CNET Tech Review
Safe and sane shopping tipsThis week on the CNET Tech Review: how to shop safely online, pick the right tablet for the holidays, choose a great glare-free TV, and avoid Sony's ill-conceived PlayStation 3D Display.
Speaker 1: This weekend at CNET Tech Review. Nokia celebrates 25 years of cellphone innovations with some futuristic designs. Pick the right tablet with our holiday buying guide. Amateur movie makers can go pro with this mini camcorder and how to stay safe and secure when shopping online. It's all coming up right now. Hi, everyone. I'm Molly Wood and welcome to the CNET Tech Review where we collect our hottest videos of the week and we tell you what's good and what's bad in the world of techs. Plus, offer our own unique tech wisdom in the form of the bottom line. Let's start things off with the good. No matter what you think of Nokia now, you have the Nokia research center to thank for a lot of the mobile phone developments we take for granted, from ring tones to text messages. The center opened in 1986 and to celebrate it's 25th anniversary in November, the NRC held an open house to show off some innovations that we can look for in the years to come. Bonnie Cha was there for the tour. Speaker 2: Hey, everyone. I am Bonnie Cha from CNET.com and we are here in Sunnyvale, California where Nokia is celebrating the 25th anniversary of their Nokia Research Center. Over the years, they've come up with things like the ring tone, SMS. And now, they are working on some really interesting and exciting stuff including bendable displays and all touch screen phones so let's have a look at what they're doing. Okay. So we are here with (Andy Follow?) who is the product manager of a very interesting device called the Kinetic Device. So why don't you explain what it is and give us a little demo. Speaker 3: So, Nokia Kinetic Device. So if you (??) easy interaction can be by bending and twisting the flexible device. So by bending the device, you can zoom in the images spanning them right to and out and twisting, you can browse the images either. If you twist right or if you twist it will go slowly or fast if you twist more. Then when you find the image, you just bend in to zoom. Bend out, zoom out. We have a music application where you can browse it by twisting and deactivate the song by bending the device, and unfold it. And that's the Nokia Kinetic Device. Speaker 2: A little while ago, I wrote up about a Nokia concept phone called the Gem which is an all texting phone. And then we've got the senior design manager here, Jarkko, to explain the concept. So you got the phone on (??) here and you got, you know... Speaker 4: In this (??) there is a phone the front and then the maps on the backside. And of course, I can interact, for example I'm dragging the contents that says an address to the map and then send it twice. So this application is called 3D World Gaze. It's basically let you see through the planet. So we are now looking on top of Sunnyvale where we are and I zoom in. So it makes everything transparent below us and whenever I point with the phone, it always shows what's on the other side of the planet. If you would dig a hole to South America, they would dig to that direction. We can show news or we can show images that people have uploaded from this places. Speaker 2: So there you have a look at some of the projects that Nokia is working on. Unfortunately, you probably won't see some of these devices in the near future but hopefully we'll see some of the technology and upcoming devices and we look forward to more great inventions from Nokia in the years to come. I'm Bonnie Cha for CNET.com. Speaker 1: Usually, Bonnie is pretty critical of a flimsy handset that bends to much but I guess in this case it makes sense. If nothing else, it should leave a fewer cracked screens in the future. And maybe some of those advancements will make their way into the tablet world as well. But until then, there are still plenty of models to choose from and more coming everyday. But if you're looking to buy a tablet in time for the holidays, use a handy guide I put together with Donald Bell to help you make up your mind. I'm Molly Wood from CNET.com here with a 2011 holiday buying guide. I'm talking with senior editor Donald Bell about tablets and eReaders. Hello, Donald? Speaker 5: How's it going? Speaker 1: What is happening in the tablet world? Is it all still just iPad? Speaker 5: In theory, no. In the hearts and minds of most, probably yes. It's our highest rated tablet on CNET, our editor's choice. It nails everything you kind of want content-wise on a device. It doesn't hurt that it's also like one of most attractive-looking devices on the market. Speaker 1: So what our some of the alternative to the iPad though if you decide you want to go to a different direction and why would you? Speaker 5: Sure. Really, the alternatives are all Android based. This few weeks, we saw a lot of Android based tabs come out like Key Samsung, Galaxy Tab 10.1. This is one with... really the kind of same dimension the same screen real estate as the iPad 2 but you're getting the Android interface, the