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Best laptops and places to stick 'emCNET laptop guru Dan Ackerman joins Tom Merritt and Molly Wood to discuss favorite laptop picks, the cases to carry them, and the best choices in the GPS and dSLR camera categories.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:09 >> Oh hey didn't see you there? >> Welcome into the holiday help desk. Well hello kids. >> Trying to do more of a Christmas special. >> How are you? >> Oh we are just in here having fun, it was nice of you to drop by. >> We got a yuletide, a Yule log. >> It is a yuletide barrel of fun today with Tom Merritt, Molly Wood, alongside and Deborah Offera [assumed spelling] from shopper.com with us as well, also celebrity guest, Dan Ackerman on the line from New York, hey Dan. >> Hey guys, what is going on? >> See we are covering the entire globe. >> I know right. >> This is across the hemisphere. >> This is across country show, which I call a recipe for disaster. [ Laughter ] >> This is the Vontage show number 9. >> That's right, it is show number 9 out of a total off 22. It kind of feels like a countdown to Acoplyse, you know? >> Collect them all. Trade them with your friends. >> Oh we should totally make trading cards. [ Laughter ] >> We should. You can call us and be on the show yourself if you want to give us a call 888-900-CNET, 888-900-2638. You can also email us at email@example.com or join us in the chat room if you want to just talk to the other folks watching, everyone is changing their names to Christmas themed names in the chat rooms. >> I know it is so cute in there, I need to think of one. And we of course will be doing this show every week day between now and December 23rd, a rotating casts of hosts and you are probably getting used to that by now. And of course as Tom mentioned, daily giveaways. I think you mentioned. >> I don't know if I did. >> I just plucked it out of your brain is what happened. >> But I meant to. >> He was thinking to himself the really great thing about this show. >> Prizes. >> Is prizes, we have a daily giveaway, today's crave holiday prize actually, this is pretty awesome is a Motorola Click, which is kind of climbing the charts as a pretty cool Smart phone and it has got the little slide out keyboard. >> And it is a cool phone that is under respected. >> It is under respected. >> Right, the sales figures haven't been as much as we would like or I guess what they would like. >> I think what happened is Droid came out and everyone got all crazy about Droid and so Click got a little swept under the rug. >> So check it out, the Click is a good phone. >> Check out the Motorola Click, go to crave.cnet.com, look for the giveaway posting, you just put a comment in there to join basically to be entered to win and then speaking of winners, now all week we have been trying to get our winners on the phone. Jim from Wilmington, North Carolina won that 500 dollar newway.com gift certificate yesterday. >> I really wanted that too. >> I know that actually would have been pretty helpful is that right, like yes. Anyway, we couldn't get him on the phone to talk to us today, maybe he has a job or he is shopping for a new TV, but he sent us this email. Please know that I was thrilled when I heard. I plan to use the prize for some unexpected holiday gifts, like a 24 inch computer monitor that my parents have been craving. I am a regular Cnet and Crave reader, thank you for rewarding my loyalty. And newway.com is awesome. >> We didn't pay him to say that. >> We did not pay him to say that. >> Or write that, he really did. >> So congratulations. >> Yes congratulations Jim and happy holidays. Now we have free stuff for everyone like we mentioned in the Crave giveaway and we have deals, Debra has got some hot coupons and stuff over there at shopper.com. What is on the docket there today? >> Well you know we have had after talking about coupons all week, we have had people calling in and asking for more coupon deals, so we are going to go take another look at our coupon section so in the quick links area, if you look under coupon codes, I want to show you all how to go down and find something from Best Buy. In this particular case from Best Buy, they have got some 99 cent per item shipping at Best Buy, use that coupon, there are exclusions, so be sure you read through all of that. >> Where is this Best Buy one, I am scrolling. >> Okay, popular stores at the top. >> Oh okay that makes sense. >> And go ahead and select. >> There we go. >> We have Best Buy, you can, Wal-Mart and let's take a quick look if you can pull that up too from Dell, I don't see anything from Wal-Mart today, but Dell has some great coupons and also go back to Deals and Bargains, we also have rebates and a form area on shopper so you can go in and see what everybody else is suggesting as far as coupons and deals. >> And this is great, because again you can find all those links right at the top under the quick links, you have got rebates, deals, coupon codes, the top 100. I think that particular nab, all the things you want right there. >> Yes. >> I find that useful. >> And this is updated every day, so these are fresh hot deals. >> Fresh hot deals, get them now, shopper.com. >> Delicious. >> Delicious