because you might not have used another LG phone, they´ve been doing this for a while, there´s also double tap to wake and double tap to go back.

Leo: Love that.

Myriam: So you don´t really need to have the button in the back. But, yeah, in a nutshell, there are very few drawbacks here, other than not available right now in the US officially. Really right now, you can´t go wrong with this phone.

Leo: So a buy, for the brand new, so new that we had to embargo this show until 8 am on wednesday morning Pacific time. Brand new LG G Flex 2. Myriam Joire thank you so much for bringing that to us. You´re going to Mobile World Congress this year:

Myriam: I will be at Mobile Congress yes.

Leo: And we expect to see a lot of new phones there.

Myriam: I will give you a report when I come back.

Leo: Bring us back a Santa´s bag full of goodies.

Myriam: I hope so and then you know, there´s going to be All about Android for me to, uh, tell the tales.

Leo: That´s right. I should say that you are now a regular on All about Android. Every other week? Every third week? Something like that. I can´t remember what it is, every week? As often as possible.

Myriam: It´s every other week right now.

Leo: Hey, it´s great to have you, thank you, Myriam.

Myriam: Thank you so much!

Leo: We continue on right now with a look at a silly name but to me it´s a great product. I don´t know, Shannon Morse,snubs, has a look at the Misfit flash, what is that?

Shannon Moore: Hey everyone I´m Shannon Morse from Before you buy, and today I have the Misfit flash, which is a fitness and sleep monitor. This thing costs $49.99, so definitely a really good price for a fitness and sleep monitor and it comes in several different colors including this beautiful blue, how nice. It includes a wristband as well as a clasp for this little device which is the actual Misfit flash itself. So on the clasp you can just stick this on the keychain if you want to and have it dangle by your side, or you can use the wristband which is actually pretty comfortable because it has this nice, soft rubber texture. I actually had the clasp on the closest notch so it was a little bit snug on my wrist but it didn´t bother me during the time that I was using it. This will track your calories burned, your distance traveled, the steps taken and also your sleep quality and duration of sleep as well. The LED display, which they call it a display but there´s pretty much just a bunch of leds on the front that flash whenever you change it. It´ll show you your watch time with the different leds around the side, so there´s 12 total, and your percentage towards your goal. It also takes a 2032 CR battery in the back, so basically a watch battery. It´ll last for about 6 months of life. Now obviously I didn´t have this for 6 months so I can´t quote that to be exactly accurate, but that´s a pretty long time and you don´t have to charge this with a usb every night or every week like you would with a lot of the other fitness and activity monitors out on the market. This is waterproof, up to 30 meters, it works with bluetooth 4.1 so, it can work with pretty much anything, any of your smartphones or any tablets that you have available. Now as far as the application goes, and we´ll get some close ups of this as well, you can add friends on here, you can also keep a track record of all your different specs, you can set different goals per day and you can view all your specifications such as your calories burned, your steps very accurately, your miles and your sleep duration exactly on here as well. It is available in the Google play store and the app store and both of those are free. Now as far as the accuracy goes, it seems very accurate to me, it connects really, really easily since it is bluetooth so that´s super simple. I just wish that it had a little bit more flexibility. For example when I was using the application on my phone, I could see the entire day of calories burned, but I can´t actually zoom in or I can´t click on a specific hour and see how many calories I burned for just that hour. Now you can record different activities by holding down on the application itself on the flash, and that´ll record an activity that you had just then. But if I forgot to use the activity monitor then I would´t have any way to see how many calories I burned during an hour when I was walking around a convention for example. Now I did also want to mention that Misfit just announced the following upcoming integrations with this device as well, you can now use it with Nest Spotify, IFTTT, the Logitech Harmony, and the August Smart Lock and even Yo which is kind of interesting, does anybody still use Yo? I don´t. So, moving on to my pros and cons, first off on the pros, there is no charging that you need to do, you just have to change out the battery every 6 months or so. It´s fairly accurate as far as the application goes, and it´s inexpensive, it´s only $50 bucks, I mean you can´t really beat that when it comes to a device that´s accurate. On the con side though, you do have to purchase batteries so there´s an ongoing price there and there´s no on watch display other than just the 12 less around the sides. My last con on there is that the application gives you more of an overview, it´s not exactly as detailed as I wish it was. So is this a buy, try or a don´t buy? Hm, well, I got to say, for the price and for how accurate it is, it´s definitely a buy. This is a really, really good purchase for anybody who doesn´t necessarily need an led display on their entire thing showing them who´s calling and things like that. So it´s a good purchase for anybody who is active but just doesn´t need that. Again, I´m Shannon Morse, and this is the Misfit Flash. Back to you.

