"Apples and Androids"
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CNET Tech Review
CNET Tech Review
Apples and Androids
>> [Brian Tong:] This week on the CNET tech review, 4G is coming, just maybe not to you. Adobe Photoshop gets an update, the latest iMac update is our editor's choice, and how to find the returns department at the iTunes store. It's all coming up right now.
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Hey, everyone. I'm Brian Tong, and welcome to the CNET Tech Review. Molly Wood is off this week, so that means I'm in charge of picking the hottest videos of the week and bringing you the good ones, the bad ones, and offering some sage bottom-line advice, because I am to be trusted. Let's kick things off with the good stuff. [sound effect] when we first saw the HTC EVO 4G, Ken Sherman was drooling all over that CTIA in Barcelona. This week, Bonnie Cha finally got a chance to put it through its paces. How'd it hold up? It's in the good section for a reason. Take a look. [sound effect]
>> [Bonnie Cha:] Hey, everyone. I'm Bonnie Cha, senior editor at CNET.com, and I've got your first look at the much anticipated HTC EVO 4G for Sprint. As many of you know, this is the first 4G smartphone available in the U.S., and that comes with a lot of pressure. Does it deliver on all the hype? Well, let's take a look. As far as the design, the EVO is very similar to the HTC HD2. It's actually a bit bigger than the HD2, but HTC still manages to keep it relatively thin, so it's still pretty manageable. Plus you might be willing to overlook the large size when you get a glimpse of the massive display. Measures 4.3 inches diagonally and has a sharp WVGA resolution, so it's fantastic for viewing web pages, photos, and reading texts. There's even a handy kickstand on the back that will let you prop the phone on a desk so you can watch videos of slide shows without having to hold the device in your hand. The EVO is also relatively easy to use and extremely customizable, thanks to HTC Sense. Sense is HTC's custom scan for the Android platform, and it's always been our favorite because it makes the OS look less tech-y and actually enhances a lot of the phone's core applications. For example, in the phone app, a tabbed menu along the bottom lets you easily filter through messages based on status, attachments, group, or meeting invite, and it also improves the standard Android media player by bringing in a nicer cover flow-like interface. Underneath Sense, the EVO is running Android 2.1, which is currently the most recent version of Android available. So you're getting some of the latest features like Google Maps with navigation, voice-to-text entry, and live wallpapers. But if you're an Android fan, you know that Android 2.2, also known as Froyo, is coming soon. I asked Sprint about whether they would provide an update to Froyo when available, and they said they're not announcing anything right now. But what we should focus on right now is the 4G capabilities of the EVO. The EVO is the first phone to take advantage of Sprint's WiMax network, which claims to provide wireless speeds of up to ten times faster than today's 3G. Average 3G download speeds come in around 600 kilobytes per second to 1.4 megabytes per second, while 4G averages around three megabytes per second to six megabytes per second. Sprint's 4G isn't available in New York yet, so I went down to Philadelphia, where they do have it, to put these claims to test. And the EVO did deliver; I averaged around 3.42 megabytes per second for download speeds and upload speeds of 0.93 megabytes per second. So it was on the lower end of the spectrum, but I also did a 3G speed test to compare with 4G, and I was getting 0.77 megabytes per second down, and 0.3 point -- 0.35 megabytes per second up, so definitely a huge difference. The EVO also comes with a number of features that can take advantage of 4G. It's actually going to be the first to ship with a YouTube high-quality player and also ships with a quick video chat and a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera so you can make video calls. Unfortunately, our review unit didn't come preloaded with the quick chat app, but we're hoping to check it out later. The EVO can also be used as a mobile hotspot and can connect up to eight devices. Just be aware that this is going to cost you an additional 30 dollars per month. The civil, silver lining there is that there's no data cap. There's a lot more to this phone, but the video would go on forever if I tried to cover it all. Overall, I'd say the EVO 4G is easily the best smartphone that Sprint has to offer and certainly one of the best Android phones on the market. It's packed with tons of features, and it's powerful, and it does deliver on the 4G promise. I'm just disappointed that they're launching it with so few 4G markets; currently, Sprint's WiMax network is live in 32 cities, and the carrier promises to bring that up -- that total up to 44 cities by the end of the year, including New York, San Francisco, L.A., Cincinnati and Miami. I think the additional ten dollars for 4G is a fair price, but it's unfair to me to make [inaudible] add-on mandatory, and they know a lot of people have been unhappy with this. In the grand scheme of things, Sprint's data plans are much less than its competitors', and there is no data cap with a premium add-on, but still, if you live in a 3G-only market, I can understand why you'd be unhappy about paying for something you're not actually getting. Hopefully Sprint can really start lighting up additional 4G markets quickly so people can get their money's worth and let the EVO 4G really live up to its full potential. The HTC EVO 4G will be available starting June fourth for one 99, 99 with a two-year contract. I'm Bonnie Cha, and this has been your first look at the HTC EVO 4G.