deals. >> Alright and they do not stop, because we have seen it is our very own cheapskate Rick Broda [assumed spelling] chiming in from his luscious home in Michigan. Hello Rick. >> It is the cheapskate lair, I prefer lair. >> The lair. >> That is right the lair, how are things in the lair today. >> Everything is good. Let me ask you guys a question, do you hate buying batteries? >> Yes, I don't so much hate buying batteries, I hate not having the batteries when I need them and having to rush out and buy them. >> I hate buying them because they always hide them. There is never a battery aisle. It is always in an end cap. >> Or they have them behind the case. >> Batteries are hard to find. I find that kind of annoying. >> So you guys are way missing the point. Let me try this again. [ Laughter ] >> Well it was a little opened ended. >> Yes. >> You hate buying batteries because they are expensive and because you are done they go in a landfill and the poison and the acid and it is bad. >> Kills fish. >> Batteries, boo. >> So today's deal is a really fancy schmancy battery charger for 34.99 and this thing usually sells for about double that, about 70 bucks. It is brand new, it is available from Amazon and amazingly it is still in stock. It didn't sell out in 5 minutes. >> Hoorah, good work. >> Hey we get lucky once in awhile and it comes with four double A rechargeable and 4 Triple AAA rechargeable and it comes with adapters so you can use those batteries in your C or D cell device, if you still have any. >> Batteries included? >> That is one smoking deal right there. I am loving that. >> Dude that is a good deal. I have to go. >> I love that it is batteries included, but it also adapts to 1.5 double AA size to a larger size, is that what you said? >> That is exactly what I said and it also has these cool little LCD monitors so you can see like the charging status for each battery as it charges, which is just pushing all my geeky buttons. >> Yeah. >> I have got this old Radio Shack charger and all it does is red light, green light, so you know nothing. It is either on or it is off, as far as the charging. >> Most of them are like that, but this one is fancy schmancy. >> That is sweet. >> That is pretty awesome, I am going to have to go back to my desk and get my credit card now. I am sorry I am going to have to leave the show. >> So while Molly does that. >> Can we take a break or something, because I have to buy a battery charger. Our producer Bonnie by the way is shaking her head vehemently right now. >> She is locking the door. >> She does not think that is funny. >> She is barring the door. >> She would prefer that we take some calls. >> Also Nathan is on the line and he doesn't want you to leave either, right Nathan, you want Molly to stay. >> Yes, I guess. >> Ahh Nathan. [ Laughter ] What is your question today? >> Alright, see you later. >> Well I was just looking for the best and most protective like laptop bag for a 16 inch laptop. >> Okay, so you want a bag, you want something to carry around in, but you don't want it to get damaged while you are moving it around. Dan Ackerman is on the line actually, Mr. Lap Top experts, carries around a lot of lap tops in his job, what do you think. >> I do, that is correct. >> What is a good lap top bag? >> Laptop bags are always tough, in some regards they are kind of like a dime a dozen, everyone has got different ones in their product lines and they are very indistinguishable. You don't want something that is too kind of boring at corporate, you don't want something that is like a big goofy book bag that you look like you are hanging out in a college dorm or something, so I found two that I like recently. One of which is actually good for bigger laptops, now before we get to big laptop one, I really like this laptop sleeve from Mac books from a company called cul-de-sacs and they are made of hemp and they will actually will fit a 13 inch, they have a smaller version for older Apple laptops and they have actually got a big one for 17 inch laptops. >> And they lie well in the, >> And you know what. >> They are so cozy. >> After you use them for a while, you just cut them up, roll them up and smoke them, there you go. [ Laughter ] >> That is my kind of laptop. No, it is not, I lied. >> You probably shouldn't do that, but for a bigger laptop, I like this one called the Book Booq, B-o-o-q and it is a backpack style, which I don't generally like, but this is a kind of sophisticated looking one and it is deceptively small. You open it up, you can fit anything in there. >> I am not a book bag kind of person. >> Me either and the problem is it is hard to find a big kind of Messenger style bag that is good for a larger laptop. >> So do you, how much do you care about looks Nathan? >> I mean not really at all, as long as it is very protective and has room for all my stuff. >> Because I don't know, I am a sucker for a sort of fashionable one and I found this site, Tom bihn, b-i-h-n, which I have got up on our little monitor here and they have some, they look not inexpensive, but they have got some really good looking laptops that they say are very protective. That they have got this kind of nice built in core and they are really secure and they hold them