Leo: Shannon Morse, snubs, and a buy on the Misfit flash. What are you wearing? Oh, it´s a Misfit. Oh is that the flash? Yes, the Misfit flash. I don´t know, I would get a better name if I were them. Win in a little bit, we´re going to be talking about the WinBook, don´t get excited Myriam. Myriam stuck around because she wants to see this $59 dollars Windows 8 tablet but before we do that though, I want to tell you, you know, I don´t have to tell you about IFIXIT. Myriam says she gets all her parts at and that´s where you get the guides too. Look these are the repair kits for the iPhone 5s, look this is neat. So we´ve talked about IFIXIT before, we´ve talked about the IFIXIT tool kit, Kyle Wiens and the company have been on the show many times with their teardowns of new products. But really their business is to be the ultimate directory of repair manuals. DIY repairs saves you money, it´s convenient, you learn something and you´re the kind of geeks that really, you want to fix it yourself right? And thanks to IFIXIT it´s easy to do, they have dozens of display and battery kits for all sorts of devices. This is the iPhone 5s battery replacement and this is what I love about this, look how nice, yes this comes. Here show Brian, show the kit because, so you get the spudgers, that´s what these are called. Those are spudgers. The special, magic screws for the pentalobe or whatever it is that Apple´s using, the security torx screws, of course you get the battery  but you see you don´t just get the battery, you even get a suction cup that makes it easy to remove the screen. All the tools you need to do this easily and then of course the full instructions including videos in many cases are online at I found 5s, the first thing that breaks on an iPhone is the screen. I don´t know anybody who hasn´t broken an iPhone screen at least once. Look at this, here´s a 5s display assembly repair kit, there´s the display, the tools you need, the spudgers, the special screwdrivers, even a little, I like this, a little wipe. They think of everything. So you can clean up whatever the adhesive before you replace it. I think these guys are great. Great prices, you´ll have a great sense of accomplishment, all the parts are tested, so you also have peace of mind knowing that whatever parts you are going to get is going to work, and they´re guaranteed so if the part fails, maybe it wasn´t the parts fault, maybe you spudged a little too hard. If you overspudged you know, they´re guaranteeing they´ll make things right. No overspudge okay? IFIXIT, the best tools, the best repair parts, the best step by step guides to show you exactly how to fix the device you´re working on. They have comprehensive repair guides for every single iPhone ever made. Every single iPad ever made. Mac computers, Android devices. These guides are free, no purchase necessary. IFIXIT, they make DIY repair fun, easy and affordable. Now we got a deal? Of course we got a deal, we got to give you a deal right? Head over to you´ll find all the tools, parts and kits you need to fix your broken stuff, even McDonalds happy meal toys can be fixed with the IFIXIT.

Myriam: Oh yeah, they have instructions.

Leo: This is what makes me happy, I know it´s silly. Do use the code Beforeyoubuy one word at checkout, you´ll save $10 off any purchase of $50 dollars or more. Don´t forget to use the offer code Beforeyoubuy, to save a little and let them know you heard about it on, what is this show? Before you Buy. I´m distracted by a 3D Nintendo DS SuperSmash Bros.

Bryan Burnett: Have you played with one of those before Leo?

Leo: I´ve played with the regular DS, the ads. This is a 3D 3DS. Sounds like I´m stuttering. Bryan Burnett are you a 3DS fan?

