Always On returns with Nexus 7 Torture Test and more

In the premiere episode of Season 2 of Always On, the Google Nexus 7 gets spiked and then takes a bubble bath. Upcoming highlights include skydiving, race cars, and weekly Torture Tests. In sum: we're not messing around here, folks.

It's a little unusual for a Web show to have "seasons," I know, but we are trying to create something here that's equal in length and quality to our broadcast cousins, and you can't just do that week after week. So, I know an eight-week season seems a bit on the short side, but hopefully so does a four-week production break.

And when I say "break," believe me, I don't mean we took a break. I had one of the best summers in recent memory: I jumped out of a helicopter to Road Test the HTC One X; I successfully completed a half-marathon as testament to the motivational power of the Nike FuelBand and Fitbit Ultra; I drove a Tesla Model S ; I got deep in the bowels of Ford and GM's research and connected car labs (and got about 10 laps in on Ford's test track in a Shelby GT500 -- that's a Road Test coming up later this season); and I rode in the fifth-man spot on an America's Cup catamaran.

And, yes, it's all in the name of tech -- and to bring you a tech show like nothing else you have seen on TV or on the Web!

Image: Bubble bath. Caption: Getting more creative with our dunk tests.
Getting more creative with our dunk tests. Molly Wood/CNET

At its heart, Always On is about the gadgets, the tech that keeps you going and keeps your life always on and always plugged in. So we're still pushing tech to its limits to find out if it can survive real life in the wold. I've put the Google Nexus 7 and the e-ink Kindle through the Torture Test gauntlet already, and I'm planning for many more.

This fall will deliver the upcoming iPhone (and maybe iPad Mini?), the new Kindle lineup, the new Nokia Windows phones, and whatever other amazing gadgets that are coming in the next few months. This is the busiest time of the year for gadgets, and we'll keep you up to date with weekly Torture Tests and timely unboxings.

This show would not be possible without the unbelievably hard work and creativity of supervising producer Eileen Rivera; production manager Lynn Fu; director of photography Celso Bulgatti; camera operator Charlie Wagner; producers Jason Pepper and Sarah Harbin; our incomparable editing team of Chris Tow, Vanessa Perez, and Miriam Telles; post-production assistant Brian Emerick; and our frequent guest-starring intern Brett Force, who just left us for a new set of adventures. I strongly encourage you to watch this show all the way to the credits for their sake -- plus, we put cute bloopers there!

The new episode premieres today at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET, with a live viewing party that starts at 10:45 a.m./1:45 p.m. at the Always On show page. We'll have a live preshow and chat, and I'll be in our chat room sharing behind-the-scenes stories as we watch the episode together for the first time. Hope you can make it! In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at what to expect from Season 2.

 

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