Before You Buy 163 (Transcript)
Show Tease: Coming up! The Honor 6 Plus, another phone you can’t get in the US. Roccat Skates, Brian Burnett will risk his life, and I’ll show you the latest chrome book from Samsung. It’s time to watch Before You Buy. Netcasts you love, from people you trust. This is TWiT. Bandwidth for Before You Buy is brought to you by CacheFly, at CacheFly.com. Before You Buy is brought to you by Blue Apron. Blue Apron will send you all the ingredients to cook fresh, delicious meals with simple step by step instructions, right to your door. See what’s on the menu this week, and get your first two meals free by going to Blueapron.com/twit. That’s blueapron.com/twit. And by Prosper. Prosper is a peer to peer lending market place that connects people who are looking to borrow money to those who have money to lend. Visit prosper.com/twit and receive a $50 prepaid visa card when you get a loan.
Leo Laporte: Welcome to Before You Buy, the product review show here at TWiT where we get the latest and greatest, and we give it to our lovely staff and we give them a chance to bang on it and tell you what it’ll be like to actually own one of these in person. Myriam Joire is here. We always give her the hot new phones. Actually she gets them and brings them to us. Hi Myriam.
Myriam Joire: How’s it going Leo?
Leo: You changed your shirt.
Myriam: I did! It’s Jolla!
Leo: It says Jolla! Before it said something else! It was minutes ago!
Myriam: I took my hoodie off, it said fresh meat on the hoodie.
Leo: Fresh meat! I like that!
Myriam: Fresh meat is a dance troupe in San Francisco.
Leo: Oh it is? Are you in it?
Myriam: No, and Jolla is a Smart Phone manufacturer out of Finland. As you know they do the selfish OS base.
Leo: Oh that’s right!
Leo: The Jolla tablet was kind of like a crowd source, is that yet in production?
Myriam: I don’t think so, because I haven’t seen one and I’m friends with them. So I figure they would have sent me one.
Leo: You’ll get one soon.
Myriam: Yeah, I hope so. I need to adjust this.
Leo: In a couple of days you’re going to Barcelona for Mobile World congress.
Myriam: I will be in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress.
Leo: I’ve seen some teasers for Galaxy S6.
Myriam: So we’ve got the Galaxy S6,
Leo: It’s going to be all metal, thin.
Myriam: For sure all metal, because they did the Note 4 metal. They did the Alpha metal, that is potentially a two variance, one with the edge screen.
Leo: On both sides!
Myriam: Yes! On both sides, the note edge with both sides. And then…
Leo: So you can’t hold it without putting fingerprints on it, in any way.
Myriam: No. But you know what’s interesting is the carriers apparently have had seen this phone behind closed doors, and are now saying it’s more elegant and sexy than the Iphone, which is the big bold statement, right?
Leo: Yeah. And then we’re going to see an M9 from HTC.
Myriam: M9, I’m a huge HTC fan.
Leo: Me too. I love the One. I had both the M7 and the M8.
Myriam: M 8 and this is the M9 and it looks like an evolution on the original design. I’m very excited about one version, it has silver back and gold edges.
Leo: I thought that looked beautiful too.
Myriam: It looks really sexy, right?
Leo: I don’t like gun metal, I want gold and silver on my phones.
Myriam: So the other thing is it has the snap dragon 810 and Three gigs of RAM, just like the LGG Flex 2 the Korean version, as shown last week.
Leo: Wont the Galaxy S6 have 810 as well?
Leo: Everybody is going to..
Myriam: No, the S6 does not have the 810.
Leo: Oh that’s right, they were the vender that said it was eating.
Myriam: I think that’s a lie. I think they just wanted to put the Exxnos in there.
Leo: That’s their own product so…
Myriam: The thing with a lot of the US carrier phones don’t get the three gigs and the better processors as the cost.
Leo: I wanted to ask you about that because you had the G Flex 2.
Leo: Last week. And you said this one had three gigs of RAM but I’ve read some that say it’s only two gigs of RAM.
Myriam: Right. So the one I have is 3 gigs of Ram and has 32 gigs of…
Leo: But that was the international model.
Myriam; That’s the Korean model that I had. The US model is like you have two gigs of RAM and 16 gigs of storage.
Leo: That’s so frustrating. But that keeps the price down.
Myriam: You save fifty bucks or something.
Leo: Carriers want that. And presumably the M9, the same thing will happen.