Bryan: Uh, yeah, I´m a fan. I´ve kind of held off buying one until now but by brothers have had them for a while.

Leo: Yeah, take us on a tour of the new 3D 3DS. Tell me about it.

Bryan: Okay so the biggest difference with the new 3DS is that they added what they call super stable 3D and so the 3D used to be, if you moved it side to side at all you would kind of lose the 3d effect, which kind of ruins the whole thing.

Leo: They call that lenticular 3D, where it´s just based on your positioning near the screen.

Bryan: Right, so, it kind of still, oops

Leo: This is still doing that a little bit, did you find this very realistic, its super stable?

Bryan: So what it tries to do, is the camera tries to track your face, so you kind of have to hold it up a little bit, yeah, yeah, really, really get in there.

Myriam: It´s more 3D´ish now.

Leo: It´s definitely more, whoa, whoa!

Bryan: That´s the nice thing that it has the slider that you can kind of adapt how much 3D you want to use.

Leo: They´ve always done that.

Bryan: Yeah, that´s nothing new. The new thing is the face tracking, so it´ll kind of follow your face and try to optimize the screen from where you´re looking at.

Leo: In your experience better?

Bryan: Yes, compared to side by side with the older DS, it´s a lot better. So if you´re going to be using this on the bus, or on a train or something like that, you´re going to be moving a little bit, it makes a big difference.

Leo: Really? Did you try it on a bus or train? Because my experience with using these things on a bus or train, it´s a great way to get really sick.

Bryan: Well for me it depends. It doesn´t bother me, for every person it´s going to be a little bit different, but I usually keep the slider about you know half way, and that´s kind of my ideal 3D zoom effect. It does take a little bit of getting used to though. But the other things that they kind of added for this new version is a couple of extra bumper buttons in the back and one of the bigger improvements that they have is a little nub in the front, it´s next to the A B X Y button on there. So that´s kind of like, you know those little nub buttons on Lenovo laptops? It´s just like that. It´s another analog stick but it´s just a little nub on there, and that comes in handy for a lot of the newer games that they´re coming out with. You can use it in Super Smash Bros. for certain things and stuff. So, it, there you go, right off the cliff.

Leo: I´m sorry for ruining your game.

Bryan: No, I started it up so you could play around with it.

Leo: I don´t know what I´m doing.

Bryan: It´s totally fine. So those are a couple of the new improvements. It only comes in red and black, and then there´s a special edition version of it that nobody seems to be able to get their hand on so don´t even try.

Leo: Oh, off the cliff again. But you know in a 3D it´s very realistic. So that´s the game that you´re just taking out there?

Bryan: Yeah, their own cartridges, it comes with a 4 gigabyte micro SD card that is underneath the bottom panel. You can replace that with a 32 gigabytes  and where that comes in handy is ,if you´re going to use the Nintendo online store to buy games, you can download directly to your SD card, so you don´t have to use cartridges if you don´t want to. Which I haven´t tested that out yet, I´m waiting for a 32 gig card to come in but, you know the 4 gigabytes is plenty if you´re not planning on downloading games to it. What else is there? So, they´ve updated the processor and everything so games load a lot faster. It´s a lot snappier than the old version. Another thing that they added was NFC support. so the touch pad, on the bottom there, that bottom screen, also has an NFC reader behind the screen. So, earlier in the year they introduced some NFC reader tags on things called amiibos, they are like little characters that can save game data, and characters in that game you were playing Smash Bros. So you just tap the amiibo to that screen and it transfers the data. So that´s something new for this DS also.

Leo: So if you had an existing DS that was in good shape, do you feel you would want to upgrade?