Android options. A lot of people have Android smart phones. They're comfortable with the Android services in the Google way of doing things. The other great choice that we recommend is the Sony Tablet S and Sony has done a lot of work to make the Android experience on their tablet. Kind of uniquely theirs. You're also getting a lot of Playstation gaming support on this too. So you're gonna have gaming content here that you're not gonna find on the iPad 2. Speaker 1: What about people who are trying to decide between a tablet and an eReader. What are some of the differences there obviously other than the huge price difference. Speaker 5: Well, that's really I'd say the biggest difference. You're getting now down to $79 I think for the Amazon Kindle with ads. They're gonna work outdoors in direct sunlight where the tablet screen isn't gonna do as well. You're also gonna get a lot better battery life of this just because it's working so much less to high graphic performance and display all the colors. Speaker 1: So one big question. This season with the introduction of the Kindle Fire seems to be what should you get? iPad or Kindle Fire. Can you give us the pros and cons. Speaker 5: Well yeah, sure. There's a big difference in price and you're only paying $199 for the Kindle Fire versus 499 at minimum for an iPad. You're also getting a lot of the services that... If you're based out of Amazon, you're gonna have those built right into the tablet from Center. Again, it's gonna be a great eReader as well. Speaker 1: So the Kindle Fire seems like in some ways, the iPad is a full fledged tablet experience. The Kindle Fire is a fancier eReader? Speaker 5: The Kindle Fire is one of those good enough products that's gonna be for a lot of people who don't want to spend the $500 and couldn't spend the $500. It's gonna get you close and it's gonna provide a lot of fun but it's not gonna be the kind of device that you would take to work necessarily and use as a laptop replacement. Speaker 1: Would you say that a tablet or an eReader is going to be a popular gift this year? Speaker 5: Yeah. Yeah. I mean there's plenty of them out there. A lot of people want to sell them to you. That's gonna be some good prices out there. People when they get them, they're gonna know that there's something new to dig into. And a lot of that app store experience we're gonna be able to find games and content, really customize it for what you're in to is the bigger feel. Speaker 1: Great. Thank you so much, Donald. Speaker 5: Absolutely. Speaker 1: For all of Donald's tablet and eReader picks, visit our CNET holiday gift guide at CNET.com. And if you're trying to decide between tablets, fax or really any wireless device from a phone to a computer to a router, Brian Cooley has a new episode of Device and Conquer explaining all of the different ways to get online with wireless. Speaker 6: It's not uncommon anymore this season when walking down the street with all these stuff in their hands. A laptop, a tablet, a smart phone, and none of it makes any sense unless it's connected wirelessly. But a lot of people are still unclear on 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi. How you use them and where you find them? I am Brian Cooley here to lay out the flavors of wireless. Okay. In no particular order, the flavors of wireless are Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G. Wi-Fi is short for wireless fidelity which shows you absolutely nothing about what it is or what it does so that's why no one ever calls it by the long name. What it really is is a wireless internet connection that you know from places like this. Like building lobbies, coffee shops, airport lounges. It eliminates this, the internet or ethernet cable but gives you similar speed within a wireless range of let's say about a 100 feet from one of those. That's a Wi-Fi router. It could also be a Wi-Fi access point. Now Wi-Fi is generally the fastest of the connections, I'll show you today, but it also has the most brittle or limited range. And when your device detects Wi-Fi in the area, you have found what's called a hot spot. But move too far away from that hot spot, you lose your connection. But here's our snapshot of Wi-Fi. Speed, high. Range, 100 to 200 feet. Enough to cover a home, office or shop. Cost, anywhere from free when you're at home and some public places, to free with purchase at some merchants, to really expensive on a plane or other places where it's a profit center. Okay. Now, 3G. 3G comes to you over cellular networks like what powers your smartphone. Coverage here is the big storing. With Wi-Fi for example, you can walk out of coverage literally in a few steps in some cases. With 3G, you might drive for hours and not leave coverage but the speed is like night and day. This is just a fraction of the speed that you'll get on a Wi-Fi hot spot so you make a trade off. Now, the way you connect is real different too. Unlike with Wi-Fi, you don't run around scrounging up another network when you don't find coverage. With 3G, you signed up for a carrier and their giant coverage area should do you. If though you're in a dead