real snug and I personally thought they looked cool. >> The one I use is the Belkin fly-through, checkpoint friendly laptop case and I got that because I fly and I want to be able to not have to take my bag out of the case and what the fly-through does along with on the bed as you put it on the security scanner, you don't have to pull the laptop out. It is great. It really helps with that, but it is also just a really good laptop bag and it is fairly cheap. It is 41 bucks, so it is not super expensive. It has a nice protective place for the laptop, has a pretty roomy front pouch and then a bigger inside pouch for your other things. It has a place for your pens. It is really simple, really convenient and I don't know if you do a lot of flying Nathan, but if you do every once in awhile, it is going to help you out there as well. >> I am also hearing that there will be a laptop Crave giveaway in the coming weeks, so if you can hold off on the purchase, you could always enter or buy one and keep the receipt and enter to win the laptop bag that we are going to give away on Crave and you never know, you could get it for free. >> Okay, let's go to Ned who is on the line from New Jersey. Ned, welcome to Holiday Help Desk, what can we help you with today? >> Hey what's up guys? >> We are doing good, thanks for calling. >> What can we help you with today. >> [Inaudible] >> Question about GPS, I figure that would be a good thing that you guys could bounce around, because I currently own a Garmen and we love it. >> Okay, a Garman man. >> My brother and I are getting, going to go half-sies for Mom and she might want a Tom Tom, so how about current models and features and differences. >> Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha. Tom Tom goes 740 live is sort of our favorite Tom Tom and the Garman Nuvi 1690 is our favorite Garman right now. The Tom Tom Go however is 100 dollars cheaper. There is a deal on the Garman Nuvi now that Debra found. What is the price on the deal when you get the savings? >> Right well the deal, this particular deal, this is Amazon and this is 406.85, 406 dollars and 85 cents after a 93 dollar savings, so I guess it depends on what features you want perhaps then what you are recommending Tom might be a better offer. >> The thing with the 740 live and the Nuvi 1690 is the features are almost identical as well. They both have real time traffic updates, fuel prices. They both feature Tom Tom and Garman are both very good map for the actual mapping part of it. They both do Bluetooth hands free calling. The Tom Tom has voice recognition, I don't remember if the Nuvi does or not. >> And I think the Tom Tom might be a little more connected, the Garman Nuvi has, it does have access to their new link data system, which is traffic data, fuel prices, Google search, that kind of thing, but I think the Tom Tom 740 live is maybe has wireless, it has a built in wireless data connection that I think might be a little more solid. I don't know to me, let me put it this way, the Tom Tom 740 live is our editor's choice. They have the same rating. They have the same number of starts, but that is the one that our editors say that they prefer. Unfortunately, there isn't a user rating so far on the Nuvi, but the Tom Tom is the one we like. >> And the thing about the Tom Tom is you get three months of service when you buy it and it is still cheaper than the Garman. >> Still cheaper than the Garman, I have to say I have had both a Tom Tom and a Garman and personally I kind of felt the Tom Tom was easier to use. I liked it overall. >> Alright, so I know you are a Garman man and there is nothing wrong with that. [ Laughter ] >> Well it is going to be for mom, I think it is great that simple to use is best. >> Plus you can buy like John Cleese's voice. >> Well I would have to research who her favorite celebrity is. >> They have a wide selection. >> You can get. >> I don't think it is Star Trek. >> You can get a lot of celebrity voices, Snoop Dog I heard. >> Yes, that is true. >> You can get the Simpsons and stuff, Tom Tom is a lot of fun, I think. >> Alright, well thanks guys. >> I think your mom is going to love it. >> Alright, thanks Ned, appreciate the call. Holiday Help Desk, 888-900-CNET is the number, coming up after a short break, we are going to talk more to Dan about his favorite laptops to give and receive this holiday season. Stay with us. ^M00:13:35 [ Music ] ^M00:13:41 [ Playing commercials ] ^M00:14:33 >> Welcome back to the Holiday Help Desk, hello, hello everyone, hello. Welcome back, so we as you know, we have Dan Ackerman with us today via Skype in our cross country connection that is working fabulously. You look great. >> This is the best I have ever seen Skype look in this set up. >> It is remarkable, I know. >> It is pretty good, yes. >> So as long as we have you, there is no reason not to take advantage of your unique expertise and find out kind of what you are thinking, what you are recommending in terms of laptops. >> This holiday season? >> Well that is a good question. >> Thank you. >> One that you were totally not expecting. >> I was not expecting that. you know when people ask me what kind of laptop they should get for somebody for the holiday season, they usually have