CNET Tech Review
Motorola Droid Bionic: We have the technologyThis week on the CNET Tech Review: Motorola's new Droid smartphone is our Editors' Choice; how to keep your iTunes albums organized; Toshiba returns to the desktop; and another new iPhone goes missing.
-This week on CNET Tech Review the Motorola Droid gets a bionic makeover. Honda raises the bar with a 44 mile of per gallon Civic Hybrid. Toshiba is back in a Desktop PC business, and were not making this up, another iPhone prototype goes missing. It's all coming up right now. Hi everyone, I'm molly Wood and welcome to the CNET Tech Review where collect our hottest videos of the week and tell what's good and what's bad in the wold of tech plus offer our own unique tech wisdom in the form of the bottom line. Let's start with the good. Apparently, good things come to those who wait because Nicole Lee and the mobile team have been dying to get their hands on the Droid Bionic for Motorola. Now, you may be tempted to run out in slow motion of course and pickup the Droid Bionic too, but be warned it's gonna cost you. -I'm Nicole Lee, senior associate editor for CNET.com, and this is a first look at the editors' choice winner Motorola Droid Bionic. It's been 9 long months and we finally have it in our hands. You may remember the Droid Bionic from our CES 2011 coverage. However, this Droid Bionic is a little bit different than the one that we showed. In fact it's a little bit sleeker, a little bit sexier, and definitely a lot thinner. In fact, Verizon says that the Motorola Droid Bionic is its thinnest LTE phone. It's also the very first dual core phone to support 4G LTE on Verizon. It ships at Android 2.3.4 which the latest update for Gingerbread at this time and it is free of the usual Motoblur interface. It has up to 5 customizable home screens and the menu is a little it different as well. The 4.3-inch display on the Droid Bionic makes this one a little bit big, but the screen is amazing. The qHD display really pops of color. On the back here is an 8-megapixel camera lens with an LED flash. It's also the first 4G LTE phone to shoot full 1080p HD video. Since the Droid Bionic has both a 1 gigahertz dual core processor and 4G LTE speeds, the overall phone experience is very fast. Navigating through the phone is very zippy. Multitasking was not a problem at all. The browser was also quite impressive. It supports HTML 5 content as well as Adobe flash video. In fact, we were able to load flash video pretty quickly. The Droid Bionic has very strong multimedia features. Not only does it have the 8-megapixel and camcorder like said, it also has front facing camera for video calls. Aside from multimedia features, the Droid bionic also has a very good business features in a strong device indeed that encryption. You can also remotely wipe the device as well as the SD card. The Droid bionic comes with an app called ZumaCast that lets you easily share and transfer files from a PC application. You can do this over 4G LTE and 3G, not just Wi-Fi. Like with the Atrix, you can dock the Droid Bionic into this laptop dock accessory and use it as a portable PC. Other accessories include an HD station, which requires an external [unk]. You can also plug it in into the little tiny webtop adaptor that you can attach to an external monitor as well. The webtop applications definitely extend the functionality of this phone. The webtop app allows you to access different apps like Firefox and Facebook as well as a variety of office apps like Citrix GoToMeeting and Citrix documents, and of course the Droid Bionic has of the usual android features like GMail, Google Talk and more. The Droid Bionic shoots the aforementioned 1 gigahertz dual core processor. It also has 1 gigabyte of RAM and 16 gigabytes of internal storage. It also shoots the 16 gigabyte SD card. However, it is expandable up 32 gigabytes. On a whole, the Droid Bionic is a slim, sleek powerful and fast device. The webtop application lets you use all of these different accessories. However, it's around $300 with a new 2-year service agreement with the Verizon wireless. The laptop dock is around $300 as well. The HD station dock $100, the webtop adaptor is around $30. So, is it worth to wait? We think so, but is it worth the price? We have our doubts. I'm Nicole Lee and this has been the first look at the editors' choice Motorola Droid bionic. -No, it doesn't cost 6 million dollars, but if you by in all those accessories, you are looking at a hefty chunk of change, although I'm sure the phone works just fine without them. Of course, new iPhone users are accustomed to spending money too and you're gonna get a chance to do it again very soon. Brian Tong got a sneak peek at the beta version of Apple's new iTunes Match service. Here's his look at what you can expect when it goes live later this fall. - Hey, guys. Brian Tong here with the cnet.com preview and we're gonna show you a first look at the iTunes Match Service that was recently released to developers with new features that Apple hasn't