Bryan: if you had a new DS, which I didn´t, I would probably say hang on to it and wait until next year. The new updates are nice, and the face tracking is the big one, the nub is nice, but if you already have a 3DS XL I would just stick with it, maybe wait until next year. But if you´ve been waiting for a new one, like I have, I would really recommend this one because the 3D always felt a little, you know, off putting. It wasn´t really as refined as it is kind of now. Now I can tolerate it, or I like it, where as before, I would only tolerate it and use it half the time. So it´s really, the hardware specs aren´t going to impress anybody, as far as, you know, when you compare them to cell phones, because it´s a 4.8 inch screen on the top but it´s 800 x 240, and then the bottom one is even less than that. It´s 320 x 240. It has a gigabyte of internal flash memory. But it does come in at $200 dollars and for dedicated games and having the hardware buttons its really nice for that. So, this is definitely appealing for people who want the buttons and if you´re a cell phone gamer, then maybe this isn´t for you, but if you´re looking to get engrossed into games that come up to like 60 or 70 hours for some of them, this is a good way to do it.

Leo: It´s, I mean. compared to maybe a PSVita, or PSP, the screen is terrible. You know, it´s just. That´s not who the market is, it certainly is good gaming fun I have to say it´s pretty impressive. So, pros and cons real quick.

Bryan: So, for the pros, the 3D definitely. The new little controller nub that they added, the c stick, definitely a must have if you´re using like any 3D games, like I was playing Zelda and it´s nice to use the c stick to rotate the camera around and it´s a lot faster than the older version of the DS, so games load up really quick and its super snappy. As for the cons, the biggest one is that it does´t come with a power adaptor, so Nintendo.

Leo: You have to buy one?

Bryan: You have to buy it separately.

Leo: Wait a minute, is it proprietary? It´s not a usb?

Bryan It´s a proprietary connector.

Leo: And they don´t give you one?

Bryan: Nope, no, so they assume that you either have one from a prior edition of the 3DS.

Leo: How much is the additional?

Bryan: $15 dollars

Leo: That´s ridiculous!.

Bryan: Yeah, so that kind of pissed me off too.

Leo: Wait a minute! That´s just basically, a way to hide $15 dollars with the cost.

Bryan: It´s like the new way of saying, batteries not included.

Leo: But you can´t use it at all without the power adaptor.

Bryan: Nintendo has a way of shooting themselves in the foot every time. I think they kind of assume, this is an Inkerman update to the 3DS, so they assume you already have one. Right, and there are a lot of different versions that use the same connector, so you can use that. I don´t have another 3DS so I had to buy another one. And they´re actually kind of hard to find too so.

Leo: We have a shortage of them.

Myriam: Why can´t they just use micro usb like everyone else?

Bryan: Because it´s Nintendo.

Leo: Yeah they want to make a little extra money.

Bryan: And the other con would be it only comes in the XL size, there is a smaller version.

Leo: We were comparing it to a 7 inch tablet, it´s almost as big.

Bryan: I prefer it because if I´m going to use the 3D, I´d like to have the bigger screen. But there is a smaller version, that they are not releasing in the US at this time, that also has like changeable face plates and kind of a cooler color scheme they just decided they were´t going to release it here, so this is the only size choice you´re going to get. People don´t like the larger size, depending on, you know, your pocket size, stuff like that. So those are the 2 cons, but, as I bought it, I definitely give it a buy. And if you´ve been waiting to get a 3DS, this is the one to get.

Myriam: Still no capacitive screen on the touch screen huh?

Bryan: Uh, not on the top.

Leo: You need to really touch it hard.

Myriam: Oh, what is this? 2004?

Bryan: They give you a little styler that you can use for the bottom screen. Yeah, well hardware wise.

Leo: They´re keeping the price down.

Bryan: Yeah, it´s $200 dollars.

Leo: So, buy? Don´t buy? I guess you said buy right?

Bryan: Definitely.

Leo: He put his money where his mouth is. Buy, you know, and then just make your own power adaptor.

Bryan: Ah, such a pain.

Leo: At least, it still works with the old DS adaptors right? So you don´t have to worry about that.

Bryan: Correct, correct.

Leo: Alright, hey thank you Bryan Burnett, our technical director. A buy on the new Nintendo 3D 3DS! What do they call the new 3d?

Bryan: they call it new Nintendo 3DS, yeah, super stable.