zone, you're stuck. You're not gonna hop on to some other cellular carrier ad hoc. You're just gonna sit there, fuming. So here's our snapshot of 3G. Speed, okay, not great. Range, up to hundreds of miles or more. Cost, typically 30 to 50 bucks a month through your wireless carrier bill. Now as I mentioned, 3G speed isn't really all that great. It's mostly about coverage but that's where its new cousin 4G comes in. It's the coverage of 3G, promising the speed of Wi-Fi anywhere you go. Or put another way, it might finally make smartphones and tablets work as fast as they show you in the TV commercial. But getting the 4G requires you cross two big hurdle. First of all, your network provider has to offer it. That's a lot of upgrading that has to be done across the country. Then, you have to go replace whatever it is you're carrying with something 4G enabled. You see, a 4G network does nothing to improve a 3G device. Now we've been talking about all these flavors of wireless as they pertain to mobile devices. But bear in mind, these technologies are doing great things for gadgets and products in your home that never go anywhere as well as in cars that never stop going everywhere. But now, wherever you encounter the flavors of wireless, you'll understand how they work and how you get them. Speaker 1: Namely the flavors of wireless that I want is everywhere and always on and totally reliable. But it sounds like that's not quite on the menu yet. If you're looking for the type of gadgets to take along to the types of places you probably won't have Wi-Fi, you want to check out one of our favorites. The GoPro Hero sports camera. Speaker 7: The GoPro Hero is back and after three generations, not much has changed for the sports camera. At least, not physically. I'm Antuan Goodwin. Let's take a first look at the newest member of the GoPro sports camera family, the GoPro HD HERO2. Now externally, there are only a few places where the HD HERO2 differs from the first then GoPro HD HERO that we tested almost 2 years ago. It's got a larger recording indicator on the front and three more indicators on the top, back and bottom. So as you can now tell from every angle whether the thing is actually on or not. The lenses are higher quality glass unit but the focal length is still sick, the GoPro signature 170 degree wide angle. Now back, there's the backpack court for connecting GoPro's add on module such as an LCD or an extended battery. There's a new HD my video output and on the other side, the analog input and output are now labeled. You also won't need to break out the instruction mail to understand GoPro's newly designed interface which now features icons and text where the old model only had cryptic numeric codes. This is anything as single greatest update that the HD HERO gains over its predecessors but it's the only one. The HD HERO2 also features a new 11 megapixel sensor for still photography and a new burst photo mode that captures 10 full resolution shots in just one second. There's also a new slow motion video mode that captures standard definition video at 120 frame per second. That's perfect for capturing the minute details of motion that are normally too fast for the eyes to see. The rest of the GoPro's video mode are still intact with a total of 7 video modes including 10 ADT HD video at 30 frames per second and 720p video at up to 60 frames per second. And there are 4 still photo modes including a time lapse, single shot and the burst mode that we mentioned earlier. The GoPro HERO line of camera is still among the ruggedest in the market. This first gen HD hero has fallen off no fewer than three cars at speed and is no worse for wear. And the increase in user friendliness and functionality helps catapult the HD HERO 2 back to the top of our list of favorite sports cameras. You want to check out my full review of the GoPro HD HERO2 on CNET.com for even more details about the things that I liked and disliked about this camera and how it compares to the competitions and contour. Until then, I've been Antuan Goodwin and this is the first look at the GoPro HD HERO2 sports camera system. Speaker 1: Leave it to Antuan to come up with the action shots to help show off the camera he covers but please tell me there are some outtakes. While I go check on some lost footage, let's take a break. We'll be back with more CNET Tech Review right after this. Welcome back to the CNET Tech Review, our weekly video digest of all things good and bad we've seen here at CNET TV. Continuing on in the good, it is deeply annoying to sit down and watch a movie or a TV show on your big, beautiful flat screen TV and having a giant streak of light on the screen. But short of hanging the walls with blackout curtains or putting the TV in the basement, what can you do? Brian Cooley has the answer. Five of them in fact. Speaker 8: I'll tell you, today's list kinda makes a mockery of the name of this entire series. Top 5? How about the only 5. That's about how few good, non-glare high def TVs are out there for you and you're about to meet most of them. I'm Brian Cooley with the top 5 non-glare, matte screen television so you can