officially announced and will be coming this fall. Now, iTunes Match is Apple's service for $24.99 a year and you can turn on iTunes Match by going into the Store menu. It matches your own personal music collection with the same tracks on iTunes and then uploads your remaining songs that can't be matched to the iCloud and allows you to listen to your entire collection anytime on your iOS devices. Plus, you'll also be able to use this service with up to ten iOS devices and computers total and a maximum of five of those can be computers. Now, once the iTunes Match Service completes, you'll be able to either stream tracks to your computer by playing them or click on the download icon to store them locally. Once you've download it, the icon goes away and the size of the file changes from stream to a physical file size. Now also here, I have my iPhone running the latest developer's build and I'll go into my settings, then music, and I can turn on iTunes Match on my phone. Now jump into the music app and just like an iTunes, you'll see your tracks with the cloud icon next to each one. Now, I can select the track and it will initially take some time to download it as it's streaming and it might also be intermittent because the first play basically behaves as if it's a streaming track but once it downloads, it will remain on your phone and you can also click on the cloud icon to download all your tracks locally. Also, if you choose to download the entire album, click on "Download All" instead. So, there's your first look at the iTunes Match Beta. It's still a little inconsistent playing through songs cleanly on your first play and I've had to jump around tracks randomly but overall the service is pretty solid and delivers on its promise of giving you access to your entire collection of multiple devices and we'll wait to see the final product this fall. For CNET.com, I'm Brian Tong. -Once you get all your music in the right place, wouldn't be nice if you could find it. Here's Richard Peterson with the tip for keeping iTunes organized. -Have you tried listening to a complete album on your iPad only to realize that some of the tracks are missing. For some reason, they are not grouped with the rest of the album. Hi, I'm Richard Peterson, and today I'm going to show you how to make sure all the songs on your iPad stay grouped in the album they belong. Now, this is a common problem with the compilation albums like movie sound tract or the songs of the 70s [unk] commercial, but this also happens when the artist have songs on an album that feature another artist. For example, I have Britney Spears' Femme Fatale album on my friend's iPad Touch that I borrowed. When I look here on what seems to be the entire album, you will notice the track 6 and 8 are missing. Where are they, well, they were categorized under a different artist. Here's track 6 which is Britney featuring Sabi and here's track 8, which features Will I Am. Right now, we're looking at artist view even if we look at the album view, the same problem exist. The iPad thinks there 3 separate albums. One of them with the majority of the song and the other 2 are the 2 separate songs with featured artist. Another example is this movie sound track, which has a different artist for almost every song. It has sorted the songs into separate albums. This can be really annoying when if you want to listen to the entire album from beginning to end. To fix this, we need to go into iTunes. Click up here to sort your music by album and then locate the album you want. I'll start with the sound track. Select all the songs in the album, right click, and then click on get info. Click yes when ask if you are sure you want to edit multiple items. Now, from here, click on the options tab and then check the box that says part of a compilation and then yes, and now I have to re-sync our iPad and sort by album. All of the songs we selected will be grouped together into one album. If you sort by artist, however, they will still be separated. This should be fine for the sound track album because all the songs really are by different artist, but for the Britney album, it's all essentially the same artist with just a couple of songs that have a featured guest, so I'd rather just have them all categorized under Britney instead of separated as multiple artist. To fix this, select all the songs in the album and go back to the edit multiple item window like we did before. Now, you'll see a filled called album artist. You can type in the name of the artist here, but this will only help you sort your music in iTunes. It won't solve the problem we have in the iPad because iPads including iPhones currently won't sort by album artist. Possibly, the easiest solution is to just change the artist field, so all the selected songs have the same artist. This of course gets of rid of the featuring artist altogether. So, if you want Will I Am credit for reaching his goal collaborating with every recording artist in the world, you can just add his name in parenthesis next to the song