Myriam: I hope not. I hope HTC does the right thing and gives us the best version.
Myriam: But maybe.
Leo: Now one thing we don’t usually see, there are a lot of phones coming out in China from companies like Chow Me, Huewei.
Myriam: There’s also Mayzoo, ZT, thank you.
Leo: So these companies make phones for the Chinese market. Only they don’t try to get in the US market. I thought the MF and the Mnote were very interesting from Chow Me, I’ve never seen a HuaWei phone. This is a HuaWei.
Myriam: Yeah, so I mean people are not using HuaWei in the US being a high end flagship phone manufacturer. This is kind of one of their flagships.
Leo: Gosh it looks like a lot like the iPhone 6.
Myriam: So it’s interesting because it’s actually called the Huawei Honor 6+.
Leo: And like the Iphone 6+ it’s only 5.5 inches.
Myriam: It’s 5.5 inches. 1080P, and look, it looks in terms of industrial design a lot like an Iphone4 did.
Leo: Oh interesting.
Myriam: See that?
Leo: yeah, square edge.
Myriam: I guess 5 or 4. And then it ends here very interestinly, kind of like down with the plastic edge.
Leo: That’s plastic and that’s for the antennas probably, right?
Leo: They also had the break the Iphone 5 had on the side.
Myriam: Yeah, and most interesting about this particular device is that it’s really quite awesome, but you can’t get it in the US at all. Like, if you import it to the US it’s a duel SIM phone first of all. So a lot of phones in China are. It has LTE but the bands are in no way, in any way shape or form, compatible with any LTE we could get here in the US.
Leo: Something to remember when you buy an international phone is it may not be compatible with..
Myriam: Yeah, so this has 3G compatible for T-Mobile and AT&T.
Leo: You know what? That’s ok.
Myriam: And it has HS42, which is pretty damn fast.
Leo: The Tmobile HSVA+ partly because you’re not getting any competition, it’s pretty darn fast, I’m happy with that.
Myriam: The reason I brought this phone to you guys is not beause it’s a Chinese phone, it’s because if you can see here on the back, it’s a dual camera on the back. As we’ve seen…
Leo: Oh yeah! What’s that?
Myriam: We’ve seen the duo right? From HTC…
Leo: That was a three D camera, right?
Myriam: M8, yeah. But this is not at all that here.
Leo: Oh that was a 3D…there have been 3D cameras on the…
Myriam: So these 3D phoens from HTC and others.
Leo: But on the M8 that was a depth sensor, right?
Myriam: On the M8 that was a depth sensor. So it wasn’t a full camera, the second camera. What they’ve done here is they’ve put three cameras total, the 8 megapixels on this phone. Two in the back, one in the front, so it’s great for selfies. They’re all pretty much identical specs and what’s really interesting is with these two cameras you can do variable aperture. So you can change the focal length to like F over 1 to focal aperture to F vocal 1.0 roughly all the way to F focal 16. In software.
Leo: In software.
Myriam: While you shoot, and after the fact.
Leo: So later you can change the depth of field.
Myriam: You can refocus, and change the depth of field.
Myriam: It’s really cool. I’ll show you right now.
Leo: And it does that with two cameras?
Myriam: Right. And it also gathers more light in low light because there’s two cameras, twice the pixels.
Leo: So are they interpolating the images from the two.
Myriam: Right. And it’s amazing. So this is the reason I wanted this phone, and I want to show you a little bit. So yet a couple of camera modes here.
Leo: Do these Chinese manufacturers use the same Sony sensors as the US?
Myriam: I really have no idea what they use.
Leo: Something with a lot of detail.
Myriam: Do we have a like a cool. What we want is… actually less is good. We want something that we have some depth of field on the back, as well as the angle. This is good. So there’s a wide aperture mode that I’ve just selected. Can we see this on the camera right now? There we go. So wide aperture, and if I selec t here, you can see this kind of dive. You see it like…
Leo: Yeah, it’s got a manual control for aperture. Alright.
Myriam: So you can change the aperture from Ffocal 4.95 all the way to Ffocal 16.
Leo: By the way, 4.95 is a very wide aperture.
Myriam: And it’s very shallow depth of field.
Leo: Even on a DSLR that would be a very expensive lens.
Myriam: Let me actually shoot this baby with your hand in the way, so we have a full depth here.
Leo: Alright, so we’ll have three claims, the chat room, this piece of paper and my hand.
