CNET Tech Review
Best of E3 2010This week on the CNET Tech review, we take a look back at E3 2010; hands-on with the Nintendo 3DS; how to sell stuff on eBay; and SoundHound for iPhone and Android.
>>This week on the CNET Tech Review our tour from the show floor at E3, the Nintendo DS goes 3D, How to Use eBay Like a Pro and SoundHound sniffs out the name of that song that's stuck in your head. It's all coming up right now. ^M00:00:15 [ Music ] ^M00:00:22 >>Hey everyone, I'm Molly Wood and welcome to the CNET Tech Review, the show where we run down the hottest videos of the week and tell you which are good, which are bad and offer some tech wisdom in the form of the Bottom Line. Let's start with the good. Another electronic entertainment expo has come and gone. At this year's E3 show Microsoft tried to connect with Xbox fans, Nintendo put 3D gaming in players hands and Sony PS3 gamers were on the move. Of course CNET was there to cover it all. Here's Brian Tong with his report from the show floor. >>From way downtown Los Angeles for CNET TV I'm Tim Kitzrow saying NBA Jam is back boom-shock-a-locka. ^M00:01:03 [ Music ] ^M00:01:07 >>Brian Tong here with CNET.com on the show floor at E3 2010 and we saw a lot of themes here this year. We saw 3D gaming, motion controlling is here and here to stay and retro gaming is making a comeback. We're here inside Nintendo's booth and you can see behind me everyone is getting their hands on the Nintendo 3DS. Now we really can't show you the screen because it doesn't do justice and you won't be able to see how good it looks but there's a reason there are huge lines here to get their hands on this little new toy. I know you guys can't see what I'm playing but I'm playing with the 3D version of Nintendogs and this dog is very cute. Now 3D is not only going to be on a little hand held, the Sony PS3 is pushing it hard with KillZone3. We're here inside of Sony's Playstation booth and another theme that we've seen here that is huge is motion based gaming. So here in my hand I've got the Playstation Move. If you guys want your ultimate fix of 3D gaming and motion gaming well this is the place to be. Put on my shades because it's game time. ^M00:02:19 [ Background noise ] ^M00:02:26 If you like motion control gaming but you don't want a controller check out Microsoft's Kinect where your body is the controller. Now we've all heard the saying, what's old is now new and that same thing holds true with gaming with classics coming back like Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam. >>We had a game so many years ago when NBA Jam it was like truly like the most ruckus horse power, high energy octane game ever made. And if you look back at it, you know, it's one step removed really from the early Pong and Atari [inaudible]. >>I think there was something magic about the '90's and people playing video games. You know a lot of people were probably in, you know, high school, grade school or something like that and so seeing old games with the new presentation with the hardware and the technology that we have today there's something nostalgic about that. So it's a combination of nostalgia and, you know, the new so I think it's a great combination. >>So at E3 2010 we saw a lot of great new announcements for hardware. We saw a lot of great games. I'm just going to enjoy the show floor and let's hope I can make it out of here alive. ^M00:03:32 [ Music ] ^M00:03:39 >>Don't worry. I'm told BT made it out just fine. Of course I haven't seen him in a couple of days but. Anyway, for even more of extensive E3 coverage including more highlights from the three big game makers press conferences head over to CNETTV.com or just stick around until a little later in the show. Of course with all those new games coming out you might want to consider getting rid of some of your old ones. Want to sell them on eBay? Tell them how Josh. ^M00:04:06 [ Music ] ^M00:04:17 >>Hey I'm Josh Lowensohn for CNET and today I'm going to show you how to sell things on eBay. eBay is a great place to pawn off potentially high value items like cell phones or game consoles especially if you don't feel like doing the whole face to face thing on Craig's List. As an example I'm going to use a mobile phone. To get started you need an account on eBay which is free. After signing up click on the sell link at the top of the screen then the big blue start selling button. eBay will then ask you some key words about you phone or device. All you have to do here is type in phone or whatever you're selling and hit the big search button. On this next screen I'm going to pick cell phones and Smart phones and hit the big blue continue button again. Then I'm going to type in the brand or model of my phone to see if it's in eBay's database. Once you've found the model of your phone or gadget just select it and you'll be taken to the most important page of all, the one where you tell buyers about your item and how much you're selling it for. To get a good