Leo: Super stable. We know a lot of you are interested in microphones, a lot of podcasters watch the show, a lot of want to be podcasters. We´ve talked about Samson, not samsung, Samson, S-A-M-S-O-N usb mics for a long time. In fact I was introduced to Samson years ago by Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, he used them to make his albums. Samson has a new one, the Go Mic Direct. Chad Johnson has a review.

Chad Johnson: Hello my name is Chad, I´m with TWIT and Before you Buy, and today I am reviewing the Samson Go Mic Direct. It´s this bad boy, just, to not give you the false impressions, I´m using this microphone to capture my voice right now, not this microphone. The samson Go Mic Direct is a small usb mic that you can plug in to a side of a laptop, I currently have it plugged in to my Tower PC with an extender that they don´t supply, this is my own extender. The mic is pretty small, about 2 inches by 2 inches by I´d say about 3/4 of an inch thick. It has a swivel microphone head so you can point it sort of in any direction. And it also has leds on the back and on the front, to give you a little bit of an idea, if you´re peaking out the microphone, if you´re peaking out the microphone, if you talk too loud, this will turn red to give you an idea if the microphone is peaking and being too loud. So, I´m going to give a little product demo, I have 3 microphones plugged in, hooked under my recording software right now, recording simultaneously. First is the high pr 40 which you´ve heard me on so far. Next, is the Samson Go Mc Direct and you can tell it is a little bit more roomier, my voice does sound okay but you can hear the fan in my computer that´s running right next to me. This claims for noise cancellation, if it does´t do noise cancellation it does´t do an awful lot. Next I also have the built in microphone that is in the webcam I´m using to capture my video. So you can just get an idea between the webcam mic and the Samson Go Mic Direct, just to get an idea between the 2 differences, if you were to say just use the microphone built into your webcam. Who would buy this device? Well Samson says on their box, perfect for Skype, FaceTime, Youtube videos and more. I don´t really agree with the Youtube videos, I don´t think anyone´s going to take you seriously with this type of mic. You would have to spend a little bit more in order to get a high quality microphone, but for Skype and FaceTime, if you´re trying to get over, say an internal microphone built into your laptop that isn´t very good quality, maybe people can´t hear you, it seems like a great alternative. I´ve sometimes run into really bad microphones built into laptops and this is only $40 dollars, for a small upgrade, if you need to do a conference call, having this in your backpack, to plug into your laptop that you know the mic is bad in, would actually be the perfect use for the Samson Go Mic Direct. Pros and cons, Pro is that it is small, another pro is that it has a retractable usb, and another pro is that it does give you an led read out when this is peaking. On the cons, noise cancellation, uh, not so great. Quality is not, I would say, at a professional level. Which I wasn´t really expecting in this small of a microphone. and my final con is that this has to be plugged in to the left side of your computer. The swivel action does´t go all the way around so if it was plugged in the other way, you could actually point it at your mouth. Finally, the Samson Go Mic Direct is about $40 dollars on line, msrp is higher but I´m finding it for about $40 dollars just about everywhere. And in the box it does come with a small carrying case, which is padded for the Samson Go Mic which is kind of a nice feature. Buy, try, don´t buy? For the Samson Go Mic Direct, I´m going to give this a buy! The quality isn´t the best, but also it´s only $40 dollars, and if you´re trying to upgrade from a built in microphone inside of your laptop, this is kind of the perfect solution. It´s small, it´s portable, and it is easy to use. Thanks so much for watching my review of the Samson Go Mic Direct. I have been Chad, the whole video long I´ve been Chad, for TWIT and Before you Buy, see you next time.