Myriam: Here we go, I’m going to shoot. And so what we’re going to get now is a picture of that after the fact I can change stuff.
Leo: Well let’s see. Now we’ve seen this kind of variable focusing on Lumia phones.
Myriam: So watch, now I can…
Leo: Okay, my hand is in focus.
Myriam: I can, first of all, click the focus mode, so it’s going to be a little dimmer for the camera, I don’t know why, but it goes into dimmer mode here. So watch. I can go like this, and I can select the paper and be in focus.
Leo: Oh it’s now in focus. My hand is out of focus. The depth of field is beautiful on the …
Myriam: Let me adjust the brightness real quick so that we can…
Leo: It really does dim it, doesn’t it?
Myriam: I’m going to crank the brightness a bit, so we can actually use this.
Leo: This is Android 5.0?
Myriam: No. Not even close. This is 4.4.2 or something.
Leo: Kit Kat? It’s not even Kit Kat!
Myriam: I don’t think it’s even Kit Kat. So here we go, we can see it better now. So I can pick the hand, right? And it’s in focus. I can pick the paper and it’s in focus. I can pick the chatroom and it’s in focus, right? But here s the killer, watch.
Leo: Now I have to say we’ve seen this in Lumia and other phones before but this is so much better.
Myriam: I can now focus everything I want. Now everything is in focus.
Leo: Because it’s F16.
Myaim: Exactly. And so, and then I can go back to, like, maybe an in-between step and find F3. And after the fact, and then you can save that resulting file into a JPEG. And so that’s one of the cool things about this phone.
Myriam: And then let me show you some that I’ve already taken, so you have a better idea of what I’m talking about here. There we go. Hang on, I’ve got to find the…
Leo: There we go.
Myriam: So I’ve got a few here I took.
Leo: So some of those night shots were pretty good.
Myriam: Yeah, this one is a great example.
Leo: Liquor bottles on a shelf.
Myriam: Right. So I go into mode and select this.
Leo: So even after the fact you can continue to do this.
Myriam: Watch. I can take this bottle or that bottle.
Leo: So even after you’ve saved the photo out.
Myraim; Click this one back here, hang on, I’ve got to… there you go. And then… This one back… hello, hello? Back there. Anyway, you get the idea. I don’t know why, I’m holding...there we go. I was having two fingers on the screen, that doesn’t help this. And I can go back here and focus on the back bottle. And of course, I can do everything in focus, and a little bit less in focus. And night shots are pretty amazing. Let me go back to the regular mode. So night shots, this thing has the ability to set the duration of your shot. So you can get long exposures like this, where the bus is super long, because I held this super steady, I rested it on a tripod actually. But look at the quality of the light it gathered. This is ISO 100.
Myriam: Right? Look at…
Leo: Wait a minute! You can get a shot like that at ISO 100?
Myriam: Yes! Because the only exposure and the dual camera you get twice as many pixels. So I’ll show you this mode real quick. There’s this night mode, which you have to select, that’s never been conveluded. So super night mode here. You see this auto setting down here? If I tap on that, I get… Here, I’ll show you. I get to choose exposure and ISO. See that? See the values I can choose? So I can make long exposures up to what, 32 seconds, or some ridiculous number. Where is it? 32 seconds. So I can set the ISO to 100, and here we go, so if ISO 100 32 second shots. So if I wanted right now I could take a shot of us, and have lots of artistic fun with it.
Leo: What is the chance that other manufacturers will have technology like this at some point?
Myriam: Umm. I hope that…that’s the reason I wanted this phone. I’m really hoping they’ll execute on this and start...we’re going to start seeing this on other phones. Because it’s really the future, I think, of photography. The biggest challenge with a camera phone is you can’t have variable aperture. Because the lenses back here have fixed aperture. So now all of the sudden by putting two of these, you get better low light and, you know, because we know it’s not about megapixels, it’s ultimately about being able, like Nokia has shown us they can simulate analog zoom using pure view pixels with larger rays. And you zoom in and you have a loss E zoom. And this shows us you can simulate aperture so this, and light tro has shown us what you can do for focusing.
Leo: What are these different apertures? The two different sensors.
Myriam: There’s no technical information, what they’ve done. But my gut feeling is one is F4 2.0 and one is F4 8.0 or something, and then they can go a little beyond that in software. And it’s very clever really. So that’s kind of what I’m excited about on this phone. And to be frank, there are many other things about this phone that I’d really die for. It’s a really nice high end phone over all. I’m going to change the brightness back to a little more friendly… So it comes as this really wired lawn shirt, but you can thankfully replace it. This doesn’t have an app tray. Every app is on the launcher.
