6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

CNET Top 5: Most-breakable gadgets

About Video Transcript

CNET Top 5: Most-breakable gadgets

3:41 /

Some gadgets are built to last. Here are five that were born to break.

Our reviews here at CNET can tell you a lot of things about any given piece of technology -- how well it works, how long the battery lasts, how well it stacks up against the competition. And then we carefully box the product back up and send it back to the manufacturer, leaving one critical question unanswered, �Will this product survive a drop from a moving car?� That�s where Molly Wood comes in. In her show, Always On, Molly has subjected countless gadgets to her torture testing. Some take a licking and keep on ticking, while others crumble into an expensive pile of glass and microchips. I�m Donald Bell, and in this Top 5 we�re counting down the five pieces of high-profile tech that flopped the hardest during the Always On torture test. Starting things off at #5: the iPhone 4S. Just because there was less screen back then, didn�t mean the design was any less fragile. We had an ugly black bar running down the display of the 4S after just one drop. Granted, the glass never broke, even after repeated tosses down the stairs, but the fact that we crippled the screen right out of the gate is enough to put this bygone iPhone on the list. But at least the iPhone never really advertised itself as rugged. The same cannot be said for #4: the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Now, this is a great all-around machine, and a 4-star review from us, but if you�re looking for a truly rugged laptop that can withstand scorching heat, or the occasional cup of coffee on the keyboard - - then the X1 is not for you. Molly didn�t even get around to a drop test, since the heat test pretty much toasted the thing. Fine computer, but not the tough guy you�d expect. #3 is another one that surprised us: the Samsung Galaxy S4. This is CNET�s highest rated cell phone currently, and the heir to one of the toughest cell phones around, the Galaxy S3. The S4 was undone by a hurl off a rock wall, and then put to rest after being run over by a dirt bike. Now, personally, my active lifestyle is non-existent -- so I wouldn�t discount the S4 right away. But it�s a shame that it doesn�t seem as resilient as the S3. At #2: the Microsoft Surface. It was already looking pretty bad when Always On�s Jeff Cannata spilled a glass of wine on the thing, but it was the drop test that really made me wince. To be fair, Jeff went over the top when he used the kickstand as a foot rest� and maybe took things a bit too far when he turned it into functioning skateboard� but what�s a torture test without a little humiliation? Now before we get to the #1 most breakable gadget, as evidenced by the Always On torture tests, go take a look at the Top 5 toughest gadgets. Molly and the gang have a great roundup that you can find at CNET.com/alwayson. Alright, and now, the wimpiest gadget ever to appear on Always On: the 2012 Google Nexus 7 -- the original. The $199 Android tablet that brought the industry to its knees turned out to be a total creampuff. I�ve seen Christmas ornaments tougher than this thing. During the drop test, the back cover went flying and the glass shattered like a creme brulee. I can always tell I�m hungry when my metaphors are all deserts. Still, it was a great tablet -- and for $199 it could have been made out of Legos and I still would have bought one. So there you go, five highly-rated gadgets that you really shouldn�t use without a case and an extended warranty. To witness more gadget abuse be sure to tune in to Always On with Molly Wood each and every week. And for more Top 5s like this, Top5. CNET.com I�m Donald Bell, reminding you to hug your gadgets and hold them close.
  • This is the interactive sidebar!

    Click any icon for more information as they appear--don't worry, we'll pause the video and wait for you to come back.

  • Links Polls Galleries
  • Video Review

New releases

Philips adds a 75W Replacement SlimStyle LED to its lighting lineup
2:17 November 22, 2014
This bigger, brighter version of the original SlimStyle LED looks like a strong value in its class
Play video
2015 Acura TLX V-6 Advance (CNET On Cars, Episode 54)
16:28 November 21, 2014
Acura hopes the TLX is what it will drive into the future, we explore the head-up display coming to your car soon, and check out the...
Play video
Los Angeles Auto Show 2014: CNET's editors choose their favorites
5:55 November 21, 2014
The press days are over here at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Before we head off into the Hollywood hills we took a moment to re-cap...
Play video
Watch Tony Hawk do endless 360s on a hoverboard, Ep. 184
5:36 November 21, 2014
This week on Crave, we can see sound waves. We might get to see an unexplored part of the moon. But most of all we get to see Tony...
Play video
The $199 HP Stream 11 wants to be as cloud-friendly as a Chromebook, but with Windows 8
2:18 November 21, 2014
If you keep expectations in check, this bargain-basement Windows 8 laptop has good battery life and a decent design.
Play video
Yamaha SRT-1000 gives good single-speaker surround
1:44 November 21, 2014
The Yamaha SRT-1000 sound base offers discrete looks, an astoundingly wide soundstage and plenty of features in a package that is still...
Play video
Hate ads? Pay Google to block them for you
2:50 November 21, 2014
Google is testing an ad-blocker service, Amazon may be inserting ads into streaming video, and Comcast lets you track the cable gu...
Play video
The 404 Show 1,584: Google Contributor, JFK has a drone problem, San Francisco's poo map (podcast)
30:08 November 21, 2014
We're back in the studio today! Join us for a very special episode complete with a full tour and the start of our Call of Duty: Advanced...
Play video