let's see a person they are buying for or a usage model in mind, either they want a gaming system or they want something that is like a net book that is super small and super tiny and super portable or they want something that is kind of in the middle that they can use every day, but they can also carry around without it being too heavy. So for net books, my current favorite is probably the HP mini 311, which is a new 11 inch model from HP because it is not much more expensive than regular net books, but it has a high def screen, so it has got a higher screen resolution. I think it is 1366 by 768, as opposed to 1024 by 600, so you can fit more stuff on the screen. It makes it better for video and it has got this new in video ion chip. It has got its own graphics chip in it, which helps with playing some basic 3D games and also with playing HD video files and now that they have got this new flash player, beta upgrade you can get, it actually helps with streaming video from places like Hulu as well, so that makes it a great all around net book that can do a lot of the stuff that previously you could only do with a fuller size laptop. >> Plus I think the HP net books have those nice keyboards. >> It does have a pretty nice keyboard. I am not going to lie, it is a little bit plasticy for a premium net book, but it starts at 399, now they want a little bit more if you want Windows 7 on it or two gigs of ram, both of which I recommend, but overall a pretty good deal. >> You know it seems like a common question that we have been getting from folks this year is should I cheap out and get the net book or should I go with a larger actual laptop. Now we are not talking about a 17, 20 inch laptop. >> Just a regular old laptop. >A 13 inch laptop is a very common size. >> A 13 inch laptop, 15 inch laptop, you know it is more expensive what do I get if I pay that more money. >> Well here is the thing, a net book is probably not going to be your primary or only computer. They are just not powerful enough, you are going to end up being frustrated, so what a net book is a good secondary machine. It is a travel machine or maybe if you have an older computer, a laptop or desktop that still kind of works, you can get a net book as kind of a stop gap measure to do some traveling with to keep your old system alive. For very few people I think is the net book going to be your only primary machine. >> Yes, I tried actually I have been trying recently. >> With the Vivian Tam >> With the Vivian Tam and then I finally just. >> That is just a regular old HP mini 1000. >> It is a HP mini 1000 exactly and so I was forced to upgrade and I would be interested to know, how did I do, I bought the HP Envy 15. >> Really, what? [ Laughter ] >> Not well, so you don't approve. >> Wait, allow me to do a spit take here, what? Did you actually drop 2000 dollars on that? >> Shhh. >> Oh man, alright hey listen. >> No she got it off a truck. >> More power to you. Fell off the back of a truck, special deal just for you. >> I felt like it was sort of a Mac book clone in that way, because it looks just like a Mac book, it is way over priced. >> I have got some problems with that Envy 15, I have got to tell you. It is a nice looking piece of hardware, but it has got that big touch pad, which is great, but the multi touch gestures don't just work right, I mean the two finger scrolling, all that other stuff, it is really finicky. >> I have found that after like about a week of use I have finally figured out the two finger control. >> You trained yourself. >> I trained myself. >> To put your fingers in like a mathematically precise plane to make sure it scrolls right, but with a Mac book you just put your two fingers anywhere and you scroll and it works. >> Whatever. >> And the battery, come on. >> What about the battery? >> It doesn't last very long. >> Oh I don't care, it is a huge laptop, it is plugged in all the time. >> It is 15 inches. >> It is a desktop computer. >> It is a nice looking piece of hardware. It is super powerful, it is probably one of the fastest laptops you can buy. >> It is crazy fast. >> I have just got basically two things with it that just drives me crazy. >> And it is the multi-touch and the ridiculous high price. >> Okay three things. >> Oh and the battery life. >> Just for a 15 inch laptop, you know what you have to have two to three hours going in there. >> Okay, if we can wrangle another pick out of you, because it is kind of close to what we are talking about right here. If money is no object right, because we have talked about the net book and we have talked about the kind of the mid-range, what would be the splurge laptop, the one you just pour, I am going to spend until there is nothing left to spend. >> That is the best thing about laptops, okay what do you think I am going to say? >> You are going to say the HP Envy 15. >> Of course, that is the ultimate. >> Or you are going to say the Mac Book Pro. >> Or I am going to tell you don't really even need, well the Mac Book Pro is a pretty good idea, the 13 inch Mac Book Pro, which used to be called just the Mac Book, you know the middle one is I think like 1199 now and that is probably one of the most all around, all together useful laptops you can get. One of the