>> [Brian Tong:] Now, I'm pretty attached to my iPhone, but as soon as 4G is up and running here in San Francisco, I'll be drooling as much as Ken. Now some of you may know that I host a show here at CNET called "The Apple Bite" where we break down everything that goes on in the world of Apple. Lately, most of the buzz has been centered around the iPad and the impending announcement of the new iPhone, but behind the scenes, Apple has been upgrading the processors in many of their laptops and desktops as well. Here's Rich Brown with his review of the big daddy of the iMac family.
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>> [Rich Brown:] Hi, I'm Rich Brown, senior editor for CNET.com. Today we're going to take a look at Apple's highest-end 27-inch iMac. So we say "highest-end," and that's because the base model for this unit starts at 1999. Unlike the 1699 version, this one comes with a core i5 CPU that actually has four cores. That's the only four-core chip available in Apple's iMac line. This particular model, though, actually has a core i7 CPU in it, which is a little bit faster than core i5; also costs a little bit more, so it's 200 bucks. That makes our review unit 2199. So what you get for that price is the fastest all-in-one currently available, as well as the all-in-one with the largest screen. Even Sony's highest-end all-in-one only has a 24-inch monitor. So Apple remodeled its iMac line back in the fall, and there's a few different design elements here. If you're familiar with the 1699 iMac, nothing has changed. It's basically the same in the exterior. There's edge-to-edge glass going across the front of the system, and up at the top you get a web cam. Now the effect of the screen with the glass and with the glossy coating is that it's very bright, appears very crisp. The image is great for watching movies, for images, playing games now that you can get Steam on the iMac. The keyboard and mouse, both wireless, are now included with the iMac. You can see here, it's sort of a trimmed-down design. A familiar [inaudible] keyboard. You've got batteries that go in here, and a keyboard power button over here. For the mouse, this is Apple's new Magic Mouse. It's got a pretty unique design to it. We don't really love the sort of sharp edges you get there, and it's -- feels a little too tapered at the front. I know it has some gesture-based touch-sensitive features built into it. It's really not the most intuitive experience. So it's certainly a serviceable mouse, but we can't say we love it. On the side of the iMac here you can see there's a slot-loading DVD drive; Apple still does not use Blu-ray. And down here, finally, which is new to this generation of iMacs, is an SD card slot, which makes it easy to swap data between old devices in your computer. Now, in the back of the system you can see that it's pretty clean design. There's the same row of ports down here in the bottom edge. You get a couple audio outputs, as well as four USBs, FireWire 800 jack, a mini-display port jack, which I'll get to in a minute, as well as an Ethernet input. The system of course comes with wireless and Bluetooth built in, so in terms of networking, you're pretty much covered. So what's also unique to this new generation of iMacs is that the mini-display port is bidirectional -- that means you can not only send the signal out from the iMac, you can send signals into it. For example, you could take a iMacBook Pro, connect it to the iMac to use as a secondary monitor. That's obviously a very useful feature and extends the life of the iMac once the computer parts are obsolete, but we're a little bit frustrated by it because, with other all-in-ones from Windows-based vendors, we've seen HTMI ports built in that let you connect, say, a game console or a cable box. Unfortunately, at least out of the box, you can only connect other Macs to the iMac, so it's a little bit frustrating. Now you can actually find on the market HTMI to mini-display port adapters that will let you connect game consoles or other devices. They're expensive, though; they cost about a hundred and fifty bucks. Same goes with the wall mounting. Technically you can pop the stand off, connect a [inaudible]-compatible wall mount to the back of the iMac, and mount it up wherever you want to. But most Windows-based all-in-ones have that functionality built in. So while you certainly could take the iMac and its giant screen and transform into sort of a Mac-based media center, you definitely have to want it. You have to be willing to spend a little bit more than what you get out of the box, and it's not really the most convenient process. So we hope Apple is listening, and eventually they might take steps to make that a little more streamlined. Despite those limitations, the iMac is still one of the best all-in-ones you can buy. That's why it's an editor's choice, because it has a giant screen and fastest performance in its category. I'm Rich Brown, and this is the 27-inch, core i7 iMac.