idea of what kind of price to set do a search to see what other similar items have sold for. It's also worth setting a Reserve price at or a little bit below the number so you can make sure it won't sell for less then you're willing to part with. Choosing this option will cost you anywhere from two dollars to 1% of your Reserve prices if it's over two hundred dollars. A few things that help in the way of attracting perspective buyers is to take some photos of your item. In all likelihood eBay already has a stock photo from the manufacturer but a picture of your device or whatever accessories you're selling with can go along way towards making your buyers more confident. Just keep in mind eBay charges fifteen cents for each additional photo beyond the first one so use them sparingly. You'll also want to be dead honest about your items description if there are any problems with the device. Things like scratches, cracks, water damage or a dying battery should be stated up front otherwise you could end up with negative feedback and an angry buyer. Another thing to keep in mind is you'll need a PayPal account if you intend to do an electronic payment. This is the best route if you want to get paid immediately. Signing up for PayPal is free but they do take a cut of a payment if you're on a premiere or business account which is required to take credit card transactions. Though if your buyer is also a PayPal user it will be free on both ends. As for when to set your auction end time, the longer you have it on the site the better the chances are someone will see it and add it to their watch list. You'd also be wise to time it to end in the late afternoon or early evening on a weekday since that's when the most bidding activity happens. Once it's up you just have to sit there and wait it out. Don't be scared if nobody bids on it in the first few days as most of the action happens in the last few hours. And when it's all said and done be sure to ship it out in a timely manner. You can use these instructions to sell just about anything on the site though the one downside is that eBay can charge some pretty steep fees on top of what you paid to list your item. If your item doesn't sell in an auction you don't pay a thing but if it does, eBay takes 9% of the final value up to fifty dollars. I'm Josh Lowensohn and this has been a How To on how to sell your stuff on eBay. Good luck selling those old gadgets. >>And now that you know some of the tricks the Power Sellers use I bet you can figure out how to use them to be a better buyer too. Moving on in The Good, one of my first favorite iPhone apps was Shazam. You just hold your phone up, hit tag now and boom you've got the name of the song and the artist who sings it most of the time anyway. Well with this new app called SoundHound you don't even need to be listening to a song to ID it. Seriously, take a look. >>Ever hear a song playing that you've just got to have or got a tune stuck in your head that you can't place? SoundHound is an app for iPhone and Android that can ID those songs. I'm Jessica Dolcourt from CNET download.com taking a look at SoundHound. Like other apps, SoundHound can identify a recorded song as it plays after just a few seconds but unlike it's biggest rivals, SoundHound can also tag music that you sing, hum, type or speak into the phone. After searching you'll see a plethora of information about the artist or song including the artists bio, related songs and videos and an opportunity to buy the song or share a link to the song via email or Twitter. One of the apps best features is proving a list of lyrics if they're available. If they're not, SoundHound will link you to a Google search for the songs lyrics. The iPhone version of SoundHound is much more advanced then the Android version. When you buy a song it will plop you right into the iTunes library for easy ordering. SoundHound on Android wisks you to the Amazon.com music store online but that could change when Google releases its own music store as early as this fall. SoundHound on iPhone also has the added bonus of hooking into your running iPod and providing an artist bio, song and information and all the other goodies including song lyrics for songs that you already own. We hope that SoundHound will soon add the Android media player into it's Android app. There are two versions of SoundHound for both Android and the iPhone. The free version cuts all tagging after five songs per month when you record, sing or hum into the app but there's no cap to searching with your voice or by text. These apps are also ad supported. The premium versions called SoundHound Infinity costs a one time fee of $4.99 and give you unlimited song ID's and no ads. I'm Jessica Dolcourt and you've been looking at SoundHound for Android and iPhone. >>Yeah, I'm going to bribe our producer Jamie to get a clip of Jessica singing that video. See you on YouTube Jessica. All right we have one more good thing for you today, a desktop computer. Awesome