Leo: That’s weird.
Myriam: Which is really odd. And so that’s a bit of a pain. But it’s very easily fixed.
Leo: Well its Iphone, isn’t it?
Myriam: Yeah, exactly.
Leo: It looks like an Iphone.
Myriam: But here, you go into here and you can change it to the app, Google play one. Watch.
Leo: You choose your own launcher and customize it, you can look it make as look as up to date.
Myriam: I found a way to change that. It wasn’t working before but... If I go into here, I can change it to Google now launcher and change. And then guess what? Now it looks like a Nexus with Google Now here. An app tree here, right?
Leo: You’d have to use the camera app that came with it, I think.
Myriam: Yeah, but you pretty much have to benefit from it, otherwise if you use the default Android app, more like Camera 5 which is one of my main.. No it’s just that you use the camera as its normal. I mean it still should probably use both sensors to create a night shot, but you don’t get that adjustability that I showed you guys in night shot. The other thing I want to really point out quickly to wrap it up is some of the specs on this phone.
Myriam: So people have an idea. So it’s using Huawei’s own chip. A high silicon Encore, optocore processor that’s pretty much equivalent to like a high end snap dragon 800ish, in terms of specs. Three gigs of RAM, only 16 gigabyte of storage but it’s a micro SD card slot in here. Again, this is LTE, but the bands are not compatible with the US, so as you can see… you can see the jewel slots have one slot up there, that said to …that’s set to 3G AT&T, and the other one is MT. And yeah, I mean it’s a gorgeous display, it’s an IPS panel as you can see.
Leo: Why don’t Chinese manufacturers offer these phones in the US?
Myriam: Because they don’t have a brand. That is why Lenovo bought Motorola and is going to continue selling their phone as Motorola’s because they have no way to get in. And also there’s the whole issue with the government, right? The people don’t trust the Chinese to not put some sort of spyware in here, and I think personally it’s silly, because they make wonderful hardware, and wonderful product. This phone doesn’t sell for a lot of money either. It’s in the 400 dollar range.
Leo: That’s the other amazing thing. But of course the market will allow it.
Myriam: I mean, look its metal. The cool thing is its Dual SIM and one of the SIM slots is either Micro SD or Nano SIM, you have a choice, so you can have the F2 carriers connected or some extra storage, one of those SIM slots converts into one or the other.
Leo: They do sell in Australia according to Blake, so they’re not unusual outside of China, it’s just the US.
Myriam: They are not… It’s just the US, we’re not going to get… infrared sensor up here, so you can use a remote control.
Leo: I love that.
Myriam: In terms of specs, it’s a high end phone, there’s nothing unusual about it in that sense. But yeah, it’s running a bit of an older version of Android, and it’s obviously not available, and if you get it, and to use it here, you’re only end up with 3G on it.
Leo: So it would be silly for me to say try, buy, or don’t buy. Because you can’t buy.
Myriam: I mean, look, I would say buy if you’re in the right part of the world. Like Australia, or China. I would say try if you are one of those people who’s for a lot of phones and Imports them on a regular basis, I bet you this thing on EBay is more than 400 bucks because it’s hard to find.
Leo: Can you go to places like expanses and, you know, Alibaba and buy these things?
Myriam: I’m not sure this one is available on expenses.
Leo: Alibaba probably is.
Myriam: Probably is. You know electronics used to import these. I don’t know if they still do. And then, yeah. I mean, I wouldn’t say don’t buy, because it’s a great phone. Everything about it is nice. It’s snappy, it’s got, you know…
Leo: I think we’re going to add a new thing called can’t buy.
Myriam: Can’t buy. I like that.
Leo: Yeah. It’s not buy, try or don’t buy. It’s can’t buy for the Huawei honor 6+ Myraim Joire, thank you so much, we appreciate it. Very cool phone. And have a safe flight to Barcelona.
Myriam: I’ll try to get you as much, kind of videos of different coverage that you can get. You guys can like inter, you now put into the broadcasts.