>> [Brian Tong:] You know, with that 27-inch screen and that super-fast processor, that iMac could be great for one of my favorite hobbies: drawing in my abs in beach pictures. And luckily for me, a brand-new version of Photoshop just came out, too. Seth Rosenblatt is here with a tour of Photoshop CS5.
>> [Seth Rosenblatt:] Photoshop has been in the English lexicon as a term to edit images for a long, long time. But the latest version of Adobe's flagship program stretches the canvas of manipulation much farther than ever before. Hi, I'm Seth Rosenblatt for CNETdownload.com. and in this first look video, we're taking a quick peek at Adobe's major update to Photoshop. The look of the program has changed so little from Photoshop CS4 that users of that version should be instantly comfortable with this major update. But Photoshop creative Suite 5, also known as Photoshop Version 12, gives photographers, artists, designers, and LOLCATS obsessives with too much money on their hands a stunning array of new tools. Among the new features in Adobe's flagship image-editing software are: automatic lens correction, high-dynamic range toning, automated editing tools, and significant improvements to creating 3D images. Let's look at the new automatic lens correction option, which will fix an image that has been distorted by geometric distortion, chromatic aberration, or vignetting. Go to filter, lens correction, and examine the tabs. As you can see, the panel is loading with options, and the process to fix this photo can be complex. You're pretty much required to read or watch a tutorial to get it right. If you need high-end image manipulation, though, this and many of the other new features are killer must-haves. One of the new automated editing tools that's been getting rightfully a lot of attention is the content-aware fill option. It lets you remove an object from an image with a simple mouse stroke and replace it with pitch-perfect approximations to match the surrounding light, color, and noise of the area. It can be used as part of the spot-healing brush or with the selection tool. While the spot-healing brush isn't new to CS5, the content-aware function is, and it makes spot-healing much more accurate than before. An excellent improvement to the Photoshop workflow in CS5 is the introduction of the Minibridge. Minibridge creates a panel within Photoshop for directly accessing all of Bridge's features, but without the hassle of having to switch windows. It's a long-overdue and logical improvement. Users who need Photoshop's 3D features will be impressed by the ones available in Photoshop CS5 Extended. This is a pricier version of the program and includes all of the features of the standard Photoshop, along with 3D editing tools. Part of Extended is Adobe Repose, which allows users to convert 2D images to 3D and then edit the extrusion properties. Photoshop CS5 is nothing less than a boundary-pushing leap forward for the premier image editor. At a hundred and 99 dollars for an upgrade or 699 for a brand-new version, and a multitude of lower-priced and even free alternatives with varying degrees of less power, you really should think twice about whether you need this multi-faceted, complex, but undeniably excellent program. With a first look at Photoshop CS5, I'm Seth Rosenblatt for CNETdownload.com.
>> [Brian Tong:] That content-aware fill option is ridiculous, and I can't wait to use it to cut ex-girlfriends out of my vacation photos, and there are a lot of them. Not really. Now in addition to "The Apple Bite," I also host a show called "Tap that App," where I sift through tons of apps for the iPhone and the iPad. But did you know that there's a way to return apps? Well, neither did I until I shot this how-to video.