most universally kind of useful products there, because at 13 inches, it is big enough to use just about every day, but it is also small enough that you can carry it around with you and it is not going to drive you crazy, but for a bigger splurge. I don't think you really need to splurge that much. >> Really not like on Alien Ware or anything? >> I guess, but if you want to spend a little bit more, now when I started reviewing laptops several years ago, a 1000 dollars was considered budget, nowadays 1000 dollars is considered high end. So for 999, you can go and get a Sony Viao FW 560 that has Blue Ray in it and it is 999, decent gaming, decent overall performance, really a pretty fancy laptop under 1000 bucks with Blue Ray. >> I think you can do a lot for not very much money and I didn't, but I am not saying that you should do that. >> You got a smoking piece of laptop. >> You should be smarter with your money than I am. The Mac Book pro is one of our perennial favorite laptops actually and I believe that we have our annual we love this laptop video coming right up. >> Wait on, until I am ready. ^M00:20:52 [ Music ] [ Video playing ] ^M00:20:56 >> I am Dan Ackerman and we are here with Apple's ne 13 inch Mac Book Pro, that is right the 13 inch Mac Book that we met last year. The one build into this aluminum uni-body chasy has now been renamed the Mac Book Pro and that makes sense to us, because the 13 inch Mac Books and the 15 inch Mac Books pros really were very similar. There was only a very fine line separating them and this is giving Apple a chance to kind of add some extra features to this to make it a machine worthy of the Pro name. The first thing you are going to notice is the addition of an SD card slop, something we have been bugging Apple to add for a long time. They have also brought back the fire wire port, which was conspicuously missing from the last generation of these 13 inch Mac Books. You still get the back lit keyboard, which was something you previously only got in the more expensive 13 inch models, now it is on any of the 13 inch Mac Books Pros and that is great and of course the edged glass on the display, a little glossy for our taste sometimes and the oversized tri-pad that has those cool gestures, where you can move your windows around using the four finger gestures like that. There is also some slight bumps in the processor options available and they have even cut the starting price on the cheapest 13 inch Mac Book Pro, like 1149 from 1299, which makes this an even better deal. One trade off you want to watch out for is a sealed battery compartment on the bottom, no more changing the battery yourself, although Apple claims their new batteries will last 40 percent longer than there older ones, under some circumstances and you can recharge them like 1000 times, before they need to be replaced. Hopefully that is long enough to get you to your next Mac Book. So adding new features, while you are cutting the price is always a plus in our book and that is why we find this guy one of the most universally useful laptops available. I am Dan Ackerman and that is Apple's new 13 inch Mac Book Pro. >> Alright, so there we go. >> I [inaudible] >> A lot more about the laptop. >> Hey, we know that guy from that video. >> The stubble, the sunglasses and now today I am all cleaned up preppy dad. >> I know you clean up nice preppy dad. >> Okay, let's hit you with a laptop question you are not prepared for. This is Tim on the line from Mission Viejo. Hey Tim, welcome to Holiday Help Desk. >> This is what I love about C-net, Tom, Molly and Dan, all different combinations every time. >> That is right. You never know what to expect. >> We like to mix it up. >> Well I am calling today, because I am looking to buy this thing called a Dell Inspiron Zion [assumed spelling]. I think it is comparable to a Mac Mini. >> Yes. >> And so what you think of these and is there enough cooling power to keep them functioning? >> You know when I first saw the Zino a couple months ago when they were showing off kind of their holiday preview for Dell, this is not a laptop per se guys, this is a little small form factor box that looks kind of like a Mac Mini, I said hey that is actually not a bad idea. I am one of those guys who have always had a computer hooked up to my TV to bring in like Hulu videos and Netflix before they had Netflix on the game consoles and stuff like that. The Zino looks cool, because it is very upgradable. You can start with a really cheap, I think they start at like 299 and then you can upgrade it with a better processor, a bigger hard drive, so if you really need to have a computer hooked up to your TV, it is small, unobtrusive, seems flexible enough. Personally though I have a confession to make, I recently unplugged my Shuttle, my little small form factor computer connected to my TV and I have mothballed it. I finally got to the point that everything I can do, I can do through the game consoles, whether it is Netflix on all of them now or other stuff like Hulu and playing videos that you download through a piece of software called Play On that you can download, run on your laptop, your desktop in the other room and your game consoles see that and they can stream in Hulu and do all