Leo: Mike Elgan will also be there. We will have live coverage of Mobile World Congress. The best coverage we’ve ever done. Starting Saturday, with the first events beginning… of course Mobile World Congress itself begins on Sunday march 1st. And we’ll see you when you get back. Thank You Myraim! Our show today brought to you by our good buddies at Blue Apron. You know the blue Apron, when you wear a Blue Arpon, the cor du voir cooking school in apron means you’re an apprentice. You’re a learner. And Blue Apron adopted that as their logo because it’s a great way to great meals to learn how to cook great meals without doing any of the shopping or the prep. They ship it to you. All the ingredients you need to cook fresh delicious meals, step by step instructions too on nicely laminated cards. So you really…you feel like you’re at cordon blue. We all love to eat. It’s hard to find a meal that doesn’t have a compromise somewhere. Is it a good value? Is it quick to prepare? Is it healthy and delicious? Pick one, or two maybe. Nope, not at Blue Apron. Blue Apron makes cooking delicious meals easy and fun by delivering fresh ready to cook meals right to your door. We’ve loved this. Look at the stuff we’ve made. Zaatar-spiced steaks, Italian wedding soup. One of my favorite never made it before the Miso uzu-glazed Cod, Roasted Poblano Chilaquiles. Sumac-roasted sweet potato and Farro salad. For date night, for friends, they have a family pack too, and for less than ten dollars a meal, you’ll get all the fresh ingredients you need. Perfectly proportioned. You’ll get the step by step instructions, beautifully printed pictures. You know exactly where you’re headed. It makes cooking healthy meals really easy and fun without a trip to the grocery store, and no waste. From unused ingredients. Blue Apron perfect. For an amazing meal, for your friends, your loved ones. I think for date night. What a romantic and you know what? You… I know you’re setting up false impressions, but hey, it’s okay when you’re dating. You want to impress. Every meal is balanced, five hundred to 700 calories a serving, so yummy. You'd never know. Cooking, about half an hour. It's not, we're not talking about a long time. Shipping is free, the menus are always new, you will not get the same meal twice. And they will work around your schedule, don't worry. You're not going to have a Blue Apron box you know, sitting on your doorstep for days. They refrigerate them so they're fresh and your dietary preferences too, they'll honor those. Blue Apron's experts source only the best seasonal ingredients for incredible meals like spicy Asian chicken soup or dried rigatoni with ricotta cream, Meyer lemon and spinach pine nuts and raisins, wow! I can't do this ad, every time I do this ad my mouth waters. I start to talk like this. It's so good. Mmm. Blue Apron, a better way to cook. Check out this week's menu, you'll get your first two meals free. If you go to BlueApron.com/twit. We love these guys. This is, you know, ask Denise Howell. She does this every... practically every day for her family. BlueApron.com/twit for your first two meals free. Free! Chad Johnson, we gave him, I thought, this sounds like it's a comic book product so I'm going to give it to Chad. The K-Tor Pocket Socket Hand Crank Generator. I can't decide, is this something from roadrunner or Superman? Or both? Chad Johnson has the details.
Chad Johnson: Hello my name is Chad I'm with TWiT and Before You Buy and today I'm reviewing the Pocket Socket. This is a portable charger for cell phones, iPads, you could plug in just a normal light and have a light to read by I guess while you turn this crank. Or external batteries. Basically anything that you would plug into a wall you could plug into the Pocket Socket. Now this is the whole device, it's pretty simple. It also comes with a yellow emergency band which you would use to drop over the Pocket Socket so that it will travel nicely. Like that. In terms of features, it features a really nice long crank. There's other cranks out there like what you would normally find on a combination flashlight radio, those are very normally small and this is a very very large crank. Also, something that you could really hold onto with your entire hand instead of just a few fingers. Which is really nice when you're using this for an extended period of time. There's just a standard US style plug on the end here, and this will charge at the same rate that a wall socket would as well. That's how much power it generates, which is really substantially more than other competing generators on the market. So you can imagine how long it would take to charge your device because it's basically the same amount of power, if it takes you an hour to charge your phone it will take an hour of cranking in order to get your phone fully charged. When or why would you use this? Well of course in an emergency situation, or if you're traveling. Say, camping or in a country that doesn't have standard power all over the place. You can use this to bring your devices back to life. Now the price is $64, $65 really. 64.95, and you can find this basically all over. Now some of the pros and cons. Pro is that it has a very large and long crank which is great, a full hand hold when you're cranking and good strong power output. Now in the cons, I didn't love that the turn of this crank is sort of below your arm so any time that you crank, it's sort of a weird motion. If this could have been in the center it would have helped you, this pendulum wouldn't quite throw you off all the time. And I wish that it locked into place with a more elegant solution than a rubber band. This is okay, but the crank could easily move while this is in your backpack. Buy try don't buy for the pocket socket, this is made by K-Tor. I'm going to give this a buy. I liked it, it came in handy a few times. It's small enough to just throw in your backpack and it's not too expensive and it does as advertised which is fantastic. I've been Chad for TWiT and Before You Buy reviewing the K-Tor Pocket Socket.