title. Now, the next time we sync our device to iTunes, we can find all our music organized by artist and in the right album they were meant to be. I'm Richard Peterson with CNET.com. -I hate it when I try to look up a song and I can't find because I don't know the name of the guy who did the guest vocals. I mean, come on iTunes, you sold me the song, why are you hiding it from me? Anyway, wow on an Apple how to mode and spending money mode, Sharon Vaknin has more piece of advice for you. Get ready to kiss another hundred bucks good bye. -Hey guys, I'm Sharon Vaknin for CNET.com here to show you how Apple AirPlay lets you stream music, photos, and movies from your iOS device to your TV without any cables. To get started, you will need a $99 apple TV. It's the cheapest way to get AirPlay right now, but we expect apple to integrate it with TVs in the future. Once you've setup your Apple TV and connected it to your wireless network, go to the settings menu and make sure AirPlay has turned on. When you're done, grab your iPhone, iPad, or iPad Touch, before doing anything, make sure your devices running iOS 4.2 or above, which is the minimum requirement for AirPlay. Also, make sure you're connected to the same network as the Apple TV. Once you're all setup, streaming is simple. Just launch the video store on your device or launch a YouTube video and hit play. You'll see a new Airplay icon show up, click it, select Apple TV and the video will be streaming on your TV seconds later. You'll notice that once the video starts playing your TV, you won't see it on your device any longer, but you can still use it press pause, fast forward, or rewind. Music works the same way. Launch a song or playlist and hit the AirPlay button to stream it to your home theater. And for photos, head to an album, open a photo and tap the AirPlay button. AirPlay doesn't only work with file store on your device, it's also compatible with some apps and websites. There aren't many of them, but the list includes iMovie, VEVO, TED, NPR, and IMDb. All of which are available on any iOS device. To see the fullest of apps, visit my blog on how to get started with AirPlay. If you have any questions or tips, head over to my Facebook page and visit howto.cnet.com for more videos like this. For CNET, I'm Sharon Vaknin, and I'll see you on the interwebs. -Now, there are any number of ways to get videos from your computer or home network to play on your TV, but AirPlay is just so easy. I cannot wait for other TV/tablet manufacturers to figure this out. Do you hear that Samsung and Sony and how about you Vizio you too, but I'm sure there are more like Toshiba, but it's time to take a break, and there's a lot more tech review coming up right after this. Welcome back to the CNET Tech Review are weekly video digest of all things good and bad we've seen here at CNET. Continuing on in the good. When it comes to all-in-one desktop PCs, the iMac remains the one to beat, but a new offering from a company better known for their laptops is hoping to grab some of the spotlight. - Hi, I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for cnet.com. Today, we're gonna take a look at the Toshiba DX1210. This is the first desktop that we've from Toshiba in about 10 years. It decides to come back in the desktop game with an all-in-one and it actually done a pretty good job with the system. It goes for about $935 and for that you get a 21.5-inch screen, a wireless mouse and keyboard, relatively fast performance and a generally versatile system. It has a touch screen although there's no big touch application that sort of rounds up the touch experience. It's more like a series of apps that are pretty good. We also like that the system has an HDMI input which means you can use it to connect to external devices like the cable box. Now, that really makes the system useful in like smaller space like a dorm room or a den or you might have feel to have both the desktop and the stand-alone display. So, you can see this Toshiba has a fairly clean design. It's a basic black here in the front. There's some silver-gray accent down at the bottom here as well as a pedestal base and we can show the touch interface a little bit here. So, here we have this Toshiba real time app which essentially takes your recent application and document history and puts it into a carousel that you can control with your finger. Now, of course, the standard windows desktop is a touch-based and it works as expected. Here, you'll see is pretty simple. There's an SD card reader as well as a couple of analog audio outs and USB 3.0 jacks which is actually not very common on the old ones. So, that's a nice touch. And over here on this side, you can see there's a DVD burner right here. Now, in the upper portion on the side here, you can see various buttons that control the screen brightness, volume, as well as swap and video signal if you plug-in an HDMI component. Now, here on the back, here's the HDMI jack. It got a couple of the USB ports over here as well as an Ethernet jack