right? Actually this little Dell is a pretty good bargain but you'd better act fast. >>Hi, I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for CNET.com. Today we're going to take a look at the Dell Studio Xps 7100. So this is a midrange performance PC and this particular config has a fixed price. It's $1,149 at least until the end of July and for that price you get an excellent deal in a mid tower gaming system. It comes with a Blu-ray drive, wireless networking, a six core AMD chip as well as a very fast Radeon HD 5870 graphics card. It's not quite as fast as some other PC's in its price range in terms of application performance but for gaming it's one of the best deals we've seen all year. And Dell makes a distinction with this system from its other Intel based Studio Xps models with the dark gray front panel. Now the front you get a media card reader up top, there's a Blu-ray drive here, this door slides down and you get a couple USB jacks, and on top here you get a little device tray with a couple USB ports and analog audio inputs as well. You can see the graphics card has got two DDI video outputs as well as HDMI and display port. Because it's a Radeon card you can do up to three displays at one time off of this single card. There's also a couple wireless antennae jacks here for wireless networking. And the mother board you've got a digital audio output, [inaudible] port, a couple of USB's, Ethernet as well as 7.1 analog audio jacks. Now missing are firewire as well as USB 3.0 which is sort of a newer, faster data input that we expect will become common probably by the end of the year maybe into next year. So it's not crucial that it's not on the system, they're aren't that many devices out there that support USB 3 and firewires actually getting a little bit long in the tooth, still we've seen other desktops that offer the whole gamut of inputs so there might be a few other inputs you can add. For the most part Dell's covered its bases. So it's a little crowded inside the Xps 7100. There's a dual slot graphics card right here, it's the Radeon 5870 and you can see Dell has a nice thick bracket to keep the card in place in shipping. That's a nice touch but it also sort of blocks this extra hard drive bay. So Dell has expanded its typical design and added a second drive slot here behind the hard drive you see right here. That's great, we're glad that you can add a second drive. We would still probably prefer if Dell would face the drives outwards or like we've seen in some newer PC's through the front. Setting the drives in the front of the case makes hot swapping, upgrading, changing drives really simple and we're hoping that becomes a standard as well. There's a 6 cord CPU here from AMD and for expansion slots there's the graphics card, wireless card and then there's one standard PCI slot down here on the bottom. That's it. There's not second graphics card slot, really room for upgrading is pretty limited. You can see the memory slots are all taken as well. So if you want an upgrade foundation, this might not be the config for you. That said, it's still a pretty great deal considering you get Blu-ray, wireless as well as a super fast 3D card for under twelve hundred bucks. So Dell says the price for this configuration will stay until the end of July. At that price and with this specific feature set, this is an outstanding system. If the price changes you might want to do some more comparison to see how it stacks up with other PCs in the market but for now, for any gamer looking for a mid-range performance PC we absolutely recommend the system. So I'm Rich Brown and this is the Dell Studio Xps 7100. >>That's so nice of Tracy's Dad from Flash Forward to stop by and review that for us right? They look so much alike. Oh fine, I know, nobody watched that show and now it's canceled but I liked it and they do look alike. All right, let's take a break while I try to find a new favorite TV show but don't go anywhere. The Bad Stuff is just around the corner when we come back. ^M00:13:36 [ Music ] ^M00:13:41 >>Welcome back to the CNET Tech Review, your weekly digest of all things good and bad from CNETTV. Now let's go back to E3 for some of The Bad. During Microsofts Xbox 360 press conference on Monday they spent a lot of time showing off all the cool things that you could do with Kinect. Unfortunately they were using Microsoft engineers for many of the demos. Let's take a look as Laura runs us through something called Video Kinect. >>Now with Kinect the same magic that allows you to control your Xbox 360 with your voice also allows you to communicate with the people you care about. This is Video Kinect. And here to help me show it to you is Laura, one of the engineers building social experiences on Xbox Live. Hey Laura. >>Hey Mark. What I love about Kinect is that it's not just about video games. The sensor also lets me video chat with my friends and family and the microphone lets me do that without a headset. So