Leo: It's K-Tor, the Pocket Socket Hand Crank Generator. Chad likes it, he says for the zombie apocalypse you'll be ready.
Leo: You know what else is important in the zombie apocalypse? The ability to speed, I've noticed in these zombie games like Left 4 Dead, you can wade in there with a crowbar or run away! That's my plan. These would be perfect for it, Bryan Burnett our technical director takes a look at, we saw these at CES, the rocket skate.
Bryan Burnett: This is Bryan Burnett from Before You Buy and today I'm taking a look at the Action Rocket Skates. These little professor x looking wheelchair strap to your feet and have a top speed of 12mph which is terrifying when you have these hooked onto yourself. Each one weighs about 7 pounds, they have a 50 watt electric motor powering them and they have about a 45 minute ride time. Which equates to about 6 miles and it takes about 60 minutes to charge them fully. They come in at $500 and they do feel pretty high quality, all the pieces of plastic and the straps feel like pretty solid. But once you get these onto your feet and you start riding around, it does take a little bit of practice to get used to before you feel anywhere near safe on them. It does come with a mobile app and you can connect to the skates and see how far you've traveled and see how much battery life they have. You can step on your tip toes to kind of walk around on them without using the electric motor but it's definitely a little awkward. Each skate has a little power button on the very back of it and that's what you use to turn it on. And well, overall they are just kind of scary. The pros for this skate is that they're fun once you get used to them, but the cons are they are... there is a steep learning curve, the price is $500 and there are two other models that are more expensive with more range and if I were to give this a buy try or don't buy, I'd have to say don't buy. Because as novel as they are and kind of silly, I don't think I would want to drop that much money on something that will potentially kill me. This has been Bryan Burnett from Before You Buy, thank for watching.
Leo: I can't believe we let Bryan do that. I mean, does our insurance cover putting employees on rocket powered skates? I think not. I'm glad you're alright Bryan. And we must say this is not, as fun as it is, not a great idea. From ACTON Global, the rocket skates. At $500 to break your behind, that seems a little steep. I'm going to take a look at a new Chromebook in just a second but first a word from our friends at Prosper. Prosper is kind of one of, one of the promises of the internet was we would have kind of friction free marketplaces. That suddenly everything would be a lot easier because you could connect directly, no more middlemen. And it's happened in so many areas, here's an area I'm thrilled about losing the middle man and that is in borrowing money. I mean, you don't want to borrow money from friends or family. You don't want to go to Jersey to borrow money, you probably don't want to go to the bank to borrow money, but why not go to Prosper.com? Prosper is a marketplace that brings people with money to borrow together with people who have money to invest. They offer low rates, fixed rates, without the high fees of a traditional loan. Without the potential hurt feelings of a loan from family or friends. The internet's amazing, I mean changing the way we hail a cab, it's changing the way we get a hotel room, it's changing how we borrow money at Prosper.com. Up to $35,000 in as little as 5 days to pay off high rate credit cards, to fix up the house, to plan a vacation, anything you need. And you know, if you don't believe me the very simple thing to do is go to Prosper.com/twit and check your rate. It will not affect your good credit, Prosper... and you see how little they ask for. Prosper.com/twit, get your rate today, find out how much it would cost, how much you could borrow, I think you'll be impressed. Friction free lending, that's what I call it. Right now Prosper is offering TWiT viewers a $50 Visa gift card when you get that loan, up to $35,000 in just five days. Go to Prosper.com/twit today. Every time I boot up Chrome OS, and Myriam you're a Chrome OS fan.
Myriam: I'm a big aficiondo of Chromebooks.
Leo: You have the Pixel?