watch TV without having to sit in the dark. Number 5, the Toshiba TL515 series. It gets a good rating from us. Does the basics well. It's an LED LCD with solid image quality but its off angle viewing suffers more than most. Its back lighting was a little unstable at times and you can pass on it's passive 3D technology. It does have Toshiba's net TV platform of connected services which you're probably about as excited over as the content partners who weren't on it. Number 4, the Sony KDL EX720 series. This is currently Sony's least expensive TV that combines 3D and a 240 Hertz refresh rate. A little nice spec. It's also their best TV right now that has one of these anti-glare screen. We rate this one good as well like the Toshiba. It's real energy efficient by the way. It got our green pick award. Number 3 steps us up into a very good category with the Sharp Aquos Quattron LE732U series. It's a good looking TV. But more than that, it's a big TV. 70 inch? TVs these size are rare even in rich folk's home. But this one could actually be in your home thanks to a remarkably cheap street price around 2500 bucks. That's a great value on a per acre basis. But that doesn't include construction cost for reinforcing the wall where you hang it. Number 2, the Samsung LND630 series. This is the non-glare TV you want if you just want a non-glare TV and don't care about built-in internet streaming and 3D and LED back lighting. None of that hear but a good picture in a nice looking case with low glare for a good price. That could be the formula. Okay. Before I take you to our favorite non-glare TV, why are there so few of them out there? Well, three major reasons. First of all, a glossy screen tends to deliver a picture that looks a little sharper because matte screen tends to scatter the light of the image. Secondly, a glossy screen may attract images like a Kardashian attracts stupid but the manufacturers say they contain the reflection better instead of kind of smearing it around like a matte screen. And finally, glossy screens look really shiny in the store and manufacturers think they catch your eye better and you walk over and check them out. Seriously. Okay. The number 1 TV that won't act like some giant makeup mirror on your wall is the LG LW5600 series. This will get you the best image quality in the bunch today. It's an LED backlight LCD and has good internet connectivity for streaming. On the other hand, it's passive 3D technology is kind of lame and if you get well off angle, the picture goes to pieces pretty fast. But if you want the best picture in a non-glare set, this is your guy. Thanks to CNET David Katzmaier who personally loves non-glare TV as I do and I would recommend you always check out his team's reviews before you buy any television or you might end up buying some re-owned nasty shiny thing and a whole lot of blackout curtains to go with it, and that's not a good one. For more top 5 like this, go to top5.cnet.com. I'm Brian Cooley. Thanks for watching. Speaker 1: Kind of a bummer that you have to make so many trade offs to avoid the glare. Although, speaking of trade off, let's take a look at another display that will never show up on that top 5 list as we move along to the bad. Now that 3D has made it's way to the gaming consoles, the idea of picking up a 3D TV may seem more worthwhile. Unless, you actually get tricked into buying this little number from Sony. Speaker 9: Hey, what's going on everyone? I'm Jeff (Backler?) for CNET.com. Today, I'm checking out the Sony PlayStation 3D display. Now, this Sony PlayStation 3D display is a 23 and a half inch monitor specifically designed to use SimulView technology. Now, that allows 2 players to see their own screen with the use of this 3D glasses. Now, the image each players sees individually of course is in 3D but it definitely works and it's actually a very cool effect. It also comes with a copy of MotorStorm Apocalypse and an HD My Cable. Unfortunately though, that's about all this display has going for it. I experienced a handful of disappointments with the display during my months of testing it. Now for starters, the display only comes with 1 pair of this 3D glasses which basically takes away the whole idea of SimulView. You need 2 sets of glasses for it to work and they go separately for about $70. Also, there's only 4 games in the PlayStation's library that actually work with SimulView, so if you're buying this just for that, the novelty is probably gonna wear off pretty quickly. Now in terms of design, the display is actually pretty slick but I don't understand how Sony is shipping this without a remote control, how do you do that. I guess it's good that the screen is so small though, because you probably only wanna sit within an arms reach to play anyway. Luckily then, you'll have access to the controls and buttons that are on the backside of the unit. Now, this is a display monitor not a TV so there's no tuner around back, you can't just plug in your coaxial cable. You can though connect up to 3 devices. It's got 2 HD my port and 1 component input. I also like the fact that there's a headphone jack around back too so you can