this other stream in stuff. So it has actually made me finally unplug the old shuttle system and mothball it, it is a sad day. >> All that time, we did talk about the Dell Inspirion Zino on gadgets, because it is so pretty. >> It is cute. >> And I will say if you are looking for that and it comes in all these different colors. You can get it in red and blue and orange, so I am just going to throw that out there as a possibility, because it is beautiful. >> Just don't get the super, super low end version, which I think has a Celeron CPU, you are going to end up disappointed if you are trying to watch HD video on it and stuff. >> Alright Tim. >> That is good to know, thank you, happy holidays. >> Thanks man. >> Thanks for calling, happy holidays. Let's move on to a camera question from John, northern California up there, hey John. >> Hey guys. >> Welcome to Holiday Help Desk, we are doing good. >> We wanted to find out, we are a point and shoot family, but we wanted to kind of step up in to the DSLR and we don't know I was reading some of the Cnet reviews, either going with the Nikon 5000 or the Canon T1I or I guess the Micro 4/3rds and my wife was saying we have got to do some more research, but what do you guys think as far as those types of formats. I mean you know basically point and shoot, kids at school, soccer, basketball. >> Right, so I am going to assume, because you are point and shoot, I am just going to assume, but I should make sure. You don't have any lens already. >> No. >> So you are not tied to lenses, because then it is sort of the frustrating thing in some ways is the Canon and the Nikon have the exact same rating and this is helpful they also have the same user rating, so really what it comes down to is the main differences between the Canon and the Nikons. I find that the Nikon color when you are shooting with Nikons that the color is more accurate, like it is just sort of more lifelike across the board. However, I find that the Canons put this kind of wonderful brightness, they kind of brighten up all the colors, so all your pictures end up looking in some ways kind of better. If you don't want them to look super photo realistic, I find that the Canon produces these almost like Rockwellesque kind of colors. They are both great shooters. They really are, in fact, I personally have the Nikon D70 and I know someone who has the Nikon D 5000 and I think that they are wonderful cameras and really at that point, the only other thing I will say in the Canon's favor it is a little bit easier I think to swap the lenses. Like the Nikon lenses I find are a little bit fussier and the Canon, especially if you are shooting at the kid's soccer game and you want to switch to the wide angle lens real fast, I feel like they are a little easier to get on and off. >> So coming from the point and shoot, we had the SD 800 and we love the camera, because it had face recognition and all the little simple things for first time camera users for point and shoots. You think it gets easier to kind of integrate to the Canon Ti1? >> Yes, I think those are really easy to use. The one thing I will say about the D 5000 is I took a look at the user manual for that thing and it was a book, it was pretty, in fact my friend who has it said that she looked at the manual and she felt like I am too afraid of this thing and it is never coming out of automatic mode. And either one of these in automatic mode is going to be dead simple to use. That is the great thing that they have going for them. I will say that the Nikon is a little bit smaller, although you know what, I am just going to make a choice. I am going to get off the fence and say that you should get the Canon, because that one has HD video capture and the D 5000 only has regular old video capture. >> Laurie Grunin said that the video capture is the better than basic feature on the Canon and she didn't mention anything about that on the Nikon. She didn't mention a better than basic feature, in fact she said it only has middling video quality. >> Exactly so I think this is going to be more useful, because you are going to be able to get great video out of it and the Canons are always, they are legendarily easy to use. You are not going to go wrong with either camera, but since I feel it is my duty to get off the fence, I am going Canon. >> Okay, great thank you very much. >> Good luck. >> Alright John, good luck, thanks a lot. Frank has an interesting question on the line and we have a direct experience I think with this question. Frank, welcome to Holiday Help Desk. >> Hello yes I was interested, if I already own an iPhone, should I switch to buy a Motorola Droid, poor quality and dropped calls. >> Where do you live? >> I live in Pittsburgh, but I recently moved to a part of Pittsburgh where I am getting pretty poor coverage with AT&T and when I tried to complain to them, they really didn't want to do anything. They tried having me exchange my device and that really didn't help me. >> No that is not a good suggestion, how far into the contract are you? >> I am about probably a year. >> So you have got a year left? >> So you are still going to have to pay a termination fee. >> You are going to pay around a 60, 70 dollar termination fee and then you are going