Leo: Chad Johnson. You can find out more about OMG craft at his patreon site, omgchad. It´s very nice. It is complicated because the show is craft, but he´s Chad. I´m pulling over my smart things because this is such a cool idea, I know a lot of you want to automate, in fact I have for years wanted to automate my home. But was put off by the conflicting standards and different things don´t talk to one another and just thought this is way too complicated. So did the folks at Smart Things, they didi a kick starter to make this, this Smart Things hub which unifies pretty much everything that you can use in your home and becomes the centerpiece from your hue lights from Phillips, your Sonos speakers, your Schlage locks, so many devices, and then you can control this with a smartphone app. iiOS or android. Smart Things really has it down and now you can get a great deal if you want to get started with Smart Things with one of Smart Things home security or solution kits. Imagine, having your lights, your locks, your thermostats, your home security all connected through an iOS, Android or Windows phone app, by the way, yes, i can use my Lumia with it. In 2 controls allows you to set the rules on your smartphone, you can customize the way your devices talk to each other, for instance tap good night on your phone and the lights turn off and your thermostat turns down. Yes it works with your Nest, actually it works with your Honeywell, it works with a lot of different thermostats. The doors will lock with your Bluetooth locks, set your lamps to brighten each morning at sunrise or when you want to wake up, even keep your home protected with your home security kits that include motion detection and water detection and more, in fact, I´ve got a bunch, along with the hub, a bunch of the little doohickeys. this is the smart sense open and close sensor, you´ve seen this before, they go on windows and doors but this does more, it can tell you what the temperature is too. These things are so smart, this will trigger you is there´s motion, this is their smart sense motion detection. You can give the kids, these are inexpensive, put them on keys or give them to the kids to put in their backpack, smart sense presence, will let you know when the kids come home, or where you´ve left your keys, I can go on and on. Here´s what I want you to do, visit, take a look at one of the solution kits or the security kits. CES´s 2015 editor´s choice award, CNET said it´s their highest rated smart home system, and you can get 10% off any home security or solution kit and free shipping in the US when you go to and use the offer code twit at checkout. If you´ve been putting this off this is really a lot of fun.

Myriam: Did you know that they support Zigbee and Z Wave? So that means that there are some bulbs out there now I think at Lowes or home depot that are non-branded, you know generic, that are Zigbees and cost like $10 bucks.

Leo: You don´t have to do the hue.

Myriam: We live in an incredible world.

Leo: I was doing the radio show this weekend I think it was, and somebody said, did you see that Winbook has a tablet the TW700 tablet, and Micro Center is selling this for $59.99. I said wait a minute, this is what? Android? No, this is Windows 8.1 with Bing, that´s the zero dollar version of Windows that Microsoft offers manufacturers. And I said well for $59 bucks plus shipping, $6 bucks shipping if you get it from Micro Center. I got it on Amazon with Amazon Prime so I got it right away, and that was $59.99 plus $10 dollars, so $69.99. But this is it, you get a Windows 8.1 tablet. 7 inches, let me tell you a little bit about it. it is an IPS screen, I´ll enter my, it´s ok you can see my pin I don´t care, I´ll enter my pin so we can log in and see it. it is a touch tablet, not the fastest processor, it´s a system on a chip the Intel bay trail processor. It comes with 16 gigs of internal storage, only about 8 are available once you´ve installed Windows. Although I have to say the first thing I did was to sign up for free Microsoft Office for a year, so I mean the full Office for a year, that´s worth more than the $59 dollars in fact I was thinking, it comes with it. I was thinking, this is less than the tax I paid on my 1520, my Lumia 1520. Less than the tax! It does not have a lot of junk ware on it. The first time I turned it on it said do you want to download ESET I said no, it said okay we´ll uninstall and that was that. Because I logged into my Windows account I was able to download all the existing apps that I had on my other machines. In fact it said, hey do you want to set it up, as Windows does, do you want to set it up like the Dell or like the ASUS or what? And I said set it up like the Dell and boom, I´m set up.

Myriam: All your stuff was there?

Leo: All my stuff is there. One Note, this is not some cheap Microsoft Office, this is the full Microsoft Office in a 7 inch tablet. Quad core processor, but don´t be fooled by that it isn´t the super fastest processor in the world and there is only 1 gig of ram so I would´t expect a lot of multitasking. As often the case with very low cost Windows tablets, there´s no Windows button, which is what you would expect but there is a physical button that´ll bring you back to the desktop, so it´s a little less convenient than tapping the Windows button, but it still works.