let me show you an example of what Video Kinect will look like. Here are my friends. Some of them are on Xbox Live and some in Windows Live Messenger. ^M00:14:57 [ Background noise ] ^M00:15:04 And here on this page are a bunch of my relatives, my parents, my brother and his wife and my twin sister Kristen. Kristen lives in Texas and I live in Seattle so video chat is a great way to keep in touch. We sent Kristen a sensor so she could help me demo this today so let's call her up. ^M00:15:23 [ Background noise ] ^M00:15:28 Hey Kristen, how's it going? >>Hey, pretty good. Been busy with work. I can see you're busy too. >>Yeah, I'm here at E3. Everyone, say hi to Kristen. [Audience says hi] >>Hey everybody. So you finally get to show everyone what you've been working on. >>Yeah, I'm pretty excited about that. So here's a few things that you haven't seen yet. One thing we can do is watch stuff together. You see those topics at the bottom of your screen? >>Yeah. >>I can select one of them and we can watch a video together. ^M00:16:04 [ Background noise ] ^M00:16:10 >>Hey, that's the [inaudible]. Wasn't there a video game about that? >>Yeah there was. My co-workers played it just to boost their gamer score. >>Maybe you should do the same thing. >>What? My gamer score is 100% legit. >>Yeah, right. >>Okay. Well this video is great but we're going to move on now. Another cool thing that Kinect can do is track you as you move around. You should give that a try. >>Okay. Wow, hey that's pretty cool. It's following me. >>Um-hum. >>So how does that work? >>So here's a slightly geeky answer. Kinect tracks your skeleton as you know so it can follow you and keep you in the shot. It happens automatically. >>So I don't have to adjust the camera myself? >>Nope. We're trying to keep it simple. So there's one more thing I want to show. You ready? >>Yeah. >>Now to do that I've got to end the video chat. So you should say goodbye to everyone. >>All right, good bye everybody. >>Thanks for helping us out today. You all ready? Xbox, end chat. >>Thanks Laura. >>Oh my goodness. That was so painful. And also how do we know that that's her twin sister and not just the same girl in a wig? Although I do have to give the folks playing Kinect sports a few extra points for enthusiasm. ^M00:17:34 [ Background noise ] ^M00:17:45 Oh those crazy kids, those crazy awkward kids. All right next up is a brand new 3D TV from Panasonic. Wait, now wasn't this actually our best of CES award winner from this year? Hmm, well let's watch. There must be a reason it's in The Bad this week. >>Hi, I'm David Katzmaier from CNET and I'm sitting next to the Panasonic TC-P50VT25. This is a fifty inch flat panel plasma TV, the smallest in Panasonics flagship VT25 series. There's also a 54, 58, and 65 inch member of the series as well as a 50 inch model, it's a Best Buy exclusive, it has a silver bezel called the VT20 otherwise it's basically identical. In fact, all these are basically identical which is why this review will apply to all sizes. This is Panasonic's 3D TV for 2010. It's a plasma model and has some advantages over some LCD based 3D TV's we've tested. We'll get to that in a little bit. But first 3D TV in general you do require specialized 3D content, Blu-ray discs of the highest quality, there's also some channels on Direct TV and a lot more coming soon but for now content is pretty limited. You also need to use 3D glasses to view the 3D content on this TV. The Panasonic comes with one pair of those glasses. The additional pairs cost $150 dollars right although we do expect them to drop in price. But of course it does cost a lot money to outfit your entire family for 3D viewing. Again, we'll talk about a little bit about the 3D performance in a bit. But first this is a fully functional 2D TV and the styling on it is pretty slick. This VT25 series has the bronze bezel, it's slightly different from the standard glossy black you'll find. It's also got a little bit of silver above and below and of course some silver accents on the swivel stand here. All in all we really like the appearance of this TV. Aside from 3D, the main features on this flagship TV include Panasonic's Viera Cast which is a IPTV solution that includes Netflicks, Amazon Video on Demand, Twitter, Fox Sports are coming soon. Netflicks won't be available until July this year and a lot of the other content is sparser then some of the other internet connected TV's around. We do like the fact that you can adjust some of the arrangements within the Viera Cast menu which is a new feature for 2010. There's also the ability to hook up a keyboard so if you like to Twitter from your TV you'll like that feature. Flagship model, Panasonic did equip the VT2025 with a good selection of picture adjustments in the custom setting. When you go into custom you can put at the Pro settings which involves a lot of color temperature adjustments, a full color management system, gamma and a few others. The THX mode on this TV which