and that's really about it for the inputs on the back of the system. There is one nice touch though. Behind this little door here is another USB port that has the wireless receiver for the wireless mouse and keyboard. Now, we'd like that this is hidden over here but yeah, that's still available. If you say don't want to use these devices, you can take out that receiver and you get another USB port. Now, the system doesn't quite hit the sweet spot for this price range. It has a relatively fast Core i5 CPU as well as 4 gigs of RAM and a 1 terabyte hard drive. That's pretty decent hardware load up. But the display is may be a little bit small for this price. We've seen 23-inch monitors, for example, in all-in-one app for under $1,000. There's also no Blu-ray drive which is not unheard of in all-in-one through on this price. If you're gonna improve the system, we'd probably get rid of the touch input and use that cost savings to either have a bigger monitor or may be have a faster CPU or some other feature that's may be more generally useful. Overall, the Toshiba has done a pretty good job configuring the system. We recommend it to anybody that needs an all-in-one for a day to day productivity as well as the convenience of an HDMI input. So, I'm Rich Brown and this is the Toshiba DX1210. Welcome back Toshiba. It's nice to see you in the desktop game again. Right now, for a look at of story ripped from the headlines, let's turn our attention to the bad. It's dejÃ?Â vu all over again for Apple's security squad as yet another alleged iPhone prototype has gone missing after being left in a bar again. Brian Tong has this story in this clip from the Apple Byte. -What's happening! Brian Tong here and welcome to the Apple Byte. It's all the good stuff and bad stuff inside the world of Apple. Now, I've said that 145 times and sure it feels little like dejÃ?Â vu but so were the story. Apple has lost another iPhone in a bar. Now according to CNET Exclusive, sources say the latest iPhone prototype went missing in San Francisco in late July and may have been sold on Craigslist for $200 and Apple's attempts to find the device have been unsuccessful. Details of the device are still unclear such as what version of iOS it was running and even what it looks like. But this time, the iPhone was lost at Mexican restaurant and bar called Cava 22 known for their tequila and shrimp lime with ceviche. Yummy! And, sparking Apple to contact San Francisco police, saying the device was priceless. So, you would think, "Duh guys, why don't you just use and find my iPhone." Well, the big guy traced the phone to a home which then led them to a man who had been at the Cava 22 that night. San Francisco police and Apple's investigators were given permission to search the home but found nothing. Then before leaving the house, CNET sources say an Apple employee offered the man money for the phone no questions asked but the man continued to deny he had any knowledge of the phone. So, the lesson of the day my friends, blame it on the alcohol. -Blame it on the a a a a a alcohol. Blame it on the a a a a a alchol. -And, keep them away from the bars you crazy alcoholics. Now, one time is bad enough but twice, that's a bad Apple. So, the Apple Byte crew decided, "You know what. We're not gonna sit here and do nothing. We're gonna do whatever it takes to find the missing iPhone." Hello, missing iPhone. Missing an iPhone, I really want to find them. Hey, have you seen this iPhone? -No, I haven't. -Missing iPhone. Have you seen-- have you seen them? Have you seen this? I really need it. -My [unk], make yourself calm. Let's go. Let's go. I know it's hard. -It's hard. -I myself. -I can't do this. -We can do this. We'll find this. -I know. No, no. -Just calm yourself. -I tried to call him. Tim, okay. It's okay. It's okay. -But, then it so hard. -We'll keep trying Tim Cook. You can count on us. -And the story just keeps getting better and better, so keep an eye on our continuing coverage at CNETnews.com, and now it's time for this week's bottom line. Now, we all know that Honda Civic isn't the most stylist, fastest, or best handling car in the world, but for just about 40 years, it's been the kind of dependable and economical car that people cannot live without and the 2012 Civic Hybrid is all that and then some. -When 40 mpg is something you get with a standard gas engine, the Civic Hybrid has to do a bit better. Is 44 enough? Let's drive the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid and check the tech. The new Civic Hybrid is revised right along the lines of all the new 2012s. Spotted quickly by blue chrome accents on the outside and a couple of new screen modes inside but mostly by its bigger engine yet higher MPG. Now, inside the Civic there are barely any cues that tell you this is a hybrid versus the gas engine car which we just looked at a few days ago. You've got this ECON button over here, and this car of course, it changes a very different powertrain. It makes the hybrid powertrain extremely stingy as opposed