plug that in and not disturb anyone around you. The PlayStation 3 has a lot of 3D games and they look great on the display. Picture quality is actually pretty good. But when you're using the SimulView technology, things become a little dicey. First off, the 2 players need to sit really close together so that the angle isn't disturbed which really does not make for the most comfortable of gaming environments also considering how small the screen actually is. Also, it's gonna take you some trial and error to correctly program the glasses so that they work property with the 1 or 2 player settings. It's tough to imagine using the PlayStation 3 display in a practical situation. Sony first demoed it as a great dorm room fit but it's $500. For that price, 2 roommates could go out and buy their own bigger HD televisions. It's also too small for most practical uses, so I really think gamers would prefer a bigger screen. Speaking of the screen, this is among the most reflective things I've ever seen in my time here at CNET. The glare is awful. Although it has good picture quality, it's price and laundry list of annoyances make the PlayStation 3D display tough to recommend to anyone in particular. If it dropped in price, maybe got a bigger screen size and rid of this god awful glare, I'd have an easier time recommending it to someone. I'm Jeff (Backler?) for CNET.com and this has been the Sony PlayStation 3D display. Speaker 1: I'm sure it seem like a good idea on paper, but I can't really imagine 2 guys in a dorm room playing Gears of War 3 while practically sitting on each other's lap. But maybe it's a good date idea. All right, let's keep it moving right on down to the bottom line. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone and now the holiday shopping season is in full swing. Odds are you're doing more of your shopping online than ever, but are you doing it safely. You will be if you follow these tips from Sharon (Bachman?). Speaker 10: With the holiday season in full swing, it's easy to get a little retail at online. And more than that, on the web you've got customer reviews, no long lines and no psychotic shoppers with pepper spray sighting you for products. Yeah, that happened in real life. But before you start crossing out items off your wish list, there are a few online shopping tips you need to know. I'm Sharon (Bachman?) for CNET here to tell you how to shop safely and avoid online scams. First, only shop on site that are trusted and well known. Like every holiday season you'll see a ton of e-mails, Facebook, and Twitter spam for heavily discounted gadget. If you do click through on any of these offers, always check out to make sure the URL matches the website you're on. Scammers love creating websites that look and act like real ones only designed to steal your information. So verify the URL and look for that lock that tells you the website is using a secured connection. When you're sure the website is trustworthy and you're ready to purchase a product, consider these things while checking out. You'll probably be asked to create an account with the website. That's fine but give it a unique password different from any other online account and do not let the site store your credit card information. They do this to see the check out process for future purchases but if someone gets a hold of your account, they'll have easy access to your funds. And definitely use a credit card instead of a debit card or checks, because it's actually the safest way to shop online. The electronic fund transfer act limited liability to 50 and sometimes 0 dollars depending on your bank. If you report fraudulent charges within 2 days of discovering them. So always keep tabs on your online credit statement for fraud in order to take advantage of that limited liability. When you checked out, take a screenshot of the order page and save it to a dedicated receipt folder for future reference in case your order is somehow mishandled. And finally, even though this might be obvious, please for the love of technology, do not shop on a public computer where there might be key loggers installed which are programs that can record your keyboard's stroke. On the same note, don't shop on a public unsecured network like a cafe or your neighbor's Wi-Fi. Your web transactions could be intercepted. But if you absolutely have to shop on an unsecured interned connection, use a program like Hotspot to protect you from any kind of spying. If you have any online shopping tips, Tweet me or let me know on Facebook. For CNET, I'm Sharon (Bachman?). Speaker 1: The bottom line this week, spend without fear little shoppers. I was kind of sad to hear that my plan is to curl up in a Starbucks chair and get all my shopping done, it's probably not a no go but maybe I'll just bring my own internet. Because I do not do stores. And that's gonna do it for this week's show everyone but come back next time for an all new CNET tech review when we start looking at our top gift choices for the 2011 holiday season. Until then, there are tons of great videos available everyday at CNETTV.com. I'll see you next time and thank you for watching.