we did find was the best overall isn't all that adjustable however, of course it does start out pretty good so it's not really a big issue. There's also a few 3D settings on this TV but it's not as extensive an adjustment selection as you can find on Samsung's 3D TV's which also include an UP conversion system to convert 2D to 3D. Again, Panasonic doesn't include that system in this model. Connectivity on the VT25 is fairly extensive. Around back you'll find three HDMI inputs, two component video inputs, a PC input, there's also this RS232 port here only on the VT25, not on the VT20 series. It's used for connection to custom installation systems. Side panel has a fourth HDMI input, an [inaudible] SD card slot and a couple of USB jacks. One of those is nice if you buy the optional WiFi Dongle which useful for you don't want to connect an Ethernet cable to the back of the TV, the WiFi Dongle does cost a hundred bucks though. When we took the Panasonic into the lab we were very impressed by its 3D and its 2D picture quality. We'll start with 3D though. Compared to the Samsung which is the only other one we've tested, the Panasonic was superior in terms of reducing cross-talk which already sort of ghostly double images that you can see sometimes in certain material. A lot more cross-talk then we saw on the Panasonic. Both exhibited excellent detail and give you a really good stereoscopic 3D effect. Of course small screen size and a couple of other issues are different from the theatre but in general, it's a very satisfying illusion. But the real story here is the 2D picture quality at least until 3D becomes a lot more common. 2D on this TV is among the best we've ever tested. It starts with the excellent black level performance when you turn down the lights and watch a relatively dark scene those blacks are really inky and really help improve the pop and overall saturation of the entire picture. Speaking of saturation, the color on this TV is very good, not quite as good as some of the very best models we've tested but the THX mode, color accuracy gets really good skin tones and again plenty of saturation and pop. We did find some issues with the 1080P24, it does have excellence cadence which does take advantage of the film based Blu-rays and DVDs but on the other hand we did see some slight false contouring artifacts. But again we did prefer to use the 1080P24 mode on this TV which is labeled 96 hertz. We also appreciated the standard picture quality [inaudible] as a plasma which include very good off angle and picture uniformity. Panasonic also improved the anti-glare screen on this model so it does preserve black levels as well as reduce reflections better then previous Panasonic plasmas. That's a quick look at the Panasonic TC-P50VT20/25 series. I'm David Katzmaier. >>Oh yeah, now I remember. One pair of 3D glasses. Am I really going to spend three grand on a TV so I can sit and watch it all by myself? I don't think so. Which brings us to this weeks Bottom Line. As we saw in Brian's video earlier, 3D gaming is coming whether you like it or not. Now Nintendo skipped adding 3D to the Wii this year. Instead giving us the new 3DS. Brian got his hands on one long enough to give us this first look. >>This is Nintendo 3DS. >>Brian Tong here with CNET.com and this in my hand is a first look at the Nintendo 3DS. You guys can't really see this but this is awesome to look at. This doesn't require any 3D glasses whatsoever. You're looking at the 3.5 inch wide screen 3D panel on the top. Again, no glasses required. You also get a few different controls. You have this analog stick over here on the left side. You'll get the standard D pad and the controls. You see the standard camera here at the top, on top of the screen, but if we flip it around to the back you'll actually notice two additional cameras that will allow you to take 3D pictures of yourself and then watch them here on the 3DS. Also you have here on this far left hand side, you have a slider that actually lets you turn either the 3D function on or off and even change the depth of the 3D. Now this is just a little game play sample. We can't actually play any games on this unit. They're just showing a video sample. But head on this looks pretty amazing and something that we just haven't seen before. There's no pricing on the 3DS, we don't know when it will be released yet. But there you have it, this is awesome stuff. This is going to change things a little bit. I'm Brian Tong with CNET.com with your first look at the Nintendo 3DS. ^M00:24:33 [ Background noise ] ^M00:24:40 >>The Bottom Line this week, that's how you do 3D. No glasses. You hear me Panasonic? And that is our show for this week everyone. Tune in next week when we will continue iPhone 4 madness as the new phone goes on sale. I hope or preorder went through. Until then, don't be afraid to check out more great CNET video at CNETTV.com. See you next time and thank you for watching. ^M00:25:03 [ Music ] ^M00:25:09