to making modest changes in the gas engine car. Right there, in the dead center is your IMA logo. This is Honda's Integrated Motor Assist. That's their technology that competes with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive. Up here on the IMA, that's a 5-inch LCD that is new on the 2012 Civic. There you find some more cues that you're in a hybrid. Aside from the usual fuel economy and distance to empty, you've also got a green gauge here and one that shows power flow on the vehicle. The stuff you wouldn't have on a gas engine car and there's your battery level also. And, I think unique to the Hybrid, if I'm not mistaken is the ability to set a wallpaper for that IMA display. I didn't see that in the gas engine car. Kind of a weird differentiator if that's the case. And, what really make sense in this car because it's a hybrid are those two segmented bars alongside the digital speedometer. Those are the ones that coach you from blue to turquoise to green how efficiently you're driving. Handy on the gas engine car, it really makes sense on this one. We know this head unit all too well. It's an optional navigation head unit. If you get that trim level, it's an okay nav interface. It's not my favorite. The whole thing though is kind of busy and dated but make sure you check out our 2012 Standard Civic video for a full detail and look at this new cabin. One choice transmission on this guy as with most hybrids-- it's a CVT, a Continuously Variable Transmission. It doesn't have real gears to that. It's just one belt-and-pulley system that varies all the time to keep this guy on the sweet spot. Now, let's go and see what's plugging into it. Quite a few changes here under the hood on this new 2012 Civic Hybrid. They bumped up the gas engine from 1.3 liters to 1.5 liters. It still has the electric motor attached to it, of course. The totals on this are 110 horsepower all in and a 127 foot-pounds of torque, perfectly good numbers. You're gonna get to 60 in 10.1 seconds. Again, not the point on this car. The MPG is-- so here's where they are, 44 city and 44 highway. Guess what, 44 average and that's up a few MPG from the outgoing model. Honda's IMA Hybrid System had couples the electric motor to the gas engine so they always turn together but the electric motor can power the car alone a small amount of the time. It's something you'll barely detect and like many of the newer hybrids, the Civic turns driving into some little video game where you earn leaves as you drive greenly and they in turn add up to some vehicle lifetime score. But, I don't think you can win anything. Now, I recall the previous Civic Hybrid being kind of a coffee grinder of a thing, just kind of crude around the edges. This car does not suffer from that. It's got Electric Power Steering which is really nice and lenient. They've done a very good job on that and everybody who drives this car comments on the ride quality. It's got a smooth both in terms of this, how it sprung. As well in terms of this, how it motivates itself. There's no lumpy engagement any more than you normally give with a hybrid which kicks on electric motor in and out from time to time. Well, let's check the start-stop technology. That can be bulky in cars like this. I'm coming to stop sign now. Let's see how it goes off and more importantly how seamlessly it comes back on. There's my stop. It goes right away. Yeah, really quick. That's one of the better restarts in the start-stop world right now. The power comes on nice that they've dialed in the torque for everyday driving so that it's there when you need it and handling on the car like this is as you might imagine. It's fine. It's you know. It's good transportation quality handling. Really, it's the ride quality I think people are gonna respond to in this vehicle and the overall smoothness of how the power comes on and, of course, the MPG. I get a feeling it's a little bit less mechanical noise intrusion as well. I don't hear the things worrying as much as I do in some lower cost hybrids where you hear things that sound like an elevator mechanism going up and down when you come to lower speeds. I'm not picking that up here. It's a better sound installation in some. Alright, the 2012 Civic Hybrid, this all new model is gonna run you at $24800 base. Now, a couple of big options and one small one on top of that, the navigation package adds $1500. That's navigation, live traffic via FM not XM Radio but it does had XM radio in that package and voice command for the nav and also you can go leather for 1200 bucks. Your only a la carte tech is XM Radio by itself for about $350. -The bottom line this week, 44 miles per gallon, sold. Now, I know you're not gonna turn a lot of heads driving a Civic as you usual, but hey, you won't be spending much time at the gas pump either. Alright, that's it for this time everyone, but come back next week for an all new CNET Tech review. Until then, there are tons of great videos available everyday at CNETTV.com. See you next time and thank you for watching.