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There are times when some of us get a little too app-happy -- I know you've been there -- and we've purchased the wrong app from Apple's app store. I recently purchased the Iron Man II game -- I know; don't judge me -- but I accidentally purchased the iPhone version instead of the one for the iPad. I'm Brian Tong for CNET.com, and I'll show you a little trick that a lot of people don't know about: how to return apps that you've already purchased. Now, before we jump into this, I want to emphasize that this is not intended to be used to buy an app, then return it, and hurt the developers, because these guys are the people that are making our gadgets more enjoyable, and let's respect that. Alright, the first thing you have to do is purchase some apps from the app store through your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or computer or wherever. Now once you've done that, jump into iTunes and in the top, right-hand corner, find your user name, select "account," and log in. Let's go to your purchase history, and then you'll see a list of dates and order numbers. Select the date that you made the purchase, and you'll see an order breakdown. Then click on "report a problem," and an option will show up next to the price of each app. Find the boo-boo that you made -- in this case it's going to be Iron Man II for me; that was six 99 -- and click "report a problem." A prompt will appear, and you'll need to select the problem that you had and add any comments. I explained my Iron Man II issue and also told them how I purchased the iPad version immediately afterwards. Submit it, and you'll receive a confirmation email. It only took about a day for an iTunes rep to get back to me, but I received an email telling me the charges would be reversed. Now that's customer service [music]. There's really no reason to return a 99-cent app, and you do have up to 90 days to request a refund, but hopefully this feature helps you the same way it helped me out. I'm Brian Tong for CNET.com with your how-to for refunding apps. Respect your developers, and use it wisely. [music] Again, I want to stress that the point of this video is not to rip off the fine people who create these apps, because that would be bad. But if you have a legitimate problem with a purchase like I did, it's good to know that there's a way to fix it. Now on that note, it's time to take a break, but don't go anywhere. We'll be right back with "Sock Monkeys Gone Bad."
>> For your daily dose of tech news, check out CNET's "Loaded." It's packed full of the latest tech news highlights that matter to you. Find out the latest gadgets or the coolest gizmos. All that and more Monday through Thursday at CNET.com slash loaded.
>> [Brian Tong:] Welcome back, guys. I'm Brian Tong, and this is the CNET Tech Review. So far, we've seen plenty of good stuff, but it's not all puppies and roses in the tech world, so let's move on to bad. Last week, Molly explained how Tom Merritt [assumed spelling] has moved on to greener pastures, but we couldn't let him go without one more look at some of the worst programs to ever appear on download.com. Take a look at this installment of the top five worst downloads for spring 2010.
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>> [Tom Merritt:] Welcome to CNET Top Five, home for wayward lists. I'm Tom Merritt. Spring. It's a time of renewal -- for everyone, that is, except Seth Rosenblatt. He's our intrepid CNET reviewer charged with digging down into Download.com's vault every three months and dragging the worst examples of software into the light of day. And y'all seem to love it. So let's count down the top five worst downloads. At number five, "Who Is on My WiFi? I'm not asking; that's the name of the program, also known as "what my WiFi router already does." Now, granted, this one is free, so I guess for those of you too lazy to pull up your router in a browser window, this could be good? Coming in at number four, "You Are a Celeb." Yes, you are. Do you know what makes you a celeb? Having money to burn on a program to make fake magazine covers. Yep, high roller who can just waste 15 bucks on a program that does what you can easily do in Microsoft Paint. Up to number three, "MB Fashion Astrology." Okay, maybe you don't have the same problem Seth does with astrology -- or fashion. No matter what, you have to admit this is a pretty ugly program for something that's supposed to use sun signs to tell you how to look chic. Sliding in at number two, Internet Explorer toolbars. Seth has lumped a whole category together here, noting that Microsoft itself has put out a white paper confirming that tool bars have got to go -- if you want browser stability, that is. If not, have at them. Before we get to number one, let's cleanse the worst download pallet with a look at some good downloads. These are the top five most popular downloads on CNET's Download.com right now. Ah, how restful for the eyes. Alright, let's get to our number one, the worst download of the spring according to the man who knows, CNET's Seth Rosenblatt. At number one, it's -- "Man Juice." Yes, I just said "Man Juice." It's a seduction and dating simulation game with a textual RPG interface. Features include "Approaching Girls," "Training Pick-Up Skills," and "Traveling to Different Cities." Man Juice. Makes iPad sound positively prosaic. Well, that's it for this edition of CNET Top Five. Don't forget to visit CNET's Download.com for many, many good downloads. There's more good than bad out there, but now you know what to avoid. I'm Tom Merritt. See you next time.