Myriam: What´s it like using it in the classic environment? Have you tried it?

Leo: The classic environment? You mean the desktop? Here´s the issue with this, this is 1280 x 800, on a 7 inch screen. You know, I almost would say ouch I should have a higher screen because all my phones are more than that, but look how small these icons are, it´s almost too small to tap it, an icon, let me tap an icon there.

Myriam: You see the cool thing about this, what is going to be exciting about this is that you can just use the standard usb port on the side, right?

Leo: That´s really interesting.

Myriam: And you can connect a keyboard or mouse to that or like a logitech receiver and then you can dock this to hdmi to a large screen and now you have a full blown PC that runs actual Windows apps legacy Windows apps.

Leo: Yes, mini hdmi, full size usb 2, not 3. It charges by a micro usb so you can keep it charging while you´re using your usb screen. If you want to add memory there´s even a little micro sd card slot here that can handle up to 64 gigs, so memory is not an issue here. It comes with Pogo plug, 10 gigabytes of Pogo plug so you get desktop storage. Here´s our chat room, running in the background all the time. Here´s Skpye, actually I was going to place the Skype called, instead you know what I´ll do, I´ll run a little Youtube video so you can hear what the sound is. Sound is not great, but what didi you expect? Come on kids! It´s $59 dollars. But you could plug in a , see how hard it is, even at 1280, how hard it is to hit those little things there to make that go full screen. Let´s turn it up and we can hear Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson funk it, funkify. I´m going to put it up to the microphone so you can hear this, it´s got dual speakers coming out of the bottom.

Myriam: it´s such a good song.

Leo: Isn´t that good? But you´re not exactly getting the full bass. You know what? A good song, it´s still danceable. And this is the video playback, this is Youtube high def video, plays back just fine no stuttering. Now, there are a few negatives, it does have a camera. Not the greatest camera you ever saw, front and back. Yeah, I don´t think you´d ever really want to use the camera for anything. That´s why I was going to do a Skype call, it´s probably good enough for Skype. Let me find the camera.

Myriam: i wonder why they don´t save the money and just put a better front camera and only a front camera.

Leo: Don´t put a camera in at all. For Skype I gues you have to put a front camera.

Myriam: Put a better front camera and don´t put a back camera. I think that would be the smart way to go.

Leo: I´m trying, I can´t see the little, tiny, you´re probably going to want to use it in the big tile mode. In fact you´re probably going to want to tick for the most part with modern apps,  full screen modern apps.

Myriam: It´s pretty amazing that´s 800 x1280.

Leo: You don´t feel like this is slow, do you? I mean it feels like, This is the first time I´ve launched this cooking app so that´s a little slow.

Myriam: I mean, you´re going to run out of ram, but, the bay trail is the one using the transformer tf100 from last year.

Leo: it´s a decent, this is completely, look at this, this is scrolling, I´m not feeling any, it´s got 802.11 bgn, it´s an ips screen, you can see it´s not a bad looking screen. Even at an angle, it´s pretty good. You know, you´re really, you´re not.

Myriam: You know it´s amazing, it´s better than the Acer tablet from 2 years ago that came out, that was $200 bucks!

Leo: Look it´s a king cake for Mardi Gras. I feel like we´re living in amazing times for $59 dollars you can get a 7 inch tablet, that´s our chat room, they´re chatting at me. Oh yeah, you can even use Snap, you know, you can multitask. I´ll be honest, I´ve got, as you can see a bunch of apps going, I don´t feel like it´s that slow. I´m using a lot of RAM here. Windows is well tuned for this, Windows 8.1 with Bing which means, the only thing that means is that Bing is the default search for the internet explorer. You can change that to Google not a big deal. I think this is pretty impressive.

Myriam: And you can run legacy apps. that´s the thing that blows my mind.

Leo: You can run desktop apps.

Myriam: You know you can get an Android tablet for $59 dollars and it´s just not going to let you do the same kind of productive work that you can do with this.