Leo: So this is the one that Google makes that is like $1300. I mean it is really expensive but it's metal, it's got a touch screen, there's got a lot of really nice features and I brought it out because I wanted to compare it to the latest $300 Chromebook from Samsung. One of the first things, and I don't need to tell you too much about Chromebooks. I'm sure you know already the details, it's an OS from Google that is based on the Chrome browser, anything a Chrome browser can do you can do in Chrome OS, but nothing else. It doesn't allow you to install apps or anything, they all have to be plugins for Chrome. So in fact if you want to know what would it be like to use Chrome OS, just launch Chrome on your computer on your Mac or your Windows PC and then don't use anything else. That's what it's like. On the other hand, what I love about this and every time I set up a new Chromebook I kind of go wow that was easy. All you have to do is turn on the Chromebook, enter your Google credentials and boom, all your bookmarks are there, the way you've got it set up to look, all of your apps, and Google has really done a lot to make Chrome more and more like a real operating system, including the little app drawer here that holds all of the installed apps. They call them apps, they're really just Chrome extensions.
Myriam: It's interesting you brought that up because you know if you were to install Chrome on your Windows or Mac right now, there are some functionality...
Leo: No, you do get this.
Myriam: You get this but it's... it's kind of...
Leo: You think it's not as nice?
Myriam: It's actually nicer on Chrome this part.
Leo: Settings are all in the system tray down here on the right if you don't mind me using a Windows term. And one of the settings that I think makes a Chromebook extra special is in the advanced settings it's called powerwash. Powerwash takes the Chromebook and wipes it, brings it back to the way it was when it came from the factory. Including deleting all your data, your log ins and everything. And that's what makes a Chromebook so special. Because first of all, it's somewhat secure anyway because you can't install unsafe extensions, you can't download malware. If you heard about the problem people had with their Lenovo laptops there's no superfish on here. There can't be, this is all Chrome, all from Google. But if you should at any time feel like oh I'm a little unsafe, you just powerwash it and you're back. It automatically updates which is really nice.
Myriam: And it does it really well too, like it just does it in the background, it puts an icon in the bottom here that says update's ready! And whenever you feel like, you click on that button and it reboots.
Leo: If you're a Google Plus user, or Google Now user rather you'll get your Google Now notifications in the list, system tray here. I'm of... anyway, we don't need to go on and on about Chromebooks, people are used to them. Let's talk about what's specific on this one. This is Samsung's most recent edition. They call it their Chromebook 2. It feels like they've had more than 2 generations but it is very much a Samsung product, right down to the faux-stitch plastic that you'll see on the Galaxy phones and...
Myriam: Note 3.
Leo: The Note 3, not on the Note 4 interestingly enough but on the Note 3. It still survives on the Chromebook. But look how thin it is, how light. A very very comfortable feel. This is a 13 inch screen, hi def. What I also like about it, no touch, by the way, is it's got very good battery life. Samsung's claiming 8 or 9 hours, it's roughly twice that of the Pixel. That was one thing that I didn't like about the Pixel because it's an older frankly processor. This is a very fast Samsung Exynos processor. What they call an octo-core. I don't know if you need 8 cores of processing on a Chrome browser, you open a lot of tabs Myriam.
Myriam: Tabs are about RAM on Chromebooks and the CPU speed is really like a dual core Intel Celeron performs about the same as an 8 core arm. Arm isn't quite as oomphy as Intel.
Leo: I don't know why you would even need 8 cores, but you can. You can, contrary to what Microsoft in its Pawn Star ads implied, you can use this offline. There are offline versions of Google Mail and so forth. You can't do Google searches offline but a lot of the work that you like to do can be done offline on this. The screen is pretty good and you can see, not great at an angle. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's certainly bright enough and you can turn it up to even brighter, that's as bright as it gets and it think it's very legible. 1080p, no touch. I missed touch a little bit but we have to remember that the Chrome OS really isn't designed with touch in mind so it's not like you need touch. For a student, at $299, 16 gigs of storage, 2 gigs... I think it's 2 gigs of RAM now.
Myriam: I think you're right, it's 2 gigs of RAM.
Leo: Is that right?
Myriam: Yeah. The high end Chromebooks all have 4, and the lower end...
Leo: No this one's 4 now.
Myriam: Wow, 4 now, nice!
Leo: For $299, that's right.
Myriam: So this is good for tabs. If you open a lot of tabs, you could want the RAM.
Leo: You could have a lot of tabs, I've never understood the tab fetish but people do have it. 4 gigs of RAM the Octa 5800, that's an 8 core, 16 gigs of storage isn't a lot but you do of course, as with all Chromebooks get 100 gigabytes of Google Drive. You could add to that, I've got a terabyte of Google Drive.
Myriam: You don't really store anything on a Chromebook. It has micro SD on it.