>> [Brian Tong:] Man Juice, huh? Yeah, uh, I'm not going to touch that at all. Anyways, look for a brand-new batch of top five countdowns starring our very own Brian Cooley in the next few weeks, and stick around for more B.C. coming up later in the show. Continuing on with the theme of bad, back in October, Bonnie Cha reviewed the Garmin Nuvi phone, the first smartphone from the GPS device-maker, and let's just say she was less than impressed. In fact, that phone only received two out of a possible five stars on CNET's rating scale. Now the company is back with their new Garmin phone for T-Mobile. Let's find out if it's as bad as the first one.
>> [Bonnie Cha:] Hi, I'm Bonnie Cha, senior editor at CNET.com, and today I've got your first look at the Garmin phone for T-Mobile. This is the second smartphone from GPS maker Garmin, and even though I've only had the device for a few hours so far, I can already tell you that it's a huge improvement over the Garmin Nuvi phone, which was released on AT and T back in October 2009. For one thing, the Garmin phone has a sleeker design. I don't know if you remember the Nuvi phone, but it was a bit of a brick and just looked really boring. But the Garmin phone is a bit sexier with a nice, shiny finish on the front and has a slimmer profile, so it's easier to carry around as a phone and a handheld navigator. It also features a higher-resolution screen so everything looks sharper, and colors pop a bit more. The built-in accelerometer is also much more responsive to switch the screen orientation when you rotate the phone. But more than anything else, I think what really makes the biggest difference here is that the Garmin phone is running Android. The original Nuvi phone was a Linux-based system, and although it had all the elements of a smartphone, features weren't integrated well and the capabilities just seemed half-baked. But we know that Android is a proven OS and also brings such things as all the Google services, a better browser, Android Marketplace, support for Amazon MP3 store, and more. Now as you can see it's not running the standard Android skin. Garmin customized the user interface to permanently feature the navigation capabilities on the home screen, which I think is fine. Think the UI is pretty easy to use, and you can expand the tray from the right side and scroll through all your available apps, and you can drag and drop your most frequently used programs to this bar here, which can easily access from the main screen. The one down side is that the Garmin phone is only running Android 1.6, but T-Mobile has said the device is capable of over-the-air updates, and is working on providing an Android 2.1 update. Of course, as a Garmin device, you get a heap of navigation features. Smartphone comes with preloaded maps of North America and nearly six million points of interest, can create routes for the car or in pedestrian mode and offers voice-guided directions. There's even an app called "Garmin Voice Studio" where you can have a family member or a friend record a set of instructions and let that be the voice you hear when getting directions. Garmin's Connected Services are also available, which lets you search for nearby gas prices, restaurants, and movie times, real-time traffic and weather data. And this time it's included in the price of the phone, which is one 99, 99 with a two-year contract. You don't have to pay an extra monthly subscription fee like the Nuvi phone required. Also included in the price of the phone is a car mount. The Garmin phone will be available from T-Mobile in June. We're definitely looking forward to taking it out for a test drive to see how it does on the road, but so far we've been pretty happy with what we've seen. I'm Bonnie Cha, and this has been your first look at the Garmin phone from T-Mobile.
>> [Brian Tong:] In this case, it looks like the second time's the charm, and I just hope it's compatible with Android 2.2, which was also announced this week. Now the moment you've been waiting for, this week's
Bottom Line." [sound effect, music] Usually Brian Cooley likes to work alone, but when he took the 2011 Kia Sorrento out for a spin, he brought a little friend along for the ride. Poor little guy. [music]
>> [Brian Cooley:] You know the Kia Sorrento. It's the car the sock monkey and his friends take to Vegas.
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But I'm guessing the inanimate set probably didn't check the tech very well. We'll take care of that now, in the 2011 Sorrento EX front-wheel drive.
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Now you can bet nobody, neither cloth or human, ever rolled like that in the previous Sorrento, a dowdy dough ball of a thing that nobody noticed. But this second-generation vehicle, which is hitting the U.S. now as a 2011, looks alright. Part of that is thanks to a design by Peter Schreyer, best known for doing the TT while he was over at Audi.