Leo: So, this maybe a clearance, we´re not clear on why it´s so cheap, frankly. The WinBook 7 inch TW 700 tablet, Windows 8.1 with Bing. Has a one year limited warranty. A year of Office. That would cost you more if you subscribed. It costs you $72 bucks. So, the computers free kids, and we´ll even give you a few bucks extra.

Myriam: You get a bunch of one drive storage right?

Leo: You get one drive storage, I have unlimited one drive storage because I have an Office 365 subscription. That´s one thing to note, if you already have an Office 365 subscription, you sign into your account, your Windows account as I did on this tablet. You won´t be able to take advantage of the free version of Office, you have to use your own existing version of Office. Big deal!

Myriam: So, it´s a good gift, is what you’re saying.

Leo: Yeah, Pros and cons. The pros? The price is unbelievable! This´ll be great for a kid or a student. Also full size usb means you can use a keyboard and mouse with it. That´s great, I should hook it up, I didn´t think of that. Do we have a mini hdmi converter? I could hook it up and you can see what the screen looks like. It is surprisingly good for the price, 1280x800 ips screen, very legible, very bright colors. Sound is not great. I would say that´s a con, the cameras are a super con, it´s terrible. But again, I don´t think you should buy this for the camera, it´s probably adequate to do Skype, and it´s certainly adequate for some lightweight computing. You´ll probably want to stick, just because of the size of the screen 7 inch screen, want to stick with the modern apps. I mean, an Excell spreadsheet at 1280x800 is not going to be that easy.

Myriam: The other thing you can do is adjust the resolution of the desktop.

Leo: You can, you can mess with it a little bit, but you probably can´t mess with it enough to make it super useful, and even if you increase the dpi, these icons are not going to get much more usable.

Myriam: You feel like a giant right now?

Leo: You can´t, there´s no way to soon in on, Oh! Look, I can do that. These icons, no, no. It does´t come with a stylus so you would probably want to use a stylus with it. In many ways, this is an amazing product that kind of tells you a little bit about what´s going on in this world of computers, processors have become so inexpensive, so powerful, so low power. Oh I didn´t mention battery life, that´s another pro believe it or not, about 5 hours battery life per charge. It´s not iPad level, but it´s enough. $59.99 plus shipping, it comes out under $70 dollars for the WinBook TW 700 tablet, definitely, if you´ve got a use for it, it´s a buy! I mean, I don´t know what I´m going to do with it but, it´s a win. Even for just having the chatroom running in the background or watching videos in the backseat. For a kid this would be amazing. This is just an incredible product.

Myriam: I´m really impressed that there´s a regular usb on this.

Leo: That´s, I think, is a big selling point.

Myriam: Because most of the ones that I´ve played with that are small tablets have nothing, you need a dongle or an adaptor and you get angry and you throw it around the table.

Leo: Well you could at $59 dollars it´s not really that expensive.

Myriam: You can buy 5. Buy 5. I´d just buy 5.

Leo: Somebody says can you show the keyboard, the keyboard is actually very usable, this is very much like an iPad keyboard. Because it´s 7 inches it´s thumb typeable, which actually makes it particularly useful. So, I like this WinBook, I´m going to say that to the chatroom. It´s got predictive type, and there it goes. Boom, Boo Yah! It´s a win for the WinBook. Can you believe that? Wow, wow! A full size PC in a 7 inch box. That´s it for this edition of Before you Buy. Myriam Joire, thank you for coming through the embargo and giving us a really great review of bla bla bla. Bryan Burnett thank you. Thanks to Shannon Morse, Chad Johnson. I´m Leo Laporte, remember we do this show every tuesday right after security announces, so tune in and watch live. But if you can´t, on demand versions are always available on, or you can get a review of the whole show or any individual review on our Youtube channel, If you have something you´d like to see us review, like this, this is by request, email and we´ll take your request under advisement, as they say. We´ll think about it. And if you want Myriam to review it you have to request her too. She´ll do anything. Thanks for joining us, thank you Tonya Hall ,our producer Carson Bonet too, we´ll see you next time. Remember you’ve got to watch before you buy! Take care.

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