Leo: That's kind of neat too. So we have a USB cable, a microphone headset connector, USB connector. Another USB connector here, HDMI, and under here, not an SD card but a micro SD card slot so you could add up to 64 gigs of additional RAM in there.
Myriam: You know what I love about these entry level priced Chromebook personally?
Leo: You can lose them and don't have to feel bad.
Myriam: No, there's that definitely. But I think compared to a tablet at the same price, a lot of people are like why wouldn't I buy a tablet? Because this gives you the typing and trackpad experience of a Mac at $299 and if all you're doing is spending your day on the web browser, which a lot of people do, this is awesome.
Leo: People kind of forget that most of what they do really is in a browser now, from email...
Myriam: The keyboard is so good on this one.
Leo: Yeah. And so high recommendations. The keyboard is, as you say, very much like a Macbook, it's a short travel kind of Chiclets style keys. I like it a lot, the trackpads are much improved over earlier Chromebooks. This is as good as, as any trackpad on any PC.
Myriam: I would say that the trackpads on most Chromebooks are better than the trackpads on most Windows machines.
Leo: Cheap Windows machines for sure. Now this is more expensive than something like the HP Stream, it's $299. But I think a really good choice for anybody who wants Chrome OS, whether you're an individual who just doesn't need more than a browser and wants the security of Chrome OS, a student for school this is a great choice. I'm really a fan of, I turned around completely. I really see the value of a Chromebook and I have to say this is certainly one of the best ones out there. On the pros, great keyboard, great trackpad, lightweight, 4 gigs of RAM means lots of tabs just for you and an 8 core processor means you're not going to run out of steam. It also has pretty decent battery life for a Chromebook. Samsung is saying about 8 hours. You can see I have 6 hours and 47 minutes left with 93% so that pretty much confirms that. The cons, it isn't a touch screen, it's a little bit lower res screen than perhaps a Chromebook Pixel. I don't find that a disadvantage but you can, I think ti's the IPS you can kind of see the pixels on it.
Myriam: It has a matte screen which I think is great.
Leo: Matte is nice isn't it? It doesn't glare quite as much as say watch all the glare you get on...
Myriam: Look it's Leo!
Leo: Could use this as a mirror, hey everybody! That's the Pixel, so yeah. I'm not... I like the glarey screens myself but if you want a matte screen absolutely a buy on the Samsung. This is the Chromebook 2 from Samsung, except for the stitching, that's another con. But not a big con. It does, what it does have is it's not slippery. Some Chromebooks are a little bit slippery.
Myriam: I think also not going to scratch too easily.
Leo: Yeah, yeah. It's a nice surface.
Myriam: It's kind of like a rubber coated soft touch finish right? Yeah.
Leo: Good sound, good image, good screen, good keyboard, good trackpad. There's not much to differentiate frankly Chromebooks but this is absolutely one of the leaders now in the Chromebook field. Maybe the best one out there if you want to spend less than $1,000. Samsung Chromebook 2 a buy. Thank you everybody, what a fast show! Bryan Burnett, we appreciate your contribution, Chad Johnson, Myriam Joire always great to see you, safe travels in Barcelona.
Myriam: Thanks for having me again.
Leo: And thanks to you for joining us, we put all our reviews on YouTube as individual reviews along with the full show so you can share it with a friend. YouTube.com/beforeyoubuy. You can also download it on our website, TWiT.tv/byb. Our email firstname.lastname@example.org, email us if you'd like to suggest a product that we could review in future episodes. We have some good ones coming up, I just bought the $99 Fiio X1 Hi Res audio player, take that Sony for your $2,000 Walkman, we reviewed that earlier. And I also have coming up next week or maybe the week after I'm going to do a steady cam for your DSLR. And lots of great products, but there is a little bit of a change coming up in Before You Buy. We're moving our production day to Fridays and hosting it from this point forward, doctor... doctor? I've added a title to your... Father Robert Ballecer will be taking over the show, but I will be on each and every show. I have a review, I like to review stuff. So I'll have a review for you every week. But Father Robert will be taking over. What time is the new record time? 2PM Pacific, 5PM Eastern, 2200 UTC if you want to watch Before You Buy in production from now on. That's starting not this Friday, but a week from Friday. Thanks to all our contributors, thanks to you for watching. Remember, you've got to watch Before You Buy. I'm Leo Laporte, we'll see you next time. Bye-bye!