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Now look around this Sorrento; this is not the Kia Sorrento you'd have seen before. It's not really what you think of in a Kia. The interior materials -- the feel, the soft plastics, the fake metal, the leather seats -- are significantly nicer than other cars in this price class, because Kia knows they've got some image catching up to do, and they're working on it pretty hard and I'd say rather successfully. Now we've got the advanced head unit. This is an optional thing, part of a ,limited package, but it gives you of course navigation right off the bat. And I like this map. The rendering is not that large, but the rendering, the graphics, the style of the information on it is, I think, very easy to digest with a quick glance. I understand how they're representing traffic. That makes sense; I know that red means traffic. There are some other systems that use red to mean road; that makes no sense to me. But while that nav system, which is good-looking and operates well, is an optional piece, the audio sources are all standard and they're pretty darn good. First of all, you've got AM/FM radio but no HD radio. Satellite, you've got Sirius for that choice. Now under CD aux, we have access to our USB or our aux check, right next to it, or with a Kia cable it becomes an iPod connection. I don't have a Kia cable. It either didn't come with the car or somebody lost it. So here I am trying to use my iPod white USB cable. Nope, doesn't work. I tried to add an aux cable with it. Nope, that didn't make it work either. Then I open the manual. It says, "Don't do this, because that may burn something up in the car." Whoops! Pulled that right out. My point is this: I'm not crazy about systems that require you to have a special, automaker USB iPod aux cable to use your iPod or iPod Touch. That's not a good thing to me, because you're going to lose that cable and got to buy another one. And they're more expensive than the one you might get down at Radio Shack. Phone, this is a nice one. Look at this. I've got my Blackberry paired and the A2DP stereo Bluetooth streaming. Again, standard with this car. And of course, if you've got Bluetooth streaming you definitely have Bluetooth hands-free for calling. All that bundled in whether you get the upgraded heads unit or not. That's a nice array of entertainment options. Now I've got a rearview camera on that same screen as well, but that's not part of the navigation package; you've got to get another package to get that. it's in the premium package, which includes roof rails and leather seats. What's the connection? Don't do that, guys. Roll in the rearview camera with the upgraded head unit package. Don't make it part of upholstery. That doesn't connect except with my wallet, and I see right through it. Now our Sorrento EX is missing one option: an engine. Well, I guess that's an engine. Looks as though they forgot to put it in, though. There's enough room in there for another engine, and I kind of wish we had two, because this is a gutless little thing. Two point four liter inline four, a hundred and 75 horsepower, a hundred and 69 foot pounds of torque. Ehhh, it's not up to the job. Now the good thing about putting in an underachieving power plan is you can often get some overachieving MPG, and we do pretty well on that count: 21, 29 on this guy, front-wheel drive; 21, 27 if you go for all-wheel drive. I would trade a few MPG -- just a few -- to have a little more power. There's a V6 version of this car; drive it before you decide to buy one of these. One gear box choice in our Sorrento EX: a six-speed automatic with the usual shift-ability. It doesn't make a whole lot of difference with this engine.
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Driving the Sorrento with a four-cylinder is an exercise in thinking ahead about when you're going to need power because it doesn't have it when you need it. Doesn't matter what you do with the gear box; [inaudible] in drive, I'm in this formatic [phonetic] mode, I've shifted it aggressively, and it just doesn't matter. It's a slow-responding, slippery, out-of-breath power train. The ride quality's tight as a drum, no rattles, no squeaks, no float or flop. It's a nice independent suspension. But it's almost too simply taut. It feels too much like you're riding on springs as opposed to a more sophisticated, compliant underpinning. So bottom line is you're not going to get that feeling of a budget Lexus RX on this vehicle the way you might think. But it's still a good value for the money. Okay, let's price this 2011 Kia Sorrento EX front-wheel drive. It's 25 six base; that includes destination. Now to CNET this guy up, you start with the limited package for two thousand dollars. That gets you the nav with traffic, the infinity audio upgrade -- though the sources are the same as base -- and these do-they-really-still-think-these-are-cool chrome wheels. If you want to get the rearview camera you've got to go for the premium package, which also adds in leather and the roof rails. You're going to be annoyed by that right down to the last minute. And for the world's smallest third-row seat, add 700 bucks.
>> [Brian Tong:] If you learn only one thing from this show, let it be this week's Bottom Line: keep Cooley away from your children's toys. But it is nice to see that he's getting out there and meeting people -- or sock monkeys. Okay, that's our show for this week. Thanks again to Molly for letting me fill in while she's away. She'll be back next week for another round-up of CNET Video. But until then, you can find more of the goodies that kids go for at CNETTV.com. See you next time, and thanks for watching.
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