to have to sign up with a new contract on Verizon, if you switch. >> Well I am on a family plan currently where it is like 10 dollars a month and then I pay my dad a plan of 30. >> So if they took you off the family plan, if they let you off the family plan, because of course you are going to have to get your parent's permission as well. >> And it is going to be more. You know it is possible, one thing that your family may be willing to do is get you know they have those wireless extenders that they are a little bit expensive, what are they 200, 250 dollars, but it might be cheaper overall then dropping you from the plan, paying that early termination fee and adding a new phone. >> Well they told me they didn't want to have one phone on Verizon and four phones on AT&T. >> I can imagine, I can kind of imagine the family not going for that, although frankly if all of you. Is it just the iPhone that is having problems, like are your parents doing fine, is the rest of the family fine with their service? >> Yes, it was just that. >> Well I guess the question is do you have the possibility of changing to Verizon? >> Exactly. >> Is that something your family is going to let happen, are they all going to go, are they going to let you go or are you trying to get us to help make the argument for you? >> Because we can't help you there but we can try. Tell the family if everybody starts having problems to look into a signal extender, there is one for about 250 dollars at think geek, which will work with AT&T and if the family will let you off the plan, good luck. >> Do you personally have any experience with the Droid at all? >> Yes, Jason and I both have Droids and I really like that phone. I think if it was between the two phones in a great service area, I would probably choose the iPhone, but I definitely have significantly better service with my Droid. So you might have to see if the whole family starts getting frustrated. >> Is there a onetime termination fee that I could pay for the whole family plan or something? >> There is, but it is going to be stiff, because you have four phones on it. >> It is going to be a lot, I don't know exactly. >> You would have to call AT&T to find out. >> I am just curious if there was one set termination fee for five phones. >> Yes there is, it is going to be prorated based on how much contract you have left, so you have to call AT&T, but the termination fee is like around 175 bucks, am I remembering that right, so if you have a one year left on a two year contract it will be roughly half of that and it is going to be times five. >> Yes. >> Right. >> Yes, it is going to be pretty beefy. I think you are probably not going to get out of this one. >> Sorry Frank, wish we had better words for you. Let's go to line one, because Craig in El Sarido that I think Dan may have already answered. >> That is the best kind of question isn't it? [ Laughs ] >> Are you still there Craig? >> Yes, I am there, yes Dan kind of did just answer my question with the Play On software. >> Okay. >> So that is what you are looking for? >> Okay, mission accomplished. >> You are looking for a media center solution for streaming content from your vista PC to your Playstation, is that right, if I read that correctly from my call note? >> Yes, you are absolutely right. >> The other software you might look into is one called tversity. >> You know I am using tversity right now, but it stops working after awhile. >> Oh well then there you go try Play on. [Inaudible] >> Try Play on, I think it has got a two week free trial. >> The media server, it kind of stopped detecting the Playstation after a while and I tried manually doing all of my settings to get it to connect, but it never happened. >> Yes that never works. >> Also even through the normal Windows Media Player, I have the hardest time having a home network detected. I even dropped down all my firewalls. >> That is never,. [Inaudible] >> I am thinking you have to go Play On and I am sorry to cut you off, but I think we have to wrap up, but do you have one more thought Dan. >> I was just going to say for years I tried to get various game consoles to see my home network and stream videos through all the build in stuff that comes right from Sony, it never works right, but Play On actually found it right away, so that was pretty cool. And I will also point out for the other kid, I also live in a poor AT&T service zone, it is called earth. [ Laughter ] >> There is that too, get the family off AT&T. [ Laughter ] >> Alright it is time for us to go and wrap up, thank you Dan Ackerman so much for coming on today. The two Brians will be in the house for Monday's show and then B and H Photo. >> No, it is going to be me, there was a last minute swap. >> Oh really. >> So it is me and Cooley on Monday, Brian Song gets a reprieve, so he won't be on. >> Oh. >> I was supposed to be on Tuesday, so I am on Monday now. >> He has got a shoot. >> Anyway, it is going to be some people in here on Monday, but you know we are doing the show. >> And Debra. >> And Debra and we are going to be answering the questions and all that, so we will see you on Monday, somebody at 4 p.m. eastern, 1 pm Pacific. Have a great weekend everybody. >> See you later folks. ^M00:33:58 [ Music ]